Audiobook Recommendations

Part II

Hello,

A few of you have been enjoying my past audiobook recommendations, and have asked for more. I’ve put together another list that hopefully, you’ll enjoy. 

The first part of this post focuses on audiobooks narrated by Stephen Fry. The second part focuses on autobiographies.

If you have any audiobook suggestions, I’d love to hear them.

Enjoy!

mariana


Part I

1. Mythos by Stephen Fry

What is this book about?

  • In 2017, Stephen Fry published Mythos. A compilation of Greek Myths, more or less in chronological order. When I started listening to it, I was a bit overwhelmed by the number of different characters and names that I had to remember in order to follow the story. However, after a few chapters, when Zeus and Hera appeared, it all started to make sense, and Mythos became one of the most enjoyable things I have listened to in my life. So much so, that I listened to it twice, and I’m probably going to listen to it again.

Why should you listen to it? 

  • An epic narrator: This, of course, might be a matter of taste, but in my opinion, Stephen Fry is one of the best narrators out there. The way he alters his voice to give life to different characters is simply amazing. I could listen to him for hours.

  • Greek mythology 101: An amazing and super fun “lecture” on Greek Mythology. You’ll learn all the classic myths and might even fall in love with some of the gods and mortals. 

2. Heroes by Stephen Fry

What is this book about?

  • If, like me, you also happen to fall in love with Greek Mythology and with Stephen Fry’s voice, fear not… ‘Heroes’ is here for you. 

  • This book is not necessarily a sequel, but I think about it as an exquisite follow up which focuses on the stories of a few of the best mortals at the time. Stephen Fry picks a few “heroes” and tells us what they had to do in order to become so. Daedalus, Heracles, Jason, Oedipus, and Theseus, are some of those whose stories are featured in this wonderful book. You’ll also get to hear what some of the characters introduced in Mythos were up to at different points in time, so it’s kind of Greek gossip bonus. 

3. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

What is this book about?

  • I expect that most of you are already familiar with Harry Potter. But in case you haven’t read any of the books, I can almost assure you that this story will be one of the best vacation spots for your mind. The world of J.K. Rowling is truly magical, and when Stephen Fry narrates it, the magic multiplies.

Why should you listen to it?

  • If you’ve never read the books: This is your chance! Listening to Harry Potter will brighten your morning and evening commute! And you’ll finally get to know what all the fuss is about. 

  • If you’ve read the books: You need no further convincing. Harry Potter + Stephen Fry are a killer combo. 

Part II

4. LET IT GO by Dame Stephanie Shirly

What is this book about?

  • Dame Stephanie Shirly is one of the most incredible and admirable human beings alive today. She’s one of my heroes. Let It Go narrates the wonderful story of her life.

Why should you listen to it?

  • An incredible life story: The story of a woman who came to the UK as a refugee when she was a child. A woman that wanted to prove that her life had been worth saving, so then went on to become a visionary entrepreneur (she used to call herself Steve to avoid gender discrimination), a pioneer in flexible working schemes, an amazing mother, boss, and philanthropist.  

  • A lesson on letting go: A remarkable approach on how despite losing everything you hold most dear during your life, you can still find ways to make the world a better place.  

“We waste too much time being afraid, when what we should really fear is wasting time.”

― Stephanie Shirley, Let IT Go

5. In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park

What is this book about?

  • The escape journey of a North Korea defector: This book narrates the story of how Park Yeon-mi fled from North Korea at the age of 13 and the painful odyssey towards South Korea via China.

  • Turning things around: When Yeonmi Park escaped North Korea, she was trying to save her life and didn’t exactly understand where she was going, or what freedom looked like. Once Yeonmi Pak was safe and had time to reflect on her experience, she became a Human Rights activist and now dedicates her life to it. 

Why should you listen to it?

  • A glimpse into North Korea: This is a harrowing listen (or read) that narrates some of the difficulties of living in North Korea and then leaving it. We hear a lot of things about North Korea, but it’s hard to know what it’s really like. This book offers one point of view of what it was like for one family. Additionally, one of the most interesting aspects of this book, is the description of how some Chinese treat North Korean defectors. 

“I was beginning to realize that all the food in the world, and all the running shoes, could not make me happy. The material things were worthless. I had lost my family. I wasn’t loved, I wasn’t free, and I wasn’t safe. I was alive, but everything that made life worth living was gone.”

― Yeonmi Park, In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom


Links to buy the book

//Hello, a little disclaimer from me. If you’re planning to buy any of the recommended books (including audiobooks), it would really help me if you did so by clicking any of the below links. Much appreciated!//

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Amazon MX

//As an Amazon Associate, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases via the above links.//


Favourite quotes

//The purpose of this section is to share some of my favourite book bits, so you can come back to them when you finish a book if you wish to do so. I’ve put in bold my favourite ones, in case you want to read a few (or all) ahead of the book.//

Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold

“The Greeks created gods that were in their image; warlike but creative, wise but ferocious, loving but jealous, tender but brutal, compassionate, but vengeful.”

― Stephen Fry, Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold

“They left on creation a terrible but necessary mark, for the world seems never to offer anything worthwhile without also providing a dreadful opposite.”

― Stephen Fry, Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold

“When lust descends, discretion, common sense and wisdom fly off and what may seem cunning concealment to one in the grip of passion looks like transparently clumsy idiocy to everyone else.”

― Stephen Fry, Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold

“The Greek word for 'everything that is the case', what we could call 'the universe', is COSMOS. And at the moment -- although 'moment' is a time word and makes no sense just now (neither does the phrase 'just now') -- at the moment, Cosmos is Chaos and only Chaos because Chaos is the only thing that is the case.”

― Stephen Fry, Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold

What Pandora did not know was that, when she shut the lid of the jar so hastily, she for ever imprisoned inside one last daughter of Nyx. One last little creature was left behind to beat its wings hopelessly in the jar for ever. Its name was ELPIS, Hope.

― Stephen Fry, Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold

“Painters, poets and philosophers have seen many things in the myth of Sisyphus. They have seen an image of the absurdity of human life, the futility of effort, the remorseless cruelty of fate, the unconquerable power of gravity. But they have seen too something of mankind’s courage, resilience, fortitude, endurance and self-belief. They see something heroic in our refusal to submit.”

― Stephen Fry, Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold

“Gaia listened carefully to this wise counsel and - as we all do, whether mortal or immortal - ignored it.”

― Stephen Fry, Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold

“It is their refusal to see any divine beings as perfect, whole and complete of themselves, whether Zeus, Moros or Prometheus, that makes the Greeks so satisfying.”

― Stephen Fry, Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold

Heroes: Mortals and Monsters, Quests and Adventures

‘Remember’, cautioned the centaur. ‘Modesty. Observance of the gods. In a fight do not do what you want to do, but what you judge your enemy least wants you to. You cannot control others if you cannot control yourself. Those who most understand their own limitations have the fewest.’

― Stephen Fry, Heroes: Mortals and Monsters, Quests and Adventures

‘You see?' said Prometheus. 'It is your fate to be Heracles the hero, burdened with labours, yet it is also your choice. You choose to submit to it. Such is the paradox of living. We willingly accept that we have no will.’

― Stephen Fry, Heroes: Mortals and Monsters, Quests and Adventures

“No labour was more Heraclean than the labour of being Heracles.”

― Stephen Fry, Heroes: Mortals and Monsters, Quests and Adventures

LET IT GO

“We waste too much time being afraid, when what we should really fear is wasting time.”

― Stephanie Shirley, Let IT Go - The Memoirs of Dame Stephanie Shirley

“Philanthropy isn’t about letting someone else take your money and spend it as they, rather than you, see fit. (We call that ‘tax’.) Rather, it is about putting your money to uses you believe in, and taking pleasure from the process. Your money isn’t lost, just because someone else has it. It is realising its potential: wealth as numbers on a bank statement transformed into wealth that enriches the world - and, as a result, enriches you.”

― Stephanie Shirley, Let IT Go - The Memoirs of Dame Stephanie Shirley

“One of the reasons why Freelance Programmers thrived in its early days - when so many new enterprises fail - was that, simply by allowing our programmers and project managers to perform their duties when and where they pleased, I had surrendered a significant part of the control that employers traditionally exercise over those who work for them. Our competitors were still insisting that their staff worked for fixed hours, in fixed places, clocking in and clocking out and having to account for what they were doing throughout each shift. I trusted mine to manage their own time, as long as the work got done. The result? Not the anarchy and idleness that a traditionalist manager would have predicted but, instead, unrivalled productivity.”

― Stephanie Shirley, Let IT Go - The Memoirs of Dame Stephanie Shirley

In order to live

“We all have our own deserts. They may not be the same as my desert, but we all have to cross them to find a purpose in life and be free.”

― Yeonmi Park, In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom

“I inhaled books like other people breathe oxygen. I didn't just read for knowledge or pleasure, I read to live.”

― Yeonmi Park, In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom

“...and when you have more words to describe the world, you increase your ability to think complex thoughts.”

― Yeonmi Park, In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom

“It amazed me how quickly a lie loses its power in the face of truth. Within minutes, something I had believed for many years simply vanished.”

― Yeonmi Park, In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom

“There were so many desperate people on the streets crying for help that you had to shut off your heart or the pain would be too much. After a while you don't care anymore. And that is what hell is like.”

― Yeonmi Park, In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom

“In the free world, children dream about what they want to be when they grow up and how they can use their talents. When I was four and five years old, my only adult ambition was to buy as much bread as I liked and eat all of it.”

― Yeonmi Park, In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom

“They need to control you through your emotions, making you a slave to the state by destroying your individuality, and your ability to react to situations based on your own experience of the world.”

― Yeonmi Park, In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom

“Along my journey I have seen the horrors that humans can inflict on one another, but I've also witnessed acts of tenderness and kindness and sacrifice in the worst imaginable circumstances. I know that it is possible to lose part of your humanity in order to survive. But I also know that the spark of human dignity is never completely extinguished, and that given the oxygen of freedom and the power of love, it can grow again.”

― Yeonmi Park, In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom

“I understand that sometimes the only way we can survive our own memories is to shape them into a story that makes sense out of events that seem inexplicable.”

― Yeonmi Park, In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom

“It's not easy to give up a worldview that is built into your bones and imprinted on your brain like the sound of your own father's voice.”

― Yeonmi Park, In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom

“I never knew freedom could be such a cruel and difficult thing. Until now, I had always thought that being free meant being able to wear jeans and watch whatever movies I wanted without worrying about being arrested. Now I realized that I had to think all the time - and it was exhausting. There were times when I wondered whether, if it wasn't for the constant hunger, I would be better off in North Korea, where all my thinking and all my choices were taken care of for me.”

― Yeonmi Park, In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom

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