Recommended audiobooks for dyslexic listeners
The Art of Asking – Amanda Palmer This is a book about how rockstar Amanda Palmer became who she is, someone who was able to raise over a million dollars on Kickstarter, rather than having to rely on a record label. It’s part how to guide, and part autobiography, but it’s made very clear this book won’t teach you how to ask, or how to be Amanda Palmer. What it does instead is give the listener permission to take risks, and to be vulnerable, which are the things that normally get in the way of people asking for help, or daring to do creative things. I think this is a great pick for dyslexics because many of us are skilled at seeing connection in the world, and because we often have to do things differently, to make new routes to reach our goals. A self-described dot-connector, Amanda Palmer embodies this way of life, and the pull towards creativity. Her honesty about the emotional side of doing this is as inspiring as how she went from living statue to rockstar. I can’t imagine the book being narrated by anyone other than Amanda Palmer, who is a lively and interesting narrator.
Dangerous women – Gardner Dozois and George RR Martin This is an anthology of stories about dangerous women by some phenomenal genre writers, most from fantasy and science fiction backgrounds. One of the short stories is by bestselling author, and dyslexic, Sherrilyn Kenyon. Not all the stories are narrated by women, but interesting, and well written women dominate the collection. The anthology is a statement about the roles and complexity women can embody, particularly in genre’s which haven’t always let women be dangerous, or complex. There is a fantastic mix of narrators and as well as stories to choose from, and the contributors are some of the best writers in their genres, making this a fantastic starting place for exploring fantasy and science fiction. When I was just getting into reading independently it was anthologies like this that helped me discover some of my favourite writers, including George RR Martin, who is both a contributor and an editor.
Dragons at Crumbling Castle – Terry Pratchett This is one of those children’s books which will be enjoyed just as much by adults. The book is a collection of stories written when Terry Pratchett was a young man, before he became an established writer, but they show he already had a tremendous talent as a storyteller. The book is full of his usual mix of wit, wisdom, adventure, and spectacular silliness. I don’t think you can help but smile while listening to even a short section. The stories will appeal to those who enjoy books by Roald Dahl, and David Walliams, as well as to Terry Pratchett’s many existing fans. Listen to the audio version (contains audio extracts from the books) or read this blog. The choice is yours.
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Sarah Fearn is a Bookseller and dyslexic writer. She graduated from the University of Kent with a degree in English, American Studies and Creative Writing in 2010. She began developing Dysbooks shortly afterwards. Dsybooks is an online resource for dyslexic adults with an interest in literature, and for those supporting younger dyslexics to develop a love of reading and writing for pleasure.
The Codpast is a multimedia production from www.extraordinaire.tv