02408: In Their Own Words

So I'm still on an Audible retention offer after my most recent 30-day trial (yes I've had more than one on and off over the years) and I wandered into one of those darned Member-only sales where most titles were 50% off and I gathered a few works of note. After working through my copy of the 10th anniversary edition of American Gods and the musings of Mara Wilson known as  Where Am I Now? I'm started to find a particular niche for Audible books that I like.

I'm really enjoying hearing books read by their authors.

Sure full cast adaptations are fun as they make the book feel more like a radio play than just a book and that's all well and good. But there's something about hearing the author read the work in the manner they may have intended it to sound or perhaps how it sounds in their head. And after enjoying Mara Wilson's book I have also come to realize this experience becomes most powerful when the book in question is of a biographical nature.

I've just started the Audible book The Princess Diarist, which is a memoir by Carrie Fisher based on diaries she had written around the time they were filming Star Wars. Given her still fairly recent passing, there is something bittersweet about hearing her talk about her life in her vibrant yet sometimes blasé style makes her passing feel all the more painful somehow. She was every bit Princess Leia with her fire and passion and nerves of steel.

I have a few of her Audible books in my account already, all of which she has narrated herself. It's going to be a little sad to listen to them all with what sometimes feels like her ghost speaking from beyond the grave but it also helps us remember her.

I never considered myself to be much for celebrities or celebrity culture and I don't think this new exploration of biographies reflects a new interest in this world. It is certainly about public figures with some degree of personal importance, which is why I have a Shatner book on Leonard Nimoy also waiting to be listened to once I find the time. To be fair, a lot of these figures are people we don't know very well and perhaps know better as their fictional characters on screen. These books go a long way towards humanizing them further and making them feel more real even.

I guess I'll stick around with Audible for a while longer.