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Goodreads Blog's Most Popular Posts of the Year
Posted by Cybil on December 29, 2016



Throughout the year, the Goodreads blog has brought you thousands of reading recommendations, deep thoughts, and everything else a fellow booklover could want. As 2016 draws to a close, here are some of our most popular posts—it's a also a great way to make sure you didn't miss some great books:



Want even more reading ideas? Be sure to follow our blog, Facebook and Twitter accounts.


The 2016 Reading Challenge's Most-Read Books
Posted by Cybil on December 29, 2016



As the 2016 Reading Challenge comes to an end and you gear up for your 2017 reading goals, here's a look back at the most popular books finished by the more than 3 million readers who participated in this year's Challenge.

Nearly 38 million books were read as part of the 2016 Challenge. Here are the top twelve books in the Challenge—both the new releases and the overall most popular. Miss any of these great novels? Just add them to your 2017 Want to Read List!

Top New Releases Read in the 2016 Reading Challenge (From #1 to #12):
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts 1 & 2
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A Court of Mist and Fury
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When Breath Becomes Air
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Glass Sword
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The Crown
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The Girls
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The Nest
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Lady Midnight
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It Ends With Us
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Truly Madly Guilty
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The Hidden Oracle
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Empire of Storms
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Top Overall Books Read in the 2016 Reading Challenge (From #1 to #12):
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
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The Hunger Games
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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two
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The Fault in Our Stars
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The Girl on the Train
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Me Before You
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Twilight
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To Kill a Mockingbird
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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
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Divergent
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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
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What was your favorite 2016 Reading Challenge book?

Your Favorite Books to Read During the Holidays
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on December 24, 2016


Oh, the weather outside may be frightful, but your December reading should be delightful! We asked on Facebook and Twitter: What's your favorite book to read during the holiday season? Today we've got your top answers. How many have you read?


A Christmas Carol
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Holidays on Ice
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Dash & Lily's Book of Dares
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A Christmas Memory
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The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Terror of Christmas Terror
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Little Women
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How the Grinch Stole Christmas
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The White Elephant: A Holiday Thriller
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Winter Solstice
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The Gift of the Magi
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The Christmas Mystery
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Cajun Night Before Christmas
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The Hogfather
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The Bird's Christmas Carol
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Olive, the Other Reindeer
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Skipping Christmas
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Did your favorite holiday read not make the list? Don't keep it to yourself—share it with us in the comments!
12 Fictional Book Things on Your Christmas Wish List
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on December 23, 2016

Santa Claus has his work cut out for him this year. We asked on Facebook and Twitter: What fictional book thing do you want for Christmas? Here are your most requested items! (If ol' St. Nick actually does deliver on any of these, please let us know.)


Invisibility Cloak
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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
by J.K. Rowling

Who would give it to you: It's a mystery! An owl flew into your house and dropped the cloak off, but didn't stay long enough to let you know what human sent it.
What you could do with it: Manage mischief.


Babel Fish
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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
by Douglas Adams

Who would give it to you: Your spacey two-headed brother-in-law.
What you could do with it: Stick it in your ear and finally understand what your distant relatives are saying about you. (It's not great.)


Mary Poppins's Umbrella
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Mary Poppins
by P.L. Travers

Who would give it to you: Your magical nanny, of course.
What you could do with it: Skip all that terrible Christmas traffic and fly through the sky via umbrella transportation.


Time Machine
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The Time Machine
by H.G. Wells

Who would give it to you: A cousin whose name you can't remember.
What you could do with it: Travel back in time to buy that forgettable cousin a better present than a Starbucks gift card.


Ella's Enchanted Book
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Ella Enchanted
by Gail Carson Levine

Who would give it to you: Your friendly neighborhood fairy.
What you could do with it: Open it up and magically find exactly what you want and need to read waiting for you.


Clean-Up Machine
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The Cat in the Hat
by Dr. Seuss

Who would give it to you: Your mother. Definitely your mother.
What you could do with it: Hop aboard and start your cleaning adventure.


A Job with SpecOps27
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The Eyre Affair
by Jasper Fforde

Who would give it to you: Your great-grandmother, who just happens to look a lot like you.
What you could do with it: Become a kick-ass Literary Detective, investigating literature-related crimes on a fairly reasonably salary.


Dragon
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Dragonflight
by Anne McCaffrey

Who would give it to you: Your community Weyrleader.
What you could do with it: Fly through the air on your new dragon friend and save the world from Thread (which is something your Weyrleader has been trying to get you into for ages).


The Luggage
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The Color of Magic
by Terry Pratchett

Who would give it to you: A frumpy wizard who runs through your annual holiday party and shoves the hastily wrapped gift at you.
What you could do with it: Literally trample your enemies.


Wardrobe Made from a Narnian Apple Tree
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The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
by C.S. Lewis

Who would give it to you: Your professor.
What you could do with it: First, you'd use it to totally win at hide-and-seek. Then you'd use it to travel to a magical kingdom, overthrow a dictator, and become royalty.


Portrait Session with Basil Hallward
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The Picture of Dorian Gray
by Oscar Wilde

Who would give it to you: Your first cousin, twice removed, who clearly doesn't know you at all.
What you could do with it: Hang it up in your room and proceed to stop aging while your portrait does it for you.


The One Ring to Rule Them All
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The Fellowship of the Ring
by J.R.R. Tolkien

Who would give it to you: Crazy Uncle Sauron.
What you could do with it: Use the ring to turn invisible and peek at all your other presents. Rule the world. Possibly go insane.



What fictional book item would you love to find under your Christmas tree? Tell us in the comments!


Resolution-Worthy Audiobooks for the New Year
Posted by Cybil on December 27, 2016



The new year tends to be a time for reflection. It's the perfect moment to look back at 2016, take stock, and plan for a brighter future. We take up running, try to eat more vegetables, make resolutions, and prepare to do a bit better than before.

With that spirit in mind, we've rounded up some great books to inspire and motivate. Better yet, these are all Audible audiobooks, so you can enjoy them while you're on the go or generally multitasking.

So, start the new year off right. And don't forget to tell us about your favorite inspiring audiobooks in the comments. Want more ideas? Check out Goodreads' new audiobooks page, brought to you by Audible.

The Gifts of Imperfection
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Brand New You
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The Antidote
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The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
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The Confidence Gap
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Grit
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Smarter Better Faster
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Peak
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How to Win Friends & Influence People
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Extreme Ownership
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Quiet
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David and Goliath
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You are a Badass
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Think Like a Freak
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Tiny Beautiful Things
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10% Happier
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The Obstacle Is the Way
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Rising Strong
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The Power of Habit
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The One Thing
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Tell us your favorite audiobooks in the comments! Then check out Goodreads' new audiobooks page, brought to you by Audible.








The Buzziest Books of the Season
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on December 21, 2016



Skip the toys this year, Santa. We want books. It's the one thing readers on both the nice and naughty list can agree on: The best kind of presents have plots and pages.

In case Santa needs a last minute hint, we rounded up some of the most beloved new books of the season. From secrets in the Sistine Chapel to insanity at the end of the world, from the women who would be queen to the man who created a galaxy far, far away, these are the stories that have captured your fellow readers' hearts—each book has a 4.0+ rating from Goodreads members!


FICTION
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Small Admissions
by Amy Poeppel


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Moonglow
by Michael Chabon


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Faithful
by Alice Hoffman



NONFICTION
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Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood
by Trevor Noah


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Game of Queens: The Women Who Made Sixteenth-Century Europe
by Sarah Gristwood


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The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds
by Michael Lewis


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George Lucas: A Life
by Brian Jay Jones


YOUNG ADULT
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The Sun Is Also a Star
by Nicola Yoon


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Heartless
by Marissa Meyer


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The Secret of a Heart Note
by Stacey Lee


MYSTERY AND THRILLER
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The Ice Beneath Her
by Camilla Grebe


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Conclave
by Robert Harris


FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION
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Normal
by Warren Ellis


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Rhapsodic
by Laura Thalassa


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Invisible Planets
Edited and translated by Ken Liu


ROMANCE
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Wait for It
by Mariana Zapata


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Lucas
by Jay McLean


HISTORICAL FICTION
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From Sand and Ash
by Amy Harmon


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The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds
by Selina Siak Chin Yoke




What books are going on your Want to Read shelf this season? Let us know in the comments!

What's New This Week: 7 Great Books Hitting Shelves Today
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on December 20, 2016

Need another excuse to go to the bookstore this week? We've got seven! Bulk up your Want to Read shelf with these brand-new standalone titles.


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Witness
by Caroline Mitchell

You should read this book if you like: Psychological thrillers, murder trials, alarming phone calls, mind games, creative psychopaths



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Red Queen: The Official Coloring Book
Written by Victoria Aveyard and illustrated by Yvonne Gilbert

You should read this book if you like: Coloring books, the Red Queen YA fantasy series, crowns and artsy drops of blood, hand-lettered quotes


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Lessons I've Learned
by Davina McCall

You should read this book if you like: Nonfiction, charming English TV personalities, candid and humorous true stories, nuggets of wisdom



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The Iron Tactician
by Alastair Reynolds

You should read this book if you like: Science fiction, deep space investigations, renegades, abandoned ships, novellas



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The Trouble with Dukes
by Grace Burrowes

You should read this book if you like: Historical romance, big gossips, brutes with a heart of gold, dancing lessons, comedy of manners


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Reindeer Boy
by Cassandra Jean

You should read this book if you like: Graphic novels, Christmas cheer, reindeers, unusual gifts, unexpected school romances


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The Kindness Challenge
by Shanty Feldhahn

You should read this book if you like: Self-help books, relationships with other people, being better, practical tips, kindness


BONUS: The wait is over—check out three of the buzziest sequels coming out today!

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One Fell Sweep
by Ilona Andrews

The third book in the Innkeeper Chronicles urban fantasy series
(Start off the series with Clean Sweep)



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The Cat Sitter and the Canary
by Blaize Clement and John Clement

The eleventh installment in A Dixie Hemingway Mystery series
(Start off the series with Curiosity Killed the Cat Sitter)



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Descender: Singularities
by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen

The third volume in the Descender sci-fi comic series
(Start off the series with Volume 1: Tin Stars)




What are you reading this week? Let's talk books in the comments!


How Books, Movies, and Music Can Get You Through a Hard Time
Posted by Cybil on December 19, 2016



Goodreads asked Jason Diamond, the author of the new memoir Searching for John Hughes: Or Everything I Learned from Watching '80s Movies, about how the pop culture—from books to his beloved John Hughes' teen movies—can change your life.


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"I was on my own when I was 16. I found myself in a number of different living situations, like sleeping on an old couch in a friend’s cold basement one week to some other, maybe less desirable set of accommodations the next (moldy sleeping bag on a cold floor, anyone?).

Combine that with my struggles with depression and all the fun things that go along with being a teenager, and let’s just say I had some pretty rough moments, and that I’m honestly shocked I made it through. It didn’t register with me then, but the things I did have, books, movies, and music, helped me. They weren’t shelter or food, but I look back and realize now the things that kept me going and I cherish them.

I didn’t have a permanent place to call my own, but what I did have was old paperbacks I could buy from the Salvation Army for a quarter or two, a handful of mixtapes I carried around with me to listen to, and maybe most importantly, the films of John Hughes.

I had all these things that interested me but also felt like they kept me company when I needed them most. Going to see punk bands at places like a smoky old bowling alleys and sweltering basements in the suburbs, the books I found myself reading and loving, and the fact that I could almost always count on seeing Ferris Bueller or Pretty in Pink playing on TV if I just flipped around long enough.


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I could get real down and into some dark places, but found I could find my way back by experiencing and often re-experiencing bits of pop culture. And today, although I’m happier and steadier, I still always need and search out those new novels and films to help take my mind away from the bleakness of everyday life.

The books and records and films you love aren’t a remedy or cure for what might bring you down, but I know for sure I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t have those things. Even if it’s for the length of a Ramones song you play over and over, an entire movie, or a Grace Paley short story, these things that others create can really change your life in small ways that you might not even realize at the moment."

Feel like checking out more true stories? Here's a collection of humorous memoirs and nonfiction.


9 Tips for Squeezing More Reading Time Out of Your Day
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on December 16, 2016



Don't let Your Year in Books end with a whimper. It's not too late to say goodbye to 2016 the right way: with a pile of books (and probably a hot beverage). In an effort to read more and, for some of us, to complete our 2016 Reading Challenge, we turned to—who else?—our wonderful Goodreads community.

We asked on Facebook and Twitter: What are some tips for reading more? See what could work for you…and then get back to your books!


1. "Cut off all outside distractions. If your phone dies, let it die. Don't plug anything in until you're finished with your book. And get cozy. Make yourself a hot tea or hot chocolate and throw on some flannel pajamas." (Lacie)

2. "Stack the deck in your favor! Have a bunch of short books you've been meaning to get to? Put them on the top of your list." (Melinda) *See 25 of our favorite books under 200 pages.*

3. "Listen to audiobooks every second you can't actually be reading. Commuting, cleaning, and laundry would be wasted time without the ability to listen to a good book." (Denise) *See 20 of our favorite audiobooks for every type of reader.*

4. "Get up early to read for at least an hour and then read for at least an hour at night." (Rae)

5. "Call in sick for a 'me day.'" (Jainell)

6. "Find sneaky ways to read more at unexpected times. I read when I'm blow drying my hair!" (Joanna)

7. "Always have a book with you. If you're waiting in a long line at the supermarket, whip it out!" (Grace)

8. "Start reading a book or comic book series with 5+ books. You'll get hooked and won't want to stop reading." (Sally) *See 24 of our favorite addictive series for teens.*

9. "Mix up genres and book lengths. Never get bored!" (Mark)


And for those who are really serious about reading more, there's this tip from Justine:
"Quit your job and send the husband and kids out of town. Recruit some cats, stockpile tea, and get to it!"

Do you have a secret reading tip? Share it with us in the comments!
(Top image credit: Doctor Who)

Get Your Free Audible Audiobook of Trevor Noah's Born A Crime (U.S. Members)
Posted by Cybil on December 15, 2016

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Our friends at Audible are giving U.S.-based members of the Goodreads community a free audiobook—and it's a great one. Get The Daily Show host Trevor Noah's memoir for free!

Born a Crime, the comedian's funny and touching coming-of-age story about his childhood in apartheid South Africa, was voted Audible customers' highest-rated new book of 2016 and was the customers' choice for best celebrity memoir.

To get your free audiobook, click here!