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October 24, 2014

I drive into the city Monday through Thursday, eschewing mass transit as I loathe being held to schedules. I have discovered a phone app called Waze that I am addicted to. It crowdsources traffic reporting to give you intel on the best travel routes, as well as what’s happening on the roadways and frequently updates my anticipated arrival time. Besides directions, you get real-time info on accidents and other obstacles that may slow you down. My favorite phrases this week: “roadkill on road ahead,” “rain ahead” and “pothole coming up.” I also did not use the same route any of the four days as “the Waze lady,” as we call her, shot me around to new routes around the heaviest traffic. It definitely made the brutal commutes in the rain on Wednesday and Thursday a lot more bearable.

A Conversation with Linda Johnson

Linda Johnson is a former newspaper columnist and longtime devotee of Bookreporter.com. Now she works part-time in a small university library and is very active with her local chapter of Friends of the Library. She’s been listening to audiobooks for 15 years now, and has accumulated much audio wisdom through the years. Here, she discusses converting from old technologies to new ones, how listening can be a shared experience --- even when you’re technically listening solo --- and why you should probably not listen to John Waters’ CARSICK in a public place.

Linda Johnson

Linda Johnson is a long time Bookreporter devotee. Her mother was always trying to get her outside, but she preferred reading in her bedroom. She is a retired teacher and former newspaper columnist (she hoped she paid homage to Erma Bombeck). Now she works very part-time in a small university library. She’s active with her Friends of the Library chapter, including overseeing at least five years of their biannual book sale.

Linda Johnson

Linda Johnson is a long time Bookreporter devotee. Her mother was always trying to get her outside, but she preferred reading in her bedroom. She is a retired teacher and former newspaper columnist (she hoped she paid homage to Erma Bombeck). Now she works very part-time in a small university library. She’s active with her Friends of the Library chapter, including overseeing at least five years of their biannual book sale.

Linda Johnson

Linda Johnson is a long time Bookreporter devotee. Her mother was always trying to get her outside, but she preferred reading in her bedroom. She is a retired teacher and former newspaper columnist (she hoped she paid homage to Erma Bombeck). Now she works very part-time in a small university library. She’s active with her Friends of the Library chapter, including overseeing at least five years of their biannual book sale.

Mary Lou Wachsmith

Born and raised in NYC, I made my way across the country, with a stop for seven years in Wichita, KS before finally landing in SoCal in 1978. I have been here ever since. After being a housewife for 16 years, I went to law school in my 40s and received my law degree in 1990. I practiced law until a few years ago, and now work as a tutor, via the Internet, of students studying for the bar exam. I work for a Florida-based company and tutor students from many different states. It is so rewarding to work with these students, helping them to achieve their goals. 

A Conversation with Mary Lou Wachsmith

Mary Lou Wachsmith is a lawyer-turned-tutor, whose love of books is in her DNA --- a trait so deep it’s inherited by her sons. She only recently started listening to audiobooks, but she has been a voracious listener since she got hooked a year ago. Self-described as not a great multitasker, Mary Lou doesn’t like to listen while she’s distracted by anything else. Here, she talks about how her love of listening to books was fostered early by radio programs and the children’s story hour at the library, and why a good narrator is absolutely integral to the success of an audiobook.

Héctor Tobar, author of Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free

When the San José mine collapsed outside of Copiapó, Chile, in August 2010, it trapped 33 miners beneath thousands of feet of rock for a record-breaking 69 days. The entire world watched what transpired above-ground during the grueling and protracted rescue, but the saga of the miners' experiences below the Earth's surface --- and the lives that led them there --- has never been heard until now.

Colm Tóibín, author of Nora Webster

Widowed at 40, with four children and not enough money, Nora Webster has lost the love of her life, Maurice. Wounded, strong-willed, clinging to secrecy in a tiny community where everyone knows your business, Nora is drowning in her own sorrow and blind to the suffering of her young sons. Yet she has moments of stunning empathy and kindness, and when she begins to sing again, she finds solace, engagement, a haven --- herself.