Sure, that title has a clickbait quality to it, but I’m pretty serious and vocal about my love for all things Hoopla. I’ve sung its praises in the past (mostly because the graphic novel selection is pretty darn great), but only recently have I really delved into the audiobook section.
Mostly because, until recently, I wasn’t exactly a fan of listening to books. Lugging around CDs is always a pain, and I’m still not sure what those MP3 things are all about, but listening to a book on your phone while multi-tasking or taking a walk? You mean I can read all the time if I want to?!
What started this new journey of mine was stumbling across “Wishful Drinking” by Carrie Fisher. I’ve been a fan of Carrie Fisher for years because of her outspoken nature and sharp wit, but this is the first time I have tried out any of her books. The audiobook was narrated by Carrie herself, which made the experience even better — she was intimate with her own writing style and knew just when to pause and emphasize certain words or phrases. “Wishful Drinking” is Fisher’s first humorous memoir, written after her first experience with electric shock therapy. She was an outspoken advocate for mental health awareness and treatment, which is one of the many reasons I admired her so much.
She covers everything in her book from her relationship with “Star Wars” (of course), to her musings on life and love, and an examination of the whole Debbie Reynolds-Eddie Fisher-Elizabeth Taylor debacle, which made me laugh until I cried. Carrie Fisher, in all of her life (which was tragically cut short this past December) was never shy about sharing her feelings or opinions, making “Wishful Drinking” one of the most entertaining memoirs I’ve ever read. Literally hearing about her life in her own words made the reading experience even better.
After that, I tackled “Shadowshaper” by Daniel Jose Older, an urban fantasy novel about a young girl named Sierra who is able to harness magical abilities through art. While “Wishful Drinking” was a sure thing (I was bound to love it based on my love for the author), “Shadowshaper” wasn’t. It’s been suggested by critics and co-workers alike, but after attempting it last year, I quickly gave up due to disinterest. In all honesty, I don’t think I would have ever read it, if it wasn’t for the book club I’m in–I’m technically the leader of it, so it always helps when you actually know what you’re talking about. I’m happy to report that this book is worth the praise!
A narrator makes or breaks an audiobook, and luckily for “Shadowshaper,” the narrator is Anika Noni Rose, a talented actress who lent her voice to a little film called “The Princess and the Frog.” Yes, Shadowshaper is narrated by Tiana. What a glorious discovery that was! Her narration was delightfully creepy at times, which made my nightly walks home from work both an exhilarating and absolutely terrifying (but fast!) experience. Her portrayal of all of…