For the past 15 years I've been driving to Nashville from St. Charles nearly every other week. The first question people ask when they hear that is, "Why don't you move to Nashville?" Their second question is, "How do you stand all that driving?" The question I find myself asking is, “What are you going to do for the next six hours alone in this car?”
I do a lot of listening. To music, to the news, to people talking about the news, to sermons, to books, and sometimes to my own thoughts. It’s true that I listen to a lot of music. That’s part of my job. But after a week in Nashville, sometimes I am just “music-ed out.” So especially on my drives home, I listen to books.
I subscribe to to audible.com, and logging on and seeing that I have credits available fills me with a mixture of anticipation and dread. What do I invest my time and credit in next? So many choices. So much I want to listen to. Things I feel like I need to listen to. Classics I’ve never gotten around to reading. Favorite authors I usually turn to. The continuation of a series I’ve started. It's a tough decision.
Or maybe I should just listen to Harry Potter again.
I thought maybe I could get a little advice. Here are books I have waiting. I’ve bought them, but I haven’t started them. If you’ve read any, let me know what you think. Or even if you haven’t read them, what do you think I should read next?
It might help you to know that I just finished The Book Thief. I loved it. It was a beautifully written novel. One of the reviews I read about it described it as “eating words like ice cream.” It was like that. But I’ll confess, it took me a while to listen to it. It just seemed like I needed to digest it in small bites. Anyway, you might want to consider that.
Here are some choices:
The Kitchen House - a novel set on a slave plantation. I think I can pretty much count on it to be interesting but depressing. Not gonna be a lot of light-hearted fun in that. But still, I’ve heard great things about it, and I like books set in that era of history.
The Goldfinch - a novel about an orphaned boy taken in by a wealthy family who eventually gets involved in the underworld of art. Suggests to me that it involves mystery and mayhem. I’d probably learn something about art that I didn’t know. And I do love “rags to riches” stories.
Walking With God Through Pain and Suffering - I love Tim Keller’s writing. I’ve listened to three of his books in the past year. So it’s a good bet that I will like this one, and I might get some song ideas along the way.
Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy - I really don’t know as much as I want to about Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and this book is by Eric Metaxas, who wrote Amazing Grace, the biography of William Wilburforce. I loved that book. The synopsis says it’s a “deeply moving narrative… of moral courage in the face of the monstrous evil that was Nazism.”
Bossypants - by Tiny Fey. Don’t judge me. Tina Fey just makes me laugh. It’s probably going to be a very easy listen and fun. But is this what I want to invest my time in?
On Writing - Stephen King’s advice on the craft of writing. I can always use more of that. Confession: I’ve never read a Stephen King book. And I’ve only seen a movie based on one of his novels by accident. I don’t like scary stuff. I have enough scary stuff going on in my own head to add to it on purpose. But still, I love books about writing.
What should I choose?