• Nobody Will Tell You This But Me

  • A True (As Told to Me) Story
  • By: Bess Kalb
  • Narrated by: Bess Kalb
  • Length: 4 hrs and 21 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (798 ratings)

Prime logo Prime members: New to Audible?
Get 2 free audiobooks during trial.
Pick 1 audiobook a month from our unmatched collection.
Listen all you want to thousands of included audiobooks, Originals, and podcasts.
Access exclusive sales and deals.
Premium Plus auto-renews for $14.95/mo after 30 days. Cancel anytime.
Nobody Will Tell You This But Me  By  cover art

Nobody Will Tell You This But Me

By: Bess Kalb
Narrated by: Bess Kalb
Try for $0.00

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy for $13.50

Buy for $13.50

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's summary

National Best Seller

One of the Best Books of the Year:
VogueForbesBookpageNew York PostWired

“I have not been as profoundly moved by a book in years.” (Jodi Picoult)

Even after she left home for Hollywood, Emmy-nominated TV writer Bess Kalb saved every voicemail her grandmother Bobby Bell ever left her. Bobby was a force - irrepressible, glamorous, unapologetically opinionated. Bobby doted on Bess; Bess adored Bobby. Then, at ninety, Bobby died. But in this debut memoir, Bobby is speaking to Bess once more, in a voice as passionate as it ever was in life.

Recounting both family lore and family secrets, Bobby brings us four generations of indomitable women and the men who loved them. There’s Bobby’s mother, who traveled solo from Belarus to America in the 1880s to escape the pogroms, and Bess’s mother, a 1970s rebel who always fought against convention. But it was Bobby and Bess who always had the most powerful bond: Bobby her granddaughter’s fiercest supporter, giving Bess unequivocal love, even if sometimes of the toughest kind. Nobody Will Tell You This But Me marks the creation of a totally new, virtuosic form of memoir: a reconstruction of a beloved grandmother’s words and wisdom to tell her family’s story with equal parts poignancy and hilarity.

©2020 Bess Kalb (P)2020 Random House Audio

Critic reviews

“An endearing, bittersweet, entertainingly fresh take on the family memoir. Kalb employs an unconventional yet highly effective and charming narrative, channeling the voice and personality of her grandmother, Bobby Bell, who snares readers' attention right from the first, [as] Kalb sharply reimagines her inner thoughts and remembers her fiercely nurturing criticism. The narrative skillfully captures Bobby's wit, worldly advice, well-intentioned meddling, and enduring love for her granddaughter. Readers familiar with the Bobby in their own families will appreciate the stoic overprotectiveness and exasperation that come with being a parent and grandparent. As the book progresses, the story becomes both sad and poignant - the photos and the imagined conversations make for sometimes heartbreaking reading, honoring a beloved grandmother’s legacy.” (Kirkus, starred review)

“I have not been as profoundly moved by a book in years. If you have a mother or grandmother, or ARE a mother or a grandmother, this is required reading. Bess Kalb's fictional-factual tribute to the relationship she had with her grandmother - the way her history was passed to her by blood, along with bright memories and Jewish guilt and fierce, fierce love - could have been my own story. When I stop crying, I'm calling my mother immediately and making her read it.” (Jodi Picoult, author of A Spark of Light)

“We are the stories we leave behind, and so we must depend on the storytellers who carry forward our memories. 'Grandma Bobby' gave Bess Kalb gifts of love and language (and lunches at the Plaza!), and in this deeply moving and powerful book, Bess repays her in full with a magnificent act of conjuring. Bobby, and the line of stubborn women of which she was the keystone, lives on in this act of love. This book made me miss my own grandmother, who didn’t have Bobby’s style, but was just as fierce. I wish I had listened to her as carefully as Bess did to Bobby. As we Jews say, the memory of Bobby is a blessing to Kalb, and now, thankfully, to all of us.” (Peter Sagal, host of NPR's Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me!)