April is just around the corner, which means it’s almost time for The Disability Readathon! Hosted by Erin Hawley and Anna Goldberg, the readathon encourages readers to pick up more #OwnVoices books by and about disabled people. As a disabled person, I couldn’t be more thrilled to join in this bookish celebration.
One of my preferred ways to participate in readathons is, of course, by listening to audiobooks. So here are a few of my recent favorites!
Golem Girl: A Memoir by Riva Lehrer, Narrated by the Author and Cassandra Campbell
In 1958, Riva Lehrer was born with spina bifida. After a childhood spent being told that she’s less than, something broken and needing to be fixed, she discovers an art collaborative full of disabled folks. As she gets to know them and paint their portraits, Leher begins to find the community she’s always needed.
Sitting Pretty: The View from My Ordinary, Resilient, Disabled Body by Rebekah Taussig, Narrated by the Author
Disability advocate Rebekah Taussig shares her experience growing up as a paralyzed girl who rarely saw disability in the media. And when she did see it, it wasn’t great. Now an adult, Taussig writes about the complex realities of living as a disabled person, telling her own story the way she sees it. I love her narrative voice, and when she performs the book for the audio edition, I love it even more.
Growing Up Disabled in Australia Edited by Carly Findlay, Narrated by Carly Findlay
The latest in the Growing Up series, Growing Up Disabled in Australia highlights the diverse experiences of disabled, chronically ill, Deaf, and neurodivergent folks from Australia. Disability rights activist Carly Findlay brilliantly curated this collection and reads the audiobook edition.
Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law by Haben Girma, Narrated by the Author
In this memoir, Haben Girma shares her experience attending Harvard Law as a Deafblind woman. When everyone seems to underestimate her, Girma uses her experience as an opportunity for innovation, problem solving and creating new ways to communicate. As an added bonus, Girma narrates the audiobook herself!
Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert, Narrated by Ione Butler
As a huge fan of the Brown Sisters series, I couldn’t wait for Talia Hibbert’s latest romance novel in the series where two autistic people fall in love. In the latest book, the youngest Brown sister, Eve, finds herself jobless and lost as to what to do next with her career. But when she comes across an adorable bed and breakfast, she meets Jacob, a grumpy guy who just wants his business to succeed.
What Doesn’t Kill You: A Life with Chronic Illness — Lessons from a Body in Revolt by Tessa Miller, Narrated by the Author
When Tessa Miller got sick, she wasn’t handed a how-to manual on maneuvering the medical system. As she experienced countless medical procedures and doctor’s appointments, she had to figure everything out on her own. In What Doesn’t Kill You, Miller shares her experience and gives tips to help out other chronically ill folks.
The Collected Schizophrenias by Esmé Weijun Wang, Narrated by the Author
In brilliant prose, Esmé Weijun Wang shares her experience with Schizophrenia. Each essay tackles a different aspect or observation about living with mental illness. Wang narrates the book herself, adding an additional layer of emotion to the listening experience.
We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby, Narrated by the Author
When people think about disability, they often imagine a somber and morose sort of existence. But Samantha Irby blows these stereotypes out of the water. Though Irby shares some of the more difficult experiences of her life, her writing is vibrant, and full of life. She reads the audiobook herself, and I just want to warn you, you may find yourself laughing out loud for several minutes at a time.
You can find more recommendations for audiobooks by disabled authors in these two previous articles: “5 OwnVoices Audiobooks about Women with Chronic Illness or Disabilities” and “7 Audiobooks to Celebrate Disability Pride Month“.