It’s just over a month to Halloween. While the easy thing to do is stack all of one’s horror DVD’s in a pile, or load up the Netflix queue with tales of terror, that can get a bit boring after a while. We’re taking a look at a few other activities you can do to set the holiday mood. Up first…
Check Out Some Audiobooks or Radio Plays If you’re anything like me you spend an inordinate amount of time in your car. My job has me travelling all over New England, and often the sun has long set while I have miles of highway stretched out in front of me before pulling into home.
There’s only so many hours of sports talk radio I can stand before wanting to send my car careening off a bridge. The other option of NPR is great in doses, but there’s a fundraiser every other week, and there’s only so long one can listen to the gentle, dulcet tones of Terry Gross on Fresh Air before drifting off to a peaceful slumber behind the wheel and steering into oncoming traffic.
I find myself turning towards a good book more often than not as of late. There’s something about driving through New England in the fall, especially if one’s taking the back roads, that lends itself to the perfect atmosphere for a familiar story that can still raise goose bumps on the back of the arms. Instead of a campfire, I have my high beams as the only light source while navigating the road’s winding twists and turns.
The main issue with audio books is they’re not cheap. Prices often start around $50 and it’s not unusual to see the scales tip on the hairy side of one hundred. That’s a healthy chunk of coin to dole out. Still, there are a few ways to score some good deals. Audible costs $10 a month, and that subscription cost nests you a credit good for one download a month. If you’re like me and enjoy just about anything by Stephen King-a guy whose average work tears down a few thousand acres of forest-then you have twenty to thirty hours of enjoyment ahead of you.
Of course, there’s always the tried and true method of hitting your local library for FREE audiobooks. If you’re lucky, you might live near one that’s joined this century. Instead of having to lug two dozen CD’s around in an awkward plastic jewel case you might be able to download the audiobook for free, or take a digital file on loan.
Right now I’ve got two books on tap. Salem’s Lot-my all time favorite work by Stephen King-and Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian. Salem’s Lot works in conjunction with my Kindle/Audible accounts. Whether I’m reading or listening, my devices sync up and pick up where ever I’ve left off.
The Historian is a must have for two reasons. First, it’s the best novel featuring Dracula since Stoker. Kostova imagines the historical figure of Vlad Tepes as a vampire reborn in a story that spans decades and continents. It’s a spooky, atmospheric, and lush work of fiction. It’s just beautifully realized from start to finish. What makes it work an audio book is the novel idea that a revolving cast reads different sections of the book, depending on the point of view of the character on page. It’s a terrific idea that feels like a drama over a reading.