We received a Christmas letter from a friend who read 133 books this year -- 133! I checked (thank you, goodreads), and I've read a lowly 84 (well, so far . . . )
When the pandemic hit, I had a stack of books at the ready (thank you, New London and Waterford Public Libraries) so I was set for a solid few weeks.
In the meantime, some of my favorite reading friends have listened to books in addition to -- or in lieu of -- reading hard copies for years, and I was audible-curious, so I decided to give it a go.
In the case of every book I listened to during 2020 (thank you, Libby; thank you, scribd; thank you, audible), I also read a hard copy -- I went back and forth between listening while I was walking or doing Field Work or doing a project -- and reading when I was on my couch or on my Field chair or in my bed. Right where I belong.
And . . . I love it.
Not every listen was stellar -- the narrator makes all the difference -- but so many were. I was thinking about it and wondering just how many I listened to -- in the spirit of All-Things-End-Of-Year-List . . . and, well, here I am.
I do not know what took me so long to read Jacqueline Woodson, but I'm so glad she's on my radar now because she is amazing, and so is this book. I finished listening to it in the car on the way to my Mom's, before heading back home for zoom book club that night. Gorgeous read/listen. (Thanks, Dawnie.)
And next . . .
Wait, do I really need to fast-forward five months until my next audio book? Huh. Either this drought perfectly reflects a specific progression of covid, or I was just really into podcasts instead of audiobooks on my walks between June and November. Because I read some downright amazing books in those intervening months -- I mean, some of my year's favorites. Which I may or may not post about some day.
BUT. I will say. Malcolm Gladwell's podcast led me to this:
Which led me to this:
And yes, I did not listen to them. And yes, I am cheating. But yes, I am also making up the rules here. And I adored them both with all my heart and soul because books about grammar? Bring it.
To late Autumn and the return of . . .
. . . Juliet Stevenson. And a really lovely book.
I listened to parts of Girl Woman Other, but I kept returning to the hard copy because it's written almost-in-verse and it was just so cool and different. So, a read-not-listen one. (Thanks, MBC.)
My friend Julie said Michael Boatman's narration of this book is the best narration of any audio books she's ever read . . . er . . . listened to. And she speaks the truth. Nutso book, cuckoo characters, great narrator. (Thanks, Julie.)
Excellent memoir -- harrowing and honest and difficult and redemptive -- and excellent narration by the author. And now I'm a fan of the band The Airborne Toxic Event which I had never heard of, of course, since I live not under a rock, per se, but in my Field.
And finally . . .
. . . my current read/listen. I'm not yet halfway through, so I can't yet pontificate, but so far it's excellent. And it's very much multi-media, which works gorgeously in the audio medium. I'm in.
And that's it!
In my mind I listened to a ton of books this year, but it looks like it was only 15 or so. As usual, I've got it all upside down and backwards. And I'm okay with that.
Happy Reading, my friends. And Happy Listening, And Happy New Year, and see you in 2021.