7 smart and sassy crime fiction writers dish on writing and life.
It's The View. With bodies.
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Audiobooks and some literary fashion
JAN BROGAN: When my son was young, he was terrible at any chore you gave him. His main job was to empty the dishwasher. Each time he left at least three glasses or plates in the upper rack for no apparent reason. If you asked him to clean his bedroom, he threw the covers on the bed and called it "made," left at least one bureau drawer hanging open, and several pairs of socks still on the floor. One day in his teens, he decided to put on on his IPOD when I assigned him to clean the finished basement. After about an hour and half later, when he was still down there, I went to check on him. The basement was spotless and he was still vacuuming. He was having such a good time singing along with the music, he kept looking for new things to clean.
Well, I find the same thing is happening to me and audiobooks. Normally, I have little patience for mundane tasks. Like my son, I tend to do as little as I can to get the job over with as soon as possible. But with an audiobook in my ear, my life had changed. Suddenly, I am a perfectionist.
A good audiobook can make me walk five miles when I set out to walk three. It can make me paint the trim on the kitchen door I've left unpainted for years. To finish the Steve Jobs biography, I brought it with me to the track, which I normally consider torture, and ran - round and round and round - two tedious two miles with a smile on my face. I have cleaned closets that I've ignored since we bought the house. And last week, I finally sorted out my junk drawer.
Back when audiobooks came in cassette form, I played them only during long car trips or on airplanes. Now that I can put books on my IPHONE, I pretty much carry an ongoing story everywhere. In the car, at the allergist's office, in an amplifier for when I'm cooking in the kitchen, and upstairs with headphones in my bed when my eyes are too tired to read.
Recently, I listened to the Rules of Civility by Amor Towles, which I highly recommend for both its great storytelling and the mesmerizing rhythms of the prose. Following Katey's love affair, I found myself scrubbing frantically into the always cruddy corners of my cake pans, first with just the sponge, then with COMET. They now look like they belong in Martha Stuart's kitchen. Yesterday, I started Hank's The Other Woman, walked the trails until it got dark, then today added three errands to my task list so that I could finish chapter eight. Tomorrow, I just might reorganize my sock drawer.
SPEAKING OF SOCKS: This has nothing to do with audiobooks, but I was scrolling through the New York Daily News Pageviews blog and came across a piece on literary fashion trends for hipsters.
These stockings might look good on hipsters, but I think they'd be great for writers, readers, librarians and anyone who spends a lot of time on Jungle Red.
Wouldn't these be perfect at Bouchercon or the New England Crime Bake?
In other business: Nancy was chosen at random from the comments page to win a copy of Edith Maxwell's Speaking of Murder. Please contact me Nancy at firstname.lastname@example.org to get your book.
BACK TO AUDIOBOOKS: Am I the only one altered by technology? Or has anyone else discovered the amazing motivating ability of audiobooks?