Coming to My Senses Audio Recordings

Brooklyn Botanical Garden Cover Peony


As those of you who follow me on Twitter and Facebook already know, I’ve recorded the first chapter and several short excerpts from Coming to My Senses. You can find them all right here on my Soundcloud page: 


They are free to share, stream and download, and I’ll be putting a couple more up soon.  I hope you enjoy them!

P.S. I am still dizzy from my three days in D.C. and will be back to describe some of that soon. Happy Ph.D’s who left the academy! Scholarly discussions of civet and smelling salts! A fancy performance hall at a beautiful museum filled with women doused in vintage perfume!

Recording (part of) Coming to My Senses, and a Question for You

Whale Ear Resized


I love to read out loud. I always have. It’s been a joy to read from Coming to My Senses at my book events, and audience members often ask me if the audio book is available. Alas, it isn’t. In most cases, the publisher owns the audio rights to a book. If they don’t sell the rights to an audio book producer, there’s no audio book. So far, that’s the case for mine.


In the meantime, I decided to find out how hard it would be to record a small portion of the book. Not very, it turned out. In fact, Joel Block over at The Block House made it easy (and affordable!). So after getting permission from my publisher, I recorded the first chapter of CTMS last week in one take. I learned a lot about breath control, super-sensitive microphones, and how I might edit my work in the future (oh dear). It was so much fun that I decided I’d like to record a few more brief passages. I have my favorites, scenes I’ve read more than once at events, but I’d like to give you a vote, too.


Is there a scene or passage from Coming to My Senses that you’d like to hear me read aloud? Please let me know. 


As soon as the recording is ready–probably sometime in the next couple of weeks–I’ll put up a link here and you’ll be able to listen and download it for free. I hope you’ll like it.


Image: A fossilized whale ear V. gave me several years ago.








Book Scents: Jeanette Winterson’s The Passion


I’ve been under the weather for the past week with one of those awful colds that are going around (please everyone, rest up, wash your hands a lot and take your Vitamin C) so I haven’t been doing a lot of writing or smelling, but I’ve been doing plenty of reading. I first read Jeanette Winterson’s The Passion  nearly ten years ago.  I was dazzled, seduced–then disaffected. I wanted my literature to have a firm grip on the world’s pain and Winterson’s beautiful surfaces and playfulness struck me as cheating, somehow.  Or maybe I just felt foolish for liking them so much…


I returned to The Passion this week because I’ve been thinking a lot about fairy tales–why and how we tell them, and what our modern versions look like. I feel differently about dazzle now, and this time around The Passion‘s gorgeous magic struck me as a poignant, necessary counterpart to the equally unbelievable extremes of war. Continue Reading