I’ve discovered the secret to reading more, and it’s this: not reading. Kinda. It’s audiobooks.
As a child and teen, I read constantly, as much as I could, during meals, in the bathtub, for entire weekends. But as an adult, I rarely sink down into a good book. I wish I did, but when I have the time, I usually spend it doing it something else (cleaning, planning or grading, Toon Blast) I think it’s partly because I never want to leave the world of the book I’m reading.
Whatever it is, I finally accepted it, and I discovered audiobooks. Audiobooks actually solve two problems, the problem of not reading much and the problem of the incredible boredom of walking the dog.
So here are three books I’ve listened to lately and loved:
I’ll Show Myself Out by Jessi Klein
Jessi Klein is my new best friend. She’s never met me, so I’m probably not hers, but I’m okay with that. Listening to this book, which frames motherhood as a hero’s journey (YES) ands visit such topics as the mindnumbingness of playing with toddlers (YES+) , was like a wonderful conversation with a friend who really gets you. It’s smart, laugh-out-loud funny, and thrillingly irreverent. One of my favorite essays in this book began by Klein declaring (admitting?) that drinking made her a better mom. It’s one of the most honest and smartest things I’ve read about women and alcohol and as someone who had a glass of white wine as soon as possible after giving birth (which was like five days because I was trapped in the hospital with preeclampsia but still), I loved it. I read a review of this book in which the reviewer said the book made her “feel seen.” The work of mothers in our society is often invisible or ignored; Jessi Klein reveals both mothers’ heroic work and mothers’ flawed humanity. Stop what you are doing and get this book.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
I wrote about this book in another post, but I’ll say a bit more here. I always saw this bestseller in bookstores and dismissed it as a sensationally titled self-help book for people who weren’t me, but then a colleague mentioned it and when I couldn’t get the audiobook I really wanted from the library, I decided to give it a try. It’s actually terrific. It’s Buddhist at heart, and it’s funny, honest, and has the potential to change your life. Check it out.
This book is The Happiest Toddler on the Block but for tweens. If you feel that “porcupine” is an accurate description of your tween or teen, read or listen to this book.