Covid-19 has meant a great deal of my free time has been spent walking, jogging, cooking, cleaning, gardening or mowing the lawn. Each of these activities pairs nicely with a podcast or music, but, of late, I have come to appreciate and prefer, the company of an audio book! Here are a few of the titles I’ve listened to over the last few months. -skq
The Undying by Anne Boyer weaves a personal experience of cancer, with the history of the deadly drugs one must take in order to survive. Her words and story are poetry. I could almost forget that I was being haunted by the education I was receiving. It’s a tough read, especially if you’ve experienced illness up close. Yet, I’ve recommended to everyone I know, because it also contains innumerable truths about how our health and our dignity are intrinsically linked to corporations and drug companies. It is a furious, and beautiful book.
The Yellowhouse by Sarah Broom. Over the dozens of hours I spent listening to this memoir, I found myself completely immersed the way one might watching a comprehensive decades spanning documentary. I became so invested in the family, I found myself thinking of them over the course of my day, even when I wasn’t listening. Sarah Broom’s memoir covers so much that I am having a difficult time thinking of how I could possibly reduce it to a few sentences. Not all stories serve as a historical artifact, and yet, to me this book stands out as one of the most important I’ve ever read. History, politics, family, love. Weaved together with mastery. I imagine that anyone passing by during the days I spent outside walking and listening to this book, might have witnessed me laughing out loud, wincing, crying, my jaw sometimes clenched with anger.
Hidden Valley Road by Robert Kolker. An almost impossible to believe story – this book chronicles the history of the Galvin family. Six of twelve of the Galvin children would come to be diagnosed with schizophrenia. A deeply researched history of the Galvin family but also a fascinating, and sometimes maddening look at the evolution of research and treatment of schizophrenia over many decades.