• So You Need to Decide

  • By: Beth Lapides
  • Narrated by: Beth Lapides
  • Length: 8 hrs and 15 mins
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (30 ratings)

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So You Need to Decide

By: Beth Lapides
Narrated by: Beth Lapides
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Publisher's Summary

How many decisions do you make each day? Ten? Twenty? Fifty? How often do you think about the way each of those little and not-so-little decisions reverberate through your life? And how often do you regret a choice you made and wish you could simply choose again?

“One of the better audio-comedy productions in recent memory … the project is a collection of probing interviews in their original audio, so none of the intensity or intimacy is lost in a translation to print.”Vulture.

Hailed by the Los Angeles Times as the “godmother of alternative comedy,” Beth Lapides, creator of LA’s long-running UnCabaret, delivers a funny and heartfelt meditation on the power of decisions, the place for regret, and the space for grace in the Recorded Books Original So You Need to Decide.

This series of intimate conversations with a diverse group of comedians, writers, and cultural icons revolves around five universal experiences: family, work, love, moving, and spirituality. The decisions that come through in each of these moments are not about the rigidity of control, it’s about the fluidity of dancing with the chaos. Lapides invites us to join her and her friends in reflecting on how each decision changes us, altering our path and creating a wholly new journey.

Featuring original interviews with Margaret Cho, Isaac Mizrahi, Bob Odenkirk, Phoebe Bridgers, Baron Vaughn, Aparna Nancherla, Merrill Markoe, and Josh Gondelman, and with research assistance by Mathew Klickstein, So You Need to Decide ultimately challenges the listener to choose how they want to live—bigger or smaller, with artifice or authenticity. Would you rather plumb the depths or float near the surface?

That’s a decision only you can make. 

©2021 Beth Lapides and Mathew Klickstein (P)2021 Recorded Books

What listeners say about So You Need to Decide

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Like a Life's Journey with Beth at UnCabaret

For those lucky enough to have been around LA to witness the birth of the UnCabaret, which is just what you think it is (a modern version of a vaudevillian hosted showcase of comedy and musical talent, but not in the conventional sense) - we have been blessed with decades of getting to know famous and not so famous people of many talents in the intimacy of our own variable location lounges/bars/restaurants wherever Beth managed to find a place to host a bunch of friendly faces and voices for an evening. This is like an autobiographical journey of what inspired the many changes and events in this woman's life of bringing a little insprired and joyful happiness, and hope into our lives. We get to hear first-person from the same voices we've come to love and cherish over the years on subjects ranging from Family to Spirituality in a way familiar to the UnAudience of UnCabaret - like a casual conversation with a close friend, unabridged and unapologetically truthful. Some you'll know immediately, and some you'll Google about and have a "Oh, THAT person!" moment.
This is like listening in on 5 different UnCab shows, with fitting ambiance musical accompaniment, all on-theme of that particular Chapter. I didn't think about Beth's voice being such a natural fit to tell this story, but listening to her is like having that warm feeling you get when you listen to a Morgan Freeman narrative. She's got kitsch, and a natural way of bringing everything back down to Earth, so you can get it, whatever "It" happens to be. Filled with inspirational moments to give you that little nudge about "Change, makes us so unhappy. But we've got to change, to be Happy!" It's neat to take a deep dive into all the history behind what started as a informal talent sandbox and has continued to pivor over the years to now include virtual events that can bring the international audience together to witness what has become our little monthly home to decompress, take a deep breath, and remember it's all going to be okay. And to laugh, a lot!

5 people found this helpful

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Like hanging out with funny, reassuringly f’d-up friends

So it turns out that Beth Lapides isn’t just funny—she’s also smart AND wise, and she has thought a lot about the scary decisions, big and small, we all have to make in life. This book is all about that—told through her own experiences and her fabulous conversations with her funny friends. The vibe is warm and welcoming, the stories people share (fears! regrets! neuroses! triumphs!) are thoughtful and real, and the whole thing is like getting a painfree double booster shot of motivation and gumption. Listen while you’re out walking and you’ll look like a happy weirdo, nodding and smiling and laughing out loud. A+

3 people found this helpful

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Thoughtful, funny and introspective

I expected funny but what I got was so much more. I felt like I was visiting with friends. I spent time reflecting on my own life decisions, the importance of change, how religion impacts me and how grateful I am to have lived the life that I was gifted. Thank you Beth Lapides.

3 people found this helpful

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Decide to Buy So You Need to Decide

Beth is funny, empathetic and brilliant. The stories are profound, the interviews are engaging and her reading is so entertaining. This audio book is overflowing with wisdom and I can’t wait to share this with friends.
Profound reflections about the art of decision making.

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really enjoyed it

I feel so reassured listening to the author and the people she talked with! Making decisions and then being happy with them is always hard. This is so funny, I liked it better than a normal self help book.

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105 Stars!

NObody taps into the needs of The Now better than Ms. Lapides. We all know comedians are our modern day philosophers. Here they dish up their own decision making processes regarding the most important issues of their lives. And the book is fueled by UnCabaret’s darlings, who span races, genders, sexualities. There’s REPRESENTATION! Trans, gay, parents, singles, black, yellow, Jew, bit Jew, writers, comics, successes, failures, THINKERS - everyone’s covered. Thus audio journey is touching, surprising and hilarious, and, leave to Beth, it’s curated like a show! It’s unbooklike! The voices reaching us carry deep introspection, the weight of having lived unexpected lives. It’s all so human. And there’s beautiful music by Mitch Kaplan.
I loved it and could easily have kept listening to a whole ‘nother book.
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
PS This audio book is the perfect driving or cooking companion.
You can listen every day.
But try not to be sad when it’s over!
Looking forward to Ms. Lapides’s next book.

2 people found this helpful

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Hilarious and probing

Raconteur Beth Lapides of Uncabaret fame narrates these lively hours of herself interviewing contemporary comedy greats on their thoughts about the decision making process. In fourteen chapters, Beth devles into the psyches of her (very) funny friends, as they reveal their personal trials and tribulations, from deciding to have a baby (Sandra Bernhard) to coming out as trans (AB Cassidy.) As narrator, Beth intersperses her own thoughtful commentary, weaving everything together into her signature absurd-transcendent worldview.

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Self Help Edutainment At Its Very Best

So, if you're deciding about whether to listen to So You Need To Decide, let me be waaaaay more directive than this book and say: listen to it already! I didn't know if I would like this book even though I'm a big fan of Beth and Uncabaret and--like many comics who perform from outside the mainstream--owe a debt to Beth for helping to create room for us in the stand up world. But I'm skeptical of self help in general and I'm super skeptical of comedians talking to their friends on audio, having given up on the genre because of all the trash podcasts that could be simply named Some Dude Comedian Making Inside Jokes With HIs Friends. Anyway I was totally wrong. First of all, this isn't really a self help book, in a traditional sense, it's more like a series of conversations with people who have struggled with different types of decisions, with Beth asking gently probing questions, and you'll either relate or you won't with what any given person says, but you'll definitely feel less alone. So that's one huge benefit, but the other really valuable thing this book offers is decisional perspective. We so seldom get to hear the background behind other people's decisions about even really major things, at least beyond the circles of our emotional intimates. But the conversations provide a genuinely helpful glimpse into what's going on in the brains of strangers! In less skillful hands this could have been reality teevee-esque but Beth's authenticity and good manners (as the listener you never feel left out of the joke) makes this a very warm, connected --even transformative-- listening experience. Also, you might well LOL in spots as Beth is funny and she has funny friends.

1 person found this helpful

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So much fun AND wisdom

beth Lapides is the warm, honest, funny connective tissue among so many comics and other luminaries. She generously shares her own struggles and draws out words of wisdom and comfort from people like Sandra Bernhardt and Isaac Mizrahi. Be prepared to dive deep and get an enfolding audio hug while you hear how people who may be household names but are just as conflicted and challenged as you have navigated (and sometimes even triumphed!) over life’s challenges. After coming up for air you’ll want even more time with beth and will become addicted to her UnCabaret live and zoom shows where more of her wit, connections and love are on display.

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  • MJ
  • 03-12-22

Listen, laugh and learn

First thing to note here is that Beth has created an innovative Audiobook first approach. It's a blend between book and podcast, it really works. it's richer, more structured and has a clear arc that would be harder to deliver in a podcast or series. it's richer and more engaging with snips of conversations between Beth and well known artists, comics, that come through with authenticity and humor that would never translate as well in print. This format, audiobook, really works in a way that surprised me. instead of audiobook being a cheat for people who don't want to sit down and read, this really makes an audiobook something special and better than a book, or podcast, can do. Brilliant and exciting.

Second, I really loved the integration of Beth's story, conversations with celebrities and thoughtful life lessons. It works! Of course, the celebs are good story tellers, often funny. But the conversations are so genuine, and human. I wasn't distracted by the celebrity aura or jokes. I was drawn into and engaged with the human experience that these conversations revealed.

Beth is uniquely able to connect foundational truths of life, happiness, change, family, etc. with her humor. While a serious comic, she is at core an artist at bringing people together in reflection of our shared humanity.

Listen to this audiobook for the fun of hearing Beth's story and those of the huge list of other artists and creators she talks to. Listen for the humor and stories that will make you smile, laugh and feel good. Listen because you will learn something, affirm something and come out of the experience just a little bit better.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 04-26-22

UnCab blab is fab

Framed a bit like a self-help book, this is actually way more interesting. The interview sections feature anybody from Bob Odenkirk to Margaret Cho chatting about key moments in their life, sort of like a good podcast. My favourite bits, though, were Beth Lapides' sections of written text, particularly the ones where she talks about her seminal alternative comedy venture, the mighty UnCabaret. Recommended!