Beth, from Beth Fish Reads, left me a comment saying she's had uneven results with authors as narrators. I've heard that said before, but my experience has been mostly positive. I've been listening to audiobooks for nearly six years (almost exclusively while driving), and several have been read by the author. Have I just been lucky in my choices? Do certain types of books better lend themselves to author-readers?
Humor, or humorous essays, seem to work well when read by the author. Could anyone other than David Sedaris read Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim (or any of his books, for that matter)? Nora Ephron was perfect reading I Feel Bad About My Neck.
I actually prefer autobiography and memoir to be read by the author. It seems to reveal more of the author's personality. Anthony Bourdain reading Kitchen Confidential comes to mind here, as well as Ayaan Hirsi Ali reading Infidel. However, even though I ended up liking Eat, Pray, Love, I initially had some trouble with Elizabeth Gilbert's voice (personality?).
I haven't come across many examples of authors reading their own fiction (other than Bennett), but T.C. Boyle was positively brilliant reading Tortilla Curtain.
General non-fiction has been more of a mixed bag for me. Malcolm Gladwell read both Blink and The Tipping Point. They were perfectly acceptable, but I wonder what a professional narrator could have done. The Nine by Jeffrey Toobin was a great book. I noticed there were two versions available from audible and purchased the one read by the author. By the time I realized this was an abridged version, it was too late. However, Toobin did a fine job reading.
So, what has been your experience with an author reading his or her own work? Are there any you would recommend? Which ones should be avoided?