What I’ve Been Listening To: three that made me think and three that made me laugh

After a series of memoirs about illness–then my octopus palette cleanser–I went back to social justice.

So You Want to Talk About Race Ilejeomo Oluo

I loved this book. I was invested in, not only what she was saying about racism and micro-aggressions, but about how it has affected her own life as a black woman. No matter how much you think you already know, you either don’t know as much as you think you do, or you will forever need refreshing – there’s just too much to remember and think about and understand to get it all the first time around. We have to keep reading and listening.

They Said This Would Be Fun by Eternity Martis

This book focuses on university life and the racism and micro-aggressions found there as a young black woman. It was an eye-opener for me about how black women are viewed sexually. She also goes into her family and how she has struggled with her own identity as a black woman raised in a South Asian family.

Shame on Me by Tessa McWatt

This book starts with a simple question that the author was asked by her teacher in elementary school: “What are you?” Except this question is not so simple. McWatt has a complex multiracial background, which she explores as she tries to answer the question of “what” she is. Each chapter examines a different part of her body in relation to how the world views these body parts racially. Beautifully written and thought-provoking.

I Remember Nothing by Nora Ephron

At this point, I needed something lighter, maybe even funny. I enjoyed I Feel Bad About My Neck many years ago, so I gave this one a try. It did the trick – typical Nora Ephron.

All Together Now by Alan Doyle

This is Alan Doyle’s third book, and I haven’t yet read the first two. But now I want to listen to them rather than read them. I loved hearing him read; with his Newfoundland accent, expressions and emotion, he’s a born storyteller. Each chapter is a story about something that happened in his life, whether it be while on tour with his band or as a boy with his parents and siblings. I got a kick out of his story about being in a movie with Russell Crowe. Now, if only I could get Alan Doyle to read me a story every night before bed…

If you don’t know who Alan Doyle is (or Great Big Sea)–or even if you do!–take a minute and watch this.

Son of A Critch by Mark Critch

I enjoyed listening to Alan Doyle so much that I moved on to another Newfoundlander–Mark Critch–and oh how I laughed. This is another book made so much better by having the author read it to you. He’s telling you the story of his life and he makes himself sound hilariously ridiculous. The best part is the voices he gives to his parents who play a big part in the book. I don’t think I’ll ever forget them. He has a new book out and I’ll be looking for it on audio!

For those of you who don’t know Mark Critch, here he is with our Prime Minister in 2017.

For a very special treat, here are Mark Critch and Alan Doyle together!

Do you ever fall into any obvious reading patterns? What have you been listening to?

17 thoughts on “What I’ve Been Listening To: three that made me think and three that made me laugh

    • Naomi says:

      The author of So You Want to Talk About Race explains things so well and uses great examples from her own life – it really is essential reading!

  1. cravesadventure says:

    I will have to check these out – especially Alan Doyle (my spouse’s cousin lives up in that neck of the woods). Thanks for sharing. I have been on a mystery streak lately. Happy Reading/Listening – Enjoy 🙂

  2. Laila@BigReadingLife says:

    I don’t know Alan Doyle or Mark Critch so I’ll have to do some exploring.

    My audiobook re-listen of the Harry Potter series is paused while I wait on hold for the 4th one. So I’m back to podcasts! Maintenance Phase has been on my phone constantly, so good.

  3. wadholloway says:

    I want to talk about race, but it is difficult not to put your foot in it sometimes. There is a book coming out in Australia, Another Day in the Colony by Chelsea Watego (story in Guardian Australia): “you [whites] will never understand what it is like to confront oppressive colonial structures in almost every facet of your life and on every single day of it”. A must-read, I’d say.

    • Naomi says:

      Yup, that sounds about right! And I share your concerns about putting my foot in it, but the author of So You Want To Talk About Race does a great job of walking you through all that. Including what to do if you put your foot in it!

  4. annelogan17 says:

    I love Nora Ephron! I also enjoy reading social justice, but it’s nice to dip into some humour too. I think I may need to read that Mark Critch book, it looks hilarious!

  5. Marcie McCauley says:

    That’s an excellent point, that Doyle’s books would be better listening than reading with his own voice as narrator! (I did like the first book quite a bit though, even just on paper, having to imagine the brogue.) Maybe I’ll catch up with the next two via audio.

    I want to read Eternity Martis’s book, because I know that campus well, but I haven’t gotten there yet. You know how it is, if you don’t get to it when it’s new, it’s harder to squeeze it in later. (Sidenote: I think it would be such a hard life to be named ‘Eternity’ or ‘Destiny’. Pressure!)

    • wadholloway says:

      One of my daughters is called Liberty. I think it very quickly becomes just a name, without content. (The biggest consequence was I had to sing Liberty Valence as a lullaby).

    • Naomi says:

      I thought of you while reading Martis’s book. And I think we might have been chatting about London at around the same time. Maybe because of the book? I don’t remember now. (I wonder what Eternity gets shortened to? E? Tern? Ternity?)

      It *is* so much harder to squeeze in an old book than a new – I wonder why that is?

  6. Care says:

    HI, HNY! You said, “if only I could get Alan Doyle to read me a story every night before bed…” — you should check! such a thing exists: I have a friend who goes to sleep every might listening to LeVar Burton read short stories – by design!

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