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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Audio Books

Once someone told me a story - who knows if it's true - about the bygone days of radio shows. In this story, the whole neighborhood sat out on their porches on summer evenings to listen to the latest episode of "The Shadow" and other serial dramas, and the kids played up and down the street. They never had to worry about missing out on the show; by the time they were out of earshot of one porch, they could hear the radio from the next.

Radio shows like that may be mostly things of the past, but that doesn't mean that listening to stories is passe. A good voice actor can bring a novel to life and give your brain something to do while your hands are busy, or when you want a story without having to hold a book. Best of all, try an audio book read by the author, like Michael Chabon's Manhood for Amateurs - the audio format transforms the book from a memoir to the confidences of a neighbor.

Spring and summer are especially great times for audio books - when you're cleaning, gardening, walking to work or driving to your vacation, listening to an audio book can be good hands-free entertainment. And while new audio books are a bit spendy, we also have used audio books which are affordably priced and just as good. You may be surprised what you find!

Come on in and get some fiction, in any genre from literary to romance, sci fi/fantasy to mystery/thriller, including new hits like Naomi Novik's His Majesty's Dragon and classics like Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes story The Hound of the Baskervilles. Pick up that non-fiction book you've been meaning to get to, whether it's a biography like David Remnick's The Bridge or a business book like Chip and Dan Heath's The Switch. Grab Jim Dale's reading of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone for the kids or the whole family, and learn how to pronounce all those magical terms - Jim Dale met with J.K. Rowling to get the authentic pronunciation. Make your long drive feel shorter and laugh your way through the weeding with Dave Barry's I'll Mature When I'm Dead. You'll be glad you did.

Posted by Monica.

1 comment:

  1. I haven't listened to Chabon, and I will. Most author readers are terribly terrible - I've heard dozens. The best I've heard so far is Barbara Kingsolver's reading her "Prodigal Summer." Her slow diction and light southern drawl and patience and love for her characters, even the unlikeable ones, was about perfect for that book.

    By the way, Ben Kingsley's new reading of "Sherlock Holmes" is good. I was surprised (because screen actors aren't usually good voice actors) but I really liked it.