You may recognize Noah LaLonde from his role as Cole Walter in Netflix’s new teen drama My Life with the Walter Boys. On screen, his character is busy navigating high school life and love. Off camera, the Michigan native is just as busy. But despite his schedule, Noah still finds time to relax with a good book. And when he’s traveling or out for a long run, audiobooks have become a perfect hands-free companion.
For the Record caught up with Noah to learn more about his favorite reads and what it was like adapting My Life with the Walter Boys from page to screen.
With so much content out there to enjoy, when do you turn to books?
The answer to this question has really evolved for me over the years. Today, though, I try to turn to books every day. In the social media world we live in, I feel like I can always use a book to turn my brain on to start the day or off to get myself relaxed before bed. Everything around us moves so fast in our digital age so it’s nice to mute everything around me and get into the routine of focusing on a good book.
What book has had the biggest influence on you?
I’ve enjoyed so many different books in my life—so many that have had a tremendous impact on me. Two that have held specific importance to me during specific times in my life are The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey.
The Power of Now came at a time when I really needed to remember that life is only what we ever have at this moment, and that any accomplishment isn’t worth it unless we enjoy every step of the journey. Greenlights highlighted that, as an artist, each part of our own story is worth fully embracing, as it can contribute to letting us access our full selves and can enable us to be able to share that with the world.
What do you enjoy most about audiobooks?
I mostly enjoy the accessibility. There have been periods in my life when I’m too pressed for time to read a physical book. But I’m always running or walking or working out or driving somewhere, and an audiobook has proved to be the perfect companion for me during all of those things. Plus, sometimes, hearing the author read their own work adds an element to the experience and in helping me to connect with the material. Matthew McConaughey reading Greenlights is a perfect example of that.
What audiobook are you currently listening to?
Jay Shetty’s Think Like a Monk. I’m actually about to finish it. I’ve followed Jay for a while now, but listening to this audiobook has been the most immersed I’ve ever been in his work, and I’ve loved it. It’s been great to knock out a couple chapters during some of my long runs.
Any advice you have for someone wanting to spend more time reading or with books?
Start slow. I’m talking 10 pages of a book or 10 minutes of an audiobook at a time. If you try to bite off more than you can chew to start, I feel like the odds of continuing the activity go way down. Find something you really like and give yourself the freedom to have the time to enjoy the process. I find the more we curate our positive habits to our liking, the better odds we have for developing and ultimately enjoying and sticking to them in the long run.
Name your top 5 must-reads.
A very hard question. I could spend hours on this…I already mentioned Greenlights and The Power of Now, but what else comes to mind and in no particular order…
- The Course of Love: A Novel by Alain de Botton
- How We Die: Reflections on Life’s Final Chapter by Sherwin B. Nuland
- Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
- The Creative Act: A Way of Being by Rick Rubin
- The Midnight Library: A Novel by Matt Haig. This one is a bit of a different vibe from the rest, but an enjoyable fiction read that, if read at the right time like it was for me, can serve as an important reminder about embracing where we are and ceasing to long for what could have been.
Your series, My Life with the Walter Boys, is an adaptation of a novel. Did you read the book before starting the project?
I did! One of the first things I did after receiving the news that I booked the project was to read the book. Knowing the number of people that have read the book, it felt like a bit of pressure bringing Cole Walter to life. But ultimately, you prepare as much as you can and let all the pressure go. It’s an honor at the end of the day.
If you could be the narrator or voice actor for the audiobook version of any novel, what book would it be?
So many come to mind that I really can’t pick. I’ll say this: I’ve been journaling a lot of my life. I would love to one day put all of those together and write a story of my own about what I’ve seen and what I’ve been through. Some of the times I’ve felt most connected to a text is when reading a memoir of an actor I’ve looked up to, or someone else who feels very connected to their own story, one that I can garner inspiration from. All that to say, I’d love to narrate my own story, or any book I’d be lucky enough to be a part of. Stay tuned.
Next time you’re ready to pick up a book, try pressing play on one of the many audiobooks available on Spotify.
Credit for photo used in the design: Exavier Castro