Orange is The New Black – Piper Kerman


asteriaiconSo…I am a book snob. I knew it in regards to certain genres, as an example I tend to snub my nose at romance, but it turns out I am an audio book snob too. I remember shelving the little buggers at the book store, and swearing about it every time. They were frequently cram-jammed on the shelves, hardly anyone would buy them, and they were stupid expensive…call me crazy but it’s a hard pass for me on having to take out a loan just to get a book read to me. I found a few at a garage sale once for $1 and decided to give it a try. I immediately found the whole thing frustrating as I sat in my car at a red light fumbling with a CD, and once I got it to play, I couldn’t remember a bloody thing that had happened in the story, and found myself frequently restarting until I finally gave up. I brought them to my dear friend at the used book store, begging her desperately to take them off of my hands, feeling totally let down and my hatred of audiobooks solidified. A few weeks ago I was looking online at the library’s selection, and found that a book I wanted to read was not available as a paperback, but they did have an audio book. I already figured out this was a service provided where I would download the book rather than fumble with CD’s, so I clicked on the link to see how to get the book, and I fell into a giant rabbit hole of audiobook awesomeness.

There are tons and tons of books available to download…for FREE with a library card! I have already learned I can’t seem to concentrate on doing something and trying to follow the plot of a fiction novel, so I decided to focus instead on the plethora of nonfiction titles they had. Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman is sitting on my bookshelf in paperback, and since I am “trying” to read what is on my shelf rather than buy new books (I am failing miserably), this was an obvious choice. The sign out process was easy, the book on my phone in no time, and I set off to listen to the story being read to me.

I have watched the TV show religiously, and love it! After listening to the book, I found a lot of the show follows the book fairly closely. Some of the more…spirited and *ahem* physical aspects of the show are significantly embellished or added in for the dramatic effect, but the overall gist of the book is essentially there. As I listened to the story unfold about a white woman who was charged and convicted of drug trafficking and sentenced 10 years after the fact, I couldn’t help but compare it to the TV show. Every character that was discussed, I could easily see in my mind’s eye the character on the show, some with different names, some the same.

It was also very nice to hear how the story differed from the show as well. How there became a sense of comradery between Kerman and the inmates, they became a family, and still write to each other even after release. I loved learning she was a reader, and often bonded with people over books. It was interesting to hear about how they welcomed new inmates and helped them make the adjustment, giving them different commissary items until they had money to buy their own. There were obviously problems; you can’t have that many women in a confined space and not have problems, but overall the women seemed to form strong bonds to help them make it through their time.

I really enjoyed listening to the book. I enjoyed the story, though the TV show is much more dramatic. At the end of the day I have to implore you “Please do not be a book snob like me”. Give audiobooks a try, you never know what you will stumble across and become your favorite book!

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