HSP: listen to audiobooks and 5 book tips

A couple of months ago I started listening to audiobooks. First I downloaded them from YouTube, now I listen to them via www.storytel.nl. This is a Dutch audiobook provider with a nice collection of Dutch and English books. My motivation to start listening to audiobooks was a practical one, I found it much easier to listen in stead of holding a book in my hands above a big pregnant belly. Along the way I experienced some benefits from listening to an audiobook and I would like to share this with my crowd of highly sensitive people.

  1. While listening I rested my eyes. After a days work using my eyes in an intensive way while guiding people or writing coaching reports, blogs and other stuff behind the laptop it feels relaxing to be able to enjoy a book without using my sight.
  2. I love language and accents. What I noticed while listening to the collection of Storytel, the books were told by a person who spoke in the accent of the country the story was situated in. Fantastic. This made the story and their characters   even more realistic. In some books I heard several accents because the story travelled to different places. So listening to an audiobook fed my language listening skills
  3. What I also liked about how the audiobook was read, was the way the voice interpreted different scenes. There was actually some acting in it which made it come across like a detailed movie from which the images were created by myself.
  4. To me listening to an audiobook just before sleeping in was a wonderful experience. You can listen to the audiobook in the dark while laying still. I have a feeling this makes it easier to fall asleep, because your body and sight are already resting. To be honest I can’t really compare it to reading in bed, because I wasn’t doing this previous to listening to an audiobook.

Five book tips

1. The Hundred-Foot Journey, Richard C. Morais

I loved this book. It was read by a man with an Indian accent and he could do other accents too. The story narrates about an Indian family who emigrates to England for two years after a shocking and sad family experience. After England the father of Hassan; the main character, decided to move to a small village named Lumiére. There they set up an Indian restaurant just across a French two star Michelin restaurant managed by madame Mallory. She isn’t happy with their arrival and from there on many funny and interesting cultural twists appear in the story. The story appealed to me because I have been raised in a Chinese family which revolved around food. Furthermore the cultural clashes also reminded me of my own experiences!

2. The Rosie Project, Graeme Simsion

What I find most amusing about listening to audiobooks is that the story is narrated by someone who speaks with the accent of where the story is played out. The Rosie Project is read by a man with an Australian accent, because the main character lives and works in Melbourne. I have had some good laughs while listening to this story. It’s about the 39 year old Don Tillman who works as an associate professor in genetetics. He has Asperger.

The story is told by Don and when he speaks it rains facts, theories and detailed narrations. I was particularly fascinated by they way he behaves because I am more like Rosie, an emotional human being. I learned a lot about the human psyche when it comes to living a life with Asperger. Even though he rationalizes his whole life and behavioural actions he does have emotions. Through his contact with Rosie he discovers and learns more and more about human interaction and emotions. In a subtle way I saw him emotionally grow.

The story inspired me to go on and listen to the sequel: The Rosie Effect.

3. The Rosie Effect, Graeme Simsion

This book is as hilarious as the first book. Especially because of the immense contrast between a highly emotional ‘project’ which is Rosie being unplanned pregnant and Don Tillman’s rational and technical approach to it. Besides many loud laughters I found it helpful as well, because of the information shared on being pregnant.

4. Dear Fatty, Dawn French

This book is by Dawn French. She is a Welsh comedian, actress and writer. I was drawn to this book because of its expected humorous contents. In 2009 I took a course in provocative coaching. Since then I have been interested in exploring the world of humor more, but didn’t find the time. It was simply not a priority. End of last year it became clear that my husband wanted to be a stand-up comedian. It took him some months to realise he is better off as an allround comediant and actor. It’s because of our mutual interest in comedy that I chose to listen to this book. And indeed, it was hilarious, but also serious, honest and moving. Her story about being fat, positive sides of being big breasted, how an ex-boyfriend had treated her and her many letters to her father made it interesting to listen on. Afterwards I read about her on Wikipedia and discovered she divorced Lenny Henry in 2010 after 25 years of marriage. I believe this book proves that they have separated in an amical way. The book includes a detailed super love letter directed to Lenny.

5. Blissful Birth, Janey Lee Grace and Glenn Harrold

This audiobook was very helpful, because my baby could announce his arrival any time now. The first half an hour Janey talks about how to mentally and physically prepare yourself for giving birth. She also gives tips on how to manage contractions during labour. She finishes off with tips on how to recover from giving birth. As a mom of four children and having given birth in a natural way she has lots of experience to share. The book also contains two hypnotherapy sessions; one to prepare yourself for labouring and one to recover from giving birth. Both take half an hour. First time I listened to the session which prepares me for labouring I fell asleep while listening. Janey mentioned this wouldn’t be a problem, because my subconscious would integrate the information.

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Essential nourishment: Start feeding your soul with ‘Chef’

This movie is a must watch for everyone. The joy of cooking, eating and sharing food is contagious. It’s about a chef working in a restaurant going through a life crisis. This crisis takes him to owning a foodtruck selling sandwiches Cubanos and more latino streetfood. The conversations between the chef and his fellow cook and friend are hilarious. The soundtrack definitely supports in spreading the joy of cooking food while dancing. Watching the chef enhancing his father-son relationship by taking his son on their first foodtruck roadtrip is heartwarming. And I absolutely found it inspiring to see a 10-year old executing effective social media marketing for his fathers newly acquired foodtruck business. Watch this movie and get positively effected by the love of the game, the game of life.

Meatless Mondays

This is an excellent initiative: Meatless Mondays. It’s an international campaign to improve your health and the health of the planet by eating less meat. In our household we eat at most two times a week meat. Actually our food patterns have changed quite a lot in 2011. Below a scrap from the blog ‘Looking back on 2011’. 

Food
As a part of Arnold’s fysical and emotional development he started to bake his own bread. After a visit to a mesoloog; someone who practices the art of identifying what nutrients the body needs, lacks or is allergic to. He needed to avoid some nutrients so we started to do more grocery shopping at the organic food stores. So besides white rice, potatoes, pasta we added quinoa, pasta made from spelt, pancakes made from spelt, buckwheat, couscous, corn, taro, cassava and a whole range of pulses. In 2008 I promised my grandfather to avoid the deep frozen fish from the supermarkets. In 2009 he passed away. In 2010 our daughter was born. And halfway through 2011 I decided to definitely switch to super fresh fish: keeping my promise. Ever since we buy our fish in Scheveningen or at the Hague market. With regards to meat; we started eating more organic meat. There is no definite switch from my side and by exception I eat non-organic meat served by restaurants, family or friends.