Words, Words, Words

I don’t like music very much. This is a strange thing to say, but it’s true. I don’t get the notion of just listening. Which is unfortunate, because there’s not much else to do when you’re driving.

I listen to NPR a lot, but it starts to remind me how pathetic my life is when I hear the same story three times in one day. (KPCC plays the same news at 6:00, 8:00, and 4:00, and oh my God, I can’t believe I know that.)

Sometimes I switch between KFI and Air America, to see whether my right ear or my left will bleed first.

Then it occurred to me that audio books might be the solution. I never feel like I’m reading enough, anyway. (Or perhaps I’m reading too much; there’s five books piled on my nightstand at various degrees of completion).

So, I went to the library to see if anything caught my fancy. I wound up with Machiavelli’s The Prince and Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, by David Sedaris. I’d heard so much about both authors that I figured now would be the perfect time to give them a try.

I’m four discs into Dress Your Family, and I’m loving it. It’s amusingly droll (I won’t abuse the word “funny,” like so many other Prius-driving, latte-sipping, NPR-listening academics do), and a startlingly accurate portrayal of American family life.

I know there’s no way I could be 80% through the book without the magic of the compact disc, and I’m really happy for the experience. The only problem is, I now know for a fact how much time I spend in the car. In two days, I’ve heard four hours worth of David Sedaris. That can’t be healthy.

Still, I recommend it to all you poor PAs out there, stuck on the 405 listening to KROQ play “Everlong” for the four hundredth time.

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5 Responses

  1. I’m a big fan both of “The Treatment” and “Martini Shot,” and I’ve really warmed up to “This American Life,” though their stories can be kinda hit or miss. I like certain kinds of music, but I’m pretty particular about them.

  2. KCRWs “Martini Shot” and “The Business” are available on itunes & are great to listen to as well.

  3. is a great website if you want to buy some audiobooks for less money w/o having to own copious amounts of cds. you need an mp3 device though. i have one of these because all i do is listen to music all day every day all the time on my runs.

    audiobooks are also what kept me going during my 5 day cross-country trek, so i highly recommend them. other audiobooks i’d recommend are:

    outliers – malcolm gladwell
    tribes – seth godin
    the omivore’s dilemma – michael pollan
    gangleader for a day – sudir venkatesh

    i’m also about to start ‘the dark tower’ series. if any books was meant for audio, the dark tower is it.

  4. i’m not much of a music person either. to me, it’s the soundtrack to something else. i may be outing myself as a film nerd but there is software you can get ( that if you copy a dvd to your computer ( you can rip the audio commentary to mp3.

    whenever i buy a movie i do this, throw them on my zune and listen to them in the car like a book on tape. there is no point in me sitting on the couch having to watch a movie i’ve seen a dozen time when really i’m listening to it. i don’t need to see it, i pretty much know what roger ebert is referring to in casablanca.

    i am also a big fan of elvis mitchell’s “the treatment” at (and he hosts an excellent interview show on turner classic movies called “under the influence” which is everything “inside the actors studio” wished it was.

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