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Holiday books: Grab a great listen with these audiobooks

Gloria Steinem shares her story, a dive into Buddhism, Elizabeth Gilbert on creativity and an appearance by James Franco.


Audio books

After Buddhism

Rethinking the Dharma For a Secular Age

Stephen Batchelor, read by Stephen Batchelor

Blackstone Audio, $39.95 CD, $22.95 download

The British scholar and teacher reads his treatise on secular Buddhism, positioning Buddha as a "pragmatic ethicist."

The Promise

Robert Crais, read by MacLeod Andrews and Luke Daniels

Brilliance Audio, $24.99, $20.95 download

The latest thriller from bestselling author Crais has private eyes Elvis Cole and Joe Pike join an LAPD cop and his K-9 partner to solve a case that begins in Echo Park.

Big Magic

Creative Living Beyond Fear

Elizabeth Gilbert, read by Elizabeth Gilbert

Penguin Audio, $32 CD, $16 download

With warmth and humor, the "Eat, Pray, Love" author shares her thoughts on the act of creation and how to get in touch with our creative selves.

Fates and Furies

Lauren Groff, read by Will Damron and Julia Whelan

Penguin Audio, $45 CD, $22.50 download

This book about a married couple's deep secrets, told from their different points of view, is one of the most acclaimed novels of the year.

Furiously Happy

A Funny Book About Horrible Things

Jenny Lawson, read by Jenny Lawson

Macmillan Audio, $34.99 CD, $23.99 download

Popular Internet personality the Bloggess reads her new book, a moving, hilarious chronicle of her long struggle with mental illness.

Gloria Steinem

My Life on the Road

Gloria Steinem, read by Debra Winger and Gloria Steinem

Random House Audio, $40 CD, $20 download

A long-awaited memoir from the feminist that looks at her early life and continued activism. Steinem reads her introduction; the rest is narrated by Oscar-nominated actress Winger.

Slaughterhouse-Five

Kurt Vonnegut, read by James Franco

Audible, $19.95 download

Vonnegut's dark, twisted World War II parable is read by Franco, the famously prolific actor, author and filmmaker.

Lafayette in the Somewhat United States

Sarah Vowell, read by Sarah Vowell with Fred Armisen, Bobby Cannavale, Alexis Denisof, John Hodgman, Stephanie Murch, Nick Offerman, Patton Oswalt and John Slattery

Simon & Schuster Audio, $29.99 CD, $17.99 download

An all-star cast narrates Vowell's take on the American Revolution and its famous French supporter, the young Marquis de Lafayette.

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