Thursday, July 16, 2009

Time's Magpie: A Walk in Prague by Myla Goldberg

In her column in the June 2009 issue of Booklist, Joyce Saricks mentions looking for audiobooks to match the travel time of her driving trips. If she has only a three hour drive, say Downers Grove to Springfield, both in Illinois, I suggest Time's Magpie: A Walk in Prague by Myla Goldberg. In this audiobook read by Bernadette Dunne, Myla Goldberg recounts her 2003 stay in Prague, Czech Republic. Her account is heavy on description; she paints detailed pictures of the old city with its historic architecture, beautiful parks, and active street life. She also tells stories, including her being fleeced for jaywalking by a couple of crooked cops.

Librarians will especially enjoy her account of visiting the national library, which at the time of her visit was struggling to provide services with scant funds. The building and its collection date back to the 15th century when Jesuits started a college on the grounds of a Dominican monastery. Both have survived many transfers of ownership and authority, as has most of Prague itself.

While in Prague, Goldberg witnessed demonstrations against the invasion of Iraq and found Kafka's well-kept grave surrounded by a mostly abandoned cemetery, where many headstones had no names. I found these and other reports compelling listening as I tended our garden. It is easy to spend three hours in the garden, especially with a good audiobook.

Goldberg, Myla. Time's Magpie: A Walk in Prague. Books on Tape, 2004. 3 compact discs. ISBN 1415907773

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Ha! It's a favorite Audiobook for me too--such an intimate travel guide. It's as if you're walking right alongside her!

Joyce Saricks