Obsession Thursday: Audio Books

I listen to a lot of audio books. I still love being read to. I listen when I knit and spin —  it helps to focus me on my work. I listen when I do laundry or clean the house – it’s my version of Calgon, Take Me Away. I listen when I can’t sleep or wake up restless;  it’s a great way to have company at 3 am.

I know a lot of other knitters and spinners listen to audio books too, so Amy and I decided to share what we’re listening to and like. Every few weeks one of us will post our thoughts on an audio book or two.

A story set in early New York

Clara and Mr Tiffany by Susan Vreeland, $45

Clara Driscoll heads up the women’s department at Tiffany and Co., she is a talented artist and a champion of her staff. She’s also the person who came up with the idea for the iconic Tiffany leaded lampshades. She spends most of her working life striving and growing in her artistic expression while fighting for the right to be recognized as a designer. She has a close circle of Bohemian friends at the boarding house where she lives who support her in her creative and political endeavors, and she in theirs. For me, Clara’s story was interesting particularly the passages about  her design process, but especially fascinating was the story of the unfolding history of New York and women in the workplace and the turn of the century.

Actress Kimberly Farr portraying Clara and her circle of acquaintances and co-workers with a deft hand. She reads Clara in a flatish Midwestern accent, slow and steady, while her cadre of immigrant co-workers get accents soft and believable.  This book doesn’t feel performed. Every time I started up the story again it felt like picking up the phone to a good friend, familiar and comforting.

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Jillian is the​ author of the best-selling spinning book Yarnitecture. She is the editor​ of Knittyspin and Developmental Editor for PLY and PLY Books. She kinda loves this spinning thing and wants everyone who spins to love it too, so she teaches and writes a lot. She knits, weaves, and stitches and tries to do as much of it as she can with handspun yarn. She's always cooking up all kinds of exciting and creative things combining fiber arts. She likes her mysteries British, her walks woodsy, and to spend as much time as she can laughing. Spy on her on her website jillianmoreno.com

19 thoughts on “Obsession Thursday: Audio Books

  1. flaky

    Thank you for the recommendation. I am always on the lookout for something a little different (a non-Oprah book as I call them).

    Great addition to the blog – keep the recommendations coming.

  2. Crystal

    Before I moved I had listened to almost every book at the library and was ordering more from other libraries.
    Not sure what everyone else uses to listen but my favorite is an mp3 player with a clip on the back. I can put it on my shirt and use earbuds if I’m up and about or use speakers and hook it out of the way if I’m sitting.

  3. Seanna Lea

    I was wondering too how you listened to your audio books. I’m getting pretty good at using my ereader and knitting at the same time, but it is highly dependent on location and book content.

  4. Char Haas

    I use my MP3 plaer, and have found an almost limitless cache of FREE audio books at http://www.librivox.org

    These books are all in the public domain (50+ years old) but most of them are well read. My most recent favorite was “The Shuttle” by Frances Hodgeson Burnett Most folks have heard of her children’s books, but this one has a more adult theme, and is just wonderful.

  5. Meredith

    If you like Susan Vreeland, you should definitely pick up her “Girl in Hyacinth Blue.” It is a lovely book! I can’t speak to the audio book, but I read it and loved it, and based on the tone of the book, I bet it makes a great calm and relaxing audio book.

  6. Carolina

    Thanks for the recommendation. I’ve added it to my queue.I enjoy listening to audio books while quilting as well as knitting. Sometimes I have the volume on high so I can listen over the sewing maching, and when I’m in the ‘zone’ my girls love coming up behing me and scaring me!! I’ll either listen to the CD version or download the book to my iPhone…depending on which version is available.

  7. Mary

    I just downloaded this to my ipod! So excited to start listening to it. I just finished listening to “Water for Elephants” it was a great listen.

  8. Anne

    I love audiobooks. This is a wonderful addition to the blog and I look forward to your recommendations! Thank you!!!!

  9. Beth

    I love to knit and listen to audiobooks. I love the idea of including recommendations. Thank you!

  10. Panhandle Jane

    I am downloading the book as I am commenting. An inexpensive source for audio books is the Free Library of Philadelphia for $15 a year.

    Two knitters are librivox readers–Brenda Dayne of Cast-on and Elizabeth Klett, who writes the blog A Mingled Yarn.

    I’ll look forward to your recommendations.

  11. Jeanie

    Thanks for the recommendation! I, too, love to listen while I work, using my ipod or mp3 player. Our local library belongs to a consortium so that I can listen without purchasing. But I must admit, Audible.com is a great place to buy–for only 9.95 a year you can be a member, getting access to their sales.

  12. Kay in New Mexico

    If you like the book about Clara and Mr. Tiffany, and you live anywhere near Albuquerque, you would probably enjoy the exhibit at the Albuquerque Museum of Art beginning May 8 to August 21: A New Light on Tiffany: Clara Driscoll and the Tiffany Girls. On May 21 Susan Vreeland will have a discussion and book signing, and the museum will have about 70 of the lampshades on display. It ought to be a great exhibit!

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