Friday, April 22, 2011

I read a book!

I read a book!  I even read two!  Or, more accurately, I listened to two books.  I have become a fan of the audiobook.  So good for listening while knitting.  Or on public transport.  Or doing the dishes.  Or holding a sleeping baby.  I buy my audiobooks from Audible - I have a monthly membership, which is good value right now that the dollar is so good.

The first is Bill Bryson's At Home:  A Short History of Private Life, read by himself.  I love his travel books and I thought this sounded interesting - a history of private life, themed around each room in the 19th century rectory house in which he lived in the UK.  It's an interesting book, crammed full of facts and anecdotes, but I found it a bit of a slog.  I'm not sure if it suffered by being an audiobook - it might be better read in the traditional way, because it would allow you to skip around to find whatever next takes your fancy.  It also doesn't display nearly as much of the humour Bryson has in his travel books.   

But if you are the sort of person who goes on wikipedia (or whatever) to look up, say, when the first house was built, and end up going on a journey including skara brae, whale hunting, the poorhouse, manufacture of bricks, the history of medical discoveries and treatment in particular as it pertains to women and so on, then you will love this book!  And if you are me, you will come away with a sense of gratitude that you are a woman now and not in the past when you might have had a breast removed due to cancer, without the use of anaesthetic.   Urk.


The second was a refreshing change (which is kind of weird, since the story itself is almost a horror story!).  Coraline, by Neil Gaiman, read so delightfully by Dawn French.  I just loved this, and the narration was perfect.  I found it really difficult to "put down", and had this one read within a few days (whereas At Home took me a few months to finish).  It is a kid's story, but doesn't overly read like one, and had just enough suspense without leaving me totally freaked out, if that makes sense.  I highly recommend it!

15 comments:

Bells said...

two audiobooks i've got on my wishlist. I love Bryson's Shakespeare book and a few travel ones - this one does sound different.

Dawn F reading Coraline is a great idea. That'd work!

drkknits said...

have you 'read' any other of neils books? the graveyard book is another 'younger audience' one but his adult books are fabulous, neverwhere, american gods. recommended. ive never been into travel books tho, but this one sounds interesting. i cant imagine listening to a book instead of reading it, but i can see how convenient they must be for busy hands! yay for books!

2paw said...

I loved Bryson's House book. I read it all the way through in one fell swoop and it does meander the same way one meanders, clicking, through the internet. It was a great book!!

Sarah said...

I watched the movie of Coraline a little while ago - loved it - I can imagine Dawn French would be the perfect narrator. I'm not great with audio books my mind wanders and I lose the plot!

Nathan and Naomi said...

Try your local library for audiobooks too! Not as great for choice but cheaper, and our library let's you download from home. Really good for books you're not sure you'll like!

MadMad said...

That is so weird - had never heard of Bryson before, but JUST yesterday was talking to a friend about books and she told me about At Home, and her assessment was exactly yours. Almost verbatim!

Roxie said...

Love Audio Books! They keep me going through housework and other mindless projects.

Lynne said...

Ah yes, audio books - how did we ever knit without them!

del said...

I KNOW I really need to just give in and embrace audio books but I haven't been able to do it yet. I know I could get a lot more done!

Ah well, glad you're enjoying it.

amy said...

I haven't embraced them yet either. Maybe someday! I like the idea of being able to download a new book right when I need one though instead of waiting to go to the library! (I'm out of book at the moment, sigh!!)

Ann said...

Thanks for the recommendations. I tried audio book before but I can't concentrate on the reading & keep losing the plot. But I love reading on my kindle.

michele said...

a good reminder. i should try audio books again. i love them for a long drive but when knitting i find a loose track of the story. but i should try again - i only tried knitting and listening once and maybe it was the book.

Donni said...

Nah. It wasn't you. It was a bit of a slog which ever way you read it ( as you know I did. Mine via the iPhone before I had the ipaddle ). It was a wonderful book but very long and I found my head spinning after each chapter and wanting to spout all sorts of info about the origin of concrete or some such factoid.

Coraline was a SPOOKY viewing when the kids and I watched it. The film creeped us out.

Olivia said...

I haven't been won over to the audio book yet, and I have so many books waiting to be read anyway. Just got a book seat so I can try reading and knitting at the same time. Also, I second the comment about the Coraline movie, definitely worth a watch, I really enjoyed it (and I read the book too).

1funkyknitwit said...

Audio books are a great idea because I no longer read book unless they are knitting or spinning related.

I took my little man to see Coraline and it was rather "dark" but we both enjoyed it.