Three recent stellar audio releases.
★ The Witches Are Coming
The titular feminist rallying cry of The Witches Are Coming echoes throughout Shrill writer Lindy West’s latest collection of essays, which explores personal stories and pop culture through the lens of our current political reality. West has a wonderfully dry wit, and her biting narration makes her essays even funnier. Just the way she reads the chapter title “Is Adam Sandler Funny?” had me laughing, and then she goes on to explore not only Sandler’s jokes but also their impact on a generation of men. In another essay, she describes attending a conference by Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle brand, Goop, which she approaches with an open mind, allowing folks to have fun with their crystals, then points out the class disparities of the wellness industry. West brings humor and her resolutely feminist perspective to each topic.
Elton John reflects on his life in Me, looking back on his youth as a poor boy in a broken home, his years as a struggling musician and eventually his life as a rock legend and humanitarian. He speaks with distance and clarity about his bulimia and addictions to cocaine and alcohol. He finds humor in those dark days, like the time Andy Warhol showed up at John Lennon’s apartment, and Lennon and John had to pretend they weren’t home so Warhol wouldn’t capture their piles of cocaine with his famous Polaroid. John’s friendly rivalry with Rod Stewart pops up throughout the book, as each takes great pride in sabotaging the other and gloating over his successes. John is ready to retire from the road and wants to spend more time with his family, but he clearly isn’t done creating. He reads the beginning and end of the audiobook, with Taron Egerton taking over the bulk of the narration. Egerton recently played John in the biopic Rocketman, and he easily jumps back into the role, providing a dynamic narration filled with earnest enthusiasm.
Nothing to See Here
In Kevin Wilson’s latest novel, Nothing to See Here, Lillian leaps at the chance to help her former best friend, Madison, despite past betrayals. Madison is married to a wealthy Tennessee senator, and when his ex-wife dies, he takes in their two children. But the thing is, these kids burst into flames. Lillian drops everything to become their governess and help Madison raise these weird fire children. This bizarre, captivating novel questions what makes a family and satirizes Southern gentility and politicians. Marin Ireland does a great job with the narration, creating unique voices for each character that reveal their personalities, even the young children’s.