cover image The News: A User Manual

The News: A User Manual

Alain de Botton, read by Nicholas Bell. Audible Studios, unabridged, digital download, 5 hrs. $17.95 ISBN 978-1-60393-203-5

In his latest, de Botton places 25 types of news stories under the microscope in an attempt to gain an understanding of how the news affects our everyday lives. Narrator Bell delivers a solid performance, with delivery as professional and direct as that of the most seasoned news broadcaster. Bell’s tone is ideally suited to de Botton’s writing: matter of fact and heavily critical of the media. Bell’s reading informs as much as it entertains, with listeners fully engaged from beginning to end. Studying the stories that dominate the headlines on any given day—including political misdoings, questionable deaths, and celebrity gossip—de Botton and Bell take listeners on a journey inside a world they think they know and explain why they’ve got it all wrong. A Pantheon hardcover. (Feb.)