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March 26, 2007 / missknowitall

Reading Your Way To The Finish Line

Dear Little Miss,

I am training for a marathon and need your help.  I am bored stiff while running for such LONG periods of time!  On the advice of other runners, I decided to listen to audio books while running to help pass the time, but I do not know which audio books to buy!  Can you recommend any?  I need something interesting and entertaining, but not in a cheap “blockbuster movie” way.  I need a writer whose gift for narrative will keep my mind off of my aching calves!  Do you have any titles to recommend???

Dear Running Reader,

Note to self: don’t sit down to answer questions like this while eating a big bowl of ice cream and wearing fuzzy slippers.  No, no, no, I’m not really thinking that.  Good for you, and keep up the awesome work.  I love audio books because they keep my kids quiet on long road trips, but I’m afraid I haven’t listened to very many audio books that werent’ written for children.  I could easily give you a list of books that I love, but I’m afraid that it wouldn’t really help you either.  Audio books float somewhere between the realm of literature and performing arts and, therefore, depend just as much on the talents of the reader-performer as they do the talents of the writer.  A bad reader can turn a beautiful, classic piece of literature into a boring, dreary, monologue and vice versa with a talented reader.  Instead of just looking for great titles, start listening to clips from various audio books to get a feel for the style, voice, and abilities you like from the various audio book performers.  In my opinion, the best reader-performers are people from Broadway, African-American readers with soul, or the authors themselves.  I’ve found several internet sites that give samples of the audio books they sell.

I hope you find something worthy of getting you over the finish line.  Lots of luck.

Miss Knowitall   


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