An Ode to Audiobooks Improving My Life

From allowing me to read more to helping to keep me sane, it is an understatement to say that audiobooks changed my reading life for the better. So with my reading heart full, I thought I should express my gratitude. To all the audiobooks that I have inhaled over the years:

Thank you for keeping me company in the middle of the night when the goat (an angry goat trapped inside of a dog) refuses to come back inside the house, but I can’t leave her alone outside because she will get into a fight with the neighborhood raccoon. I am not making this up. (Ophie’s Ghosts by Justina Ireland, read by Bahni Turpin)

Thank you for muffling my ears to reduce the piercing beep that releases inches from my face and never ceases to startle my heart and brain when I have to change the fire alarm battery, thus reducing my anxiety even just a notch. (Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America by Ijeoma Oluo, read by the author)

Thank you for keeping me company when I have to stir the natilla nonstop for 30 minutes until it properly coats the back of a wooden spoon (must be a wooden spoon) because that was abuela’s instructions, and if I’m gonna do something to make her haunt my nalgitas it is not gonna be messing up the natilla. (Diamond Doris: The True Story of the World’s Most Notorious Jewel Thief by Doris Payne, read by Robin Miles)

Thank you for letting me read when there is nothing else I want to do but read, and my eyeballs have put up the “do not disturb” sign because they have spent the day staring at a computer. (Make Your Home Among Strangers by Jennine Capo Crucet, read by Marisol Ramirez)

Thank you for the countless pronunciation lessons in multiple languages. And, yes, I admit, sometimes even in English. (Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay, read by Ramón de Ocampo)

Thank you for letting me tune people out, including neighbors throwing competing parties with earworm music that should be illegal — this would be my presidential campaign slogan because no one needs to hear “But I won’t do that” and “Let it Go” battling for prime real estate in your brain. (None Shall Sleep by Ellie Marney, read by Christine Lakin, Maxwell Hamilton, Zach Villa, Jake Abel)

Thank you for letting me feel like I am at a hilarious dinner catching up with a friend as they regale me with ridiculous stories when I need a good laugh. (Wow, No Thank You by Samantha Irby, read by the author)

Thank you for letting me hear an author tell their story, literally, in their own words. (All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson, read by the author)

audiobook cover image of A Cuban Girl's Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey

Thank you for the distraction of a romcom in my ears when my anxiety is too high to sleep and lying in my bed in the dark means listening to my anxious brain, which never has anything worthwhile to say. (Once Upon a Quinceanera by Monica Gomez-Hira, read by Frankie Corzo)

Thank you for those times when a book was only published outside of the U.S., but the audiobook format ended up releasing in the U.S. (East of Hounslow by Khurrum Rahman, read by Waleed Akhtar — it has since released in other formats in the U.S.)

Thank you for the distraction when it’s swamp ass weather outside, and I once again forgot to water the garden first thing in the morning, and now must hose all the plants in the unrelenting afternoon sun or let my poor roses and butterfly garden die. (Red Widow by Alma Katsu, read by Mozhan Marnò)

Thank you for the countless history lessons that are so much easier for me to absorb and think about when told to me. (The Golden Thread: The Cold War and the Mysterious Death of Dag Hammarskjöld by Ravi Somaiya)

Thank you for being the perfect pairing with LEGO sets and jigsaw puzzles, for when I need to disconnect from the world but also still feel connected. (The Falling in Love Montage by Ciara Smyth, read by Alana Kerr Collins)