In Books, Lifestyle

Guest Blog: Books &… My Daily Commute

Over the next few months we’re going to ask friends and family to write some guest blogs for us. These posts are just for fun really and maybe to give you a different slant on the world of books and words. This first blog has been written by my (Janet here) ‘slightly’ younger sister Suzanne…

Before I start let me introduce myself. My name is Suzanne and I’m Janet’s sister, Janet asked me to write a guest post for the blog. I’m not sure why but maybe they’re afraid you’ll get bored of their posts! Ha, I don’t think so from what I’ve seen so far….and maybe after you read this, you’ll be happy to get back to their posts!! Worst case scenario you fall asleep and I’ll have achieved something.

I work in Dublin and live in County Meath, which is about 30 kilometres north of Dublin. The closest bus stop to me is 3 kms from my house, and the bus that goes from there doesn’t go into Dublin city. Yep, very handy. So that means I drive everywhere. One thing I hate is driving into Dublin city in rush hour because Dublin can get very gridlocked. I remember one of my first commutes home it took 40 mins to go 20 feet, I wanted to cry. Thankfully a friend of mine found another route home from that job that meant I got home in 1 hr 30….

So, what do I do to make the commute more bearable?

One thing I do is get up early and leave my house at 6.20 so that I miss the morning traffic and get into work at 7.30. I’m lucky enough that I have flexible hours where I work so I can finish at 4, but at that time the roads are starting to get busy.

The other thing I do is listen to Audible books. About a year and a half ago a friend of mine was advising me to get audible and telling me how it would improve my commute.

On a holiday in Florida, with the same friend, I gave in and downloaded the Audible app and got my first book which was Mythos by Stephen Fry. I gave up on this book, not because I didn’t enjoy it, but because there is a lot of detail in the book, i.e. names, stories, family links and I don’t have a great memory for all that stuff. I think I’ll have to get this book in paper so I can flick back and forth to get the information I need to remember.

I nearly gave up on Audible thinking that it would be the same with other books. But I tried a second one called The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz and this book got me hooked. I don’t know if you have ever listened to a book, but the way these books are narrated awakens imagination.

One of my favourites so far is The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kid. It’s a story set in the early nineteenth century in Charlestown and it’s about two women who grow up together. One woman is from a rich family and the other woman is her slave. The book covers their lives over several decades and the struggles they have with slavery. The thing I enjoyed most about the book is that the two characters are narrated by different women and the narration really drew me into the story and made it more real.

Another thing that makes me happy about the Audible books is that I love reading and I read in bed at night. But most nights when I’m getting into bed at 11 (after my 6am start) I can’t keep my eyes open long enough to read. So, it takes me ages to finish a book. These audio books have given me back the stories.

I get the monthly Audible subscription which gives me one credit a month for books. When I finish a book, I listen to podcasts until my next credit is available. Some of the podcasts I’m enjoying are – ‘Press Send’ by Chinae Alexander – it’s like getting great advice from your girlfriends, Sandra by Gimlet – an interesting play that puts a twist on devices like Amazon Alexa, and of course I love crime podcasts a few of these I love are Casefile, Happy Face, Up and Vanished.

And a couple that I’m looking forward to seeing what they are like – Winnetka: A Memoir, and Julie: The unwinding of the miracle. Both are memoirs.

Okay, over and out before I blab too much.

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