hear it in the author's own words
Own Words, Own Voice: Author-Read Audios

There’s something special about hearing an author read their own work: it can be like you’re sitting with a friend, sharing an appetizer while they tell you about their life’s antics, their passions, the engrossing topic they spent years researching, or… the incredible way they discovered they were actually a super talented poker player?!

While these are (in our humble opinion) the latest and greatest audiobooks narrated by the people who penned them, you can find many more in our Read by the Author collection. Enjoy meeting your new friends. And tell them we said hi.

Author: Colin Jost
Read By: Colin Jost

If there’s one trait that makes someone well suited to comedy, it’s being able to take a punch—metaphorically and, occasionally, physically. In these hilarious essays, Saturday Night Live head writer and Weekend Update co-anchor Colin Jost learns how to take a beating. For every accomplishment, there is a setback. And for every absurd moment, there is an honest, emotional one. Told with a healthy dose of self-deprecation, A Very Punchable Face reveals the brilliant mind behind some of the dumbest sketches on television.

We live in a moment when the struggles of Black Lives Matter and the attempt to achieve a new America have been challenged by the election of Donald Trump. We have been here before: For author James Baldwin, these after times came in the wake of the civil rights movement. In the story of Baldwin’s crucible, Eddie S. Glaude Jr. suggests, we can find hope and guidance through our own after times. Mixing biography with history, memoir, and analysis of our current moment, Begin Again is Glaude’s endeavor to bear witness to the difficult truth of race in America today.

“…Baldwin’s genius glimmers throughout as Glaude effectively demonstrates how truth does not die with the one who spoke it.”—–Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

R. Eric Thomas didn’t know he was different until the world told him so. In essays by turns hysterical and heartfelt, Thomas reexamines what it means to be an “other” through the lens of his own life experience. Here for It will resonate deeply and joyfully with everyone who has struggled with self-acceptance, or wished to shine more brightly in a dark world. Stay here for it—the future may surprise you.

“…These essays are infused with Thomas’s curiosity, hope, and love for the world, and these are apparent in every word he speaks.”—AudioFile Magazine

Author: Zadie Smith
Read By: Zadie Smith

Penned during the early months of lockdown, Intimations written and read by the inimitable Zadie Smith, explores ideas and questions prompted by an unprecedented situation. What does it mean to submit to a new reality–or to resist it? In our isolation, what do other people mean to us? When an unfamiliar world arrives, what does it reveal about the world that came before it?

“Quietly powerful, deftly crafted essays bear witness to the contagion of suffering.” —–Kirkus Reviews, (starred review)

It’s true that Maria Konnikova had never actually played poker before and didn’t even know the rules when she approached Erik Seidel, Poker Hall of Fame inductee, and convinced him to be her mentor. Under Seidel’s guidance, Konnikova had many epiphanies about life that derived from her new pursuit, including how to better read, not just her opponents but herself. But she also began to win.