Saturday, February 20, 2010

Sunday Greetings and my plans for the week

Posted by Simcha 5:03 PM, under | 5 comments

Good week everyone! (Hmm.. that sounds a lot better in Hebrew)

Last week I did pretty well in the reading department, finishing off a few books and listening
to one audio book. This was actually my first experience with an audio book and it made me wonder if listening to a book actually counts as having read it, since the experience is so different. But I will talk about this more in a later post. The book I listened to was Storm Front, the first in Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series. I had started reading this book a few times but could never get into it, but I found the audio version to be much more enjoyable.

I am also rereading an old favorite of mine, Villains by Necessity, and I have finally succumbed to temptation and started on The Desert Spear; Peter Brett's soon to be released sequel to The Warded Man (aka The Painted Man). I've been trying to put off reading this book because Peter asked me not to give too much away (or anything, really) about the plot, before the book's release in April. But it's so hard for me to read a book and not discuss it afterward that I have been trying to hold off on reading it, but I couldn't wait any longer. I'll tell you this much though- so far it's really, really good.

I probably won't be getting too much reading done this
week because most of my free time will be spent preparing for the Jewish holiday of Purim, which takes place this weekend. It's a one-day holiday in which we dress in costumes and deliver gifts of food to our friends and neighbors. We also have to have a festive meal and listen to the story of Purim being recited, twice (though it's an exciting story, so it's OK). But all of the preparations- including costumes, gift baskets and meals - are generally handled by the women because the men are often out carousing drunkenly (which, on this day, is actually encouraged). There is a lot of singing and dancing, and music playing in the streets; it's a pretty fun holiday- if you're aren't stuck in the kitchen. So to try to avoid that I'm going to make an attempt to begin my preparations early, which really goes against my nature, but would be worth it if I succeed.

But before I get started on all that...just a few more chapter of The Desert Spear...


Yeah, "shavua tov" is better, interesting, huh?
I don't know, I was never able to listen to audio books. Well, besides the Harry Potter ones, as they are read by Stephen Fry and he has a fantastic voice!

I do hope you enjoy The Warded Man! I think you will though. :)

Hope you have a great fun week! You will be able to make up the reading later... ha ha, I know easier said than done. Enjoy your time with friends and family!

My take on audiobooks is that I have an inner monologue (subvocalization) anyway so it's pretty much the same thing, just a more entertaining voice reading. Although it is much much easier to zone out giving cause for some rewinds...

I just like how I can even read while I'm driving or walking, both made very difficult with physical books. :)

I too consider audio books the same was reading. Character's take on an inner voice for me when I read so for me it is the same thing. Also, it takes much more time to listen to a book then it does to read a book but you still learn the story line. I wonder now if you pick up the next Dresden book if you'll enjoy it.

I am an audiophile. I listened to over 50 audio books in 2009 (and read over 150) so I spent a lot of time with books in general. I think sometimes there are book that just work better out loud - like poetry is suppose to be spoken not simply read. You are hearing the works on the page instead of simply seeing them. I have listened to books I've read and listened to books I haven't read also (or listened and then read the book).

Two things I have learned from my experiences are:
Too many characters without very different voices (when written or on audio) makes it very hard to follow and that is when the audio version is weak. At least with a book you can then flip back to double check what happened to a character previously.
Dialects and foreign languages are nice in audio because you don't have to deal with figuring out how it is said - they say it for you. You also don't get thrown out of the story every time a character drops into a dialect.

Something else is I've learned is that I can not read something (even browsing the internet) and listening to an audio book at the same time - my mind wanders and it doesn't matter who enthralling the book is, it still wanders. I can play a game or draw or shop (but not for books).

As to recommendations some that I love the audio for are:
Fables of Tonight series by Mike Resnick (first book is Stalking the Unicorn, followed by Stalking the Vampire and then Stalking the Dragon). The second book is one of my favorites and the audio makes the books for me.

The Devil You Know by Mike Carey (great story with great books but with a good audio version too).

The Terry Pratchett books are all awesome on audio. They switched halfway through on the reader but I as soon as I got use to it, I started enjoying them again. The Watch ones are particular favorites.

I haven't listened to a ton of straight fantasy on audio - although I do have a few. I'll get to them eventually but if you like other things besides fantasy, some other great audio books are:
The Help by Katheryn Stockett (one of my top books for last year - AMAZING audio).
Dog On It by Spencer Quinn (just wonderful audio books and if you love dogs, you'll get a kick out of this book)
Dirty Job by Christopher Moore (the humor just comes out great in his books on audio).
Anything by Neil Gaiman - his audio books are always well recorded.
The World Without use by Alan Weisman (nonfiction - sort of - about what would happen if human just disappeared. Very interesting and I was entertained).

I don't recommend anything by Elizabeth Bear on audio - her books are hard to follow as is, don't compound the pain by listening to them.

Hope that helped! Good discussion idea!

Ruthann: I had heard that the Dresden Files series gets good after the first couple books so I was thinking of listening to the first two and then reading the rest, but now I think I might just listen to them all.
Thanks for the advice and recommendations. Both you and Bryce mentioned the problem with audio books that have many different characters, so I guess I will try to avoid those.
I was actually thinking of listening to an Elizabeth Bear book since I haven't read anything by her, so it's funny that you mention it. I would love to listen to a Neal Gaimen book that he narrates, I'm sure it would be awesome.
I'm curious though, do you ever follow a specific narrator- listen to audio book books they are narrated by someone you like? I know that after listening to the Storm Front I checked to see if James Marsters did any other audio book because I so much enjoyed listening to him do Storm Front.

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