Tag Archives: Books

Courage Twilight: The Long Commute

Don’t hate me, but for the last six years, my commute was only three miles each way. For the 18 years before that, it was only 12 miles.  All of a sudden, my commute is two hours a day, longer in heavy traffic or bad weather.  Knowing how quickly I would become frustrated with that fruitless occupation, I began listening to audio books.  (I can’t even eat breakfast without a book propped open on the kitchen table.)  First I listened to the second volume of Saints, a new history of my church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a troubled history haunted by murderous mobs and failed legal systems and unimaginable personal suffering as tens of thousands of the faithful walked a thousand miles beginning in 1847 to find unmolested freedom in Utah.  I listened to C.S. Lewis’ harrowing memoir Searching for Joy, which left me scratching my head.  I loved David McCullough’s Pioneers, the tale of the 1790s settlement of the Northwest Territory, beginning in Marietta, Ohio.  Then came Michelle Obama’s beautifully-written and touching memoir, Becoming.  And on my 90th day after the move, I finished today Ron Chernow’s masterful meticulous comprehensive biography Alexander Hamilton­—what a remarkable man!  Far from being a waste of time, my long commute has proven to be an incredible enriching inspiring educational experience.  I munch on raisins to stay focused and awake as the road stretches ahead and the narrator drones on.  I have ordered and shared my favorites with Dad, who reads Obama and McCullough and listens to Villa-Lobos and Mathis long into the night while I am sound asleep.  Next will be McCullough’s story of the Roeblings and their great Brooklyn Bridge.