Monday, October 19, 2009

Status quo on Monday book reading

Just like last week, I'm still reading "The Afterlife" by John Updike and listening to "The House of the Seven Gables" on CD in my car. The "House" recording seems as if it were recorded directly off a tape; it's muddy and just a tad hammy. And Hawthorne can go on and on and on; I drove to work and back home, and Judge Pyncheon still was entering the cent shop (which I thought at first was "scent shop" until I realized it can't smell all that good). Also, there's a bizarre interpolation of a story-within-a-story, which seems to suggest that the daguerreotypist is a descendant of the Maules (although that's been obvious since the beginning, but since I'm listening to it, I can't go back to check the narrative to see if Hawthorne spilled the beans while I was making a left turn or merging onto the freeway). Anyway, the characters are so compelling that they make listening to minutes of Hawthorne waxing philosophical worthwhile.

As for "The Afterlife," what a treat. I've taken advantage of the suddenly cold, dry air to read outside, first on a solitary walk Saturday around old Greensboro, Ala. (with its antebellum mansions and partly ruinous downtown) and Sunday on the UA campus (reading next to Goldie, the robot sculpture on Woods Quad). On the Greensboro walk, I found a garden with benches tucked between the sanctuary and parish hall of the Episcopal church in Greensboro, which was thoroughly conducive to reading. Updike is best read in the autumn when you get a patch of air that approximates the falls of New England and eastern Pennsylvania). I should finish it this week. Then, I need to catch up on my reading for Research Methods and perhaps start either "Chicken Dreaming Corn" or start in again on "Europe Central," or I may even read "The Terrorist," since I'm on an Updike roll. Still, I have two books to read for the Amazon Vine program, "Await Your Reply" and "Past Imperfect," which I should read soon so I can post the reviews.


Anonymous said...

I love audio books when driving too. Since I am not on the road as much anymore, I am not able to enjoy a daily dose. My schedule will change in January, so many my audio time will pick up. :)

Jennifer said...

It sounds like a wonderful week of books!

Marie said...

Since I am not working right now I don't get to do audio books -- the kids expect kid music if we go anywhere -- sigh. But it sounds like you have had a great reading/listening week!

Richard LeComte said...

I've grown to like audiobooks as well. At first, I didn't like them, because I had to concentrate too much on the road, and I like listening to music when I drive. But then I started borrowing them for car trips from Reno to San Francisco; Terry Pratchett's books are very good on CD, particularly when read by Stephen Briggs. Now I seem to be able to listen while commuting or during drives around town. The problem with "Gables" is that the narration is muddy and the book is so full of digressions that it's hard to keep focused on it.