Thursday, May 24, 2012

BEDIM 24 - Audiobooks!

I believe I mentioned in my first post this month that I wasn't sure I'd make it past 24 posts, and I must say, here, in my 24th post, that I nearly forgot to to write today. 
I have been reading "Hard Times" by Charles Dickens, and while it's quite good and the writing is fun, I can't help but only read tiny portions at a time. I finally decided to look for the audiobook, and behold! there are free audiobooks on librivox and my book was there! I downloaded the book and put it on my ipod in the audiobooks category, and I love that I can speed up the narration. Instead of listing to a guy talk slowly for a half our, I can get the whole thing in 15 minutes instead. 
In the book, there is a character named Mr. McChoakumchild (he's a school master) and I think that his name is awesome. It makes me think of Miss Trunchbull or Professor Umbridge.
I'm liking Dickens enough to probably tackle one of his larger works after I finish this one. Any suggestions?
Another good audiobook is the entire trilogy of "His Dark Materials" by Phillip Pullman. Seriously, It was better than the book! The author narrates and there is a full cast of performers for the characters. Because of this, the narration excludes the "he said" and "he sighed" and other parts that are obvious and unnecessary with a cast narration. The trilogy has become one of my favorites, and even though I read it only about a year or so ago, whenever I see the series on a bookshelf I have the same nostalgic feelings that I do when I feel like re-reading Harry Potter (which also have good audiobooks).
The only downside to audiobooks is that in order for me to not get distracted while listening, I MUST be doing something with my hands that required no thought, such as cutting out things for class or cleaning or playing tetris or something. If I don't, I'm either asleep in minutes or tune the noise out while I think of other things.
A couple months ago at work we had a prep day in which no classes were taught, but there was plenty of things to work on. I cut out a million game pieces and listened to the entire "Graveyard Book" by Neil Gaiman. It was a good way to keep busy and not lose my mind.
Another Audiobook I recommend is "Foundling" by D.M. Cornish - it's a fantasy with the world-development of something by Tolkien. It's also very modern and feels like a quick read. The book itself is also well worth the effort of reading because of the author's illustrations and the immense and fun index (or "Explicarium") in the back. Give it a shot! 

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