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Seriously, I’m Kidding by Ellen DeGeneres (2011)

The audio version of Seriously, I’m kidding is hilarious due to the fact that it is narrated by Ellen DeGeneres.  Her comedic timing coupled with her funny stories make this audiobook of her reflections on life “laugh out loud.”

Unusual Uses for Olive Oil by Alexander McCall Smith (2011)

Unusual Uses for Olive Oil  by Alexander McCall Smith is best enjoyed in audio to fully appreciate the outrageously funny names and inane chatter surrounding Prof Dr. Moritz-Maria Von Igelfeld and his colleagues at the Institute of Romance Philology in Regensburg. Igelfeld must endure the rambling of Librarian Herr Huber and the condescension of Amadeus Unterholzer as the staff has coffee in the Institute Library.

But all of this may change as Von Igelfeld’s friend Ophelia believes he should find a suitable wife. Ophelia believes she knows just the one – Frau Benz, a widow who lives alone (except for servants) in her Schloss on a beautiful Hill. As Frau Benz puts it, “Herr Benz has left me very comfortable.” Von Igelfeld is delighted when Frau Benz invites him to lunch and to view the recently completed, colorful mural on her dining room ceiling showing Herr Benz and other German notables, such as Wagner and Hindenburg, being welcomed into heaven.

Unfortunately Prof. Igelfeld expresses his distaste for Mercedes-Benz Autos and the budding romance come to a sudden halt! Many other humorous adventures follow among Igelfeld and his colleagues for your entertainment.
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Sutton by J. R. Moehringer (2012)

William Sutton or “Willie the Actor” led quite a remarkable life robbing banks, stealing an estimated two million dollars during his lifetime. J.R. Moehringer’s characterization of the notorious bank robber in Sutton is of an intelligent “Robin Hood” figure. Told from Sutton’s perspective, the story begins on Christmas Eve 1969 when Willie is released from prison for good behavior and ailing health, after spending half his adult life behind bars. A reporter and photographer from the newspaper get an exclusive with Willie in exchange for room at a luxury hotel. However, Willie insists that they drive him around to locations in New York City as he recounts his story in chronological order. I listened to the audiobook, narrated by the actor Dylan Baker who does an amazing job capturing all of the different characters.

The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin (2013)

Melanie Benjamin mixes history and conjecture into an epic story of love, triumph, heartbreak, and betrayal. In The Aviator’s Wife, Anne Morrow Lindbergh is portrayed as a strong woman, accomplished in her own right, who stood behind her hero husband even when he didn't act like much of a hero. Through tragedy and scandal, she held her head high as she silently grieved.

This excellent piece of historical fiction makes the reader want to delve further into the biographies, histories, and actual literary works of one of the most famous couples of the twentieth century.

Lorna Raver's rich mature voice reminds listeners of the audio version that this story is told from Anne's perspective in her later years as Charles is dying. The story begins and ends in 1974. Flashbacks have Anne recalling her life with Charles with the wisdom of having already lived through it.

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand (2010)

Unbroken, read by Edward Hermann, is the bestselling story of the life of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner who became a bombardier in World War II, was stranded on a life boat adrift in the Pacific Ocean, and eventually captured by the Japanese. Hillenbrand, author of the bestseller Seabiscuit, is a gifted story teller who meticulously details this almost unbelievable ordeal of pain and suffering. Yes, this is truly a book about resilience, and you will find yourself riveted to your seat as you listen to this well narrated, well told, true tale.

 

Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (2005)

Economist Steven Levitt’s fascinating book, Freakonomics, sets out to quantify and explain topics ranging from birth control to education, with a special emphasis on crime. The CD is read by co-author and journalist Stephen Dubner, and is exploding with so many interesting statistics that it will make your mouth water.

What makes this book special is Levitt’s unique way of taking a problem, standing it on its head, and arriving at the most unexpected conclusion. The CD goes quickly and leaves the listener wanting more. I highly recommend this title.

 

Monday Mornings by Sanjay Gupta (2012)

Sanjay Gupta is a practicing neurosurgeon and his background is steeped in medicine. As a writer, he exposes the personal and professional lives of five surgeons in this fictional account, Monday Mornings.
In the medical world, the acronym M & M stands for morbidity and mortality. Sounds alarming, but it is a learning session that dissects the recent operations of the staff. Just as importantly, this session also investigates any questionable outcomes. No surgeon wants a summons to a Monday morning M & M. Five surgeons live and breathe in this book, fully human to pique and admirably maintain your interest. I listened to the book – and I liked the readers too.

David E. Kelly is developing a television show based on the book. Read more here.

I am America (And So Can You!) by Stephen Colbert (2007)

I listened to this book that I downloaded from eMediaLibrary. It’s narrated by the author, Stephen Colbert. If you enjoy his show, The Colbert Report, you will definitely enjoy this book.

Many laugh-out-loud, hysterical moments as he makes comments and observations about many topics, including family, faith, the media, race, etc… in his right-wing, “serious,” completely tongue in cheek, biting manner.

Check the catalog for I am American (And So Can You!) by Stephen Colbert.
 

Jar City by Arnaldur Indridason

Jar City by Arnaldur Indridason (2005)
This Icelandic writer is pure noire. He is grouped with the popular Scandinavian crime writers who are currently hot sellers. As read by George Guidall, Inspector Erlendur is an empathetic policeman who investigates a complex situation with stubborn persistence, always digging into the past. The paths finally come together, but the journey intrigues the reader. The voice of Guidall gives a humanistic touch that allows the listener to accept the cold, dark atmosphere of Iceland.

For more Scandinavian crime novels here is a list of our favorites.

Bossypants by Tina Fey

Bossypants by Tina Fey (2011)
I loved listening to this book on CD. It was narrated by the author, Tina Fey, probably best known for her impersonation of Sarah Palin during the 2008 presidential election. She’s also been the head writer on Saturday Night Live; writes and stars in the TV series 30 Rock; and has written and/or starred in a number of films. She talks about getting her start in comedy in Chicago with the Second City troupe.

There are many laugh-out-loud moments throughout the book, and she delivers them perfectly.  She’s gutsy, intelligent, and irreverently funny, with a no-holds-barred attitude about most things. Highly recommend this for anyone who wants a good laugh, although there is “adult language” which may offend some people.

-Denise

Comedian Tina Fey entertains in her well-written memoir covering her personal life plus her stints at Chicago’s Second City, Saturday Night Live, and 30 Rock. I suggest listening to the audiobook narrated by Fey. Even if you haven’t followed her career, it’s easy to relate to this down to earth comedian and actress. I burst out laughing during her recollections of her childhood and her honeymoon as well as her responses to mean-spirited comments.

Wondering about the cover? Check out this interview with the hand model.
-Jennifer

For more about the book, check out TIME, NPR, Entertainment Weekly, and The New York Times.

The Wrecker by Clive Cussler

The Wrecker by Clive Cussler (2009)
I’ve read many of his books and they’re all such nonstop action that I find myself listening to one of his books on CD in the car during long road trips. I hate to turn off the car in the middle of a chapter!

Detective Isaac Bell makes his second appearance (after The Chase) in this historical thriller. Preview the book--take care you may get hooked!

Why My Third Husband Will be a Dog by Lisa Scottoline

Why My Third Husband Will be a Dog by Lisa Scottoline (2009)
I picked up this book on CD just because I thought the title was funny. I was definitely not disappointed. In fact, I thoroughly enjoyed it!! Scottolines’s observations and opinions on a variety of topics, as well as her insights into her relationships with her daughter, mother, brother, and pets are very funny, with many laugh-out-loud moments for me!! Since it’s a compilation of many of Scottoline’s newspaper columns, it’s easy to listen to (or read) in short blocks of time. The author narrated it, so it was like listening to a stand-up comic relate comical stories about her life. I love how she finds humor in so many areas of life, and can cleverly articulate it.

Read a review and visit the author's website.

Act of Treason by Vince Flynn

Act of Treason by Vince Flynn (2006)
Recently I made a 300 mile drive alone and was afraid of falling asleep at the wheel. A good friend suggested that I get a book on CD by Vince Flynn to play in the car – and she could guarantee I wouldn’t fall asleep. She was right!

I selected Act of Treason and did not have one sleepy moment on my trip. It was truly spellbinding and suspenseful and I enjoyed every minute and looked forward to every new chapter. It was a fast-paced as well as high anticipation story. I look forward to reading another one of his novels!

Check out the author's website and take a sneak peak of the book.

Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane

Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane (2003)
I couldn’t put down this eerie and unsettling fast-paced psychological thriller by the author of Mystic River. Two U.S. marshals are sent to Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane on a small island off Massachusetts in the summer of 1954 to investigate the disappearance of a patient. They must relinquish their guns and have trouble getting cooperation from the staff, especially the director Dr. Cawley.

Teddy Daniels, the lead marshal, is having a hard time dealing with the death of his wife two years ago. He has an ulterior motive for wanting to be on the island. A hurricane hits the island preventing Teddy and his partner, Chuck Aule, from leaving, but it gives them time to find out what is really going on after the patient mysteriously reappears. What is happening in Unit C? What is real and what is imagined? It will keep you guessing until the end.

Shutter Island has been made into a motion picture (reserve your copy today!) directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Try the Playaway format for a convenient worthwhile audio experience.


Lomax and Biggs Series by Marshall Karp

Lomax and Biggs Series by Marshall Karp (2006-2009)
I rarely listen to books on CD, but picked up The Rabbit Factory on CD based on a patron’s zealous recommendation.  After listening to The Rabbit Factory, I immediately got Bloodthirsty, then Flipping Out.  I loved them all!  They are all laugh-out-loud funny, with unforgettable characters.

I’ve recommended them to several other people, who all agree that they are very entertaining to read or listen to. These are the first three books in the “Lomax and Biggs” mystery series by Marshall Karp.  I anxiously await the next book in the series.  Lomax and Biggs are LAPD detectives, who are very smart, witty, and engaging.  To top it off, the narrator on the CD does a great job with all the characters’ voices.

Visit the Lomax and Biggs website, read an interview with the author, and find reviews of the series at Amazon.com.