Sunday, May 20, 2012

In Praise of Audio Books

This article about audio with kids & this one on more generally on audio books highlights a favorite pass  time of mine: being read  to. I almost always have a book or lecture going in my car. From Moby Dick to The Illiad to The Great Gatsby, I've enjoyed them as much or more by having them read to me. And as to kids books, The Giver and The Witches pop to mind immediately as a part of our trips to Michigan!  I received a great deal of pleasure reading the our daughters--1HP even suffered me to read to her in high school (she's old enough to admit it now) from the instructional & enigmatic Sophie's World.


Great readers & performers? Of course, the great Shakespearean actors reading Shakespeare: Geilgud, Olivier, Burton, Guiness, etc. (I often go back to Burton reading John Donne, too--what a treat!). George Guidall will always be the voice of the great phyisician-essayist Lewis Thomas to me, and Frank Muller brought Moby Dick to life in a way that a couple of futile attempts at reading it could not.

Perhaps I should join the author of the second article in listening to Caro's lastest installment his incredible LBJ biography. Hmmm, maybe. But in the not too distant future, I won't have a car. Listening as I drive makes me a much happier driver. (Currently listening  to Thinking, Fast & Slow: highly recommended.)

Why Is This Man Laughing? by Garry Wills | NYRblog | The New York Review of Books

Why Is This Man Laughing? by Garry Wills | NYRblog | The New York Review of Books

I've held a conversation as recently as today about Romney's awkwardness. Just an awkward smart/rich guy who can't fit in? Is he just plain weird? As I generally avoid watching him since I rarely agree with him, he panders far beyond even the average politician (a high bar to exceed), I won't vote for him, and he IS AWKWARD. Thus, I don't see his laugh that often, but Wills gives us some insight from his position as a veteran political reporter, as well as Kundera & Dostoevsky reader. Very interesting.