Would you rather lose your sight or your hearing? Of course the answer is, “Neither!” Duh. But I was thinking about how at one time I had stupid conversations about this question. The conversations were not actually stupid, but the question was. We never are granted such choices. Losing the ability to use a sense is never, well extremely rarely, a choice.
When I was young I could not imagine being unable to see. Losing my ability to read was unthinkable. As tech marches forward, and as I age, I think differently about senses and abilities. I still feel like me, feel pretty darn young, well at least still think like I always have. However abilities do change as we age. Having had cataracts and having replacement lenses “installed” allowed me to understand what it might be like to lose sight. Before surgery I could not read regular size text, could not drive, and everything was harder. But I coped. This was during the height of the Covid Pandemic and I had to wait over a year after being told I needed surgery to finally schedule it. The thing that really saved my sanity during that long year was the vast availability of audio books.
Since that time I have listened dozens and dozens of of audio books. I had listened to audiobooks previously during back and forth cross-country drives between Arizona, Indiana, and Washington, DC. between 2004 – 2015.
But now I have become an aficionado of the form. I use Audible. I detest giving money to Bezos, and I have discontinued my subscription several times but there has always been one title I decided I could not live without and could only get through Audible, so I resubscribed. But I also use Scribd. There are many other publishers and distributors. The best overview of the “top ten” or best audiobook services is in laid out in this article. The article is on PublishDrive.com so I suspect the reviews may be a bit biased, but it lays out the major players. Plus, if you are interested in publishing your own audio book, this talks about each company’s production processes, and fees and payments breakdown.
Some of my favorite listens from the past year are highlighted below. I need to update my Goodreads lists and reviews.
Damn Fine Fiction
A New Genre for Me
I rarely get sucked into series of books, but occasionally I still fall prey to the comfort of a universe, never our universe, but another one. Most often the universe is one filled with fantasy and magic. The most recent one I’ve fallen into is a new LitRPG (Literary Role Playing Game) offering by pirateaba.
This is the first title in the thus far seven title series, The Wandering Inn.
Damn Fine Fiction
LGBTQ+ inspired story of the River Styx.
Feminist inspired history.
First Peoples and Covid-19. Hospitals and Jails.
Mid-20th Century metaphors lived out by an African American family in the South.
Love and Loss and Women’s Power in the Jungle.
So yes, I have been listening to books.
Tonight as I write this, I am at home. I had planned on being at the Fox Theater in downtown Tucson tonight, listen to a voice that charmed me as a teen. Silken sexy voice. Gordon Lightfoot.
He cancelled the remainder of the tour due to health. Not a leak on any news service about what he is dealing with.
Yes. I am sad. And concerned.
Here is part of a Depeche Mode cover of Lightfoot’s Sundown. It was on BBC. Twitter only posted part of it. Some this seems odd. But perhaps the song just resonated with them as it has with me for decades.
L in #AtoZ2023 – Listening, Lightfoot