Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Sunday Salon:

It's a gorgeous Indian Summer weekend here in Pittsburgh. Truly, the weather here yesterday was beyond spectacular, and today promises to deliver more of the same.  Betty and I spent Saturday exploring the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, which means today becomes one of grocery shopping, dinners-made-in-advance, football - and of course, reading and blogging and catching up on the past week's worth (and then some) of your blogs.

On the reading front, I'm still struggling through The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne. (Doesn't that cover just scream "classic literature"?)  This one, which I'm reading for the group read being hosted in conjunction with the R.I.P. challenge, is much more slow-going for me than I expected.  I can't tell whether it is the book or the combination read/listen approach that I'm taking with this.

You see, I started off with the print version.  Then, I saw the audio at the library and realized it could be the perfect accompaniment audiobook-wise to my work travels this week.  I started listening on Tuesday morning somewhere around page 20 and by Friday, I had made it to the equivalent of page 145 in the print edition.

Roslyn Alexander's narration of this one is excellent.  I think this may be the first audio that I've listened to with Roslyn as the narrator, but I'll certainly be looking for her with other audiobooks.

That being said, I'm not sure that this one lends itself well to audio. During the past week, there have been many times when I've had to replay whole sections (entire chapters, almost) to insure that I was "getting" what was going on and who's who.  This isn't a mindless listen (or read); it's definitely one that demands some concentration. I'm usually listening to my audiobooks while listening to ONSTAR giving me directions to wherever I'm going that day. Usually I can do this pretty well, but not so much in my listening of The House of the Seven Gables ... which is why I'm hoping to finish this (the print version) today.

For the upcoming week, I think I have at least two audiobooks in my future, given the amount of travel that is on the schedule.  I'm looking at The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd as well as The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson.

The Secret Life of Bees is one that I have had on my TBR shelf for ... well, quite some time. I honestly can't remember where and when I bought this one, but that doesn't matter.  What does matter is that this is a TBR book that will be getting read!  (Since I have a lot of time in the car these days to devote to audiobooks, I'm trying to focus my listening on selections from the library that match up with books I already own.)

I'm also hoping to get to The Adoration of Jenna Fox, which I don't own but which definitely looks appealing.  From the description, it seems like it might fit into the categories for an R.I.P. Challenge read, no?  Or is it a stretch?

I'll defer to your wise judgment ... what do you think?


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Anonymous said...

I must say, as much as I love Nathaniel Hawthorne, I really disliked The House of the Seven Gables. If was tedious!

JoAnn said...

I used a combination read/listen approach with The House of the Seven Gables, too. Although I had a different narrator, I doubt I would have made it through in print alone. Now if I can only get a post written for Friday...

The Bumbles said...

I have been to the House of Seven Gables - or at least the inspiration for the story - in Salem, MA but I have not read the tale. Or if I did back in my youth, I have no recollection of it. I do love to read Classics however. I think to listen to one on audio for me, it would have to be utterly atmospheric like Rebecca or an incredibly action based plot, like The Count of Monte Cristo. I save my focused reading for print. This sounds like one of those.

K A B L O O E Y said...

Haven't read any Hawthorne since The Scarlet Letter in high school, so curious to hear what you say. The Secret Life of Bees was... a bit folksy and predictable for me. And I'm of no use to you today because I haven't read The Adoration of Jenna Fox. I do love the book cover, however.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

I haven't read the house of the seven gable yet but I am going through Women in Love by Lawrence. The older books take a lot more concentration in order to figure out what is going on.

Beth F said...

I read Hawthorne many years ago and I don't remember having trouble getting through House of Seven Gables. But maybe I just blocked out any painful bits.

The Secret Life of Bees is a fabulous audiobook.