Baby, You Can Drive My Car (and listen to my book)

Let me be the umpteenth person to tell you that I’m so over this winter already.

I mean, I am done. 

Pittsburgh’s daily dose of snow-slush-slop atop Arctic Circle temperatures colder than my freezer has made for some interesting – and somewhat frustrating drives to work lately. One can only listen to the same litany of traffic delays and weather cancellations so many times.

What is a ‘Burgh commuter to do?

Put the pedal to the metal and press play on the audio books, baby.

Before we moved to Pittsburgh, I had a job where I drove two hours – each way! – to work.  Public transportation, sadly, wasn’t an option and nobody else was crazy enough to live nearly 80 miles away from the office, as I did.

So, do the math: four hours behind the wheel every day, multiplied by five days, buys you 20 hours of quality audio book time every week.

I did this for three years.  

That’s a lot of audio books.

Fortunately, here in Pittsburgh my commute is much shorter (and my weekly gas and coffee bills much less expensive), but my love for the audio book is just as strong. I find that listening to an audio book is calming and a nice bridge between work and home. There’s a sense of productivity, too; when I’ve read a chapter or two while languishing in yet another daily backup at Camp Horne Road on 79 or on the Vet’s Bridge, I feel like I’ve accomplished something.

If you’re new to audio books or if it has been awhile since you’ve given them a try, these suggestions might be helpful:

This week I’m listening to Pandora’s Lunchbox: How Processed Food Took Over the American Meal, by Melanie Warner, which – holy cow! – is this generation’s version of Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle.

Here are a few others that I recently listened to and can recommend:

Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted - CLP

Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted: And All the Brilliant Minds Who Made The Mary Tyler Moore Show A Classic, by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong (read by Amy Landon, 11.5 hours). Fans of MTM and those who hold a certain nostalgia for television’s Golden Age of Comedy may enjoy this retrospective, which gives equal time – if not more – to the female writers and the cultural shifts that shaped “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”

I'm Looking Through You - CLP

I’m Looking Through You: Growing Up Haunted: A Memoir, by Jennifer Finney Boylan (read by the author, 9 hours, 30 minutes). A poignant memoir about identity and becoming one’s true self. The symbolism of growing up in a haunted house on Philadelphia’s Main Line is interwoven with Jennifer’s quest for acceptance of her personal ghosts and discovering herself.

Next to Love - CLP

Next to Love, by Ellen Feldman (read by Abby Craden, 11 hours, 23 minutes). A sweeping historical fiction World War II novel that follows three couples and their families through multiple changes, both in their personal lives and in society.

Devil in the White City

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America, by Erik Larson (read by Scott Brick, 14 hours, 30 minutes).  Set in the midst of the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago, this is a gripping tale of mystery and intrigue about a little-known part of America’s history.

Want more? On the CLP website, we’ve compiled lists of audio books.

So, while the winter weather may be putting a damper on our abilities to get from here to there, why not make the trip  more pleasant by bringing a book along for the ride?

Beep-beep, beep-beep, yeah!

~ Melissa F.


Filed under Uncategorized

2 responses to “Baby, You Can Drive My Car (and listen to my book)

  1. My commute is only 15-20 minutes each way but I still listen to audiobooks. As a voracious reader, it lets me “read” even more books!

  2. MAM

    Viva the audiobook! Since I stopped commuting I’ve sorely missed them, but I just got Michael Pollen’s “Cooked,” read by the author, so hoping to start up again. What better way to get inspired to make things during this long cold nights? Thanks for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s