Since moving to Rochester, I have the longest commute that I’ve ever had. It’s typically about 30 minutes in the morning, sometimes a little bit longer at night or in the winter. If it snows, I can plan on anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour. Having always had ridiculously short drives to work, I’ve never had the question of what to do while going to work – listening to KLOVE or a good classical station for 5 to 15 minutes is a no-brainer. However, with a longer drive on my hands now, I quickly wanted a little bit more out of my drive to and from the office each day. What to do?
For a little while, I listened to podcasts. They were okay. I enjoyed the first season of Serial, but was completely disinterested in their second season.
THEN I discovered books on Audible. I had never really had much interest in listening to books before – I mean, given the opportunity to crack open a new book, I’ll pick that over just about anything else, every time. I love the smell of books – is that weird? Don’t answer that. So, back to Audible. As a new subscriber, your first book is free (smart, just like a drug dealer), and I chose a book I had wanted to read for a little while, When Breath Becomes Air, by Paul Kalanithi. I’ve always enjoyed a good memoir, and this one possibly tops any that I’ve read so far. Written by a surgeon who becomes a patient, and finished by his wife after he died, I could hardly stop listening to it. My drive flew past each day, as I looked forward to hearing what would come next and listened to the beautiful writing style.
Next came some rather forgettable fiction, and then I started in with Gerri Scazzero’s The Emotionally Healthy Woman. This was interesting – it was like putting on an oxygen mask when you didn’t know you needed one, and so intense that I wanted to take notes, so I did end up buying the paperback version in order to highlight and write. I would highly recommend this book to just about any woman, although it is written from the perspective of a woman with much experience as the wife of a pastor and a church ministry leader herself.
I am currently wrapping up Saroo Brierley’s A Long Way Home. Another memoir, it’s a powerful story. It illustrates so well how any happy adoption story is also born out of a deep loss and trauma to varying degrees. This is the book that the movie Lion was based on, a true tale of an international adoptee’s adoption and his search for his birth family. As a mother and as an adopted person, this has been both a hard and delightful listen, requiring more than a few kleenex on my way up and down the 390!