The GetUp Crew

The GetUp Crew

The GetUp Crew

I love audiobooks. For the longest time, I had a hard time listening to them and would get distracted. Not sure exactly what happened, but one day, something just clicked. I now always have an audiobook in my reading rotation.

The latest book I listened to was Prince Harry’s memoir Spare. In case you don’t know, the title comes from the term used by royal families. The heir (the child who will inherit a title) and the spare (the child who would replace the heir if anything happens to them).

Can you imagine being referred to as a “spare?” Some synonyms for spare include: unused, backup, leftover, option, superfluous. My god! To publicly be known, and told, that you are a “spare,” is some f*ckery I just don’t have any words for. In this family, William is the heir, and Harry is the spare.

Spare is Prince Harry’s memoir in which he tells his story, in his own words, unapologetically. The book is divided into three parts: his childhood and losing his mother, his service in the British Army, and his love story with Meghan.

The first section of the book about his childhood and mother was heartbreaking in so many ways. Even though I had watched Princess Diana and the Royal Family from afar, and thought I knew some things, I did not. Like the Real World used to say, “you think you know, but you have no idea.” Young Harry struggled, and I felt for him as he recounts: his years of denial that his mother actually died, feeling unprotected, and struggles with school, anger, and loneliness.

The second section gives you an inside look into his service in the British Army. For people who are interested in learning more about the insides of the military, you will really enjoy hearing his experience. It is just horrifying to know that this man went from being the target of the paparazzi, to being the target of the Taliban, and many times at the same time.

The third section about his love story with Meghan is both inspiring and appalling. The things they went through for the unspeakable sin of loving each other was just too much.

The overarching theme throughout this book is Harry’s understandable contempt for the press. Imagine knowing who killed your mother and being forced to cooperate with them. By members of your family. The things that he and Meghan have endured are beyond anything I could ever imagine. The fact that they seemingly have escaped, and are able to cultivate a loving and supportive life for themselves is incredible. I am beyond happy for them and their little family.

According to publisher Penguin Random House, Spare sold 1.4 million copies on the first day alone. That includes audiobooks. Spare is narrated by Prince Harry himself and has been Audible’s top-selling audio book for 14 weeks since it was released. It also has almost 10,000 five-star reviews. It’s not short with a listening length of 15 hours and 39 minutes. It took me about a month to listen to because I usually listen to books while I’m in the car. It would also be great for your daily walks, road trips, workouts, or while cleaning your house.

Prince Harry did an incredible job narrating the book, and as someone who has listened to many memoirs, his was definitely one of the best. If you are interested in the book, have access, and are able, I would recommend listening to him tell his story in his own words. Spare by Prince Harry was definitely five stars for me!

Here are some other memoirs, read by the author, that I loved.

 

  • Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

    Trevor Noah is a master storyteller, and his telling of Born a Crime – Stories of a South African Childhood is brilliant. It is my #1 favorite audiobook. One minute my jaw was dropping, and the next, I was laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe. If you haven’t read this book, do yourself a favor and listen to it.

  • Waxing On by Ralph Macchio

    I’m a big fan of the Karate Kid series, and had a massive crush on Ralph Macchio. The Waxing On audiobook was so great to listen to, to hear Ralph’s voice telling behind-the-scenes stories of the series. Ahh the nostalgia!

    Here’s my full review of Waxing On by Ralph Macchio.

  • Finding Me by Viola Davis

    Listening to Finding Me by Viola Davis was gut-wrenching, painful, and in the end, happy and hopeful. In case you didn’t know, Davis is from Rhode Island. Listening to her tell her story of an extremely tough childhood in her own voice was so in-your-face honest, that I couldn’t look away. Great listen about a story of survival, determination, and hope.

    This was the moment she became an EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony winner), after picking of the Grammy for Best Audiobook.

    Viola Davis with arms outstretched on stage after winning a Grammy for her audiobook

  • I'm Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy

    Once you get over the shocking title, you’ll find that this book is definitely worth a listen. Like many others, I loved Jennette McCurdy on iCarly, and was so disappointed when she wasn’t part of the iCarly reboot. What I didn’t know was what she went through during her childhood, her traumatizing relationship with her mother, and the pain she experienced behind-the-scene from studio executives. I’m Glad My Mom Died was a great listen, and I loved hearing her tell her story.

    Here’s my full review of I’m Glad My Mom Died.

     

  • We Were Dreamers by Simu Liu

    I loved Shang-Chi, and became a big fan of Simu Liu. So when I heard he was coming out with a book I was in. And once I heard he was narrating the book as well, I was double in. I really enjoyed this book and loved listening to him tell his funny, touching, heartbreaking, and occasionally nerdy stories. Definitely worth a listen!

    Here’s my full review of We Were Dreamers by Simu Liu.

  • Crying in HMart by Michelle Zauner

    Crying in HMart was the incredible story of family, food, Korean culture, loneliness, and grief. It’s a tough listen dealing with the illness and loss of her mother. It’s also definitely worth a listen.

  • Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

    Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes was inspired by a Thanksgiving Day conversation that she had with her older sister Delores who told her, “You never say yes to anything.” The book is about how her entire life changed when she decided to say yes to everything for a year. Whew! That sounds exhausting, but as you will hear if you listen, live-changing events are exhausting before they are rewarding. If you want to feel understood, step out of your comfort zone, and be inspired, give Year of Yes a listen.

    Shonda Rhimes holding her book Year of Yes

    BOSTON, MA – DECEMBER 10: Producer, writer, “Grey’s Anathomy”, “Scandal” Shonda Rhimes presents her book, “Year of Yes” during Massachusetts Conference For Women at Boston Convention & Exhibition Center on December 10, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Marla Aufmuth/Getty Images for Massachusetts Conference for Women)

  • This Is Just My Face by Gabourey Sidibe

    I really enjoyed listening to This is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare by Gabourey Sidibe. I didn’t know much about her and really enjoyed her brutally honest stories. She’s been through it. It also has some hilarious moments, and her tales of being a phone sex operator kept me on the edge of my seat. Enjoy!

    Gabourey Sidibe holding her book This Is Just My Face, while her head back in laughter

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