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Download What Now? Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample What Now? Audiobook, by Ann Patchett Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,031 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ann Patchett Narrator: Ann Patchett Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2008 ISBN: 9780061632341
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Based on her lauded commencement address at Sarah Lawrence College, this stirring essay by bestselling author Ann Patchett offers hope and inspiration for anyone at a crossroads, whether graduating, changing careers, or transitioning from one life stage to another. With wit and candor, Patchett tells her own story of attending college, graduating, and struggling with the inevitable question: What now?

From student to line cook to teacher to waitress and eventually to award-winning author, Patchett’s own life has taken many twists and turns that make her exploration genuine and resonant. As Patchett writes, “What Now? represents our excitement and our future, the very vitality of life.” She highlights the possibilities the unknown offers and reminds us that there is as much joy in the journey as there is in reaching the destination.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A wise, generous and compact primer for life that could well become a touchstone, readers will return to this book, and probably find something new each time they do; deserves to be given often and enthusiastically.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maria | 2/16/2014

    " I really like this author, and I requested this book from the library not realizing it was an essay. I read it very quickly, and it was good. It was taken from her commencement address and was just a nice, uplifting read that didn't waste my time! And that is what is most important to me right now. I hate time-wasters! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marley | 2/16/2014

    " Ann Patchett's commencement address to her old college. There are several inspirational quotes that are refridgerator-door-worthy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Delight | 2/15/2014

    " This was a recent graduation speech by the author of Bel Canto, one of my favorite books ever. Patchett's observations and own experiences makes for some excellent nuggets of wisdom about life, the gift of the unexpected, and making the most of where you are now. I really loved this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 B | 2/12/2014

    " An essay based on a commencement speech, Ann Patchett addresses that uncertain feeling many people have when they come to an end of one road such as college or high school through stories about her own life. This short, (97 pages with many illus.), book demonstrates how an enormously skilled writer can hold your attention and provide inspiration. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erin | 2/5/2014

    " It took under two hours to read this book. I really liked the overall theme, that life is always changing and we can create our own futures. I'm glad I read it! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tiffany | 2/5/2014

    " It took about 20 minutes to read this short little book. It is Ann Patchett's commencement address she gave at her Alma Mater. I'm not sure a commencement address requires a book to be made out of it, but I guess when you're a novelist, you probably feel better about your work when it's bound between two covers for distribution. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Betsy | 1/26/2014

    " short and sweet advice. I read this for material to use talking to my 18 year old nephew who is trying to answer the question "What Now?". "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Akilah | 1/20/2014

    " Great advice and outlook on being at a crossroads in your life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lynn Wilson | 1/20/2014

    " I would love to have this book and Wynton Marsalis's book Notes to a Young Jazz Musician on every high school reading list. Wonderful heartfelt advice forwarded from Patchett's commencement address at Sarah Lawrence College. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nic | 1/7/2014

    " Her expanded commencement address. Short but interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rachel | 1/5/2014

    " I enjoyed it- did not expect it to be so different from her other books- would have been great to read just out of college. It was neat to hear the story of how she became a writer. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katie | 12/9/2013

    " A great read if you are in a reflective mood. A fun way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Meridel Thomson | 12/8/2013

    " Really did not like this book. Uninspried writing and not helpful. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bethanne | 6/17/2013

    " Next time I need to buy a graduation gift, this is what I'll give. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie | 6/6/2013

    " Made me feel better about not having solved world hunger or written a Pultizer-prize-winning novel...yet. Just living life in the best way I know how really SHOULD be enough! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelly | 3/5/2013

    " An version of a commencement addresss the author gave at her alma mater. The advice is good for anyone in transition and funny and an unsentimental look back. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shannon | 12/7/2012

    " This is the speech Ann Patchett delivered to students graduating from her Alma Mater, Sarah Lawrence College. It's a great read for anyone struggling to find direction in life, and it's an important reminder of what really matters. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Minah | 12/2/2012

    " For the most part wisdom comes in chips rather then blocks. You have to be willing to gather them constantly, and from sources you never imagined to be probable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Forrest Meyer | 11/9/2012

    " This commencement address (puffed up into a short book by Harper by adding umpteen pages of photos) by Iowa Writers' Workshop graduate Ann Patchett is way, way -- far and away -- above your typical commencement address fare. Both personable and wise, it is well worth the quick, easy read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anne | 10/3/2012

    " An insightful little read on the what now? moments in life. Loved her writing style, and want to read more by her. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kat | 3/12/2012

    " I guess being Ann Patchett gives you the privilege of selling an extended commencement speech for $15. I wouldn't buy it, but I'm glad I read it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rachel | 9/14/2011

    " Not really a book, like an essay. I think I would have appreciated it more 10 years ago? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cheryl | 8/12/2011

    " A wonderful and introspective graduation speech that includes a postscript to her past friends and mentors. Will read again and again. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kim | 6/30/2011

    " I really enjoyed this book - love reading about the Amazonian rain forests. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bonnie | 6/29/2011

    " Beautifully written, although I found the first half to be slow at times, I couldn't put the rest down. In retrospect, I should have seen a lot of the surprises coming, but the twists and turns make it a good read, along with the descriptions of the setting and characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Debra | 6/29/2011

    " Enjoyed the read... had enough to keep me turning pages "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gail | 6/29/2011

    " Whew. I really loved "Bel Canto", but I'm going to have to think about this one for a while. Three and 1/2 stars so far... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lisa | 6/29/2011

    " Loved this! I couldn't put it down, Patchett's best novel yet by far ... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nichole | 6/29/2011

    " My favorite author has written another engrossing, beautifully written novel. I loved every second of it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tara | 6/29/2011

    " What a perfect book to read to bring the memories of being in the rainforest last summer flooding back. wonderful, vivid descriptions, interesting story, and thoughtful ethical questions all included. I loved it and wished I hadn't finished it so quickly! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Felicia | 6/28/2011

    " An excellent trip to "the heart of darkness" with Marina Singh, the American protagonist journeying to the Amazon and the sense of her self. Highly interesting and entertaining. "

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About the Author
Author Ann Patchett

Ann Patchett is the author of several previous novels including The Patron Saint of Liars, which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year; Taft, which won the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize; and The Magician’s Assistant. She has written for many publications including the New York Times, Atlantic, the Washington Post, and Vogue. She lives in Nashville.