Summer Listening: Read by the Author | Wyatt's World

As audiobook month continues to unspool, consider titles read by the author. The writer as narrator ensures that character voices, rhythm of line, and inflection notes will all be delivered by one who has already spent a great deal of time creating and listening to the work.
As audiobook month continues to unspool, consider titles read by the author. Writer as narrator ensures that character voices, rhythm of line, and inflection notes will all be delivered by one who has already spent a great deal of time creating and listening to the work.
  • The Best Cook in the World: Tales from My Momma's Table by Rick Bragg; read by the author (Random). Bragg's slow, husky, rolling voice, with its rhythmic lilting endings that seem to round off into memory, transports listeners to the South, relating the secrets of his mother's cooking and the importance of family and food.
  • What Truth Sounds Like: Robert F. Kennedy, James Baldwin, and Our Unfinished Conversation About Race in America by Michael Eric Dyson; read by the author (Macmillan). Using the 1963 meeting between politician Robert Kennedy and civil rights activists James Baldwin, Lorraine Hansberry, Kenneth Clark, and Jerome Smith as a launch point, Dyson explores the past and future of America. His narrative voice is urgent, vibrant, and revelatory.
  • George and Lizzie by Nancy Pearl; read by the author (S. & S.). America’s favorite librarian Pearl tells the story of a marriage and its emotional topographical landscape in her debut novel, here read briskly, highlighting not only the emotional weight of the characters but the act of storytelling itself.
  • Calypso by David Sedaris; read by the author (Hachette). Sedaris's voice is as distinctive on the page as it is heard by the ear, with a raspy, sly, deadpan tone that hits the high notes of his clever, sardonic stories with pure glee. In this collection, the author considers aging—with all the pointed comedy fans have come to expect.
  • Wade in the Water: Poems by Tracy K. Smith; read by the author (HighBridge Audio). Poetry is meant to be heard. Here U.S. Poet Laureate Smith narrates her newest collection in a tone soft and precise, offering a perfect understanding of a moment and a mood. Listen with the poems in front of you and the recording becomes a master class on how each is composed and intended.

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