Why audiobooks are perfect for parents and four great ones to start the year.

Posted by Bijal Shah on

Photo by Ben Kolde on Unsplash

As a parent, audiobooks are my go-to reading medium (followed closely by my Amazon Kindle reading app on my phone.) 

As a book lover and book therapist, I can only get through my reading goals thanks to audiobooks. I can listen to them whilst cleaning, cooking, doing menial chores, commuting and driving. You can even cuddle up with your little one whilst they sleep and listen to a heartwarming story. Plus for nursing mums, its gold dust as you can bond with baby over breastmilk and great stories. 

No longer am I limited to having to spare eyeballs for books — I can simply plug books to ears whilst life happens. A pair of Apple airpods coupled with Audible, and I know I’m in good company. The audio makes the story come alive in a different way — the voices, the authenticity — connecting directly with the characters. Falling in love in with their voices, their words and their souls. The heightened state of anticipation with each and every sound effect.

I’ve found Audible the easiest platform by far to download audiobooks and if you haven’t given it a go already, there’s a 30-day free-trial subscription so you can see if audiobooks are something you want to incorporate into your daily life — and if not, just hit the ‘cancel subscription’ button.

And here are four fabulous books to listen to over the next 30 days (before your audible trial runs out).

Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life (Non-fiction) by Héctor García

Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life by Héctor García

Ikigai is the Japanese version of the Danish hygee with the difference that hygge is the practice of doing nothing and ikigai is the practice of staying active by doing something — with focus, patience and joy.

The philosophy invites you to embrace meaning and joy in everything you do and actively doing this. This is the secret to long and happy life.

Literally translated, ikigai means your life’s purpose, your raison d’etre and finding this will truly give your life meaning, happiness and longevity. It infuses your day with passion, a vision for your life and a professional pursuit.

The Japanese strongly believe that you should never stop doing whatever gives your this ikigai. In fact, this is the reason why the Japanese don’t have a word for retirement — it’s because they never retire. They actively pursue what brings them joy habitually.

A wonderful, little audiobook to start your day with, perfect for the morning commute.

The Meaning of Human Existence (Non-fiction) by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edward O’ Wilson

The Meaning of Human Existence by Edward O’ Wilson

Wilson, a fascinating biologist, flags shrewd insights that highlight our inadequate understanding of the world. Almost a brief history on mankind, the story narrates human progress across science and the arts. Our self-obsession is what propels our ability to invent, innovate and achieve almost god-like status. Why do we prefer to live near water? Why would aliens never colonise the world?

The most insightful moments of the book are the ones on religion — whilst religion provides a wonderful sense of community and order in a chaotic world, it amplifies more evils overall through archaic beliefs and the encouragement of behaviours that no longer serve us as a species. Strict codes, ways of being and demands for loyalty instigate religious superiority and encourage discrimination. Blind faith over evidence-based inquiry feeds religious tribalism.

A serious but brilliant book, that will get you thinking about life’s big questions.

The Fifth Risk (Non-fiction) by Michael Lewis

From the genius who brought us two of the best financial books of all time, “The Big Short” and “Liar’s Poker” comes “The Fifth Risk”.

The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis

The narrative king has once again churned this page-turner, spinning a political narrative on the inner workings of the Trump Government, pre-election to present day; depicting what we should be shockingly scared of. Understaffed departments, neglected agencies and unthinkable risks lurk round the corner. For example, black market uranium monitored by the Department of Energy lacks sufficient inspectors to prevent it from falling into terrorist hands — what does this mean? Well uranium is used for nuclear warfare and so the biggest nuclear risk is coming from the White House itself. Surprising insights into the most dysfunctional and complicated government on the planet. In addition Michael Lewis’s voice alone is worth listening to this book for. Hear it now on Audible!

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama’s new memoir “Becoming’ is an intimate portrait of a lady who has inspired millions around the world. The book delves into her childhood, her work at the White House, her prolific public health campaign and motherhood. And the best bit? It’s narrated by the ex-first lady herself.

Any other audiobooks for first-time listeners that we should include here? Feel free to include in the comments below! Happy listening.

A big hello and thank you for reading! Passionate about literature, psychology, and life I launched Book Therapy as an alternative form of therapy using the power of literature. I create reading lists/book prescriptions based on your individual needs. Feel free to reach out to me at bijal@booktherapy.io or www.booktherapy.io. You can also check out Book Therapy’s other free reading lists and book prescriptions.

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