Looking for a Bedtime Story
My mom and I read together every night of my childhood from before I can remember until I was 9 and started skipping ahead so much it was easier to just leave me to my own devices (we later made an exception for Phantom of the Opera). I always chose the book, and even when I was 7 and brought home The North American Encyclopedia of Mammals from the school library my mom went along with it. It was a lovely tradition, in part because there’s something special and different about hearing a story than silently reading it. I rediscovered that in high school, when I first become ill and had to spend hours lying as still as possible in a dark room due to migraines that were aggravated by everything, including the flickering of a television. Audiobooks became my saviour, and since then I’ve turned to them in all sorts of situations.
Including bedtime. While I’ve outgrown most of my insomnia, I still have plenty of sleeping quirks and have to follow a regular routine. Listening to something is a key part of this: otherwise I will be stuck lying in bed for hours while my brain entertains itself instead of turning off. Until recently, this was always an audiobook. But then I got a new laptop, a macbook, which was incompatible with the vast majority of my library’s available e-audiobooks. So I tried out podcasts and later, thanks to my Netflix subscription, reruns of old favourite tv episodes. Neither of these have been as satisfactory, though, and last week I discovered that my iphone can directly download audiobooks, thus skipping the incompatibility issue and reopening my library’s catalogue to me. Yay!
I find myself overwhelmed scrolling through all of my options, though, and that’s where you come in. If you’re also an audiobook aficionado (I’m sorry, I can resist everything but alliteration), please share some recommendations! I’m a fairly open reader, but there are a few conditions:
- No books that could induce nightmares (since I’m falling asleep to them), which rules out horror, the grittier bits of the crime/mystery/thriller genre, and any modern literature whose plot revolves around war/violence/rape/etc.
- Audiobooks with Russian characters only work for me if the narrator speaks Russian and thus pronounces the names correctly.
- I strongly prefer single narrators to ‘full cast’ productions; if there are two narrative voices to a book I can deal with two narrators
- While I love reading nonfiction, I prefer my audiobooks to be fiction since with nonfiction I tend to reference arguments more, check the end notes, etc. which is trickier to do via audio. I suppose memoirs wouldn’t have that problem, since they’re rather like fiction anyway.
- As always, I’ll be extra excited by POC or international author recommendations! But I love white US/UK authors too. ;)
- Children’s lit is welcome.
Thanks in advance! In case you’re curious, I ended up getting Laura Amy Schlitz’ A Drowned Maiden’s Hair after my attempt at Waiting for Godot was thwarted by a strange production that included too much ambient noise.