Finished: at long last The Hemingses of Monticello. After 30 listening hours, all in my car, it is with relief and awe that I completed this great book. I began it sometime in early summer and finished it a week ago. While I listened, I variously felt: skeptical and believing, impatient for story – up until about hour six, irritated by the lawyer and amazed by the researcher in author Annette Gordon-Reed, engaged, inspired and awed. I understand the reasons for praise and prizes.
An audiobook pattern has also emerged. Sometimes I find books that my husband and I can listen to together on drives, which means non-fiction. That’s why we listened to Reza Aslan’s Zealot. It’s also why I made it through about three-quarters of Burke Davis’ They Called Him Stonewall, A Life of Lt. General T.J. Jackson. What I learned during the latter: I like the quirky personality details, but my head goes blurry during all that military strategy stuff – basically the heart of the book. Scratch (most) military history from my reading list.
We are now listening to Paul Johnson’s George Washington, a super short biography that is packaged as an audiobook with Christopher Hitchens’ Thomas Jefferson, and Michael Korda’s Ulysses S. Grant (all part of the Eminent Lives collection.)
On my own I am zooming through the audiobook, American Gods. I decided to listen to Neil Gaiman’s work after reading about him on the blogs of some of my young friends.
Thank you Estella’s Revenge and others.
I also signed up for a local meet up where we are going to discuss the book. So far, I like this.
Reading reading includes Kate Atkinson’s Life after Life. Like it.
I posted my reading response to Audrey Shulman’s Three Weeks in December.
I read ( partly) a review of Life after Life, couldn't decide if I fancied reading it ?ReplyDelete
So far I'm impressed, but reserving judgment. I wish I were reading it in one --long-- fell swoop. Bits and pieces not such a good way to read this one.Delete
I'm next in line at the library for life after life. Have been waiting three months so it had better be good..ReplyDelete
as for audio books, I've found crime fiction works well in the car for some reason.It's not a genre I read typically so its a good contrast to be 'real' reading. I tried a few non fiction books and discovered they needed too much concentration to allow me to safely drive while listening....
I have to be willing to let go of the non-fiction when I lose attention. Sometimes I will rewind to an earlier spot, but often I don't. I'm not writing anything but very short impressions of them, not full responses so it doesn't matter to me. Also a good exercise -- the letting go.Delete
We read The Hemmingses of Monticello in my diversity book club and it was so hopeful in plugging up some gaps in our understanding of history.ReplyDelete
Yes. I'm impressed with you book club. It's long but I'm amazed at what she could construct with such scant records. It's very convincing.Delete
So you must be liking the Gaiman I take it? I liked that one, but really liked Neverwhere. Also I highly recommend Good Omens, which he co-wrote with Terry Pratchett. Very funny stuff.ReplyDelete
I am liking the Gaiman, even as I am not quite sure what to make of it. Quite the sweep of modern day America! I knew so little about this book.Delete
I have been unable to engage with audio books...I think it's because I seldom take long road trips anymore, and I'm also not commuting to work these days.ReplyDelete
When I consider listening around the house, the thought of it makes me impatient. Listening takes so much longer than reading.
But whatever you enjoy is what works, right? Thanks for visiting my blog.
I generally only listen in the car. However I am breaking that habit with the Gaiman as I am trying to complete it before the meet up book club.Delete