I love books. I’ve always loved books. As evidenced by this 1991 photo I once shared in an earlier blog post.
In my younger days, reading was my number one hobby, closely followed by crafty and creative activities. I LOVED trips to the library and my mom usually had to talk me out of bringing home giant stacks of books (but don’t be fooled — “giant” stacks were merely reduced to “semi-giant” stacks). I once got a $100 gift certificate (yes, they were “certificates” back then) to a bookstore and I WAS ON TOP OF THE WORLD. It was basically the equivalent of someone handing me a million dollars today.
I once got teased on the school bus because I was reading “for fun,” so I wrote a letter to the “help” section of Highlights magazine asking what to do when other kids made comments about my reading. The nice people at Highlights magazine wrote me a personal letter in response, basically telling me that I was awesome and shouldn’t stop reading.
Thanks to Highlights, I never stopped reading, although the frequency has fluctuated a lot in my grown-up life. Remember when “free reading” was encouraged and rewarded during downtime in elementary school? Those were the days! Unfortunately, the full-time workforce doesn’t share the same sentiment and I actually have to think about work when I’m at work. Pish posh! Throw in all of those grown-up responsibilities like grocery shopping and laundry and the like — there’s not much time left for reading.
Over the past few years, I’ve gotten into audiobooks, especially because I can use Overdrive to borrow them digitally through my library and download them right onto my mobile device. I love that I can listen to them while driving, walking the dog and even sewing! Audiobooks have turned me into a multi-tasker extraordinaire. Even though it’s really tempting to turn on Netflix every time I sew, I’m admittedly much more productive when I’m listening to an audiobook and don’t have to look away from my work.
Even though listening to a book isn’t exactly the same experience as holding one and turning pages, audiobooks do have a few notable benefits. For example, I love autobiographies that are narrated by the author – hearing the passion in their voice is a much different experience than reading the words in my own head. This is especially apparent when listening to a book written by a comedian (see my “Funny Ladies” category below!). I also appreciate the audio format when books are incredibly lengthy or include a lot of non-critical details that I may have otherwise glazed over while reading. Text that may have seemed overly verbose while reading doesn’t seem nearly as strenuous when I’m hearing it march forward in the background while I cut and pin fabric.
I’ve listened to quite a few audiobooks lately, which inspired me to make a list of all the audiobooks that I’ve conquered the past few years. I liked some of these more than others, but as a whole, I would give these all a “thumbs up.” As much as I love reading and writing, being a book critic isn’t really my thing, so I’m not going to launch into a full book review. But you can always follow me on Goodreads to see how I rated each one of these books (Goodreads is an awesome social media site dedicated to books!).
Celebrity Autobiography/Memoirs (with an emphasis on Funny Ladies!)
- Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling
- Bossypants by Tina Fey
- Yes Please by Amy Poehler
- Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris
Youth / Young Adult
- Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
- Gossamer by Lois Lowry
- Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone
- A World Away by Nancy Grossman
- Waiting to Be Heard by Amanda Knox
- My Story by Elizabeth Smart
- Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
- Hit by a Farm by Catherine Friend
- Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
- Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull (currently listening to this one!)
Do you listen to audiobooks, or are you more of a “I need to feel the book in my hands and turn the pages” kind of person? Either way, I’d love your recommendations! What have you been reading lately?