My 9-5 job gets pretty monotonous– I just can’t help it! Thank goodness for “The New Yorker: Fiction” podcast. I don’t listen to it as a podcast, instead opting to go on the website and scour the cities for familiar authors and titles. Here, acclaimed authors read portions of other authors work before discussing the story with host Deborah Treisman. It’s simple, but yet oh so perfect. Authors are reading short stories and/or excerpts, making it a great fit for people looking for something to keep them awake while they’re…uploading several thousand documents to an internal database, for example.
Interested? I knew you would be. Here are some of the gems I’ve found for those looking for something different to fill in the quiet at work.
- Zadie Smith reads her own “Escape from New York.” Watch me avoid talking about the dreadful upcoming movie by referring you to an interview she did about the story here.
- Actor Victor Rasuk reads Junot Diaz’ “Alma” (from This is How You Lose Her): Also read his 1995 story “How To Date A Brown Girl (black girl, white girl, or halfie)” in the New Yorker here. If you can’t get past the subscription panel, it’s also in his book Drown. There’s an audio version out there too, but I can’t find the link. I wouldn’t recommend listening to either one with your sexually conservative grandma. Sexually liberated grandmas? Have at it.
- Edwidge Danticat reads Jamaica Kincaid’s “Girl” and “Wingless”: Both of these women are powerhouses. Enough said.
- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie reads Jamaica Kincaid’s “Figures in the Distance.”: Tell me Chimamanda doesn’t have the perfect voice for a bedtime story, and I’ll call you out on your lies and tomfoolery.
- Junot Diaz reads Edwidge Danticat’s “Water Child.”: After “Alma,” this may be my favorite of the lot.
- Jhumpa Lahiri reads William Trevor’s “A Day.” : Everybody here already knows I’m obsessed with Jhumpa Lahiri, right?
Hopefully, these will give you something to listen to while on a long commute or while you’re simply sitting at your desk for a lunch break. I’m one of those people who occasionally likes to have headphones in while at work to help me stay engaged, but music sometimes doesn’t cut it! Goodness knows that if you listen to the radio at work, you’ll end up hearing the same 10 songs all day long.
This is really my first real foray into audiobooks, even though these are only between 30 and 50 minutes long. If you have any other great ones to help me get through the day, feel free to leave them in the comments!