December 14th, 2011

Audiobooks Make Everything Better

42-16471757I’m a mom and I work full-time, so I’m usually scrambling to get too much done in too little time. Always multitasking is said to be bad for the brain, but it’s how I function: folding laundry while watching TV, helping kids with homework while cooking dinner, scraping yet another mystery stain from my good work sweater while attempting to pay a few bills… you get the idea.

My latest discovery, and it’s an indulgent one, is the audiobook. Although I love reading, I rarely get time to sit down and do it. But with my iPod in tow, that long car ride or even the jog to stave off holiday poundage becomes an enjoyable excuse to slip into a great book – by listening.

Cecil County Public Library just launched an even easier way to get audiobooks, for free, from the convenience of your own home. OneClick Digital provides a great selection of downloadable audiobooks, most of which are always available (no holds necessary!) Grab your library card, create an account, and you’re set to start browsing. Will listening to an audiobook make all dreaded tasks fun? Probably not, but it certainly makes them more enjoyable. So, excuse me as I turn on my audiobook, take a deep breath, and decide which items to tackle next on my to-do list…

What’s your multitasking secret?


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December 7th, 2011

Books That Inspired Great TV

When I read a book, I don’t really “see” much. Characters are just vague outlines in my imagination, like people seen at a distance without my glasses. Their words are spoken in my voice, making some scenarios a little awkward. Descriptions of beautiful vistas? Consider them instantly forgotten. Perish the thought of having to imagine what a fantastical creature looks like, even with a long string of adjectives to guide me.

This problem makes Fantasy an untouchable genre. Science Fiction is a considerable struggle as well. Remove the setting descriptions in Westerns and it’s just a bunch of faceless cowboys with nondescript guns and war cries that sound a lot like my “ack! a spider!” shriek.

I don’t like being confined to a few genres, particularly because I help people find their next favorite book. So I cheat a little. Watching movies and TV shows based on books helps me see the scenery, hear the characters, and experience the story more fully before I read the book. This ruins things for people with a rich visual mindscape. (You can easily pick them out of a crowd because they say things like, “I can’t believe they casted so-in-so in that movie. He doesn’t look at ALL how he’s supposed to look.”) To them, I tip my hat.

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Check out this list of TV shows based on books and make your own comparisons!

•    Bones (FOX): Temperance Brennan series by Kathy Reichs
•    Christy (CBS): Christy by Catherine Marshall
•    Dexter (Showtime): Dexter Morgan series by Jeffry Lindsay
•    The Dresden Files (Syfy): The Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher
•    Flashforward (ABC): Flashforward by Robert J. Sawyer
•    Game of Thrones (HBO): A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin
•    Friday Night Lights (NBC): Friday Night Lights: a Town, a Team, and a Dream by H.G. Bissinger
•    Gossip Girl (The CW): Gossip Girl series by Cecily von Ziegesar
•    The Inspector Lynley Mysteries (BBC): Inspector Lynley series by Elizabeth George
•    Rizzoli & Isles (TNT): Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles series by Tess Gerritsen
•    Kitchen Confidential (FOX): Kitchen Confidential Anthony Bourdain
•    Pretty Little Liars (ABC Family): Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepard
•    True Blood (HBO): Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries by Charlaine Harris
•    The Vampire Diaries (The CW): Vampire Diaries series by L.J. Smith
•    The Walking Dead (AMC): The Walking Dead graphic novel series by Robert Kirkman

For a list of books that inspired movies, click here.

When you read, do you “see” anything? What’s your favorite book/film/TV show adaptation?


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