Valentine’s Day is tomorrow so odds are you fall into one of 2 groups. You either love it or “not so much”. I say “not so much” because most people can’t really hate Valentine’s Day. It is a day to celebrate love and friendship. In doing so it does bring to center stage whether you are in a special relationship or not. Having been in both camps but being happily married now I can identify with both the journey and the destination.
When I was younger and quite honestly had the time I used to read many Romance Books. In those days romance books a la Harlequin and Silhouette were not as explicit as they are today. Before romance was a big part of my real life getting lost in the lives of the heroes and heroines in those books was an escape that I remember to this day.
We read and listen to books to be entertained, to live vicariously and sometimes to escape. If Valentine’s Day is not what you want it to be or your romantic life lacks the sizzle it once had listening to a romantic audio book can give you both ideas and entertainment for the day for lovers.
Though I can appreciate some of the spicier romance now available under the Erotica category that has now been made even more famous by E.L. James I still love the Classic Romance Stories offered up by Jane Austen for example. With the 200th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice a lot of press has been given to the timelessness of Jane Austen’s books. There is something at the core of it’s romantic story line that transcends time, a love that is at time impossible but can not be denied.
We updated our links on our past post on Valentine’s Day Audio Books to reflect our current audiobook partnership.
In time for Valentines, one of Nicholas Sparks books Safe Haven is coming out as a movie. It might make for a nice romantic night out…
Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals was recently produced as a movie by Stephen Spielberg. It reminded many of us who had either listened to or read the book how fascinating Abraham Lincoln still is. It is hard to believe it was released in 2005 since the impression it had on me still feels so strong.
As we are forced to be onlookers to what appear to be unreasonable negotiations and expectations in Washington about the Fiscal Cliff anyone who has read, listened and now watched the movie Team of Rivals has to be a bit disgusted (no I am not taking sides).
The book is summarized as:
Team of Rivals doesn’t just tell the story of Abraham Lincoln. It is a multiple biography of the entire team of personal and political competitors that he put together to lead the country through its greatest crisis. Here, Doris Kearns Goodwin profiles five of the key players in her book, four of whom contended for the 1860 Republican presidential nomination and all of whom later worked together in Lincoln’s cabinet. Edwin M. Stanton, Salmon P. Chase, William H. Seward, Edward Bates and Lincoln himself.
I listened to the full unabridged version of Team of Rivals which was more than 40 hours. Of course, as with these longer audio book titles they are also available in an abridged form. There is an abridged CD version available as well and would make a great audio book gift this Holiday season.
As for the movie I am looking forward to seeing it. The holiday break may be a good opportunity to do it. As with all books that are made into movies odds are one will be better than the other but based on reviews Daniel Day-Lewis brings more that his striking resemblance to the roll. According to Doris Kearns Goodwin herself he captured his voice and mannerisms in a way that is true to her research.
Whether you decide to listen to it over some long commutes or see the movie or both I am sure it will be an experience that you will remember. Hopefully we all will learn how to work better together as well.
Here is the trailer for the Team of Rivals movie:
The Audies® Award Winners were given out at the 2012 Annual Gala this past Tuesday. In our previous post I spoke about how much I like Tina Fey and apparently so do many other people. Her audiobook BossyPants not only won the Audiobook of the Year for 2012 but also the award for Best Biography/Memoir.
There were 30 awards given out including the award for Distinguished Achievement in Production which went to The Watch That Ends the Night: Voices from the Titanic. This audio book of course benefited from the fact that this year is the anniversary of the tragic sinking of the Titanic. It does illustrate though how the composition of an audiobook makes a big difference in what is not a new story. Adding sound effects for realism and a the multi-voiced narration from different points of view brings the story to life in a new way. Being someone who was a big fan of the movie titanic I can appreciate how a line can stay in your head forever. When I see the picture in this post I can only think of “Iceberg, dead ahead!”.
Other award winners that caught my eye(or is that ear?) include Classic authors Charles Dickens and Jane Austen. Jane Austen won for Package Design and Charles Dickens’ The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby won for the Classic category. In the “celebrity” category Jane Fonda won in the Personal Development for her book PrimeTime: Love, Health, Sex Fitness, Friendship, Spirit–Making the Most of All Your Life and William Shatner won in the humor category for Shatner Rules: Your Guide to Understanding the Shatnerverse and the World at Large. These are just a few of the winners and there are even more audio books worthy of a listen from all of those that were nominated.
The 2012 Audies Award nominations were announced last month by the Audio Publishers Association. Though many notable lists of books exist I have always found this award nominee list the best source of what audio books should be put on my listening list. Entries to this award list continues to grow. I will admit though I don’t need a reason to listen to Tina Fey. I have always been a big fan and her biography making the nomination list for the AudioBook of the Year should be no real surprise.
The competition for this award though is impressive with previous winner Neil Gaiman’s American Gods in the mix and timely release of the Steve Jobs biography. Neil Gaiman won back in 2009 for the GraveYard Book. We highlighted his novel approach back then of actually allowing people to listen to it for free online. The AudioBook of the Year category of late has been highlighting not just the quality of the listening experience but the innovative ways that audio books are being marketed. BossyPants benefited from not just traditional marketing channels but a social media campaign as well. Of course in this category you also need to have had a “significant sales impact” for the audio books industry.
For the Distinguished Achievement in Production Award the focus is more on the quality of the production itself. This year’s list includes narrators like Val Kilmer (The Mark of Zorro) and Caroline Kennedy (She Walks in Beauty). We have updated the AudioBook of the Year page to reflect the 2012 nominees for not just that category but also for Distinguished Achievement in Production because these books are also considered to be the best the audio book industry has to offer.
The winners of the 2012 Audies will be announced on June 5th at the New York Historical Society in New York. The Audio Publishers Association is in charge of the Audies Awards and Gala. If you are a big fan you can purchase tickets to the event whether you are a member or not. More information can be found at AudioPub.org. You can also get a full list of the nominees in all of the Audies Awards categories in their Press Release.
Fifty Shades of Grey made the list of the best selling audio books for April for Audible. Though I have not had a chance to listen to the audiobook I have been exposed to a lot of press about the author E.L. James. She is being compared to J.K. Rowling who shot to fame and success out of the blue with a background that could not have foreseen the level of success she would have with the Harry Potter series. Fifty Shades of Grey is a trilogy that was originally written as Twilight fan fiction though it was rewritten and subsequently distributed as book by The Writer’s Coffee Shop.
There has been much debate about the literary value of the book but as can be seen by it appearing as a best seller “quality” is not always an accurate indicator of popularity. The viral nature that fueled the growth in popularity should be looked at by both authors and publishers who need to take advantage of today’s new forms of generating publicity.
The book’s demographic appears to be married women who appear to be looking for an erotic fantasy. As a mother and a wife in today’s hectic society reading/listening can be a form of escapism and the themes explored in this series of books has many people taking sides on what it says about women.
I am not sure whether the mothers on you Mother’s Day Gift list would openly ask for this series of books or even mention them but odds are they know about them. Erotic Fiction is definitely on the rise and if you add Paranormal Romance into the mix there are quite a few offerings to help escape the sometimes boring doldrums of motherhood. I would recommend though that the safer bet for escapism through audio book listening may very well be just a gift membership to an audio book store like Audible so that if she wants to check them out she can and if not she can download a variety of popular books(perhaps not as “controversial”) that Moms would enjoy.