It is finally, FINALLY spring here—and yes, I know that now that I've written that tomorrow a snowstorm will be on the forecast, but I'm taking my chances. I've got daffodils, tulips and crocuses growing, and I only needed one jacket to go outside, not three. But the biggest sign it's spring, aside from everyone in my house sneezing explosively, is that I have an uncontrollable urge to clean out everything. Spring cleaning is a very real phenomenon for me. My junk drawers live in fear of the increased pollen count. 

Last weekend, I cleaned out a hall closet that had become a black hole of "I don't know what to do with this, so I'll shove it in here." (Anyone need 14 conference tote bags? I have some.) Among the odd things I found in the closet were the remnants of half-finished craft projects I'd started. Despite my desire to be a good knitter, I've never been particularly skilled at it. So, of course I found four barely started knitting projects. No wonder I hid them in a closet.

I did, however, also find my cross stitch bag, including all the Subversive Cross Stitch kits that I'd completed, such as WTF? I'm not sure how I forgot this, but I really, really like cross stitching, especially when I'm cross stitching curse words next to cute bunnies and flowers. Now that I've found my bag, cross stitch is pretty much all I want to do.  

But I also have reading to do, and I can't read and stitch at the same time. I'm already cross-eyed. I think trying to do both would make my eyeballs go on strike and flee to the Caymans. I can, however, listen and stitch. 

I'm beginning to wonder if there's a common point or circumstance at which people discover audiobooks and think, how did I live without this magical wonderment in my life?! I'm definitely one of those people. When I grew bored with music and needed something more mentally engaging to listen to while walking the dogs, audiobooks were a perfect solution. I know folks who have long commutes, and listen to many books during their drive to and from work. Both my sons, ages 6 and 8, listen to audiobooks to fall asleep because they're not allowed to read too far past their bedtime, but they don't like to stop reading, either (I wonder where they get that from). And I know many creative romance fans who listen and get crafty.

Reading is still something we do by ourselves, and it's mostly a sole focus activity, by which I mean I can't read a book and do other things (well, I can walk and read a book but that's a skill that took years to learn and I wouldn't do that around Jersey drivers. They don't always stop for pedestrians, the jagoffs). Audiobooks allow me to split my attention between the book I'm listening to and the needle I'm trying to thread (AGAIN, DAMMIT) and, doofy as it sounds, I'm tremendously happy. Audiobooks and cross stitching are the peanut butter and chocolate combo my brain craves—now that I've cleaned out the closets, anyway.

This week, I've downloaded a few audiobooks: 
Blue Eyed Devil
Big Sky Country by Linda Lael Miller, narrated by Jack Garrett. 

I'm in the middle of reading this book, and now that Audible and Amazon sync my reading process across multiple media, I can listen to the audio then go back to the text. LIKE MAGIC I TELL YOU.

Second Grave on the Left by Darynda Jones, narrated by Lorelei King

I listened to the first one, and King's performance is kickass. Plus, a lot of action goes on in the story, and I can increase the performance to 1.25x normal speed to get an extra shot of adrenaline. 

Blue Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas, narrated by Renee Raudman

I did an interview with Renee Raudman for the DBSA podcast awhile back, and so many readers said afterward that her narration is terrific—and as usual they are completely right about that. 

What audiobooks do you love? Where do you like to listen? And what's your crafty skill?

Sarah Wendell is the co-creator, editor and mastermind of the popular romance blog Smart Bitches, Trashy Books. She loves talking with romance readers, and hopes you'll share your new favorite romance reading recommendations. You can find her on Twitter or on her couch, most likely with her eyeglasses turned toward a book.