As much as I love meditation and all things related to immersing myself in my mystical, infinite inner world, sometimes I like to get lost in someone else's world for a little while.
Lately, that world has been the Russian aristocracy of the late 1800's. A world populated by people who feel oppressed by rigid social norms and simultaneously exhilarated by the rapid changes happening all across their country. It's a world that feels both exotic and familiar, which I think is true of much of the world. When we get down to the heart of it, we are all much more alike than different.
I had always been intimidated by the novel Anna Karenina. It's long, and on top of that, I often find Russian literature to be a slog to get through. But when I saw Maggie Gyllenhaal was narrating I had to give it a try. I have had admiration and respect for her for years, especially after seeing her in The Honorable Woman.
When the audio began and told me I had 35 hours to go I wondered what I'd gotten myself into. But within a few chapters I was drawn in and already eager to know what happens to these characters that so many love. It was nice to have something to look forward to at night instead of zoning out in front of the TV. With the dark and cold outside my window, I cozied up with a blanket, a cup of lavender and lemon tea, and let myself get swept away in the lives of Anna, Levin and Stepan Arkadyevitch.
At times I would get a bit lost because of the names of the characters. I ended up getting the Kindle book for only 99 cents, which syncs with the audio as I read. If I ever need to check in on what was said, my Kindle magically opens to the passage that was just read.
If you're looking for a little winter evening ritual and need a break from TV binging also, I highly recommend this book with this narrator. I do love Audible, and have listened to many books through it. This one is one of the best, and could ultimately end up being my favorite!