Summer Reading, An Audio Edition

Being a full time engineer, a mother and wife, people ask me how I can read so many books. I cheat. I listen to books instead of reading them while running or doing chores. It works out really well. For almost 10 years, I have listened to more than 100 books and spent more than $1000, which I called the tuition. As for what kind of education books I have listened, that’s debatable. I don’t remember what books I have started listening. I think the most educational books I have listened are several Jane Austen’s books and the original Brian Stoker’s “Dracula”, but I preferred “The Historian”, the model Dracula book. I also tried Tolstoy’s “Crime and Punishment”, hard to follow. “Anna Karenina”, which was my favorite book and I read in Chinese before, was a little easier to follow, but not as enjoyable as I hoped. Then the “War and Peace” was a book that I hoped to listen instead of reading. Of course, I gave it up soon after I started.

After a while I found that comedies and mysteries worked so much better. I remembered I could run much longer and happier when listening to Carl Hiaasen’ books, Sophie’s Kinsella’s romantic comedies or Janet Evanovich’s comic mysteries.

My recent favorites are two series by writer British Rhys Bowen. I have bought and listened all her 25 books for two series. One is called “Her Royal Spyness” and 9 other books in the series. I have listened to most of books in this series twice, which is easy to do in audio. It is a series of comic detective books that involves Queen Mary and many Royal members of British aristocracy. Famous people like Charlie Chaplin and designer Coco Chanel have made appearance in them. Many stories are based on real historical events. It happened in London, Scotland, Nice or in the Capsaicin Mountain in Romania. With fictional real events and people, she made it so much fun.

The second series” first book is called “Murphy’s Law” and 14 others follow. Then I discover the podcasts and they are free. Here are some of my favorite podcasts:

RadioLab
TED Radio Hours
Wait Wait..Don’t Tell me
Serial
The New Yorker Radio Hours
Dan Carin Hardcore History
Open Source with Christopher Lydon
The Moth Podcast
This American Life
MarketFoolery

Please check some of these out.

Lisa Zhang Wharton

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