Books on CD – Listen up!

I mentioned books on CD Here and made a mental note to come back to the subject. So, here I am!

I began listening to books on CD about ten years ago. I had a 40 minute drive to and from work (each way) and while I enjoy listening to music, I’m not a fan of listening while driving. I don’t know why… and yes, I know I’m weird.

One day, I was at one of my fave places (The Library) and noticed they had a whack of books on CD. Well, actually, back then there were still cassettes… and sometimes, I still say “Books on Tape” because it rolls across the tongue nicely. But I digress.  Point is, the library had a treasure trove of books to choose from in all genres. Would I choose fiction, non-fiction, self-help, biography, comedy, history… well, duh, there’s a ton because it’s a library. Hello!

Finding good books is one thing. Finding good readers is quite another. Nothing can ruin a book faster than a crummy reader. That said, after listening to hundreds of books, I can say with 100% certainty that my favorite reader of all time is Alan Alda. You may know him from the television powerhouse MASH or the movie Same Time Next Year. Or maybe, like me, you’re simply a fan. He’s smart, handsome, and reminds me of my dad. But for the purposes of this discussion, the man can read out loud.

Someone else who can read out loud almost embarrasses me to admit. I mean, that I’ve listened to every books she’s written. At my age, I’m waaay beyond her fan base. Hey, I don’t know… but I *am* a fan! Guess I just have to put her in the category of “Guilty Pleasures”… it’s Tori Spelling.

Both Alan Alda and Tori Spelling can read out loud and also craft delightful, funny, poignant books. Go figure!

When a reader is bad… they can be very, very bad. Like I say, I’ve “read” (listened to) hundreds of books over the years. Most of them I completed, but some were so bad I stopped them mid-sentence and ran back to the library to get rid of them.

I hate saying anything negative about anyone… but some folks shouldn’t read books out loud… even if they wrote them. I’m thinking of two in particular (both daughters of famous fathers) who I’m sure had valuable stories to tell. Their life choices led to heartache, broken marriages and/or fractured families. I could have learned from them, I’m sure. But I just could not stand how they read. I may still read their books (with my eyes) one day… but I won’t be listening. Ugh. Awful.

Self-help can be a bit tricky as you’re driving, anyway. If you’re like me, you’ll want to scribble some notes or stop to reflect. Probably a better idea to concentrate on the road. However, like the two baddies I mentioned above, some auto-biographies (especially) double as self-help. Like Jane Fonda’s My Life So Far and Marilu Henner’s Total Memory Makeover.  In both cases, their lives have had triumphs and struggles… and what they learned is imparted to their readers (listeners). Both readers are engaging and wonderful. By the way, if you’re a woman over 50… go get these two books. After listening, I did just that, so I could go back to them time and time again… and take the super important lessons to heart.

And then there are single CD’s that you might not even notice at first glance. They’re usually in a section all their own… like the very famous The Power of the Pause by Maria Shriver. <<< you can listen to it by following the link. It’s wonderful.

There is also a spiritual section, a music section, a language section ( ¿Qué pasa?) and even a financial section, where you can learn what NOT to do to make it rich.

Over the years, what has surprised me most is how much I enjoy listening to fiction. I am not usually a fiction reader… I mean, sure, every once in a while, I’d go on a tear and read all the Stephen King books  or Louise Penny or JK Rowling. But listening has opened a whole new love for storytelling! The first fiction work I listened to was JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. It was late fall and I chose to drive on the service roads instead of the highway because of the weather. My car was filled with the sound of clashing swords as I drove through a dense grey fog that hovered in stands of trees along the roadside. It was perfection!

I’m ADHD and often get bored when I read… unless I’m “into it” and then I kinda go the other way and become obsessive about finishing it. I have found that books on CD is one way to avoid fidgeting and impatience. I sometimes take three weeks to finish a book on CD… and that’s okay.

Wow, went a little long today. I wanted to share so much more. As you can tell… there is so much good to share! I’ll stop for today. But I did want to tell you that I’m listening to a fabulous book … Alan Cumming’s Not My Father’s Son. It’s an auto-biography. Cumming is a great reader and I love his accent. *swoon*

 

 

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