If you guys follow me anywhere online, you probably know that I LOVE listening to audio content. What I mean by this is books and podcasts. I’m addicted, whether I have something playing via bluetooth speaker while doing my hair and make-up in the morning, driving in the car to work, earbuds at the gym, or listening before bed…
I’m also mostly drawn to nonfiction, personal growth, business, and mindfulness subjects. Other friends love an engrossing fiction book or those mystery story podcasts, so explore your options if you’re just delving in! Here’s a little view on how my favorite subjects play into my day:
- Morning: mindfulness, spirituality, personal growth (Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations, Rachel Hollis’ RISE podcast, Lori Harder’s Earn Your Happy, Lavendaire Lifestyle)
- Driving in the car: business, leadership, marketing, podcast interviews (NPR’s Up First, Great Women of Business, NPR’s How I Built This, Mind Your Business)
- Gym: interviews, subject-matter experts, deep dives into something I didn’t know, autobiographies (Stuff You Should Know, NPR’s Fresh Air, TED Talks Daily, the Tim Ferris Show, She Explores, Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard)
- Bedtime: mindfulness, spirituality, personal growth (see above)
Thankfully, these same subjects also lend themselves to my favorite of all aspects of audio books: when the author reads his or her own book! I dig it, and I share this stuff with literally anyone who will listen, so I thought I’d share some of my favorites here with you!
- Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime, his personal story of growing up in South Africa, accent and all
- Michelle Obama’s Becoming, absolutely a must-hear in her own voice
- Busy Philipps’ This Will Only Hurt a Little: I’m not even that familiar with Busy’s career, but she’s hilarious to listen to.
- Thirst is authored and read by charity:water’s founder Scott Harrison, highly impactful!
Other authors who always read their own books include personal growth’s Brené Brown, Rachel Hollis, Elizabeth Gilbert, Gabrielle Bernstein, Michael Pollan, Shonda Rhimes and business mindset’s Seth Godin, Jim Collins, Gary Vaynerchuk. I also have many folks asking me how I very easily lost 20 pounds this past year, and it all started with the Plant Paradox, read by author Steven Gundry, MD.
On the flip side, I actually hated the otherwise-awesome book Wild because I couldn’t get down with the reader’s voice. Unfortunately, it’s also difficult to follow some non-native English speakers like Eckhart Tolle and Arianna Huffington. So be sure to check out the “performance” reviews if these things are really important to you. Sometimes there’s more than one option.
How exactly do you listen? Well podcasts are available for free via Apple’s purple Podcasts app, Google Play, Spotify, Stitchr… start where you’re most comfortable. Audible.com is Amazon’s listening site/app for books, and it will keep tabs on where you’re at in the book when you launch from, say, your computer vs. your mobile app. You can also download audio books for free from your local library!
Two handy features to utilize, no matter which app you’re using:
- Speed: Honestly, this is probably a metaphor for my own life, but I don’t listen to anything at base-level speed. I’m typically at 1.5x on podcasts and 1.25x on Audible.
- Sleep timer: All apps have a feature that allows you to set a sleep timer – in other words, “I’m going to fall asleep in about 15 minutes, so please don’t continue to play and make me really lose my place in this book.”
Alrighty then! It’s the weekend – get to it!