Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Summer Listening

I’m sure I’ve complained about it on here before – and if you know me in real life I KNOW you have heard me complain about it… my commute sucks. Bad. It’s 1 ½ hours each way – on a good day. If a rain drop hits pavement, tack on 30 minutes instantly. If, say, the Mexican National Soccer team plays downtown the same day the Yankees play the Braves…. well, let’s just say it ain’t pretty. This leaves me with LOTS of time on my hands that I can’t really use in any productive way, as well as cutting into my free time at home. We’ll call this the “problem.”

Enough of my whining. Here’s my “solution.” (Get a new job? Move? Work from home? Sadly No.)

Books on Tape! Well, on CD, but that just doesn’t sound the same. I used to read all the time, but found I didn’t want to spend my precious few hours at home being antisocial with a book. And if you’ve listened to a radio station for more than 15 minutes at a time, you know it will make you want to purposefully crash into the cars in the 7 lanes around you…

So the “solution” came in the form of our local library, where they have quite a selection. I cannot tell you how much faster the time goes when I’m listening to a book. Granted, that’s kinda because I space out listening to it and don’t really pay attention to the road (not really an issue when you are going 3 mph).

In “real” books, my favorites were the classics (yes, I enjoyed reading for school, don’t judge me). But I’ve found those types are hard to listen to – my English minor trained brain kept trying to find symbolism and allusion, which was just too much to handle in stop-and-go traffic.

So my happy medium is historical fiction. I have always loved history, European history in particular, and I’ve found I can enjoy a story while also unearthing some historical stuff that has been buried in my brain for years. Learning, right?

Right now I’m on a Tudor England kick. The Boleyn Inheritance is one of my favorites, and after this one I’ve gone back to “read” the rest of Philippa Greggory’s books (she wrote The Other Boleyn Girl that was made into a movie). She does a great job (in my non-historian-professional opinion) of sticking with the major facts of history, but making these historical figures into people you can relate to.

I also really liked Abundance, by Sena Jeter Naslund, about the life of Marie Antoinette, and The Teahouse Fire, by Ellis Avery, about the struggle of Westernization in Japan.

And of course, I’m kinda limited in my selection by what they have at the library (those suckers are expensive if you buy them at a bookstore or if they are new online!), but it’s happened lots of times where I totally judge a book by it’s cover, really like it, then order more by the same author on (um... and I may or may not have bought all of the Twilight audio books at full price and listened to them like 3 times over each....)

So if you have a terrible commute like I do, or even a small one or a big trip coming up, hit up your library!

[All images from Amazon]

1 comment:

  1. Love the idea, I would do the same if I didn't ride the bus!


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