I recently decided to try listening to an audiobook on long drives. Usually, I just turn on the radio, but that gets mind-numbing after a while. My hope was that an audiobook would keep my brain more engaged as I traversed mile after mile of interstate.
So I checked out the audiobook edition of When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris from the library. I was trying to select a book that would be fun to listen to and not put me to sleep at the wheel. I also wanted a book that wouldn’t lose me if I missed a sentence or two while concentrating on the road.
All in all, I think When You Are Engulfed in Flames was the perfect choice for me very first audiobook. Here’s what I said about it on Goodreads:
This was my first experience with an audiobook, and I quite enjoyed it! Some of the stories are interesting, some are a little boring, and some are downright hilarious. A few times I laughed so hard my stomach ached! I also love that it’s narrated by the author and that a few of the recordings are from live events. Overall, I would definitely recommend this essay collection, either in print or audio. 4/5 stars.
The stories were funny, engaging, easy to follow, and narrated perfectly. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I am looking forward to listening to more of David Sedaris’ stories in audiobook format.
But I also want to try listening to a novel. The short stories worked well because I could easily split them up over multiple trips. It was easy to stop the recording at the end of one story and restart it at the beginning of the next. Since the stories are only loosely related to one another, I didn’t have to worry about remembering where I was in a continuing narrative. Similarly, I didn’t have to be concerned about missing important details, foreshadowing, or plot points like in a novel.
It seems to me like listeing to a novel would be very different than listening to a collection of short stories. I’m curious to try it.
This weekend I checked out the audiobook of Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert from the library. It’s not a novel, but it’s a continuing narrative and it’s as long as a novel (11 cds). I don’t know yet if I’ll like it. It’ll be another experiment.
Wish me luck.