Is it just wishful thinking for warmer weather (we are actually being treated to a few milder days this week . . . no worries, though . . . I know it won't last) that I have been cleaning up files on my MP3 player? I tend to listen to it mostly when I am walking to and from work, but with the frigid temperatures it has not gotten much use of late. I removed all the holiday music, older audio books that I had finished listening to and now have room for a few new books. And I am in the mood for a really good audio book or two!
I am a very picky audio book listener. I will persist much more with a story that I am reading in paper book format. But audio books? If the reader is not pleasing to my ear, I think nothing of not finishing listening. As a matter of fact I read reviews and listen to samples before settling on an audio books. Then I cross my fingers and hope I have chosen well. So reader and story are almost on equal footing in my selection. If I already own a book, I prefer to read it over listening to it. I am more likely to listen to an audio book that I am not planning on reading. If the story is one I really want to read, I want to read it, however--not listen to it.
So with these parameters in mind I go about choosing something to listen to. It's been very hit or miss with me and audio books. I belong to Audible and so get a credit each month and am racking up the tokens, so I thought it was time to look for something new and interesting to listen to. I've got a number of unlistened to audio books in my "library" too.
I've had really good luck listening to radio dramatisations like the Saint and Perry Mason. They took me through the summer months, as well as a couple of Agatha Christie novels including And Then There Were None, which I read a few years ago. I listened to Kafka's The Metamorphoses last fall before reading the novella (and then never got around to writing about either experience!). I was last listening to Snow White Must Die by Nele Neuhaus before winter and cold weather arrived. It's been several months, however, since I last listened so the question is do I pick up where I left off and keep going or listen to something new?
After a little browsing and listening I now have four new audio books to choose from. Three are newly acquired and one was from my last audio book buying binge. Curious what I have to listen to?
Amsterdam: A History of the World's Most Liberal City by Russell Shorto - "An endlessly entertaining portrait of the city of Amsterdam and the ideas that make it unique." My library owns the book so I might borrow it and peruse it alongside the audio.
The People in the Photo by Hélène Gestern - This was already on my wishlist to buy or borrow and read, but I forgot about it (I have a really long wishlist and titles not at the top tend to get lost in the shuffle occasionally). When I listened to a sample of the audio it clicked with me. There are alternate narrators and I liked what I heard. It immediately went to my shopping cart and I think I will begin with this book! "The chance discovery of a newspaper image from 1971 sets two people on the path to learning the disturbing truth about their parents' pasts." "Winner of fifteen literary awards, this dark yet touching drama deftly explores the themes of blame and forgiveness, identity and love."
The Wicked Girls by Alex Marwood - "A gritty, psychological thriller that asks the question: How well can you know anyone? Gripping and fast-paced, with an ending that will stay with you long after you’ve read it, The Wicked Girls will appeal to fans of the Academy Award–nominated film Heavenly Creatures and the novels of Rosamund Lupton and Chevy Stevens."
Londoners: The Days and Nights of London Now - As Told by Those Who Love it, Hate It, Live It, and Long for It by Craig Taylor - "In Londoners, acclaimed journalist Craig Taylor paints readers an epic portrait of today’s London that is as rich and lively as the city itself. In the style of Studs Terkel (Working, Hard Times, The Good War) and Dave Isay (Listening Is an Act of Love), Londoners offers up the stories, the gripes, the memories, and the dreams of those in the great and vibrant British metropolis who “love it, hate it, live it, left it, and long for it,” from a West End rickshaw driver to a Soldier of the Guard at Buckingham Palace to a recovering heroin addict seeing Big Ben for the very first time." This is another audio book with multiple readers--I liked what I heard and think the anecdotal format will be perfect for listening.
I have added Donna Tartt's The Secret History to my Audible wishlist. I have tried to read it twice now, but I don't seem to have much luck with it (not sure why as it sounds right up my alley and I have heard so very many good things about it). Maybe listening would work better--am thinking about that one.
I think for now, however, I have a pretty good line-up. I will have to find some activities indoors where I can listen (cooking? stitching?), since we are forecast snow on Thursday morning, so I will be wearing ear muffs once again rather than ear buds! Always curious, I have to ask. Have you listened to any especially good audio books lately?