Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Here We Are Now, Entertain (and Inform) Us


In an effort to fill my brain with something besides rage while commuting, I have been listening to podcasts and books on CD.  IT HELPS!  

I jumped on the Serial* podcast bandwagon.  My short review of that series: MEH / tedious / crappy ending (note: I'd make a pretty shitty lawyer or police detective -- that kind of work would be waaaaaaaaaaay too tedious for me).  Invisibilia is pretty good (particularly this episode on fear and this episode about expectations), so is Criminal, and I also like WTF with Marc Maron.  I have to add that Radiolab makes me want to shoot myself -- sometimes radio people speak in such an AFFECTED manner, and the stupid way broadcast tape is edited to jazz it up makes me want to stab people. 

My favorite podcast to date is a 2 hour Marc Maron interview with Louis CK. The best part of the interview is a trumpet story, which is hilarious, informative, and rather illuminating regarding the topic of anxiety.  Here is a link if you want to give it a listen (trumpet story starts at about 1:05:35 and ends at about 1:09:44).

The main problem with listening to podcasts on my commute is that they eat up cell phone data (I think that is the right lingo), and increase my already gigantic cell phone bill.  So I have tapered off on the podcast thing a bit and switched to books on CD (free at your local library!  You can check out up to TEN at a time!!!).

So I picked up my first book on CD a couple of weeks ago, and WOW did I pick a DOOZY.  Have you ever read Native Son by Richard Wright?  GULP.  It is a helluva story.  Here is a synopsis:

Right from the start, Bigger Thomas had been headed for jail. It could have been for assault or petty larceny; by chance, it was for murder and rape. Native Son tells the story of this young black man caught in a downward spiral after he kills a young white woman in a brief moment of panic. Set in Chicago in the 1930s, Richard Wright’s powerful novel is an unsparing reflection on the poverty and feelings of hopelessness experienced by people in inner cities across the country and of what it means to be black in America.

Are you familiar with the story?  If so, I would love to hear your thoughts if you are interested in sharing them.  If you haven't read it, it is a very tough read that I am still mulling over, but I would totally recommend it. 

Do you have any books on CD that you can recommend?  A great story is what I am looking for, but I have to admit that I opt out pretty quickly if I can't stand the narrator's voice. 

*Note: my co-worker refuses to listen to anything, anything at ALL associated with Ira Glass.  LOL!  Apparently I am not the only one that is intolerant of annoying voices!


Felicia said...

I also love WTF. This past week's live podcast with all the female comics was HILARIOUS. I was cackling at my desk with my earbuds in! And Native Son was assigned reading for me in HS. It was one of the only books that stuck with me all these years (and one of the only ones I actually finished, LOL!) and I just re-read it recently. I think it should be required reading for EVERYONE!! It says so much about society and how deeply embedded racism is in America's roots.

Felicia said...

P.S. Another WTF episode that has stuck with me is with Duncan Trussell. I didn't know who he was before the episode but so much of what they discussed I related to. It got really weirdly spiritual, haha!

Anonymous said...

Why don't you download the podcasts to your device and listen? You don't have to stream them.

Tiffany Kadani said...

Haha! They had a whole podcast about Ira's annoying voice and the NPR women and their annoying voices.

Tiffany Kadani said...

Haha! They had a whole podcast about Ira's annoying voice and the NPR women and their annoying voices.

Jane Droll said...

thanks for the tip, anon! i always seem to be short on phone storage space, but i will give it a whirl. i am a dope for not thinking of this earlier!

Lorena said...

I dont do podcasts, mostly because my commute is quite short and after about two songs I have already arrived work.

jennifer from pittsburgh said...

I gave up on RadioLab because I couldn't stand the guys doing the show. Even if I loved the topic, I just couldn't get beyond those two asshats ruining the story with yes, their affectations. They are the worst!
As for recommending a book on CD - Life After Life by Kate Atkinson, The Round House by Louise Erdrich, or if you're in the mood for nonfiction, Stiff by Mary Roach :)

mina said...

Yeah, you can download them - I put them on a shuffle (they're relatively inexpensive, and there are off brand ones that are even cheaper) and then you can have hours of stuff.

I like Girl on Guy with Aisha Tyler sometimes, it depends on the guest, Nerdist, You Made it Weird - all three similar to WTF but more positive/less angry.