Listening in (the car)

The other day I mentioned that I’d taken the kids to Mom’s last weekend. (OK, so I didn’t come out and say that specifically, but I did.) The trip averages about nine hours, depending on traffic and road conditions. We’ve been doing road trips for years. It’s a bit of a stretch for me, even now, to do 500+ miles in a day, but I have tried and true tactics.

I have always loved books. I remember reading Cujo and Carrie when I was 10 or 11. The trouble with books is you can’t read and drive at the same time. But one can listen! Books on CD are my answer to long drives. The hours melt away with the chapters, unlike a long string of songs and commercials, which chop a trip into 3-minute segments.

If I’m traveling on my own, I’ll listen to almost anything. I have discovered authors that I wouldn’t look at twice, listened to books outside the genres I read. I’m not picky; if it looks like an interesting plot, I’ll try it. (Thankfully the library has a good selection or I’d be listening to the same ones over and over!) When I have the kids I have to be a little more discerning, but we have The Chronicles of Narnia, and that will usually get us where we need to go.

On the way home Saturday, I listened to Year of Wonder by Josephine Brooks. Set in 1666 England, it tells about the plague ravaging a small village and how various people reacted to what was viewed at that time as God’s scourge. For readers who like just enough detail and really great plot twists, this is a must read/listen. I think I might see if the library also has it in print. I think I missed a few spots while I was dodging trucks.

When I checked out Year of Wonder, I also picked up Diary of a Fairy Godmother by Esme Raji Codell. I started listening to it today, just for the heck of it. I’m not sure if it’s going be the one I listen to when I go to get the kids. It’s cute, and there are a lot of puns and twists on words, which is fun. It tends to be a bit tedious so far. In any case, it’s too short to get me back to Mom’s so I’ll be going back to the library between now and then anyway.

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