Enigmatic Voices (autobiographies on audiobook)

Believe Me | Eddie Izzard

Summary: I anticipated comedy in choosing Izzard’s memoir. I had no idea what I was in for! Izzard’s use of ‘footnotes’ had me screaming with laughter. Other reviews confirm that the audio version is the BEST method of listening to the rambling unapologetic style used by Izzard, so familiar from the stage and screen. Recounting some early years, this trailblazer of lgbtqia+ advocacy discusses family, school, sexuality, finding work, and eventual success as a comic and actor. 

Gush Sesh: Izzard can inspire, confuse, and inform all at the same time.

If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face? | Alan Alda

Summary: Less about himself, Alda talks about communication as an expert and an artist. This is not an autobiography as much as it is an exploration into interpersonal relationships and how to communicate within them better. He brings together the science and psychology of expression with an actor’s ability to both read and emote what they intend. In his casual storytelling manner, Alda amuses and informs knowing that everyone is faced with communicating to others no matter their profession. If you are looking for more of an autobiography, try his other bestselling book, Never Have Your Dog Stuffed, even if someone else reads the audio version.

Gush Sesh: Through his long and varied career, Alda’s voice is so easily recognizable as whatever character, it’s strange to think of him as being himself.

Becoming | Michelle Obama

Summary: Unfamiliar with Obama’s private life, I selected this audiobook specifically because I found her voice appealing. There’s that little hint of Chicago coming through when she pronounces ‘street’. Her discussions about family and the experiences that formed her were riveting. It’s a completely different life she’s led from my familiarity and I found it fascinating. Especially poignant are her revelatory points about becoming pregnant and working through relationship issues with her famous husband.

Gush Sesh: Of all role models I could consider, Obama is a shining star.

Home Work | Julie Andrews

Summary: I selected this work strictly for the comfort of her inimitable voice and loved it. Andrews produced a previous memoir that covers her early childhood and family life called simply Home. While I am eager to fall back a few decades to learn more about her, Home Work was a whole package by itself. Having accomplished so much, this memoir focuses upon her adult life as a working actor and includes the intimacies of her life for context. Descriptions of her relationships and decisions through a long Hollywood career sate the appetite for glamour.

Gush Sesh: I would listen to Andrews read the phone book.

Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics | Dolly Parton

Summary: Everything about Parton is charming – certainly her voice, laughter, memories (both sweet and sad), and her casual way of explaining how things were without tearing them apart into pieces. Responding back and forth like an interview, this work is narrated by Parton and another writer, including excerpts of her songs as they bloomed along her lifetime. She reveals her culture and family life, the difficulties of being taken seriously in the music industry, the many positive influences and forms of support people provided along the way, and a few secrets about herself. While you’ll no doubt enjoy her voice, if you can also get a look at the text version, there are rare photos she included that you can’t access by audiobook.

Gush Sesh: It’s an enriching and quite positive experience to be confided in by one of the most-honored female country performers. 

About the author

Smithton Public Library

The Smithton Public Library District is located in southern Illinois, near St. Louis, MO. The library serves nearly 5,000 residents. We hope you visit us soon!