Saturday, April 29, 2006

What I’m Reading

I’m kind of a fiction addict; to quote Homer Simpson, I like stories. I rarely do any “serious reading,” except for what catches my eye in The Boston Globe on the way to the sports section and funnies. I always have two books going: the one I read with my eyes and the audio book I “read” with my ears (while I ride my stationary bike or do chores around the house).

My reading is fairly desultory, but there is some sense to it. Lately, I’ve been checking out audio books from the library I’ve already read (in the conventional sense). I listened to Jane Eyre not terribly long ago and then, when I finished it, started in with The Cider House Rules. It turns out Jane Eyre is mentioned quite frequently in The Cider House Rules (which I should have remembered), along with the Dickens classics Great Expectations and David Copperfield. So that led me to check out David Copperfield to read while I listened to The Cider House Rules. See how it goes?

I have been working on several catalogs for a schoolbook publisher, and the Ralph Ellison book, Invisible Man, has popped up so many times in them I’ve been compelled to check it out of the library (to read-read). Next on my list (after I’m done listening to Terms of Endearment) is to listen to Ken Follet’s The Key to Rebecca while rereading Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. Is that exciting or what? God, I’m a wild man! What a full life I lead!

(How does everybody like the three paragraph format? This was suggested to me by Beth. I’m going to try really hard to keep ’em short — when I can.)

13 Comments:

Blogger Flash said...

I tried the whole audiobook thing, and I'm fairl convinced they find the people with the worst voices. Either their deep, causing me to fall asleep, or their voice is completly outsidish from what the content of the book is about.

But I do enjoy to grab the audio version after I read the book. it's always interesting how the pictures different from when your reading it to when someone is reading it to you.

8:01 PM  
Blogger Shatterfist said...

I haven't heard from you in a while. I was going to ask what you've been doing all this time. Now I know.

6:14 AM  
Blogger Claire said...

I can't stay focused on audiobooks. I've become too skilled at drowning out extraneous television noise or people chatter at work that I find myself drifting off into other thought processes.

As for the short posts, I try to do them from time to time to let people know I'm still around (except when blogger acts up, so I'm not) in between mini-novels :)

8:43 AM  
Blogger magnetbabe said...

I have the same problem as Claire- I can't concentrate on audio books. Good for you if you can keep up with them. I feel stupid when I find I haven't been paying attention and have to go rewind the tape.

Awhile back I read "The Polysyllabic Spree" by Nick Hornby and it was like a reading journal. It was surprisingly funny and it lead you through his thought process for deciding what book to read next after he finished one. It was much like yours.

Thumbs up on the three paragraph format (how about the three paragraph comment on this end?).

9:50 AM  
Blogger boo said...

i prefer reading the old fashion way.

12:20 AM  
Blogger Farrago said...

I just read Time and Again, by Jack Finney, at the suggestion of a friend of mine, with the thought of adapting it into a screenplay. Her idea. I finished it about a week ago. Cool story, written in 1970, fictionalizing the circumstances surrounding a huge fire that actually took place in NYC in 1882, but with a time travel element to it. I generally find that part hard to swallow. Really makes love to the city through the eyes of a true New Yorker.

I'm not supposed to be reading, however. I'm supposed to be WRITING.

4:53 AM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

"I tried the whole audiobook thing, and I'm fairly convinced they find the people with the worst voices."

Thank God that's not always true for me, but the book I'm listening to now, "Terms of Endearment," has a reader who's a bit grating on the ears.

The book I listened to right before this one, "The Eye of the Needle" (about a German spy in WWII England) was performed brilliantly. All of the accents, nice pacing, and, of course, one helluva story.


"I haven't heard from you in a while."

If this is the Blogger Formerly Known as Darth Frollo, I'm headed your way soon.


"As for the short posts, I try to do them from time to time to let people know I'm still around (except when blogger acts up, so I'm not) in between mini-novels :)"

Yeah, I think that's how I'll play it myself. Every now and again, I'll have something so weighty and profound to say, three measly paragraphs won't possibly contain it all.


"I have the same problem as Claire- I can't concentrate on audio books."

The whole secret is to listen while performing mindless tasks. My big problem is I have a tendency to miss exits if I'm listening to one in the car.

"i prefer reading the old fashion way."

Of course, the great benefit of conventional reading is that you can go at your own pace, linger over passages that are especially well-written, check back to something you remembered on page 50 that relates to what you just read on page 171, and so on. Nothing will ever replace that, Boo.


"I'm not supposed to be reading, however. I'm supposed to be WRITING."


And when you're writing, I'm reading! So get cracking!

5:55 AM  
Blogger tiff said...

Can't do the audiobooks - There are times when I need quiet. I do, however, understand hte completely tangential nature of choosing books to read.

3 paragraphs is not enough, unless you're just clocking in and out. I say that only from my perpsective as someone who enjoys a nice long post-reading session as a way to appear to be busy when in reality I'm goofing off...

7:57 AM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

Don't forget to watch Rebecca the movie directed by Hitchcock. Loved it!!!

7:59 AM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

"3 paragraphs is not enough, unless you're just clocking in and out."

Oh don't worry. I still reserve the right to get pretty verbose. No worries there.



"Don't forget to watch Rebecca the movie directed by Hitchcock. Loved it!!!"

I have seen that (with Olivier as de Winter, right?) and a BBC production done a few years back (Diana Rigg plays Mrs. Danvers to perfection).

8:14 AM  
Blogger trinamick said...

I like listening to audiobooks, because I can still get something else done as the same time. I always feel guilty if I take time to actually read. I really like James Lee Burke's books, because Will Patton reads for him. He's easy to listen to.

I LOVED Rebecca. The movie is in my Netflix queue, but I haven't gotten to it yet.

I tend to write long-winded posts too. It's that writing like I talk thing. Imagine having to listen to that!

9:19 AM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

"I really like James Lee Burke's books, because Will Patton reads for him. He's easy to listen to."

You know who's great is Jim Dale, the reader for the Harry Potter books.

Don't worry about long-windedness in your posts. YOU can get away with them!

11:58 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

Hey, just to let you know that my current post talks about the Anansi Boys, and I think it the exception to the general rule that readers of audio books really suck.

7:38 AM  

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