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Apr 15, 2014 • 3 min read

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Grad school and writing a design thesis kicked my butt. There was so much reading and writing involved. I think I’m still recovering, almost 3 years later. I was mostly immersed in design books and didn’t have the time to read about anything else. After grad school, I didn’t try to avoid reading but I found myself just skimming through Twitter links and calling it a day. I hadn’t curled up with a book and a cat or two, in a really long time. Finally, last Fall, I decided that I need to get back into reading (especially non-design related topics). I signed up for Audible, so I could listen to books on my long-ish commute, and feel like I was being productive. I also joined a book club with some lovely ladies. I’m knocking out about a book or two every month, but I’d like to read (and listen) even more.

Last Thursday, I asked Facebook and Twitter friends about audiobooks recommendations for too-short trip home involving babies, weddings, and condolences. I had 19 hours of flight and layover time on the way home and 14 on the way back. I had time to read…err…listen. I thought I’d share the list of what people shared because it’s a good list, and also I’d like to put in all in one place.

In addition to this audiobook list, I do sometimes like to hold a book in my hands and smell the binding. I just ordered three actual books that I’m excited to get into.

  • S, by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst, who happens to also teach at Texas State. I’m particularly excited about this book because of the work that went into filling it with notes, receipts, and such. It would be impossible to digitalize a book like this. And, if you know me, you know I love anything Abramsesque. (Check out the “look inside” photos). This book was recommended to me by my student Zak.
  • The Alchemist, by Paul Coelho. This book was recommended to me 7+ years ago, and I never got around to it. During my layover in Dallas, on my way back to Austin, I found a 25th anniversary edition that had a embossed dust jacket and torn edges on the pages (meaning no guillotine cut, just naturally torn paper pulp… a weakness from my printmaking days).
  • Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, A best-seller fiction book recommended by follow book club member, Katie. This will be our May read.

I am currently enjoying the eeriness of Solaris, and will probably go through the rest of the audiobooks while I drive to work, and start with Americanah once it arrives. I also added a “Currently Reading” section to my footer! What are you reading or listening to these days?

tags: books,austin,podcasts,travel