Here are a few recent favorites: [All happen to be read by the author, and while it can be a great way for fans to connect with the artist and their work, chances are slim that your literary hero is the elusive "double threat" . . .]
This collection of short stories is racking up on nominations and topping "Best of 2013" lists, but I recommend listening to it. Saunders’ modern style and vernacular work together with his average Joe i.e. Chigago-ite delivery to add humor to, at times, twisted tales. Escape from Spiderhead is one of the best short stories I’ve read in a while.
A deceptively simple story of characters whose lives intersect, and here’s the kicker: it’s told entirely in rhyming couplets! Many will recognize Rakoff’s distinctive voice from NPR’s This American Life. However, this recording finds him at the end of a long battle with cancer, voice frail and broken. It can be hard to listen to, but before you have a chance to feel too bad he’ll cut through with a sardonic rhyme or ridiculous accent that lets you know, wherever he is, he’s still laughing.