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Family

Mom's praise of audiobooks 'post-baby' has parents sharing how it changed their lives

'Audiobooks have helped me regain a part of myself I worried was lost. Let people read however they can.'

ashley woodfolk
Canva/Twitter

Let people read however they can.

Not too long ago, it seemed like you could only be loyal to one team—team “physical books” or team “e-readers.” There was no neutral territory.

That debate might have dwindled, but it echoes on as people take a stand on physical books versus audiobooks, which have become increasingly popular—nearly half of all Americans currently pay for an audio content subscription, and the average adult in the U.S. listens to digital audio for a little over an hour and a half each day, 28% of that being spoken word. Audiobooks had a particularly big surge during the COVID-19 pandemic, as listeners found the activity more comforting and satisfying than a regular book while under quarantine.

You’d think that the general mindset would be “reading in any form has great benefits, so do whatever you want!” But alas, humans do find odd hills to die on.


Ashley Woodfolk might know a thing or two about books, being a writer herself, but it's her perspective as a mom that really offers some fresh insight into why audiobooks and traditional books are not mortal enemies.

Woodfolk recently sent out a tweet rightfully boasting a total of 30 audiobooks listened to this year. It’s a number she never thought she would be able to hit after she became a mom.

“Accessibility is so important,” her post concluded. “Audiobooks have helped me regain a part of myself I worried was lost. Let people read however they can.”

Woodfolk was clearly not the only one to feel this way, as her tweet was met with an overwhelming positive response from people who could relate.

“Audiobooks helped me survive as a mom. Hard nights, never ending bedtimes, depression and feeling completely overwhelmed. These helped me hold something for myself and regain some peace,” wrote one mom.

Another added, “Yes, this! After my first was born I read like 10 books a year for 6 years (after reading 2 a week for the previous, I dunno, 15?). And then with my second, I fell in love with audiobooks and everything changed.”

One person suggested that audiobooks should be more widely embraced for children too, saying, “My kids will listen to audiobooks on road trips or when doing puzzles, and it’s increased their vocabulary and fluency so much!”

Several others shared how audiobooks were a godsend when it came to long commutes. One person commented, “My only alone time is my work commute. If I couldn't do audiobooks, I couldn't read!”

Someone even illustrated how audiobooks actually bring us back to perhaps an even more natural way of enjoying stories, saying, “Stories started around campfires being TOLD,” and adding that “Socrates thought writing things down was a lazy person's way to escape having to use their memory.”

Sure, there’s no feeling quite like a book in your hand. Books have that magical paper smell and turning pages can be heavenly. Even I call Barnes and Noble my happy place. But truly, an even greater feeling is actually being able to consume a great story start-to-finish or gain valuable insights that you might have otherwise been oblivious to. It’s good for the brain and it’s good for the soul. As Woodfolk put it, “Let people read however they can.” What really matters is that we are met where we are, and having access to that which fulfills and nourishes us.

True

The last thing children should have to worry about is where their next meal will come from. But the unfortunate reality is food insecurity is all too common in this country.

In an effort to help combat this pressing issue, KFC is teaming up with Blessings in a Backpack to provide nearly 70,000 meals to families in need and spread holiday cheer along the way.

The KFC Sharemobile, a holiday-edition charitable food truck, will be making stops at schools in Chicago, Orlando, and Houston in December to share KFC family meals and special gifts for a few select families to address specific needs identified by their respective schools.

These cities were chosen based on the high level of food insecurity present in their communities and hardships they’ve faced, such as a devastating hurricane season in Florida and an unprecedented winter storm in Houston. In 2021, five million children across the US lived in food-insecure households, according to the USDA.

“Sharing a meal with family or friends is a special part of the holidays,” said Nick Chavez, CMO of KFC U.S. “Alongside our franchisees, we wanted to make that possible for even more families this holiday season.”

KFC will also be making a donation to Blessings in a Backpack, a nonprofit that works to provide weekend meals to school-aged children across America who might otherwise go hungry.

“The generous donations from KFC could not have come at a better time, as these communities have been particularly hard-hit this year with rising food costs, inflation and various natural disasters,” Erin Kerr, the CEO of Blessings in a Backpack, told Upworthy. “Because of KFC’s support, we’re able to spread holiday cheer by donating meals for hunger-free weekends and meet each community’s needs,” Kerr said.

This isn’t the first time KFC has worked with Blessings in a Backpack. The fried chicken chain has partnered with the nonprofit for the last six years, donating nearly $1 million dollars. KFC employees also volunteer weekly to package and provide meals to students in Louisville, Kentucky who need food over the weekend.

KFC franchisees are also bringing the Sharemobile concept to life in markets across the country through local food donations and other holiday giveback moments. Ampex Brands, a KFC franchisee based in Dallas, recently held its annual Day of Giving event and donated 11,000 meals to school children in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods.

If you’d like to get involved, you can make a donation to help feed students in need at kfc.com/kfcsharemobile. Every bit helps, but a donation of $150 helps feed a student on the weekends for an entire 38-week school year, and a donation as low as $4 will feed a child for a whole weekend.

Trevor Noah says goodbye in his last episode of "The Daily Show."

Trevor Noah, who has spent the past seven years hosting "The Daily Show," has officially said goodbye to his late-night fans. While he could have chosen any note to leave on, he made his final words an emotional tribute to the Black women who have influenced him.

Since he took over the spot from Jon Stewart, Noah has made the show his own with a blend of quick-witted comedy and thoughtful commentary. Noah had big shoes to fill, but to his credit, he didn't try to cram his feet into them. He simply brought his own shoes and placed them right next to Stewart's, offering his own style of comedy and unique perspectives on the world night after night. Even in his "Between the Scenes" segments, where he chatted with the audience during commercial breaks, Noah frequently added insightful context to current issues.

In his final monologue, he credits those insights to his Black women mentors, from his own mother and grandmother to thought leaders he has had on his show to Black women in general. And it's quite telling that he managed to keep it together in his final show, right up until the point when he talked about these women.

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There are few actors in this world as universally loved as Brendan Fraser and Adam Sandler. So when the two sign on to interview one another, you can bet that people are going to be thrilled.

During one of Variety's “Actors on Actors” segments, the two swapped stories of being in the entertainment business—from the movie “Airheads," which they both starred in, to more recent projects like Sandler’s “Hustle” and Fraser’s “The Whale.”

It’s clear that these two respect and admire each other’s work. Sandler applauded Fraser’s career-long stride of making bold and interesting choices, and especially commended him for his starring role in Darren Aronofsky’s “The Whale,” which has been hailed as a major comeback for the “Mummy” franchise star.
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Jeremy Floyd and the note written by his girlfriend.

If you or someone you know is the victim of domestic abuse, call the National Domestic Abuse Hotline at 800-799-7233.


A disturbing story that happened four years ago in DeLand, Florida, shows how brave workers at an animal hospital were able to free an abused woman from her deranged and violent abuser.

According to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Department, on Wednesday, May 23, 2018, Carolyn Reichle was beaten, held hostage and threatened at gunpoint by her boyfriend, Jeremy Floyd. During the incident, two rounds were fired, which passed through drywall and were later found in another room.

The next day, Thursday, May 24, Reichle spent in bed with a head injury.

That Friday, Reichle felt well enough to get out of bed and concocted a plan to get away from her abusive boyfriend. She convinced him that they should take their dog to the veterinarian’s office. She was worried that the dog’s ear had been grazed by a stray bullet but told the animal hospital that she thought it had an ear infection.

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13 strangers became stranded at an airport, so they set off on a road trip together

The unlikely friends went viral online after documenting their 10+ hour journey.

@alanahsotry21/TikTok

From strangers to friends in one night.

Sometimes the greatest friendships are born out of the most unlikely circumstances.

Thanks to a canceled flight, 13 complete strangers found themselves stuck at Orlando International Airport on their way to Knoxville, Tennessee, with no way to get to their destination.

What started off as a disaster quickly turned around into an impromptu adventure, as the determined group banded together to rent a minivan and drive more than 500 miles from Orlando to Knoxville. Along the way they documented their travels, and the story was quickly picked up by news outlets like CNN, spreading like wholesome viral wildfire online.


The band of merry travelers hailed from different parts of the U.S. and Mexico, and didn’t all speak the same language. Plus each had their own reason for wanting to get to Knoxville. One college student was trying to make it back in time for her final. Another was hoping to tour her dream college with her mom and dad. A well-known farming influencer was set to deliver a keynote speech at a conference. A mother wanted to go fight for custody of her son, while another woman wanted to meet a friend to help her move. Others were just there to have fun.

Regardless of their differences, their road trip created unexpected community and a memory they won't soon forget.

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