A trio of recent audiobook standouts includes a bio of a beloved actress, a hymn to all things soft and snuggly and a tribute to the unsung women of Disney.
★ Carrie Fisher
Even if Carrie Fisher had never starred in one of the biggest movie franchises of all time, she still would have lived a life worth writing about, and author Sheila Weller tells the full story in Carrie Fisher: A Life on the Edge (Macmillan Audio, 13.5 hours). Fisher was a witty novelist, a top Hollywood script doctor, an addict, a child of celebrities and a performer of a one-woman show. She was also bipolar, an extremely thoughtful gift-giver and a thrower of legendary parties. I think Fisher would have appreciated the humor with which Weller portrays her life and the way she balances darkness with light. Award-winning narrator Saskia Maarleveld nimbly strikes this balance as well, giving the darker moments of Fisher’s life the weight they deserve while ably delivering her jokes, a vital skill when quoting this beloved icon.
Cosy is a necessary counterpoint to the sleek, minimalist, Danish modern style of interior design that’s so popular today. This audiobook teaches you not only how to decorate your home for maximum comfort but also how to live your life to its “cosiest” (the British spelling, please). After listening to it, I was ready to throw out all my Ikea furniture and curl up in a Welsh woven blanket with a pot of tea and one of the cosy books recommended by author Laura Weir. She offers suggestions for cosy charities (because giving back makes you feel good), cosy vacation stays, cosy recipes and cosy clothing, all with a lighthearted sense of humor. Narrator Michelle Ford’s peaceful, meditative voice is the perfect guide through ultimate cosiness.
The Queens of Animation
The women behind Disney’s most famous animated features finally get their due in this well-researched book from Nathalia Holt. Even if you’re not already interested in animation, The Queens of Animation is worth listening to for its insight into the changing roles of women in the workforce throughout the 20th and early 21st centuries. Many creative women have been involved in the menial tasks of animation since its early days, but this book focuses on the women who were integral to the look of Disney’s earliest films, despite Walt Disney’s original policy of not hiring women for creative roles. Surviving in a male-dominated industry, the women are linked by their talent and gumption. Narrator Saskia Maarleveld has a compelling way of telling the story—one that pulls you in further, like she’s confiding a dark secret.
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