Staff Pick: More Myself by Alicia Keys

Title: More Myself: A Journey

Author: Alicia Keys

Narrator: Alicia Keys with Oprah WinfreyMichelle ObamaClive DavisAmerica FerreraBonoSwizz BeatsTerri AugeloCraig CookDj WaltonJay-ZKrucialLeigh Blake

There is something so special about listening to a memoir read directly by the person who lived through it. Their emotion and dialect humanize the story, making the audiobook a deeper, more intimate experience. But even my love for author-narrated memoirs did not prepare me for the work of art that is More Myself: A Journey by Alicia Keys.

Keys walks us through her life with an air of pleasant nostalgia, reflecting on the good times while sharing the lessons she learned during the hard times. From her modest upbringing in New York City, where she learned to play piano and got herself into all the typical kinds of teenage trouble, to her big break into the ruthless music industry and her experience working with huge names like Prince and Oprah. Her journey to becoming the Alicia Keys we all know and love hasn’t been easy, but she still manages to recount these heartaches with a profound positivity.

I knew that listening to Keys read this audiobook would be a treat. Even still, it needs to be said that she is an incredible narrator with a buttery-smooth voice that is somehow soothing and rousing at the same time. Not to mention that she adds another layer to this listen by integrating her musical talents and breaking into song or playing the piano throughout.

As if Key’s narration wasn’t enough of a gift, More Myself is studded with star voices from all aspects of the entertainment industry. Oprah, Bono, Michelle Obama, and Jay-Z are among some of the big names that contribute their experiences to help form a full 360-degree picture of her life.

More Myself was the beautiful journey of a talented 14-year-old girl whose dedication pushed her forward into a difficult but rewarding industry. If you’re a fan of Alicia Keys, or even just in the mood for a well-made, inspiring audiobook, this is the perfect next listen for you. 

Publisher Summary:

As one of the most celebrated musicians in the world, Alicia Keys has enraptured the globe with her heartfelt lyrics, extraordinary vocal range, and soul-stirring piano compositions. Yet away from the spotlight, Alicia has grappled with private heartache—over the challenging and complex relationship with her father, the people-pleasing nature that characterized her early career, the loss of privacy surrounding her romantic relationships, and the oppressive expectations of female perfection.

Since Alicia rose to fame, her public persona has belied a deep personal truth: she has spent years not fully recognizing or honoring her own worth. After withholding parts of herself for so long, she is, at last, exploring the questions that live at the heart of her story: Who am I, really? And once I discover that truth, how can I become brave enough to embrace it?

More Myself is part autobiography, part narrative documentary. Alicia’s journey is revealed not only through her own candid recounting but also through vivid recollections from those who have walked alongside her. The result is a 360-degree perspective on Alicia’s path, from her girlhood in Hell’s Kitchen and Harlem to the process of growth and self-discovery that we all must navigate.

More Myself, Alicia shares her quest for truth—about herself, her past, and her shift from sacrificing her spirit to celebrating her worth. With the raw honesty that epitomizes Alicia’s artistry, More Myself is at once a riveting account and a clarion call to listeners: to define themselves in a world that rarely encourages a true and unique identity.

Read more and sample the audio →

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STAFF PICK: Factfulness by Hans Rosling

Title: Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think
Hans RoslingAnna R. Rosling, and Ola Rosling
Narrator: Richard Harries

Recommended by Bill Gates, Factfulness is a resource to help you rationally respond to information. If you only follow the news, you’d think the world is going up in flames. Amidst the commotion, Factfulness is here to shed some level-headed light.

The book’s foundation is a simple quiz: thirteen questions covering a range of global statistics, such as health and income levels. After you take the quiz and tally your results, you are told how chimps perform on that same quiz. Chances are that you’ll feel sad, but don’t despair! Chimps choosing answers at random have 33% accuracy, and that score consistently beats human participants. It didn’t matter if the group was university students, journalists, or experts of health or economics, everyone assumed the world was worse than it really is.

With chapters like The Fear Instinct and The Urgency Instinct, the Rosling trio has brought data together to show how human tendencies lead to an overblown perception of reality. It tells listeners to take a step back from the dramatic figures and look at the trends. Despite headlines to the contrary, this book shows that the world is actually improving. This is not to say that we should be satisfied and stop aiming for improvement, but that we should be optimistic about our progress and about what the future has in store.

The narration was exactly what you’d hope for in a book like this. Richard Harries has a level but enthusiastic voice. His pace allowed me to take in the material while still staying engaged with the content.

No matter how you feel about this topic, I see this as a valuable read for everyone (even if your quiz score is 100%). I suspect the type of person drawn to this book is not the type of person who needs it the most, however, I won’t stop recommending it!












Read more and listen to a sample here!

New to Get a free audiobook when you sign up for our one month free trial. Digital audiobooks make audible stories come to life when you’re commuting, working out, cleaning, cooking and more! Listening is easy with our top-rated free audiobook apps for iOS and Android, which let you download & listen to bestselling audiobooks on the go, wherever you are. Click here to get your free audiobook!

10 of Our Favorite Celebrity-Read Audiobooks

The best audiobooks have the best narrators, and a quick way to find them is to look for Hollywood stars that you love to watch perform. Of course, professional narrators are fantastic but chances are if you love an actor’s voice on screen you’ll love to hear her narrate, too. Here are 10 audiobooks narrated by some of our favorite celebs!


The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath
Narrated by Maggie Gyllenhaal
The Bell Jar chronicles the crack-up of Esther Greenwood: talented and successful but slowly going under. Sylvia Plath masterfully draws the reader into Esther’s breakdown with such intensity that the insanity becomes real and even rational. Maggie Gyllenhaal’s narration captures and even enhances the haunting mood. Such penetration into the dark corners of the psyche is extraordinary and has made The Bell Jar an American classic.


Heartburn, by Nora Ephron
Narrated by Meryl Streep
Nora Ephron shows it’s possible to write a sidesplitting novel about the breakup of the perfect marriage. During her pregnancy, Rachel discovers that her husband is in love with another woman. The fact that the other woman has ‘a neck as long as an arm and a nose as long as a thumb’ is no consolation. Heartburn is a delightfully performed by the lady considered by many critics to be the greatest living actress, Meryl Streep.


The Dead Zone, by Stephen King
Narrated by James Franco
This #1 national bestseller was recently released in audio, read by King fan and actor James Franco. Johnny Smith awakens from a five-year coma after his car accident and discovers that he can see people’s futures and pasts when he touches them. When he has a disturbing vision, he must decide if he should take drastic action to change the future.



Go Set a Watchman, by Harper Lee
Narrated by Reese Witherspoon
This was the novel Harper Lee first submitted to her publishers before To Kill a Mockingbird. Go Set a Watchman features many of the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird some twenty years later. Returning home to Maycomb to visit her father, Jean Louise Finch—Scout—struggles with issues involving Atticus, society, and the small Alabama town that shaped her. Performed by Hollywood star and book lover, Reese Witherspoon.


What Pet Should I Get, by Dr. Seuss
Narrated by Rainn Wilson
Fans of The Office television series will fully enjoy listening to the contrast of Dwight Schrute’s voice taking on a mild mannered persona as he reads about kids in a pet store. While this audiobook is for children, all lovers of Dr. Seuss will appreciate how he captures the classic moment of choosing a pet.



Matilda, by Roald Dahl
Narrated by Kate Winslet
Matilda is a sweet, exceptional young girl, but her parents think she’s a nuisance. She expects school to be different but there she has to face Miss Trunchbull, a kid-hating terror of a headmistress. When Matilda is attacked by the Trunchbull she suddenly discovers she has a remarkable power with which to fight back. Kate Winslet’s narration is calm while her characterizations are full of life, bringing attitude and punch to this classic tale.


Scrappy Little Nobody, by Anna Kendrick
Narrated by Anna Kendrick
Anna Kendrick’s essays offer her one-of-a-kind commentary on the absurdities she’s experienced on her way to and from the heart of pop culture. Each word is executed with the fast sarcasm and charming quirkiness typical to the roles she plays. Self-described as a “very, very small weirdo,” Kendrick entertains listeners with her tales of early friendships and discovering her calling as an actress.



A Life in Parts, by Bryan Cranston
Narrated by Bryan Cranston
Bryan Cranston’s deep, resonant voice is captivating as he discusses his failures as few men do, and describes his work as few actors can. He explains how he searched inward for the personal darkness that would help create one of the most riveting on-screen performances: Walter White on Breaking Bad. In A Life in Parts, Cranston traces his journey from his chaotic childhood to his dramatic epiphany, and beyond.


Yes Please
by Amy Poehler
Narrated by Amy Poehler
While listening, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll become convinced that your phone is trying to kill you. Offering Amy’s thoughts on everything from her “too safe” childhood to her early days in New York City, Yes Please is chock-full of wisdom to live by. Alongside Poehler’s genuine and entertaining narration, Yes Please includes guest narration by Carol Burnett, Seth Meyers, Michael Schur, Patrick Stewart, Kathleen Turner, and even Amy’s parents.


Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), by Mindy Kaling
Narrated by Mindy Kaling
In her sarcastic and sassy tone, Mindy invites readers on a tour of her life and her unscientific observations on romance, friendship, and Hollywood, with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls. Mindy Kaling really is just a Girl Next Door—not so much literally anywhere in the continental United States, but definitely if you live in India or Sri Lanka.

Behind the Scenes of The Dead Zone

It’s almost Father’s Day! Listen to James Franco’s interview about every dad’s favorite author, Stephen King!

The Dead Zone recently came out in audio for the first time, read by James Franco. See some behind the scenes photos, listen to him discuss narrating then enjoy an extended excerpt of The Dead Zone audiobook!

Interview with James Franco

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Extended excerpt

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