I’ve always been an avid reader and someone who religiously buys books versus online options, such as ebooks and so forth. However, when you find yourself in a car for about five hours every week, you have to give in and listen to a good book versus actually cracking open a hard back and settling into that papery smell.

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Enter, the Audible app. I know. I’m probably late to the party. Most people have been doing this for years; I just didn’t want to give in. Alas, I’m actually enjoying it. I like the little opening promo at the beginning of each book that sounds like an old-school advertisement for Paul Harvey’s radio shows or some type of infomercial for Citracal. I’ve already finished 2 audio books this year, and I actually think I may have retained more by listening rather than reading. Sometimes, when I read a book, I will come to pages later and realize I have to start over. When I was writing professionally, I had too many sentences, paragraphs, and themes floating around in my head fighting with the words on the page in front of me. This way, that’s all that’s floating around up there except for a few moments of road rage that can’t be avoided mid morning on the way to and from Baton Rouge.

Anyway, here is what I’ve listened to so far and started up on my way home yesterday:

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Scrappy Little Nobody: I love Anna Kendrick and have thought for a long time that we could be friends in real life. Well, listening to this book, it was confirmed. We are sisters from another mister, best friends forever, and (I can only hope) bound to run into each other while she’s filming Pitch Perfect whatever the next installment will be. She’s witty, sarcastic, and doesn’t have time for bull shit, which I appreciate.

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Grace: A Memoir: I love fashion anything. I’ve watched The September IssueIn Vogue: The Editor’s Eye, and The First Monday in May too many times to count. I love a good documentary on different fashion designers and house and who wore what and who is dressing who and so forth. I am addicted to Project Runway and House of DVF. I was sad when The Fashion Fund didn’t show up for another season on Amazon. I may not be able to afford it, but I damn well will know all about it in the mean time. Grace Coddington is a figure that shows up in most all of these documentaries, and (like Anna Kendrick) she doesn’t have time for nonsense. So when her memoir showed up on Audible, I snatched it up and started listening. Some people will find parts boring; but if you’ve spent as much time as I have watching endless documentaries on fashion throughout the ages, you’ll be able to plug faces with names finally and personalities with people who never really stood out before.

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The Wife Between Us: I started this one yesterday on the way home after finishing Grace. So far, it’s pretty good; and if it’s anything like Gone Girl like the reviews said, I’ll be hooked in no time.

First, a tree update. It didn’t make it. Two days after posting my last blog about how well it was doing and how I was going to help it grow, I walked into the living room to find it leaning drastically towards the floor. So, out it went with the trash.

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Now, I’ve been traveling to and from Baton Rouge for a month now for my new job with Country Roads; and yes, I’ve been listening religiously to “Up and Vanished” just like I said I would. On Monday morning, I finished the tale of Tara Grinstead. Twenty-four episodes later I was convinced I knew exactly who killed her and who was taking the fall for it. These two that were arrested (Ryan Duke and Bo Dukes – no relation) have quite the story and so many missing pieces. You have to go listen if you haven’t. I don’t want to spoil the not-so-finalized ending you’re left with.

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In the mean time, I’ve started up a new podcast. It’s by the same producers of “Up and Vanished”. It’s called “Atlanta Monster“, and it’s all I can do not to jump ahead and search Google far and wide for missing information. I’ll keep you posted on what I think. I’m only through Episode 2 as of today.

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I’m sure you’re aware, but it’s cold. On my morning commute to Baton Rouge this morning, I watched the temperature bump around 16, 17, and 18 degrees until I hit the interstate. Gladly, once I got to the office, it was a crisp 23 degrees. Woo Hoo.

However, I stayed entertained the entire ride with a new adventure for myself — podcasts. In fact, it was my first podcast experience to date. I did a little research over the holidays, found a couple of good ones to add to my library, and decided at 6:45 a.m. today to give “Up and Vanished” a try.

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Y’all. I’m hooked. We are a family that enjoys crime dramas on T.V., and I love a good thriller or legal movie to hunker down with on Netflix or iTunes. We watch Law & Order: SVU and NCIS (of all variations). I loved Making a MurdererThe People vs. OJTrue Detective (which has FINALLY been confirmed for a 3rd season), Breaking Bad, and (most recently) Law & Order: True Crime (The Menendez Murders). I always say we are best when fighting crime from the sofa. And today was no different. I am in the middle of fighting crime with the help of Payne Lindsey in 30-minute spurts. I was actually able to get into the 4th episode of the tale of Tara Grinstead this morning. So, of course, I’m not finished with this cold case yet; but I did want to do a little Googling on the subject. I wanted to be able to put faces with names. Being an English major, you would think I don’t need to see a visual since my imagination alone should be able to paint the picture. However, I loved when I finally got to match faces (and the correct pronunciation) with the names of Harry Potter. So, I found Tara’s “missing” poster:

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Then, I followed the website on the poster and found several videos to help connect some dots from the podcast. However, I’m only halfway through the entire season after listening to it going and coming home from Baton Rouge. I do have my suspensions on who killed this missing beauty queen, but I think this may be a job for Internal Affairs to solve. Seems fishy. Give it a listen when you need something to keep you occupied while riding in the car.