Monday, November 25, 2013

Audiobooks in the Studio

During the summer and my sabbatical the soundtrack of my studio time is audiobooks. I subscribe to Audible and I check them out from the library. I also own a few books on tape and CD, though I only really re-listen to the Harry Potter series. I keep track of the books I listen to so that I can go back and see what I liked and find authors I want to listen to again.

This summer and fall I have (so far) listened to about 43 and a half books. During the first part of my sabbatical, I was building work and thinking about forms while I listened so I had other things to write about (and to think about). During the last few weeks, I have been applying coat after coat, layer after layer of underglaze. If it weren't for the audiobooks, the mind-numbing repetition of glaze application would have already driven me mad. I don't want to discuss the tedious under glazing process again (or even thing about it), but I can write about the books that have been my primary companions in the studio for the past five months.

So here they are, the first ten audiobooks of my sabbatical:

Winter of the World by Ken Follett
This is the second book in the Century Trilogy. I really enjoy Follett's historical trilogies. This one isn't quite as good as the first trilogy, but it's still pretty decent. And its better, in my opinion than the suspense/action books that make up the rest of Follett's oeuvre.

1984 by George Orwell
Ok, maybe it's weird that I never read this before, but I was only four in 1984 so it would always have been outdated. I thought the book was mostly forgettable. All I really remember is that the author was so obviously male; I don't believe a woman living in the conditions described would have this unexplained need to put on make-up and a dress and prance around for the author's enjoyment. Gag.

Lexicon by Max Barry
I stumbled across this story by accident. It's a fast paced, action sci-fi story about folks with extraordinary powers. I enjoyed it.

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
This book was highly recommended by a college classmate on Facebook. She owns a bookstore and the recommendation was sound. The book is for kids, but thoroughly enjoyable for adults. I have since shared it with my daughter.

An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin
Not my favorite Steve Martin book of the summer (that was "Born Standing Up") but not terrible. It's only sorta about art. It's mostly about relationships, if you like that sort of thing.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
The only audiobooks I generally listen to multiple times are all written by J.K. Rowling or Jane Austen. The first Harry Potter book isn't my favorite, but sometimes you gotta listen to the whole series in order. Anyway, my least favorite Harry Potter is still better than most of the books out there.

The Mismeasure of Man by Stephen Jay Gould
This is an older book, published in 1996, but still full of interesting information about historical and even relatively recent methods of "testing" for intellectual abilities. Listening, I was repeatedly appalled by the assumptions and policies made by uneducated or biased people made back in the day. And then I'd realize these things are still happening. This book made me think differently. I highly recommend it.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
See Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
Ok, we can argue about whether Prisoner of Azkaban or Order of the Phoenix is better, but everyone must agree that PoA is at least one of the two best Harry Potter books, right? My daughter and I are reading it now. I'm so exited to share it with her.

One Man's Initiation by John Dos Passos
This must have been free or a very low price on Audible. It wasn't the worst thing I've ever read, it was just depressing and pointless. It rambled. I did not like it.

And now I must go glaze and glaze again.

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