So, I found this article the other day, wherein the author really does like audiobooks but points out how authors, and researchers and studies show that they’re really not good for you. It’s somewhat confusing to me because it reads as if the author was searching for something to write and a historical overview of how certain types of people have railed against audiobooks seemed to be as good a topic as any other.
This article did make me think about my attitude towards audiobooks. It occurred to me that I don’t actually do list the audiobooks that I listen to when I review them — and that’s because when I sit down to write a review, i always think of myself as reviewing a book, and until this year basically, all I’ve done is review books in print — I’m conditioned to think that’s the only way to read a book. Which I promise to change.
What I am embarrassed about is that I am so so sooooooooo picky when it comes to narrators. Take The Marsh King’s Daughter, for instance: killer blurb and yet when I tried to listen to it on audio, the narrator bored me senseless and I found myself wondering when will this book enndddddd.… which is when I knew I had to quit. Same with Spoonbenders: there, the switches from past and present just made my head hurt. The narrator was not doing it for me.
Narrators make or break an audiobook for me, and despite what the article said, I actually do focus on the book as much as possible because I usually listen when I’m walking or at the gym and it takes me away from watching the clock.
But still, the idea that audiobooks can’t catch a break and some people consider them not to be “real reading”.
Question: which of these do you think would be worth listening to? I think this first book rec is top of the list.
When hell-spawn from Chinese folklore come knocking Genie Lo’s life takes a turn from getting into college to saving the world. Her epic crush, Quentin, is determined to convince her she has the power to fight them, even level the gates of Heave (which makes me want this even more) and Genie wants to try. AND then she discovers who she is? Makes sense because of who he is. So really the question is: who are they? Chinese folklore, a heroine and a coming of age story in which she really does literally have to figure out who she is. I’m so in.
And then PARIS. Paris will always get me to look at a book.
This is a collection of stories by authors who have written fiction based in Paris. I absolutely freely admit I don’t know some of these authors, but I want to know their experience of Paris. Because PARIS.
This past Thursday I headed out to the book launch for Half Wild. A former manager of mine attended a writing course with Allen and Unwin, and Pip Smith was one of his colleagues in there, and this is the result: Set in Sydney in 1938 Jean Ford is knocked down by a car and in a coma. She begins to recall a life beginning in 1885 — the life of Tally Ho (who runs away from home). And then in 1927 the burned body of a woman is found and her son tells police that his mother is missing and that his step-father isn’t who he seems to be. Which he’s correct because this book is based on the life of Eugenia Falleni, a female-to-male transgender man who was accused convicted of murder. I listened to the lady doing the audiobook do a reading at the launch, and it’s AMAZING what goes into reading an audiobook imho!
This next book is written by a geek girl, which is apt because the book is about one.
Forever Geek and the Geek Girl series
So, Forever Geek is the last book in the series, so I am chucking the whole series in with this recommendation. I am completely tickled by the idea of a geek becoming a model and trying to reinvent herself and then got impressed when I read that the author, Holly Smale, did just that: tried modelling when she was 15, and then went to study English Lit and Shakespeare, before writing the Geek Girl series. There’s an interview I read with her in which she describes how awful it was for her father to read one of her books and understand the bullying and taunts she endured. So, I am curious about a book that handles all this and with a dash of humour.
So SJP did a literary thing and after side-eyeing it hard, I am now impressed.
The idea of Sarah Jessica Parker as an editorial director for and imprint for Hogarth and Penguin Random House confused me immensely. I only know SJP for her work on Sex and the City, and yes, she’s much more than that, but of all things editorial director was not one of the things I thought she would head towards. Sounded a little bit like a stunt, but with the first book of the imprint announced, I take my words back. A Place for Us is by Fatima Farheen Mirza and is about an Indian Muslim family in the US on the eve of their eldest daughter’s wedding — a marruage for love, and not an arranged one. This is about the differences between parents and children, the culture they were brought up with, and the culture in which they live. I am TOTALLY looking forward to what SJP does with this imprint now.