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Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story by Bono audiobook review – unexpected humility | Autobiography and memoir

Few autobiographies are as suited to audio as Surrender, in which U2 frontman Bono reflects on nearly 50 years in music using his band’s songs as his guide. The book opens with the singer – who narrates – undergoing heart surgery to deal with a blister on his aorta that was ready to “put me in the next life faster than I can make an emergency call”.He looks back on his life, describing the death of his mother from a stroke when he was 14 – he believes it was this that led him to become a performer, seeking the love from…

Spotify’s new audiobook plan is kind of… pointless

Spotify is one of the largest streaming services in the entire world, and it has several paid subscription tiers to suit different people with different needs. We are all familiar with the two subscription plans that are available. Well, Spotify just unveiled its new audiobook subscription called the AudioBook Access Tier, and it’s pretty pointless. As we know, Spotify has been doubling down on its selection of audiobooks. This was a move to compete with Amazon, as Audible pretty much owns the industry. Right now,…

Western Lane by Chetna Maroo audiobook review – an agile coming-of-age debut | Audiobooks

After 11-year-old Gopi’s mother dies unexpectedly, she and her older sisters Mona and Khush channel their grief at the local sports centre where their father, known as Pa, teaches them to play squash. “I want you to become interested in something you can do your whole life,” he tells his children.Set on the outskirts of London in the late 1980s, this Booker-nominated debut novel from Chetna Maroo begins a few days after the funeral, when Pa and his daughters are visiting extended family to mark the end of the mourning…

Wifedom by Anna Funder audiobook review – the first Mrs Orwell | George Orwell

After spending a summer reading George Orwell in between looking after her teenage children, the Australian author and former human rights lawyer Anna Funder observed how few references the Nineteen Eighty-Four author made to the women in his life. She was especially dismayed by the absence of Eileen O’Shaughnessy, Orwell’s first wife, who joined her husband on research trips and who died while undergoing surgery aged 39. And so in the genre-bending Wifedom – which has been shortlisted for the Gordon Burn prize ­– Funder…

Reesa Teesa’s ‘Who TF did I marry?’ TikToks are like an audiobook

TikTok’s latest viral superstar is Reesa Teesa, a Georgia woman who posted 50 videos — just under 10 minutes long apiece — chronicling her tumultuous relationship with her ex-husband. That’s over six hours of content, all about a stranger’s experience living with a compulsive liar. But millions of viewers are eating it up, clinging to Reesa’s every last word on a platform with a reputation for ruining our attention span. I can’t go for a walk without headphones (lest I be alone with my own thoughts), so I’m…

Dylan Thomas: The BBC Radio Collection audiobook review – a spellbinding homage | Audiobooks

In the introduction to this remarkable collection of works by and about Dylan Thomas, the Welsh actor Matthew Rhys – who played Thomas in the film The Edge of Love – reflects on the life and legacy of “the 20th century’s first rock star author, famed for his dazzling, imaginative poetry and chaotic personal life”. Thomas, who influenced Bob Dylan and the Beatles, loved radio and delivered a series of BBC broadcasts in the 1940s and early 50s which took in poems, short stories, critical appreciations and reminiscences of…

Great-Uncle Harry by Michael Palin audiobook review – a personal first world war story | Biography books

Michael Palin, the Python turned TV documentarian, has long delighted in sharing tales of his family, whether through his diaries – he has published three volumes so far – or through his film American Friends, a fictionalised account of the courtship of his great-grandfather, an Oxford don, and his American wife. In Great-Uncle Harry, he turns his attention to Henry William Bourne Palin – known as Harry – who died in the Battle of the Somme in 1916 at 32. Palin was alerted to his great-uncle’s existence by a cousin who…

A new The Three-Body Problem audiobook is coming just in time for Netflix’s show

In Netflix’s new adaptation of Cixin Liu’s novel The Three-Body Problem, actress Rosalind Chao portrays one of the brilliant minds mobilized into action by the presence of a threat with the potential to wipe out humanity. But in Macmillan’s forthcoming The Three-Body Problem audiobook recording, Chao will bring the entire world of Liu’s novel to life with the sound of her voice.Ahead of the March 21st debut of Netflix’s 3 Body Problem, Macmillan Audio has tapped Chao to narrate its new recording of The Three-Body Problem…

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen audiobook review – the pursuit of love | Jane Austen

The world isn’t short of audio versions of Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen’s first published novel, which follows the fortunes of sisters Elinor and Marianne Dashwood and their pursuit of love. Rosamund Pike recorded one in 2018 while Kate Winslet, who appeared in Ang Lee’s screen adaptation, did one in 2007. Juliet Stevenson recorded her version in 2004, though not before Prunella Scales and Glenda Jackson got theirs in.Now we have another, courtesy of Derry Girls actor Nicola Coughlan, which does seem superfluous to…

Spotify claims to have paid audiobook publishers ‘tens of millions’ in royalties | Books

Spotify has said that it has paid audiobook publishers “tens of millions” since allowing users 15 hours of audiobook listening in its Premium subscription package last autumn.The company said that the figure, reported by trade magazine the Bookseller, is “100% royalties” and that it expects to “continue growing” royalty payouts in future. It would not give a more precise amount for payouts made so far, but said that the “tens of millions” figure applies in both pounds and dollars.However, the Society of Authors (SoA) said…