Thursday, February 2, 2012

Wanted: Good Books

Lately as I've been knitting I've been busy reading, or rather listening.  My hands are busy, and I find comfort in the repetitive motions of looping the yarn over needles.  But due to my recent blues I haven't been feeling up for knitting that I'd term challenging, whether it's attention to the pattern or if it's learning a new technique.  The only problem is boredom and the obnoxious depressing thoughts that run away with my train of thoughts at those times.  At a certain point you stop feeling like you're a monk in a zen-like experience and begin to catch yourself in a slack jawed drooling imitation of a machine.

For a while I would watch *cough cough listen cough cough* to Netflix.  Note:  Action movies are horrible to knit to, most of the plot is visually conveyed, and thus not the best choice for me to click my needles to (although when it's really tense I typically knit faster in anxiety).  Most of the time things like Law and Order fit the bill pretty well; but sitting in front of a computer all day isn't very good for soaking up some sunshine and getting vitamin D.

This lead me to the local library where I ventured up to the information desk and inquired about audio books.  An enthusiastic librarian showed me the shelves of CDs filled, and then hurriedly showed me something new that they had been experimenting with.  Proudly she opened up something that looked like a VHS tape case that contained a mini MP3 player with an audio book on it.  They're self contained books, all you need are headphones (and if you don't have your own you can get some from the front desk too).  It saves your place when you pause it, and with it being so light you can take it anywhere.

Using these cute little MP3 audiobooks, I've knit my way through Water for Elephants: A Novel by Sara Gruen, The Hypnotist: A Novel by Lars Kepler,The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffeneger, and The Last Child by John Hart.  I'm looking forward to adding a few more titles to this list. Oh, and considering I'm working on knitting a blanket, I might get those audiobooks under my belt sooner than I would expect.  That being said, I'm usually not sure of what I'm checking out from the library, other than it's usually fiction and a mystery.  Any recommendations?  Pretty please leave a comment with the title!


PennyB said...

I'm really glad you've been to your local library (I work in one!) We have had these playaways for quite some time and they are very popular. I use them while I'm knitting, doing household chores and on holiday. As for recommendation, just try anything and everything! I find an interesting picture on the outside helps! I'm hoping to invite some local knitting groups into my library and maybe start up a self run group so they can use our resources.
KNITTING HEALS MY SOUL. best wishes Penny

Alan / Falcon said...

Ender's Game
Snow Crash
Ready Player One
Ghost In The Wires
On Writing (Not a fan of Steven King's books so far as I know, big fan of this one)
Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (and all of Douglas Adams, especially if read by the author)
Time Enough For Love
The Maltese Falcon
Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman
The Great Gatsby
Starship Troopers (best to put the movie out of your head first, whether you enjoyed the movie or not)
Altered Carbon (maybe—it's more crazy than most on this list, harder to get into, too, but worth it)

Dania Erickson said...

You rock for the suggestions! I'll be working my way through them.

Incidentally, I've read and liked Stephen King's "On Writing". The Maltese Falcon was wonderfully noir and made me long for trenchcoats and saucy dames. Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman is fan-freaking-tastic. Seriously, it makes me want to fling my panties at him. From his flirtation with art (the "masseuse" painting), to bongos, and breaking locks and combinations during the Manhattan project; damn his stories are amazing. Hmmm, didn't know that Starship Troopers was a book... and it probably helps that I've never seen the movie. Though I think Ender's Game and Snow Crash are probably at the top. I've heard something about it being a travesty that I haven't read 'em.

BTW, I assume you were at Blizz's Irvine campus. Were you as disappointed as I was about the orc wolf statue? I saw the area they prepared for it and imagined is as far far bigger than it ended up being. You know... not that I'm hung up on size or anything.

Alan / Falcon said...

I am indeed formerly of Blizzard Irvine and soon to be formerly of Falcon Empire (kind of sucks to have to fire yourself, but when you're not producing then you're not producing!) I too had hoped for more from the Orc statue, especially since it took so very near to forever for him to get set up, but the amazing Raynor staring across the hall from Kerrigan more than made up for it in the end.

I've had an membership for a good long ever, and ran down the list of my favorite audiobooks from there (I don't know what you'll find at your library, but at least I know that good audio versions of these all exist in some form). Ender's Game, Snow Crash, and Ready Player One are at the top of the list for a reason, the rest of them are just there in order that I remembered them. Ender's Game was an eight hour listen that I completed in twelve hours despite having a four hour work shift and something like three hours of college courses that coincided with that twelve hour period. In case you were wondering what you're missing out on. I should point out that I had a tendency to do well in classes without paying much attention to them, though. And Snow Crash is just about my favorite book of all time, I read and/or listen to it at least once a year, and have been doing so for more than a decade. Ready Player One is my latest obsession, a world that's so wonderfully meta that I couldn't help but get completely wrapped up in it, and then was so sad when it ended that I just restarted it. Like eight times. I leveled two characters through post-Cata Azeroth while listening to that book (did I mention that I have to fire myself from Falcon Empire?) I just know you'll like it too. If you can find it.

I'm glad to hear that my suggestions weren't all off-base. Though, I don't think it's possible to go wrong with Surely You're Joking. I wanted to visit Japan and buy some product from one of those creepy-isn't-a-stong-enough-word-for-it vending machines just so that I could track down Feynman's grave and throw some panties at him myself after listening to that book.