Listen Up: Audiobook Week 2012

June is Audiobook month, and today begins Audiobook Week 2012 (June 25-29), thanks to Devourer of Books for hosting. This is my first time participating.

Audiobooks are not new to me, albeit I’ve not been a regular listener. But 2012 is the year I rediscover the pleasure and benefits of them, and become a ‘chain user’. Mainly, it’s a time-saver for me. I listen to CD recordings of books while driving. That’s a great way to finish a book. Yes, after much pondering, I say ‘finish’ instead of ‘read’. The difference I’ve written in a previous post Dances With Words.

Yes, books on CD’s still, because there’s a large collection at our local public library., well, here’s a little story.

Have you ever been given a gift and then see it taken away as you open it? This is exactly my experience on this year’s Mother’s Day. My son gave me Colin Firth’s reading of Graham Greene’s The End of the Affair through Sweet… both the giver and the gift. We unwrapped the gift together, trying to download the recording, but was told its copyrights did not apply to Canada. So, we can’t listen to it above the 49th parallel. So much for free trade and open borders.

Anyway, I’m resigned to continue listening the old fashioned way… CD’s, while patiently waiting for Colin Firth’s reading to be transferred onto them.

The following are the audiobooks I’ve finished so far this year:

Reviews coming up. Happy listening everyone!


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If she’s not birding by the Pond, Arti’s likely watching a movie, reading, or writing a review. Creator of Ripple Effects, bylines in Asian American Press, Vague Visages, Curator Magazine.

25 thoughts on “Listen Up: Audiobook Week 2012”

  1. I used CD’s in the car and only recently started putting some on my iPod. So now besides listening to one in the car, I can also listen while at the gym or doing work outside!

    My only frustration with CD’s is when they are so badly scratched that you need to skip ahead….ughhh!

    Kristin @ Always With a Book


    1. Kristin,

      Yes, hard copies can become obsolete when scratched. I should try using the iPhone more for listening. Thanks for the tip. 😉


    1. Devourer of Books:

      My favorite is Jeremy Irons reading Brideshead Revisited. Will be reviewing it during Audioweek. Thanks for hosting!


  2. My library system has a copy of Brideshead Revisited read by Jeremy Irons and I’ve added it to my ‘check out later’ list. I often burn purchases to CD, so if I get to The End of the Affair before CD’s become available, I would gladly send them to you.


    1. Will be posting a review of it some time during Audioweek. It’s one of the best audiobooks I’ve listened, albeit my ‘repertoire’ isn’t that wide. 😉


    1. Carrie,

      Yes, it’s one of my faves too. I was just amazed by the narrator’s versatility in terms of the variety and combination of accents for that book.


  3. I am back from our trips to Tennessee and read all your posts again. The book sale you went to sounds so good. My husband and I are real bookworms and will travel just to go to a bookstore – as we flew a week-end to Portland just to visit Powell’s Books. Every time we visit a city we first visit the second-hand book stores. I bought Suite Française when it came out in paperback in France (in French) in 2006. Since then I have purchased several other books by Irene Nemirovsky. I had read about her daughter carrying the little black book containing the story and finally reading it years later.

    I understand when you say “Downton has prompted me to seek out books and films with setting in the early part of the 20th C.” Very often reading a certain book, or seeing a movie will prompt me to find out more about that time or that author and then I’ll get half a dozen or more books on the subject. I will even travel for it, like our last trip to New York was just because of such a prompt. I’ll write a post explaining it. About WW1 I just read an article saying that casualties were way off, and the number is even much larger than thought.

    The Studebaker surprised me, I did not think of them as pick-up trucks, but large cars from the 1950s and earlier, but that one is a beauty.

    I don’t listen to audio books often – sometimes I don’t get the English word too well then it is hard to stop and go back. Reading a book is easier to reread it or go to the dictionary. My daughter gave me a Kindle for my birthday (last March) I’ll have to start using it soon. I found a first edition Brideshead Revisited at an estate sale and read it last December – I liked it a lot although there was a bit too much religion for my liking, but it went well with the story.


    1. Vagabonde,

      Wow how cool is that! A first edition Brideshead Revisited! You know, in that booksale I went to, there was a special section for old and rare books. But I couldn’t find anything that’s remotely as valuable as that. I did find a 1936 edition of Somerset Maugham’s Of Human Bondage though. I know, it’s not anywhere close to the 1915 first ed. But I think this is already one of the oldest ed. that I own.

      I’ve signed up for the Paris in July blogging event. I’ve already got some books & movies lined up for that, Suite Française is one of them. I’ve 3 titles in mind, and they’re all my ‘loot’ from the book sale.

      Talking about Downton’s ripples, I’m wrapping up Midnight’s Children read-along comes June 30, and there are ripples from it too… several titles waiting for me to explore, all acclaimed novels by Indian writers. Of course, I’m most eager to watch the film adaptation of Midnight’s Children, to be released in Oct. 2012.

      As for audiobooks, I know what you mean by missing some words, since English is my second language. It takes some getting used to, and it does save a lot of my time. I look for good narrators who can deliver with clarity. Jeremy Irons reading Brideshead Revisited is a good example.

      Again, thanks for reading my posts so thoroughly. I appreciate your thoughtful comment every time you visit. 😉


  4. Audiobooks took some getting used to — I’m a visual learner and holding hours’ worth of sounds in my brain was difficult at first. But with my commute and schedule, it’s almost the only way to get books into me. Your experience with Audible mirrored mine — there was a particular book I wanted and signed up on Audible particularly to get it. Turns out it was not available for the U.S. market! I’m sure there’s some reasonable explanation for the strange copyrights in place… or maybe not. Glad to see you’re not going to let that stop you from listening!


    1. I was so surprised to find there are geographical limits to these audiobooks. Hopefully they’ll iron out this issue soon. At the mean time, I’m used to the traditional format, so it’s fine for me to continue with CD’s. We’ve ‘Overdrive’ format to download eBooks from our public library, but then again, it’s the copyright issue I think that they only have one copy for each title, the most two. So it’s hard to find available copies. Certainly needs a better way to deliver audiobooks.


  5. I love audio books! And funnily enough I joined audible only a couple of weeks ago to take advantage of a special offer that got me Great Expectations free. It was complex, though, as Mister Litlove had to transfer the download to itunes and then copy it onto discs for me as I don’t have anything like an iphone or ipod or whatever. It worked, though, so I just got him to download The Eustace Diamonds by Anthony Trollope – I’ve got about 25 hours to listen to now! I find it extremely relaxing to sit back and listen to a story. I do hope you get your Colin Firth reading one way or another!


    1. I think you would enjoy Colin Firth reading Graham Greene. It’s his own selection. They got some A list actors choosing their favorite read. I’d be interested if you’d write a review on it. 😉


  6. Too bad about End of the Affair! I’m not an audiobook fan, I can’t just sit an listen and if I do something to keep my hands busy then I tune out the book. My husband listens to books in the car and since the car is 9 years old he has use CDs because there is no port to plug in an ipod and none of the converters work. He manages pretty well borrowing from the library.


  7. You have a great list! My car is so old I only have a tape player! Too bad, because those trips to the lake and back are long ones. Still, these will be added to mine. (Although I do have Gilead as a book; perhaps I’ll just do it the old fashioned way!)


    1. Jeanie,

      Yes, I’ve read Gilead before years ago, but this first time listening to the soothing and gentle voice of the narrator makes me appreciate something I didn’t when I was reading the book. Now that too is a measure of a good audiobook.


  8. I did give an audio book a try again a couple of weeks ago, and it just isn’t workable for me. If I really listen to the book, I don’t pay attention to what else I’m doing – like driving or working. And if I keep my attention on the road or sanding, I miss half the book. Since I get so deeply involved in the listening,the only place for me to indulge in an audio book is at rest in a chair! If that’s where I am anyway, I really prefer to read rather than listen.

    Still, for those who can make it work, it’s a great option!


    1. Linda,

      Ok, I heard you. Now, I’ve got the perfect audiobook for you… best to listen to it “at rest in a chair”: Gilead by Marilynne Robinson, read by Tim Jerome. Pulitzer Prize fiction 2005. An old pastor in Gilead, Iowa, leaving memories for his young son. The voice is soothing, kind, gentle and most wise. I wrote about it in my post Dances With Words. I’m sure this one would change you view of audiobooks. 😉


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