Anna Zeitlin

A Carnival of Snackery (17 hours) collects highlights from David Sedaris’ diaries from 2003–2020, read by the author and British-born actor Tracey Ullman. Sedaris’ diary entries reflect much of what we love most about his short stories and essays—observations about the unusual people he meets on his travels, anecdotes about awkward situations and tales about his family—all filtered through the lens of the last two decades, with backdrops that range from Brexit to protests against the Iraq War and George Floyd's murder.

In the introduction, Sedaris explains that Ullman will narrate the portions of the audiobook set in England, to capture the local charm in a way he cannot. She does a wonderful job portraying Sedaris and the broad range of accents he encounters while across the pond, from a haughty horseback rider to a teenage troublemaker. Sedaris hardly needs help: He doesn’t perform as many voices in his sections, but his emphasis and timing get right to the humor at the heart of his diaries.

ALSO IN BOOKPAGE: Read our starred review of the print edition of ‘A Carnival of Snackery.'

David Sedaris and actor Tracey Ullman get right to the humor at the heart of his diaries in the audio edition of A Carnival of Snackery.

In Seth Rogen’s Yearbook (6 hours), the Canadian writer, movie star and ceramicist tells stories only he could tell from a uniquely lived life.

As a comedian and co-writer of such films as Superbad and Pineapple Express, it should come as no surprise that Rogen is a fantastic storyteller. Just how many teenagers get laughs performing stand-up at clubs that they’re too young to enter? In this book he discusses his grandparents, Judaism, summer camp, struggling in Los Angeles and—again, this should come as no surprise—drugs. There’s no shortage of bizarro Hollywood stories, but he shares them in a relatable way, in which he’s on our side, experiencing the absurdity of informing Nicolas Cage that he can’t do that iffy island accent in his film or being invited into Kanye West’s van to listen to his new album. 

This audiobook is a blast, with a long list of guest appearances including Rogen’s parents, Dan Aykroyd, Tommy Chong, Sacha Baron Cohen, Snoop Dogg, Michel Gondry, Billy Idol and Jason Segel.

Seth Rogen’s audiobook is a blast, with guest appearances from Dan Aykroyd, Tommy Chong, Snoop Dogg, Michel Gondry, Billy Idol and more.

Based on John Green’s podcast of the same name, The Anthropocene Reviewed (10 hours) is a collection of essays structured as reviews of the human experience. Known for such young adult novels as The Fault in Our Stars and Turtles All the Way Down, this is Green’s first nonfiction book for adults but hopefully not his last. From sublime sunsets to the unbearable feeling of mortification to odd fascinations like the Hall of Presidents and Piggly Wiggly, he makes even the most obscure topics compelling. 

With storytelling skills from years as a podcaster and YouTuber, Green makes for a fantastic narrator. This is a truly gratifying listening experience; only the audiobook edition offers the opportunity to be part of a melancholy World War I singalong. 

No matter how you know of Green, whether from his previous books, podcast, vlogs or as a YouTube world history teacher, you’ll find something to enjoy in this audiobook.

With storytelling skills from years as a podcaster and YouTuber, John Green makes even the most obscure topics compelling in his audiobook.

You may know Casey Wilson from her brief stint as a cast member on “Saturday Night Live,” from her role on the beloved sitcom “Happy Endings” or maybe from her podcast on the Real Housewives, “Bitch Sesh.” But if you’re not familiar with her, you’ll certainly want to be after listening to her collection of essays, The Wreckage of My Presence (6.5 hours). As author and narrator, Wilson touches on all these projects, but you don’t have to be a pop culture devotee to find something relatable in her essays. 

Each story is moving and hilarious, whether she’s trying to get out of an awkward dinner party, processing the death of her mother or recounting all the ways “people don’t know how to act.” Listening to Wilson’s narration is like getting good gossip from one of your funniest friends. She’s grounded but oh-so-hilarious, a combination that makes this audiobook a must-listen.

Read our review of the print version of The Wreckage of My Presence.

Listening to Casey Wilson’s essay collection is like getting good gossip from one of your funniest friends.

Emmy Award winner Leslie Jordan is making the most of his sudden internet superstardom with his new book, How Y’all Doing? Misadventures and Mischief From a Life Well Lived (4 hours). After decades as an underappreciated character actor on a long list of sitcoms, Jordan is coming to terms with his newfound celebrity status and the opportunities it has presented, including achieving his lifelong dream of recording a duet with Dolly Parton.

In the early days of the COVID-19 quarantine, Jordan began posting very funny videos to his Instagram account, gossiping into the camera, coining memorable catchphrases, telling stories about his Mama and gaining millions of new fans. His knack for storytelling transfers beautifully to this new audiobook. He discusses growing up as a gay child on a Southern horse farm and shares juicy Hollywood gossip, from his experience of working with Lady Gaga to how actor Debbie Reynolds convinced his Mama not to worry so much about what he gets up to in California. 

Jordan’s twangy Tennessee drawl adds so much personality to the audiobook; you can really hear the laughter and joy in his voice as he reads some of his funnier stories.

You can hear the laughter and joy in Leslie Jordan’s voice as he reads the funniest stories in his new audiobook.

The delightful third installment in romance author Talia Hibbert’s Brown Sisters trilogy, Act Your Age, Eve Brown begins with Eve Brown failing at her latest attempt at a career and getting cut off from her trust fund. She leaves London and heads to the countryside, where she comes across a cute bed-and-breakfast that happens to be hiring a chef, a job she could probably pull off. Eve botches the interview and runs over B&B owner Jacob with her car, but she winds up working for him while his broken arm heals. He’s stubborn and stuck in his ways, and she’s fun and carefree, so of course they can’t resist each other.

Prolific voice-over actor Ione Butler effortlessly switches between Eve’s cool London accent and Jacob’s grumpy country tones. She delivers both comedy and romance, going straight for the heart but never losing the humor.

 

ALSO IN BOOKPAGE: Talia Hibbert explains why she thinks Jacob and Eve are so perfect for each other.

Narrator Ione Butler goes straight for the heart—but never loses the humor—in her rendition of Talia Hibbert's latest rom-com.

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