The Free Motion Quilting Project: Best Audio of 2010

Friday, December 31, 2010

Best Audio of 2010

Last year I posted a list of my favorite books and audio books I'd read through 2009 right here. That was a great year for awesome books read by even better narrators.

Personally I find listening to an audio book or music the best way to chill out and relax while free motion quilting. A lot of quilters ask me how to get past the quilt-clenching-shoulders-lifted-to-your-ears tension that free motion quilting can cause, especially when you're just starting out.

My reply is always the same: listen to something the will distract your brain from thinking too much, from criticizing your first stitches, and from reminding you of all the things you SHOULD be doing like washing the dishes. A glass of white wine also helps with that fear tension too!

So here's my list of the best audio books for 2010:

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - This whole series is awesome, but I think this first book is the best. It's a graphic mystery type novel written by Steig Larsson, an amazing Swedish author and journalist. The cultural and societal differences are intriguing all by themselves, but add a 40 year old murder-mystery and you've got a recipe for a book that will keep you on the edge of your seat!

Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert - This is another memoir from the author of Eat, Love, Pray. This book focuses on Elizabeth's quest to come to terms with marriage in time for her own second marriage to the wonderful Brazilian man she met in her last book.

I personally enjoyed learning about the long, interesting history of marriage, an institution that is quite difficult to define as it is always changing depending on the need and love that binds it together.

The Upside of Irrationality by Dan Ariely - I loved Dan's first book Predictably Irrational which is a wonderful study of how we make irrational judgments (which we also irrationally justify) on a daily, if not hourly basis.

This book focuses on the upsides of our irrationality and how we can take advantage of our sometimes lopsided view of life. It's a book that always makes me ask questions which usually lead to a happier, more contented day.

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell - This is also a non-fiction book about how ideas or businesses or fashions tip. They go from being rather obscure to being what everyone is talking about or wearing or buying. It's a really interesting book and a great read for any business owner!

The Puppet Masters by Robert Heinlein - I mentioned this book in my Sinkhole Journey post. It's a really neat book with almost the same idea in The Host (parascitic aliens inhabiting human bodies), though these "slugs" are entirely malevolent. The story is intriguing and will keep you on the very edge of your seat!

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy - This really shouldn't me called an audio book, it's really an audio MARRATHON! 38 hours of some of the best narration and dialog I've ever heard. I'm barely 1/4 of the way into this book and I absolutely love it. Please don't tell me how it ends! It will probably be February before I finish it!

Of course, there have been many books I've read such as I Know I'm in There Somewhere by Helen Brenner and Truth Heals by Deborah King that I've actually read rather than listened too. A hard copy is great for dog-earing the pages and writing in the margins and these two books have been extremely helpful to me this year.

So that's the list for this year! I really hope we have some more good fiction come out in 2011. Maybe The Help's Kathryn Stockett will come out with a new book? I sure hope so!

Let's go quilt (and listen to great books!)

Leah Day


  1. Thank-You for the titles!! I love a good book especially when doing mundae things that you don't have to be totally focused on - sewing pieces of fabric together being one of them!!! Love a good book while sewing! So I am going to have to get me some more good books!! thanks Leah!! And

  2. The Puppet Masters by Heinlein is good. No argument here. But his best book is The Moon Is A harsh Mistress.

  3. I love books on tape also while sewing, cooking, cleaning and also while driving. I go to the library but have also bought some. I have the complete set of Harry Potter BOT performed by Jim Dale. He is awesome with his range of voices. It is hard to believe that it is just one person impersonating all the characters. I have listened to the set several times. I have chosen some books because they are read by my favorite narators. I like murder mysteries. With a BOT, you can't skip to the end to find out "who done it"! Listening to BOT has been proven to improve vocabulary. To bad it does not improve spelling. My all time favortie book is "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austin. When I have listened to all the books I checked out at the library and have not gone back, I will listen to "Pride and Prejudice". I will have to try Anna Karinia. The size of the book has been daunting. Now I am going to go back to quilting. That is how I want to spend Jan 1. You and your family have a Happy New Year.

  4. I haven't found anyone explain so clearly why I listen to audio books while I quilt. It's such a great way to shut off the left brain. And if The Tipping Point was a hit, you've got to read Outliers and Blink. I'm like you in switching from one genre to the next. Have a Happy New Year!

  5. Who was the narrator in the version of Anna Karenina that you are raving about? Quite a few have done it, and are listed on


  6. Happy new 2011th years from me!

  7. I, too, love the audio books - I found I just LOVE to be read to! I listen when I'm quilting - space out and get busy!
    You mentioned The Help - just finished it ( not in audio, I read it ) and could not put it down!
    I'm looking for a new player, what do you use?
    Beth in Dallas

  8. Hey Debbie - The version I have is narrated by David Horovitch. It's right here:

    Quilter in Paradise - I'm using a Sansa Clip 8 gig player. It's super small and is designed to play audiobooks and music.

    It stopped working this summer after 2 years of solid use almost every day, but I was able to reformat it and upload all the books and music again and it worked just fine.

    If I had to replace it, I'd replace it with another Sansa, but maybe the bigger one with more space. I absolutely love it!



  9. Thanks for your book list! I'll be checking our public library for downloads. That's how ours works. You select an audiobook online, download it to your computer, and then transfer it to an IPod or MP3 player. I listened to "The Help" through our library and it's AWESOME! Maybe you can get yours that way too.

    While FMQing, I too listen to books. And drink a glass of wine. We're definitely on the same page (pun intended) about several things.

  10. Thanks for the recommendations!

  11. I always audiobook while I quilt! My eyes are dodgy so I can rarely read printed books these days, and I find that if I listen an audiobook without doing something visual, I get fidgety and lose track of what's being said. And of course, listening to a book makes sewing more interesting as well. I'm currently working my way through the Amelia Peabody novels, which are highly entertaining. I'll listen to anything from serious classics to utter trash, and my record for the longest book is Clarissa at 93 hours, so Anna Karenina doesn't sound too long to me! I hadn't thought of Tolstoy, I bet he's wonderful on audiobook.

  12. how about publishing your 365 freemotion quilting patterns in a daily calendar. no year, just month and date, flip a page to a new pattern each day. it would be inspiring to see a new pattern each day.


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