Last year, my sister Katie introduced a potent new addiction into my life: audio-books.
I wasn’t too keen on the idea at first, as I much prefer to hold a book in my hands and be able to skim ahead through the slow bits. Besides, who has time for audio-books? But, after being lulled to sleep each night by a man with a splendid British accent reading Treasure Island, I thought I would give it a try.
The first book Katie shared with me was The Help, a story told from three different perspectives and narrated by three different women about life in Mississippi in the 1960s. I was hooked.
After that, I listened to Operation Mincemeat, the intriguing and true story about how the British fed intelligence to Germany during World War II using the body of a dead man planted with falsified documents and washed ashore in Spain.
A short while later I heard My Stroke of Insight, the account of what a stroke is like from the inside written by a brain scientist who herself experienced and recovered from a stroke.
Next, I was whisked off to the South Pole in Shackleton’s Way with one of my heroes, Sir Ernest Shackleton, in this story of his incredible leadership of the Endurance expedition.
This was followed by Unbroken, about Louis Zamperini, who was a world-class sprinter in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, joined the Air Force during World War II, crashed in the ocean and survived on a raft for 47 days, was captured by the Japanese and put in a POW camp, and after the war, returned to the States, found Christ, and became a speaker telling his story around the country. How’s that for a run-on sentence? But his life was just that packed.
Over winter break, Katie and I spent time together working our way through three giant puzzles while listening to Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World which taught me more than I ever could have imagined about the Mongol Horde.
And as for this semester, I thought I would have no time for audio-books until Katie called me up a few days ago and said “You have to listen to Hunger Games.” I don’t like fiction that much, and this story is bizarre to say the least. The two of us decided that it is a cross somewhere between Lord of the Flies, Gladiator, and 1984. Despite my doubts about the merits of this book, however, the personality of the main character and the unusual plot-line pulled me in. So much so, in fact, that for the past few days my homework, friends, and mealtimes have all had to compete for attention with this absorbing story.
Still, it is really nice to be read aloud to- even as an adult. At least it was nice until Katie just informed me tonight that this book I am listening to is only the first in a trilogy. Oh dear. If you don’t see me for a couple of days please send a search party. You are sure to find me hunched over my computer, eyes bloodshot, hair matted, hands shaking, unable to pull myself away.