How many of you "read" audio books? They're not something I have much experience of (I find them frustrating as I read so very much faster than someone reading out loud), but recently I've started getting them for long journeys in the car, as we can't always bear to have a continuous stream of music, and radio 4 isn't hugely reliable. The trouble with audiobooks is that they are HUGELY expensive, although I think one can now download them (although my boyfriends car, even though it is considerably more expensive than mine doesn't have an MP3 socket). So, I have to borrow them from the library, which is a better option at £1.50 for 3 weeks, but even though I go to the central library of the district there isn't a huge selection. And over half of them are on tape, which renders them unplayable for us as we no longer have a tape machine.
The other problem is that I have to find something that will appeal to both my boyfriend and I... I struck gold last weekend when we went to Cornwall, finding an audio book of Stephen Fry's The spectacled bear, read by the man himself. My boyfriend is a huge fan of Stephen Fry. And when I read the back, I thought it looked really interesting. It was the tale of Fry's involvement in a documentary about the roots of Paddington Bear, and then a subsequent programme when Fry and the team went back to Peru to rescue a mate for this bear. What made it good as an audio book was that in some ways the book worked like a radio programme, as the main part of the book which was Fry's journal of the trip was preceded by a discussion of how the documentary came about and included lots of fascinating information about Peru, all delivered with Fry's customary wit.
The only other audio book we've had was a CD of Just William by Richmal Crompton when we went to Skegness in January. They were doing electrical work in the library around the audio book section on the day that I went in to choose, so the only way I could get an audio book was to get something from the children's library! This was also a big hit as my boyfriend remembered listening to this exact edition on the radio when he was little, and whoever the reader was (I now forget) did a brilliant job of encapsulating the characters.
So now I've got to choose something for the weekend. I'm wondering about a PG Wodehouse - I've not read any of his books and I know my boyfriend enjoys them. I also spotted a sequel to the Mapp and Lucia books by Tom Holt which looked interesting - I've not read the M&L books but I know my boyfriend has. I guess I need to first look for audio books which will appeal to him and then make my choice! (Obviously if I could get an audio book about Bruges/The Netherlands that would be best of all!).
Of course, being on the continent, I guess there will be radio coverage of Le Tour...
The Hawks of Delamare - Edward Marston
2 days ago