Ah, autumn in the city. The weather is cooling, actual air is in the air, and itâs possible to roast root vegetables without baking everyone in your apartment in the process. October brings a cozy vibe, but what really slays me about fall is the wistfulness, the yearning, the Big âOl Mood. Itâs a time for gusty winds and lost thoughts, but also for substance and introspection. In this rabbit hole of feelings, a great audiobook, podcast, or song is the perfect company.
Speaking of rabbit holes, Iâve just started listening to Tana Frenchâs The Witch Elm, and Paul Nugentâs subtle, changeable narration pulled me right into the mood of slow-burning terror that is Frenchâs specialty. Nugent uses every corner of his Irish accent to add shadow and texture â his voice is like the weather and makes listening just as inevitable. If youâre a fan of dark, literary thrillers that tunnel into your mind, donât miss this audiobook. Perfect for a Halloween read, or any gray day or dark night.
Simon and Garfunkel
Oh, you thought a brooding city gal wasnât going to listen to âThe Only Living Boy in New Yorkâ on repeat while gazing into the middle distance of the subway platform? Autumn in NYC is as close to the essence of Simon and Garfunkel as a season can get, and no matter where you live, now is a great time to get in touch with your inner poet and sing along to some S&G.
Fall is the perfect season for listening to essay collections and burrowing into big ideas and examinations of the world around us. I canât wait to listen to this audio collection edited by Glory Edim and including essays from Jesmyn Ward, Jacqueline Woodson, and Gabourey Sidibe, among other superstar writers and thinkers. Full disclosure: this audiobook isnât out yet, but it will be on October 30, 2018, and itâs going straight to the top of my listening list.
The Allusionist Podcast
If youâre a fellow word hound and havenât already discovered the witty, wry, and wonderful podcast The Allusionist hosted by Helen Zaltzman, please kindly stop your life and download post haste. In episodes ranging from 18 to 29 minutes, Helen Zaltzman and her guests take on everything from the history of words and phrases to the structure and meaning of language itself. Itâs funny, charming, and ideal for commutes of all lengths.
Transcription by Kate Atkinson, read by Fenella Woolgar
Atkinson is one of my all-time favorite writers. Her secret sauce? Characters, characters, characters. The way in which she weaves together historical events through the nuanced internal dramas of her protagonists is astonishing â I once finished one of her books thinking, âI canât believe a human wrote that.â Itâs especially striking to listen to Fenella Woolgar narrate Atkinson’s newest novel, Transcription, and the result is exactly the kind of brain and heart bending audiobook Iâm digging right now (also donât miss Atkinson’s Jackson Brodie mystery series, starting with Case Files—so excellent).