Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Advent-ures: Number Six: Audio Books

I have written about this before:  I am a recent convert to the joy of audio books.

I have never been so up-to-date with current literature.

Since signing up to Audible's "£7.99 a month for one book a month" scheme I have been able to "read" the latest books almost as soon as they are published, instead of waiting until they reach my local library or paperback.
And actually, even then I have limited time to dedicate to sitting down with a novel as it requires me to do nothing else.  So my ink-based reading has been slow this year.

I am a real multi-tasker.
Audio books allow me to knit or sew or walk or travel at the same time as "reading".

I have a great need for narrative in my life.
It reminds me that I need to keep writing too.

So what have I read this year?
So far:

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
This Must be the Place by Maggie O'Farrell
The Girls by Emma Cline
The Turning Point by Freya North
In Gratitude by Jenny Diski
My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
Villette by Charlotte Bronte
The Strays by Emily Bitto
Out of Time by Miranda Sawyer
All at Sea by Decca Aitkenhead
The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
Orphans of the Carnival by Carol Birch
Hamilton:  The Revolution by Jeremy McCarter and Lin-Manuel Miranda
Swing Time by Zadie Smith

And ready to go:  Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, narrated by Thandie Newton

It is such a luxury to have someone read to me.
Especially someone with a magnificent ear for the "voices" of a narrative.

It works for me, and it also works for my elderly mother.
I did not blog about this, but at this time last year she had a medical emergency which resulted in her losing her sight.  The doctors were able to give her vision back in one eye, but she is now partially blind.

I cannot imagine... ouf.

And because I was embroiled in other waiting room situations, a few hundred miles north, there was little I could do to help.

So I gifted her a "Listening Books" subscription.
They have a special service for the partially sighted:  MP3-format CDs drop through her letterbox at regular intervals - as soon as she sends one back, another appears - brilliant!
She can ring up the nice young man in London and discuss her preferences.
We seem to have honed it down to "cosy murders"...


  1. What did you think to The Essex Serpent? Am considering that one. Thanks!

    1. Hi Karen,
      I wrote a little bit about at the time of listening, here:
      I think that sums up my feelings about it.

  2. "Cozy murders." There's an oxymoron for you!

  3. Joined Audible last month and they have a lot of good classics read by one of my favourite actresses, Juliet Stevenson. She's a great reader, and a nice Audible feature is that you can search on a particular reader you like.

    1. Good idea! That might broaden my reading horizons too.

  4. It might be worth seeing if your local library service offers e-audio, they probably won't be as upto date on titles as audible but it would be free and give you some options after you have finished your audible download for the month.

  5. hi - not sure what your local library is, but you can get free library books to listen to via Overdrive. For example:

    1. Thanks for this - I need to investigate, clearly.

    2. When you're a member of the Shire library you can access Aberdeen City as well for audio books. Not as good a range as the e-books but a reasonable selection for back up. You get them for 3 weeks before you have to renew. They just stop working when the DRM thingy inbuilt into the system stops.

  6. Since I am a very big fan of Jane Austen, my daughter, the Elementary School Librarian, gave me ELIGIBLE for my birthday , and then she checked it out at the library for herself. After reading some of it , she called me, sputtering, about how she hoped I wasn't shocked or anything at the story line, etc. I told her I needed a few good laughs at that point and got them.

    At the moment I am listening to the fifth book in the HARRY POTTER series - a nice alternative to all the people who keep talking politics , even though the election is over.

  7. Loving the phrase "cozy murders" :D