Books — soooooo gross, right? What do I look like, a nerd who doesn’t even care about making the slightest effort to not look like a nerd? No thank you. Audio books are just as gross, maybe even worse because — to break away from this really fun character for a moment — who can even pay attention to them? It’s hard enough for me to pay attention to myself while I’m actively reading words. When I have my eyes closed and someone ELSE is reading me words I zone out almost immediately. I’m very impressed (and a little unconvinced) that anyone has a different experience. But, which we all know from the ads before This American Life, is working on a solution. CELEBRITY READERS! From The Hollywood Reporter:

Kate Winslet, whose reading of Emile Zola’s Therese Raquin was the first audiobook in the new series to be recorded, said of the experience: “You use a different part of your brain and it keeps your creative juices flowing. It is challenging, and it’s a heck of a lot of fun as well.” Other stars who’ve signed up to read great books include Nicole Kidman, who will be reading Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse; Anne Hathaway, who is lending her voice to L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz; and Dustin Hoffman, who will read Jerzy Kosinski’s Being There.

All of our favorites! This all just sounds like a heck of a lot of fun. The article goes on to list some OTHER participating celebrities, like Kim Basinger, Jennifer Connelly, Samuel L. Jackson, Meg Ryan, and Naomi Watts. But, I don’t know. I know that Anne Hathaway is in the mix and she’s OUR GIRL, our girl who we don’t like specifically, but the rest of these are a little ZzZZzZzzZZzzzzzzzz, if you know what I mean. (Zzzzz’s.) Who cares if Kim Basinger is reading me a book? Stop, Kim! Stop I’m bored, please stop! Some better options: 

  • Vincent Gallo reading Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Notes from Underground
  • Aziz Ansari reading John Kennedy Toole’sA Confederacy of Dunces
  • Ryan Gosling reading David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest
  • The cast of Parenthood reading Jennifer Egan’s A Visit From the Goon Squad
  • Sam Rockwell reading Italo Calvino’s If On A Winter’s Night A Traveler
  • Idris Elba reading P.G. Wodehouse’s Right Ho, Jeeves

This isn’t even a post about jokes, these are just VERY good ideas.

Comments (49)
  1. Gwyneth Paltrow reading Detroit and the Kid

  2. Gilbert Gottfried reading American Psycho.

  3. Roman Polanski reading Lolita

  4. Courtney Stodden reading Hop on Pop.

  5. Tyler Perry reading a book about minstrel shows

  6. Patti Stanger reading Brokeback Mountain

  7. Ricky Gervais reading Colton Burpo’s Heaven is for Real

  8. Richard Dawkins reads The Bible.

  9. I don’t remember this part about Richard Branson’s mom in Thérèse Raquin..

  10. Stephen Hawking reading…

  11. RuPaul reading everyone! The library is open!

  12. Bobcat Goldthwait reading Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past

  13. Blood Meridian read by Pee Wee Herman.

  14. In college I had a commute and a car with a tape deck (ladies?), so I listened to a book on tape (laaaadies? hello?).

    It was Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections read by actor Dylan Baker of Happiness fame. It was really good.

    • I have an audiobook of Stephen Fry reading Hitchhiker’s Guide and it is a complete joy. I listen to audiobooks and podcast when I’m working out and on the bus (gentlemen!).

  15. I like listening to people with accents talk about whatever, so I guess if I wanted to listen to an audiobook, I would appreciate Kate Winslet, Naomi Watts, Clive Owen, etc.

    Or Samuel L. Jackson. Listening to him read “Go the Fuck to Sleep” was pretty wonderful.

  16. russell brand reads A Clockwork Orange

  17. Gwyneth reading I don’t know how she does it.

  18. Why hasn’t James Franco been listed? He probably really needs another project to work on right now.

  19. Tommy Wiseau reading his own diary.

  20. High Jackman reading Katherine Chloe Cahoon’s How to Meet a Ur-A-Peein’ Man

  21. Glenn Beck reading The Communist Manifesto.

  22. Wait, is everyone else missing the part where Kate Winslet called reading a book “challenging” and “a heck of a lot of fun as well” as if maybe this is the first time she’s ventured into the territory of literacy?

  23. SIDEBAR: Has anyone here read Against the Day? Cause it’s awesome.

  24. Courtney Love reading AA’s The Big Book
    Donald Trump reading Our Bodies, Ourselves
    Dick Cheney reading Danielle Steel’s Daddy
    Pat Robertson reading Chuck Palahniuk’s Haunted
    Channing Tatum reading Derrida’s Of Grammatology

    (sorry if my italics didn’t work…)

  25. Alan Rickman reading Jane Eyre.

    That isn’t a joke, I would just enjoy that very much and I wish it was a real thing.

    • “There was no possibility of taking a walk that day. *sigh* We had been wandering,*pause* indeed, *pause* in the leafless shrubbery an hour in the morning; but *pause* since *pause* dinner *pause* *sigh* (Mrs. Reed, when there was no company, dined early) *pause* the cold winter wind had brought with it clouds so somber *pause*, and a rain so penetrating *pause*, that further outdoor exercise was now out of the question.”

  26. Dame Judi Dench reading Everybody Poops

  27. Dane Cook reading I hope they serve Beer in Hell.

  28. Honestly, Stephen Fry reading ANYTHING.

  29. Heidi Klum reads “Heidi” Too easy?

  30. Kelly, I was only super-digging your list until I got to Sam Rockwell… now I want him to read me everything forever!

    Bookgum Mission: Let’s make these suggestions happen.

  31. Neil Sedaka reading a Barbara Streisand memoir.

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