Monday, September 13, 2010

Now I just want to say this to you, listen to this...

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Even though this turned into the summer of Herodotus, I have also listened to some books during my commute. The local library system is rather hit or miss on what is available but here are a few things I’ve listened to over the last couple of months:

The Mill on the Floss, George Eliot
Thoroughly enjoyable (despite the ending) and a book I will definitely revisit. I had not read any Eliot since Adam Bede was a selection in an AOL book discussion group I participated in about 13 years ago. My loss, and something I need to correct long before 13 years elapse again.

Goldengrove, Francine Prose
I listened to this right after Mill on purpose. Although the story didn’t do much for me, I thought it very well done. Based on this listen, I want to check on additional works by Prose. This might have been better in book form rather than audio format.

Cranford, Elizabeth Gaskell
Delightful fun. While I don’t plan on revisiting in book form, I do recommend it. To call it Austen-lite would be a disservice to both writers.

The Lodger Shakespeare, Charles Nicholl
Another book that, while well done, just didn’t do it for me. Rarely do I actually say “Meh” when I finish a book, whether reading or listening. This was one of those times.

Swann’s Way, Marcel Proust
After listening to a couple of Virginia Woolf’s books (after reading them) and finding them surprisingly approachable, I was hoping for the same reaction when I saw this on the shelves. And that’s what I got. Very enjoyable in audio format and helped reinforce that many books that seem difficult or weighty improve when read out loud. Or maybe it’s just the association of this book with Tahiti for me.

Ethan Fromme, Edith Wharton
Similar comment to George Eliot, except it was probably 16 years since my last reading of Wharton. I’ll have to visit her more often.

Home, Marilynne Robinson
Not as consistent as Gilead, but I’ll never forget the chill I got about two-thirds through the book. The last third of the book made me forget the previous minor irritations and made me want to revisit this.

Crossing to Safety, Wallace Stegner
I’ve never read anything by Stegner and know absolutely nothing about this book. I checked it out this weekend and began listening this morning. So far so good…

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