In 2008, comedian Mike Birbiglia wrote a one-man off-broadway play about his experiences with rapid eye movement behavior disorder, which causes him to act out his dreams and sleepwalk. His symptoms are exacerbated the longer he goes without expressing himself and dealing with his stress, resulting in him performing increasingly dangerous acts in his sleep. Including a time when he ran out of a second-story window of a Walla Walla, Washington hotel room, resulting in 33 stitches in his leg.
Birbiglia’s one man show Sleepwalk with Me, has become the defining story of his career and has been translated to a segment on the NPR show This American Life, a book, a stand-up cd, and a movie staring Birbiglia as himself and Lauren Ambrose as his girlfriend. Birbiglia isn’t a big personality and could best be described as a sad sack, but his wit and honesty make this absurd story feel relatable. The film, book, and stand-up cd all have similar content and are all available at the Davenport Public Library. I would recommend any of the three, but the film is especially fantastic. Any fans of comedians Patton Oslwalt and Marc Maron and the show This American Life that somehow haven’t heard Birbiglia’s story need to check it out asap.
My favorite audiobook is NPR Funniest Driveway Moments. The premise, of course, is that you’ll be sitting in your driveway in order to finish listening to the story. I don’t know about that but I did sit at a red light on 4th Street laughing helplessly while Scott Simon interviewed the outrageous Dame Edna (aka Barry Humphries).
As far as I’m concerned, you can’t ask more than that of an audiobook. Goodbye road-rage, goodbye work stress. By the time you get home, you’re relaxed and serene.
All the NPR compilations are reliably good listening due to the fact that they are scripted and edited by consummate professionals. If you are a fan at all of public radio, you’ll appreciate the skilled interviewing and marvelous voices of Susan Stamberg, Robert Siegel, Renee Montagne and, of course, the great Scott Simon.
Have you ever been in the car and bored by what’s currently on the radio? Pop in one of these best-of-the-best NPR audiobooks and transport yourself to a laugh-out-loud Scott Simon interview with Dame Edna to a story about misunderstood song lyrics.
If you’re a fan of NPR, you’ll love books-on-cd that public radio staff have produced. Compilations such as Driveway Moments, Road Trips and Holiday Favorites are hodge-podges of previous stories.
If you like Baxter Black, Rob Gifford, Bill Harley or Susan Stamberg, you’ll be glad to have them handy on a long trip or if you’re stuck on one of the bridges for hours on end. (David Sedaris got his start at NPR and is in a class by himself).
Some, like This I Believe, can be downloaded to your MP3 player. If you’re a Davenport Public Library cardholder you can access our WILBOR audiobooks via our website.
The library’s mission – you will never be bored again.