4 audiobooks that tell personal stories

This month we are listening to three memoirs and one novel that sounds like a memoir.  

1. 'The Best Cook in the World,' by Rick Bragg

'The Best Cook in the World: Tales From My Momma’s Table,' by Rick Bragg

Read by the author; Random House Audio; 16 CDs; 19.5 hours; $50/Audible download; $35

         Rick Bragg is such a charismatic narrator that even if you've already read the print version of this family friendly audiobook, you should still listen to it on your summer car trip.   In this love letter to his Momma and those who came before her, Bragg describes a way of life in Alabama most of us could never survive.  All the while he recounts recipes and meals and delicacies that will leave your mouth watering.  You’ll wish you were sitting down to a plate of fried green tomatoes with red-eyed gravy as he describes his mother’s and grandmother’s cooking in a low, slow Southern drawl.  Sometimes he even sings, which is just icing on this slice of Americana. 

Grade: A Plus


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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

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