Dr. Gridlock asked readers for more information about books on tape, including where to get them, how they help with commuting, a "Top 10" list and your recommended titles.

I'm getting an education. The first column on this topic ran Monday in the daily Washington Post Metro section.

Here's more:

A Top 10 List

Dear Dr. Gridlock:

For your information, here is a list of our top 10 rental books (fiction and nonfiction) for the six weeks ending June 28:

1. "Southern Cross," by Patricia D. Cornwell, narrated by Christine McMurdo-Wallis.

2. "Orchid Beach," by Stuart Woods, narrated by George Guidall.

3. "The Cat Who Saw Stars," by Lilian Jackson Braun, narrated by George Guidall.

4. "Voyager," Parts 1 and 2, by Diana Gabaldon, narrated by Davina Porter.

5. "The First Eagle," by Tony Hillerman, narrated by George Guidall.

6. "Be Cool," by Elmore Leonard, narrated by Ron McLarty.

7. "The Eleventh Commandment," by Jeffrey Archer, narrated by Paul Hecht.

8. "Kaaterskill Falls," by Allegra Goodman, narrated by Suzanne Toren.

9. "Angela's Ashes," by Frank McCourt, narrated by Frank McCourt.

10. "The Ape Who Guards the Balance," by Elizabeth Peters, narrated by Barbara Rosenblat.

The average rental price is about $10. Rentals are for one month. The average cost of purchasing a tape is $35 to $40. All of our titles are unabridged, which accounts for higher prices than you might see in some bookstores.

Jean Stephens

Marketing-Consumer Products

Recorded Books Inc. (1-800-638-1304)

Prince Frederick, Md.

More Recommendations

Dear Dr. Gridlock:

Just finished reading your column asking for a list of book tapes. There are some excellent ones even in the smallest town libraries.

Some I've enjoyed recently were "The Count of Monte Cristo," by Alexandre Dumas, and a number of Stephen King's novels, including the recently serialized "The Green Mile."

Carol Giesen

California, St. Mary's County

Check Out the Library

Dear Dr. Gridlock:

The 18 branches of the Prince George's County public library system have more than 13,000 books on tape for lending.

Readers who don't live in Prince George's County but want to borrow from our collection can do so.

To find out how, call us at 301-699-3500, or log on to our Web site at www.prge.lib.md.us.

Avis Matthews

Prince George's County

Memorial Library System


Prescription for Sanity

Dear Dr. Gridlock:

I commute from Ashburn to downtown Washington, and I would be absolutely batty without "reading" on my commute.

Books on tape are such a pleasure I find myself hurrying out to the car for my rush-hour commute home.

I have passed on my secret to co-workers, who are thrilled with their decreased stress level. We share book titles and then go to the county library to check them out.

The Eastern Loudoun County Library has a great selection of classics and modern novels. If your library doesn't supply your need, bring it to their attention. It will benefit everyone.

Barbara McCarthy


A New Attitude

Dear Dr. Gridlock:

I commute from Columbia to McLean, and since I started listening to books on tape two months ago, my attitude has changed. I'm a more relaxed driver and am more courteous to those around me. I let people change lanes in front of me and don't rise to the bait of the aggressive drivers.

Deborah Heck


`No Abridged Books'

Dear Dr. Gridlock:

You've touched on a subject I'm truly passionate about. I don't think I'd have survived these last 10 years if not for my beloved books on tape.

I've re-read childhood favorites, read classics, bestsellers, trashy romance novels and some excellent biographies. There have been books I put aside as boring [but] when listened to are wonderful.

I've been known to sit in parking lots to end a chapter.

I've cried in the car and laughed out loud many a time.

My one hard and fast rule: no abridged books. You may as well read Cliffs Notes.

Angela Younts


An Alternative to Radio

Dear Dr. Gridlock:

Books on tape are especially useful when you are on long trips and are frequently losing radio reception. Book tapes calm my nerves and also keep me alert.

Joanne Merry

Silver Spring

`I Wouldn't Be Without One'

Dear Dr. Gridlock:

I recommend that commuters looking for books on tape check out their local library. I work in the Fauquier County library system, and the taped books are some of our most popular materials.

Even though my own commute is only about 25 minutes, I wouldn't be without one. The choices range from new fiction and mysteries to classics to self-help and other nonfiction materials.

I know that the Prince William County and Fairfax County library systems offer this free service as well. Our taxes are helping to pay for this, so I encourage harried commuters to check it out.

Lorna Dunklee


Storytelling Tapes

Dear Dr. Gridlock:

I recommend storytelling tapes. These tapes feature recordings of professional storytellers performing -- either live or in the studio -- and include ghost stories, folk tales and historic stories. For further information, call me at 301-891-1129.

Robert Revere

Managing Director

Washington Storytellers Theatre

Takoma Park

A Favorite

Dear Dr. Gridlock:

My favorite: "The Memoirs of Cleopatra," by Margaret George. Power, lust, corruption, greed, beauty, riches, fame.

What more can you want?

May Kesler

Chevy Chase

Thanks for your many audiotape suggestions to Dr. Gridlock these past two columns. I've got a lot better idea what's out there.

During my commuting, I've been listening to a steady diet of radio, like "Dr. Laura," who in my opinion sometimes belittles help-seekers; Jim Rome, a sports talker who tells his audience "the less of you and the more of me, the better the show," and Rush Limbaugh, who says he takes on opponents "with half my brain tied behind my back" to make things equal. Time for a change. Anything that causes drivers to look forward to their commute has got to be tried.

Dr. Gridlock's assistant, Jessica Medinger, contributed to this column.

Dr. Gridlock appears Monday in the Metro section and on Wednesday or Thursday in the Weekly and Extra sections. You can write to Dr. Gridlock, P.O. Box 3467, Fairfax, Va. 22038-3467, or e-mail him at drgridlock@washpost.com. The Doctor's fax number is 703-352-3908. Please include your full name, address and day and evening phone numbers.