This is part of the 31 Days project over at TheNester. Please leave a comment to qualify for the drawing at the end of the month. If you're a 31 Days writer, please leave your link so I can stop by and visit!
I don't really enjoy exercise. I like it to sneak up on me while I think I'm doing something necessary. However, after 45, that just isn't enough to make up for eating a slice of bread every 3-4 weeks... so I had to get serious. I needed some cardio exercise. I took up walking. Each lap on my trail is .4 miles. I can do 8 laps, but usually around 2 1/2 I'm thinking I don't really need to do 8... I could be reading, or writing, or cleaning the toilets.
I'm frugal about some things... and audiobooks are one of those things. So, when I discovered Librivox.org and learned how to put those books onto my iPod, i was giddy! Here's the link to their search page.
Just a quick bit of info on how to do that. When you unzip the audiobook download it expands into a number of files. You'll need to create a Playlist, then move the chapters into the playlist in order (they are numbered, but for some reason don't always list in order in my iTunes). You'll then move the entire Playlist onto your iPod. It will show up where your other playlists do, as I don't yet know how to put them into the audiobooks or podcast areas.
So, my recommendations for today.
First I'll start with readers. My favorite reader is Adrian Praetzellis. He does various accents and has a wonderful story teller's voice. Here is a link to his readings. Adrian Praetzellis (who sounds a lot like my father-in-law, but doesn't look like him at all)
My second favorite reader is Karen Savage. We were certain she was British when she read "The Scarlet Pimpernel". She is from Texas. I learned just this morning, she's also a professional reader.
All the books at Librivox are in the public domain. So, most of them are more than 75 years old. I've been enlightened as to how blatant stereotypes of women and various ethnicities were at that time. It can be shocking.
Right now I'm in the middle of "Mr. Hogarth's Will" by Catherine Helen Spence, where the heroine is just told straight up she cannot be hired for a position she's well educated to do because she would distract men from doing their work. This is the story of two nieces raised by an uncle and educated to do and know things that women were not taught to do or know. He dies and leaves them a pittance, though he is wealthy, because he wants them to make something of themselves with their qualities and talents. I'm only half way done with this one, but so far I'm enjoying it. I'm aghast when a gentleman at a party comments that having a conversation with an educated woman is stressful because he might be corrected if he states the wrong date of a historical event. WHAT!?!?!?! Oh yeah, we've come a LONG way baby!
Here are books I've listened to and enjoyed: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. I don't think I'd like to read this, but it accompanied me to Maine last year and was delightful to listen to.... though I became a bit irritated with Anna's obsessive train of thought.
Mr. Midshipman Easy by Captain Frederick Marryat. This was read entirely by Adrian. It's about a young Jack Easy who believes in the equality of the "rights of man." So, when his neighbor finds him stealing apples, Jack answers that God created the apples for everyone and he has as much a right to them as anyone else. He has a similar response when caught poaching fish from a man's stocked pond, and is physically removed from the property, his fishing pole taken under the "rights of man" to equally own his fishing pole. Jack realizes the only place he will find equality is on the sea, where no one owns it... and he joins the Navy. Yep, the navy. Where a senior officer is NOT the equal of a midshipman, and the philosophies of Jack cause issues and laughs for his comrades. Jack also has a series of adventures which are very entertaining.
If you're an Oscar Wilde fan, as I am... you'll find his works here: Oscar Wilde.
All in all, these books have greatly improved my endurance and cardiovascular health. And they are free.
Here are links to other 31 Dayers:
31 Days of Little Life Lessons from my Children
31 Days to Get Off Your Duff & Live Now (a variety of ideas - something for everyone)
I'm off to a board meeting, when I get back this afternoon, I'll update my sidebar with some fascinating quotes!