Sunday, August 10, 2008

85 hours, 33 minutes

One of the regrets of my life is that I never find time to read. I read voraciously when I was younger, and majored in English in college. In my 20s I began checking out audiobooks from the library and listening to them when I commuted to work or drove on long trips. Last summer I joined and began downloading audiobooks to my ipod, and have listened to 15 books since then. The books really help time fly when I'm driving long hours to shows along the East Coast.

I just finished listening to Ken Follett's epic novels, Pillars of the Earth and World Without End. I chose the unabridged versions, which were 40 hours 10 minutes and 45 hours 23 minutes respectively. I was turned on to the first one by Oprah's Book Club - I am finding that I enjoy many of her fiction recommendations. (but after The Secret, I'm avoiding her non-fiction!)

Before that, I listened to A Thousand Splendid Suns and The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, having been turned on to the first one through Big Picture Scrapbooking's reading club. I found the insight to Afghan culture fascinating on a number of levels. Given the current political situation, one can only benefit from a deeper perspective of that country's recent history and turbulence. As a woman, I was reminded deeply how fortunate I am to be an American, and to have a wonderful adoring husband. I can't wait for the Afghan author to turn out something new!

My other listens from this year include:

The Gathering by Anne Enright - not so good, I confess it's the only one I never actually finished. I can tell you that it is a rare thing in my life to not finish a book, I get drawn in and even if I don't like it, I must know the end, but this one . . . I think was never going to end.
The Accidental by Ali Smith - interesting concept, enjoyed it
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner - as a literary major I admire Faulkner deeply, but this book was entirely too "Joycean" to listen to, stick to reading for this one!
The Road by Cormac McCarthy - this sci-fi futuristic book was not at all what I expected from Oprah, but I did enjoy it, thanks to an early enjoyment of sci-fi from my father. He would have loved it.
The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers - very very good
White Oleander by Janet Fitch - I really enjoyed this book, I've never seen the movie, it hit home in a lot of ways
A Wedding in December by Anita Shreve - decent book, I've been reading all of Shreve's books, it wasn't my favorite of hers but it was a good listen
Body Surfing by Anita Shreve - enjoyed this one more
Light on Snow by Anita Shreve - very very good book

Anyways, just thought I'd share one of my favorite new pastimes. I enjoy listening to an audiobook while digi-scrapping, so it really does relate!! If you haven't tried audiobooks, I encourage you to give it a try - it really puts your iPod to work in a wonderful way. But I recommend a shorter one for starters!

Well I'm off to find my next book. Recommendations welcome!


Izzy said...

I love to read! Thanks for sharing your recommendations and the link. What a great idea to put the audio books onto your iPod!

Beth Swann said...

Thanks for the recommendations! By the way, I've double-tagged you. See my blog for details!