I had today set aside as a day to post about one of the books I was anticipating finishing, but I've finished neither of the two yet unfortunately. I still hope to finish them both in the next couple of days (including a now-overdue library book), and there is always next week to write about them, right? So now I have to scramble and think of something else to share today. I can usually pull something bookish out of my hat, however. The beauty of juggling several books at once is being able to ramble on about them.
I may not have finished reading any of my current books, but I did finish listening to an audio book. I have an Audible account and just finished listening to Bram Stoker's Dracula. I read the book a few years ago, so was familiar with the story, but it is one that is well worth spending more time with. I'm very particular about which books I will listen to on audio. Usually nonfiction is too hard as there are so many details to keep track of, but I am currently listening to a nonfiction book and have another one in my Audible library (so as you can see I often break my own rules). Certain books I want to read properly, and if I listen to the book I feel a little like I am cheating somehow--does that sound weird? Books I've read once are fair game, particularly when it is a classic (as a matter of fact I like the idea of listening to a classic after having read it once before). And there are books I probably wouldn't read but I will listen to (these are often the best listening candidates).
So my listening criteria are a little weird, but they usually work. Unless of course I start listening to a book that has a really awful narrator whose voice grates on me in which case I'll often give up on the book early on. But Dracula was a good choice for a variety of reasons. It's a great story to listen to (and was a great one to read). And the version I listened to had a full cast of narrators. The novel is made up of diary entries, letters, and newspaper clippings, which is a favorite format of mine. Each character had a different narrator in the audio, which made for an easy listen and a dramatic one as well. Alan Cumming, who I think is a wonderful actor, was Dr. Seward and Tim Curry was Van Helsing. I'm not familiar with the rest of the cast, but they did an excellent job. It was a pleasure to listen to the story and I'm sure I'll get around to reading it again someday as well.
Now I am back to listening to Vincent Bugliosi's Helter Skelter, which is both fascinating and extremely disturbing. It is a very long audio book--more than 26 hours, and I am perhaps halfway in. I listen on my morning walk to the bus stop, and happily it is now light when I leave as it's not a book that I was enjoying listening to while walking in the dark (so I decided to listen to Dracula? Go figure). It's narrated by Scott Brick, who has the perfect voice to narrate the events Bugliosi writes about, but I'm thinking that I want something else to listen to once again. I still have A Dance to the Music of Time: The First Movement by Anthony Powell and The Lincolns: A Potrait of a Marriage by Daniel Mark Epstein in my library that I can easily load onto my MP3 player, but I'm not quite sure what I am in the mood for.
I've been contemplating using one of my Audible credits towards an audio version of Homer's The Iliad. The problem is there are so many different versions out there. I will read the book (rather reread it as I read it in high school) at some point--maybe even a little later this year if I do listen to the audio. The thing is, various translated editions have been turned into audio books. I've got the Fagles translation to read, and there is an audio version, but it's abridged. I'd prefer to have the whole story. I won't listen and read side by side, so maybe the translation won't matter as I'll still get to hear the same story even if the telling is slighly different--perhaps I should just choose one that has been rated high by listeners. Has anyone listened to the audio for The Iliad? Suggestions of which one to listen to are welcome. Audible has more than a dozen different versions. And I might pair it up with something else about Homer, like Alberto Manguel's Homer's The Iliad and the Odyssey: A Biography from his Books that Changed the World series. It could be a fun little project and as the Iliad is a narrative poem, wasn't it meant to be listened to anyway?
Or maybe there is something else on audio that would make for gripping listening? Have you listened to anything particularly good on audio lately?