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Listen to some of our favourite memoirs with BorrowBox

Written by · Published Apr 5, 2018

Boy & Going Solo, Fingers in the Sparkle Jar

Hear some interesting life stories while you’ve got your hands full at home, work or on the move.

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Boy & Going Solo, by Roald Dahl, read by various

“These two compelling Radio 4 full-cast adaptations, based on Roald Dahl’s real-life tales of his boyhood and youthful overseas adventures, celebrate his remarkable life and commemorate his genius.

“Starring Patrick Malahide as the voice of Dahl, these colourful dramatisations will carry you away into worlds every bit as amazing, strange and memorable as the ones in his acclaimed fiction.”

Fingers in the Sparkle Jar, written and read by Chris Packham

“An introverted, unusual young boy, isolated by his obsessions and a loner at school, Chris Packham only felt himself in the fields and woods around his suburban home. But when he stole a young kestrel from its nest, he embarked on a friendship that would teach him what it meant to love, and would change him forever.

“In his rich, lyrical and emotionally exposed memoir, Chris brings to life his childhood in the ’70s, from his bedroom bursting with fox skulls, birds’ eggs and sweaty jam jars, to his feral adventures. But pervading his story is the search for freedom, meaning and acceptance in a world that didn’t understand him.”

The Unmumsy Mum Diary, written and read by Sarah Turner

“In The Unmumsy Mum Diary Sarah shares with us a year in her life as a mum, wife, blogger and bestselling author. With her trademark candour and wit, she documents the good days and the bad days, the giggles and the tantrums. She’ll also share poignant, life-changing moments from her year, such as her older son heading off through the school gates for the first time.

The Unmumsy Mum Diary is as honest as it is hilarious and a peek into Sarah’s innermost thoughts will leave you in no doubt that, on those days when you feel you are not quite cut out for the job, you are most definitely not alone.”

Little Me - My Life from A-Z, written and read by by Matt Lucas

“Hello there. Welcome to my autobiography.

“Throughout this audiobook I talk about my life and work, including Little Britain, Come Fly with Me, Bridesmaids, Les Miserables, Alice in Wonderland and, of course, Shooting Stars.

“The thing is, this is a bit different to most memoirs you may have listened to, because it comes in the form of an A–Z. For instance, B is for Baldy! Which is what people used to shout at me in the playground (not much fun). G is for Gay (because I’m an actual real-life gay), and T is for the TARDIS (because I’m a companion in Doctor Who now). You get the sort of thing.”

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?, written and read by Jeanette Winterson

“When Jeanette Winterson, author of Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, left home at 16 because she was in love with a woman, Mrs. Winterson asked her: “Why be happy when you could be normal?”

“This book is the story of a life’s work to find happiness. It is the story of how the painful past returned to haunt Jeanette’s later life, and send her on a journey into madness and out again, in search of her real mother. It is also a book about other people’s stories, showing how fiction and poetry can form a string of guiding lights, a life raft which supports us when we are sinking.”

Wild: from lost to found on the Pacific Crest Trail, by Cheryl Strayed, read by Laurel Lefkow

“At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed.

“Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State – and to do it alone. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker, and the trail was little more than ‘an idea, vague and outlandish and full of promise’. But it was a promise of piecing back together a life that had come undone.

“Strayed faces down rattlesnakes and black bears, intense heat and record snowfalls, and both the beauty and loneliness of the trail. Told with great suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humour, Wild vividly captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened and ultimately healed her.”

Lisa Brennan

Lisa Brennan

I'm a content and reader development librarian.