My Name Is Barbra

Books on Tape. Nov. 2023. 48:15 hrs. ISBN 9780593788455. $95. MEMOIR
The only thing more enticing for Streisand fans than reading her long-awaited nearly 1,000-page memoir is spending 48 hours listening to her read it. The audiobook will be even more in demand when patrons discover the bonus material: there are samplings from 50 Streisand songs sprinkled through the audiobook, including “People,” “Stoney End,” “Evergreen,” “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough),” and live versions of “My Man” and “Silent Night.” One song that gets more space than most is “How Deep Is the Ocean,” Streisand’s duet with son Jason Gould, whom she generously gives time to shine. An even better bonus is Streisand ad-libbing additional asides into her reading. These are usually just an extra sentence or two, but they add intimacy to the audio. At one point, she reads from her memoir about recording a make-it-yourself record at age 15 on December 29, 1959, and then ad-libs, “Oh my gosh. Can you imagine? My son was born on December 29th. I’ve always been fascinated by numbers.” Streisand’s writing style is conversational, which enhances the warmth of her reading.
VERDICT A spectacular and heartfelt memoir, written with invigorating passion and read with endearing humor.
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