Private Lives of Famous People

Written by Francisca Goldsmith on Thursday, July 11, 2019

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Even when we know a lot about the achievements of a famous person, learning more about them during the parts of their lives before they became well known can both surprise and inspire us. This week’s pair of free audiobooks introduce us to the lives and times of two well-known men and provide listeners with insights beyond the spotlight of their fame.


From Hachette Audio, we are pleased to be able to provide Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s autobiography of his youth, which he also performs, making this a complete #OwnVoices choice for SYNC. Whether you are familiar with him as a basketball player, a historian, a mystery writer, or recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, there’s more to uncover about his life and those who coached him from childhood into his maturing pathway to BECOMING KAREEM.

Author Deborah Heiligman relied on the letters written by brothers VINCENT AND THEO Van Gogh to inform her biography of the 19th-century painter and his private life. Read by Philip Fox for Dreamscape Media, this audiobook gives teens a great entrée into the world of art as well as an honest exploration of depression, from which both brothers suffered. We suggest taking this audiobook outdoors to listen as the Van Gogh letters unfold and follow their remarks as suggestions for seeing summer days with new eyes, even while you’re reading with your ears.

Each of this week's audiobooks may inspire deeper interest in exploring others' lives. Be sure to check the download pages at the SYNC site for more suggestions of biography and memoir listens to borrow from your library's collection.

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