Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Earplugs- the Weekly audios

If you notice my 'currently reading' widget, there are often books there that don't make it to the formal review postings.  I 'read' a lot of books with my ears: i.e., I listen to them in audio format.  Due to various physical limitations, I often find it hard to hold a paper book, or concentrate my eyes on the printed page, and it's not a print size problem.  Anyway, I listen to at least 2, often 3-4 audio books a week, as I drive, do housework, needlework or take a walk.  I get most of them from the public library, either in hard CDs, or as downloads from Overdrive.

To me there is no difference between reading with my eyes or with my ears...I get the same enjoyment from the author's efforts.  So I decided to do a weekly post of mini-reviews of the great audios I've finished during the past week.

The first one I finished was P.D. James' latest (out in hardback last year) The Private Patient.  This looks to be the last in the wonderful Adam Dahlgleish series, and it's every bit as good as the previous ones.  If you haven't read or listened to any of these, hurry to your local bookstore/library and grab one.  Dahgleish is an urbane, polished, humane, gentle, highly intelligent detective (he's like....the head of the British CID.)  This one concerns murder (what else?), greed, deeply buried secrets from the past....all the usual ingredients of a good who-dunnit.  The plot is intricate, the characters extremely well fleshed out, and we are left up to the very end to figure everything out. James is almost 90 years old, and I hope she lives, and continues to write for another 90.

Then I ear-read another in the fun series of Inspector Montalbano mysteries: The Voice of the Violin.  Set in Sicily, these feature a detective who is almost the antithesis of Dahgleish.  Montalbano is crusty, short-tempered, willing to bend the rules, but also insightful, food-loving, and ultimately very human and forgiving.  In this episode, Montalbano's police driver crashes into a parked car whose owner turns up murdered.  His unorthodox search methods get him suspended from the case at one point, but that doesn't stop our hero.  This one leaves big fat hints all over the place. It's one of those where the reader wants to grab the main character, shake him and say "Hey....what about the XYZ"  I enjoy these stories, but unlike some of my other favorites, I can only take these in small doses.

Both are well read by their narrators.  The lush Sicilian accents of the Montalbano series are especially pleasant to hear.  Give your eyes a rest and try one of these.  They're definitely a treat for another sense.


  1. I listen to audio books a lot while I'm working. I haven't heard of either of these but I'll have to check out The Private Patient.

  2. I WISH that I could listen to audio books but I find I have a concentration issue. I have
    I keep thinking if it were the right book or I listened to it at the right time, it would work. But it has not yet....

  3. I love audio books, especially in bed .

  4. I agree wholeheartedly about audiobooks ~ they count just the same for me as bound books. There are some books I've read via audio that I probably wouldn't have gotten to in bound volume form. One that comes to mind is "Team of Rivals," which is a whopping 36 CDs worth of listening. I can only imagine how huge and heavy the book is! I recently finished "The Private Patient" which took me awhile to get into but which I grew to enjoy very much. Other recent favorite audios include the Tuesday Next series by Jasper Fforde and the Artemis Fowle series by Eoin Colfer. So fun to listen to!


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