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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. audible.com 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 (www.imtoo.com) that if you copy a dvd to your computer (www.dvdfab.com) 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 http://www.kcrw.com (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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