Saturday, February 21, 2009


I started reading at a young age. I love reading: stories, myths, history, how to's, cookbooks, just about every possible topic you can imagine. I love writing, too! There will be at least one book published by moi before I leave this planet ...

Several years back, I pooh pooh's my very dearest friend Kris' excitement about listening to Harry Potter books. Listening???!!??? What about reading? I'm afraid I was a bit of a word snob in response, have apologized several times since (and do so now, publicly!).

Then I listened to a Harry Potter book. It was all over for me. Now, granted, Jim Dale may be the very master of all narrators (e.g., the voice of Pushing Daisies, for you non Harry Potter listeners). Nevertheless, I was in love with the idea of listening to a good book in the car during a time when I had no time for pleasure reading (fulltime work and fulltime school).

And I'm still in love with audiobooks. I still don't have time to read, but even when I do - and this makes me very sad - my reading vision is so poor now that I really struggle to read anything at all. Even with my (gasp) progressive lenses in my glasses. (I'm heartened, somewhat, that I needed these at such a young age.)

I just finished listening to The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaman this week. What a great story! I love a good children's/young adult's book, and this is no exception. I won't give anything away, but do highly recommend it. I usually avoid, based on bad experience, audiobooks narrated by the author. Prior to this, Steve Martin was the only author who also did a wonderful narrating job (in my opinion...).

Now I'm glad to add Neil Gaman to this list. I don't think anyone else would have captured the magic of this tale as well. He seemed to have absolutely no trepidation over crickety crone voices to a 15 year old girl to the main character from childhood through adolescence. What a joy to listen to! And in case you're not convinced by me, The Graveyard Book won 2009's Newbery Medal (the top honor in children's literature - a very big deal)! (Kris, you'll LOVE this book!!! So will Rich!)

The only drawback to listening to books in the car is that if I'm nearing the end of a truly wonderful tale on my morning commute, I have to put off the end until that evening. I invariably get weepy and don't really want to show up to work with running mascara and red eyes. :)

I just started listening to one of my very very favorite all time books in world history (that's pretty serious for me!): Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin. I've not listened to this before, but read this wonderrful book a couple of times in the 80's and early 90's. I used to loan it out, never see it again, buy a replacement, loan it out, never ... you get the picture. That's how wonderful it is! I know I will not just be weepy, but outright crying, at the end ...

(p.s., to Kateri re your Clam Beer post ... you may have a new appreciation for a passage in the beginning of Winter's Tale describing the delights of Clam Beer after your own up close and nearly personal experience ....)


June Shin said...

I love listening to audiobooks. I've been meaning to get some to listen on my iPod, but haven't gotten around to it yet.

ecogeneration said...

I fell in love with Harry Potter books on CD. This was "pre-DVD player in the car" days. My kids would get all silent so that they can listen to Harry Potter and they'd forget to fight in the car. :) Ever since then, I listen to books on CD all the time. But adult ones like James Patterson, Michael Connelly - I love crime fighting mysteries.

Naomi said...

i haven't tried audiobooks yet. don't have long of a commute and don't think it'll sink in while i work. at home...well usually doing something with or for the kids until they go to sleep.

but...since the kids and i have exhausted the harry potter series (me reading to them), i've been looking for something else i can read out loud. i might have to check out those neil gaman books. harry potter is a tough act to follow!