Reading …

Audiobooks are the best invention; I’ve only just become hooked on them. A bit slow of me, admittedly. There are days when I am too ill to get up; even to sit up and read, yet my mind is busy and in need of occupation, which is deeply frustrating and depressing – not constructive nor conducive to relaxation and recover! With a good audiobook on the CD player or transferred to iPod, I can lie back and enjoy being read to.

I have only a couple of audiobooks in my collection so far, though I can see this changing! Barbara Kingsolver’s Prodigal Summer, read by the author, a ginormous Lord of the Rings read by …. um … I don’t know! Except it is a very good cure for insomnia … not so successful, that one; and J K Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, read by Stephen Fry (bought recently for me by my adorable Tuxedo – I’m so spoiled!)

There’s a few I’m on the look-out for; a couple of classics such as Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre, read by luminaries such as Juliet Stevenson, a couple of Dorothy L Sayers mysteries, and of course as many of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series – read by Blackadder’s Tony Robinson (Baldrick) – as I can get my hands on. Fortunately the (relatively) recently opened Borders in Perth has a huge and comprehensive selection so I’m in luck – audiobooks were previously rare critters.

Nostalgia has also hit, in the form of much-beloved children’s fiction/literature (specifically Elizabeth Goudge’s The Little White Horse – a childhood favourite which I discovered with much glee at, you guessed it, Borders), and at the Fantasy end of the scale, Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonseries. You may scoff, but I enjoyed the early books in the series immensely, and they still hold up. The entire concept of a complex agrarian/medieval society, the dragons and their relationship with their riders, the characters, the threats faced, were and remain classics of the genre. I totally went off the series around All the Weyrs of Pern –that the agrarian society could/would move to producing plastics, cellular microbiology and moving planets out of orbit within a four year span was bizarre and stretched the limits of credibility just a leeeetle far. Recent offerings in collaboration with or by McCaffrey’s son Todd have been plain lousy and limp. Nevertheless, I’m thoroughly enjoying Dragonflight et al, the Dragonsinger group, and prequels Dragonsdawn and First Fall.

Moving to somewhat higher ground, literature-wise, I’ve also made a start on both Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything and the novel The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak which looks damn interesting.

In other book news: Jodi Picoult’s ground-breaking multimedia novel The Tenth Circle­ has had some interesting results; penciller and story editor of the graphic novel-within-the novel Dustin Weaver has produced the movie adaptation of Peter Jackson’s King Kong, which looks brilliant from the few frames I’ve seen online, as well as some other mindblowingly new stuff. AND Picoult herself has been given the job of writing the story for five issues of Wonder Woman comics – talk about cross-breeding!

And who could ignore the fabulous news – via Ain’t It Cool News – that Joss Whedon is penning a new series of Buffy comics, produced by Dark Horse comics and taking off from the end of the final episode, where all the “potential” Slayers were activated and Sunnydale was sucked into the Hellmouth. The Slayers are now an organised force, yet there are still Big Bads and evils to fight … Yes I will be buying this, why do you ask?

Final reading news, I got around to buying myself a proper back-rest for comfortable sitting-up-in-bed-reading; no more slipping pillows and aching back for this girl! I found a good solid adjustable – and comfortable, padded – canvas on frame jobbie at an Independent Living centre – one of those places with lots of groovy gadgets and aids for mobility and health-compromised folks. It’s a great invention … next I need an adjustable bed tray large enough for my laptop/sketch books/notepads and I’ll be set.


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