Susan Dennis (susandennis) wrote,
Susan Dennis

Listen up

In the late 90's I started a job that included a bitch of a commute. I survived it with Books on Tape.  This was the olden days and those books came on literal tape cassettes.  I rented them. They would come in a box 7 or 8 a box.  When I was done, I slapped on the label and popped them into the mail and ordered my next one.

Back then, I was devouring contemporary mysteries in tree book form so to keep my brain from exploding in confusion, I listened to classics in the car. I discovered Kate Chopin and devoured everything they had by her. To this day, when I get on a certain stretch of local interstate, I flash back to her plots and characters...

But, these days, except for occasional Kindle/Google Book reads, I'm all Audible.Com all the time. I have favorite authors but also several favorite readers. A good reader can make a blah book interesting or a good book great.  Once in a while I hit a not great reader and even more seldom one who's truly horrible, but most are just very excellent at a very difficult job.

More often these days, particularly with non fiction, authors read their own works. Sometimes this works. Ken Jennings does a great job. But, more often it does not.  Good writers don't always make good readers.  Recently I tried Half Empty by David Rakoff. David's writing is exceptional. But it is complicated and he is not a reader. His words are strung together with perfection and rendered deadly with his reading of them. Sadly.

Today I started Yes, My Accent is Real by Kunal Nayyar who plays Raj on The Big Bang Theory. Kunal is not a great writer by any means but he is a very clever and funny writer and he is a fabulous reader. His timing and inflection (and, yes, accent) and tone make a clever book really really entertaining.

I bought it to listen while swimming because it was only 7 hours and I thought it would be an amusing 7 hours. I've now listened to the first half hour and already I'm sorry it's only 7 hours!

At night I'm listening to the latest Jack Reacher (Lee Child is the author) book read by Dick Hill. Child is one of my favorite authors and Dick Hill is one of my favorite readers.

My ears are certainly getting treated nicely these days!
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