Two Short Audiobook Reviews

The Arrangements

I listened to The Arrangements before the US election. It seemed cute at the time. It's unfortunate that the political climate now distorts my view of this short story. Still, I feel that I must say something about it since it is a review book.

First, I think Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is an amazing writer, and her choice to show the fever of the US election through Melania Trump's eyes is quite clever. She takes her inspiration from Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway.

Melania decides to buy the flowers herself, hoping to get some attention from her husband. She's planning a party for her parents. This party is important to her and having her husband there is a high priority. Throughout the day, she also ponders her husband's political ambitions, skillfully avoids family drama, and strokes her husband's ego.

Melania is a curious figure. What if one day your husband suddenly decided he was going to run for president? That's what happened to her. What does she really make of all of this? Adichie imagines it for us.

Like I said, it was very entertaining at the time. Maybe not so much now. You can read it for free from the New York Times. The audio version, which I'm reviewing here, is narrated by January LaVoy.

The Clothing of Books

Jhumpa Lahiri muses over book covers, specifically of her own books. Jhumpa doesn't have much control over the covers' designs. She prefers no covers, but still she has her favorites. She also has doubts about many of the covers, and finds a few problematic.

The Clothing of Books didn't blow my socks off. It was only okay. It might make an interesting essay, but that's about it.

The Clothing of Books was translated from Italian, and narrated by the author.

Thanks to Penguin Random House Audio for the review copies. All opinions are my own.


  1. I don't think I could read The Arrangements but The Clothing of Books might be okay.

  2. I read The Arrangements when it was published in the NYTimes and enjoyed it, but might not like it as much now. January Lavoy is a favorite narrator, so I'm still tempted to listen.

  3. I couldn't bear to read The Arrangements when it came out in the New York Times, and I think I can even less bear to read it now. Adichie is a wonderful writer but it's just not something I can face. Maybe she could write a book instead with absolutely no Trumps in it whatsoever. That'd be great. :p

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