I’m hooked, I tell you. I was given a $50 iTunes gift card a few months ago, a thank-you gift from a friend. As I have a truly enormous collection of music and easy access to more, I wasn’t sure what to do with this largess. Then I realized I could buy audiobooks through iTunes. They are rather expensive, though, so I thought very carefully about what to buy. I settled on The Godfather by Mario Puzo and Can’t Wait To Get To Heaven by Fannie Flagg. I have read both these books multiple times; they are long-time favorites. Why did I not spend my gift dollars on something new? I can’t even explain this. I suppose it has something to do with not wanting to spend money on something I might not care for. Guess I’m not much on gambling.
Anyhow. The Godfather is read by a full cast of narrators, and this pleases me immensely. Male narrators attempting female voices nearly always grate on me (the reverse is rarely an issue) so I was delighted to hear genuine female voices reading the words of female characters. I have only one very very minor complaint about this reading: there are two characters whose accents are more Russian than Italian. The good news is, these are two really minor characters. Well, one is a pretty major character in terms of impact, but he only speaks briefly in one chapter.
Can’t Wait To Get To Heaven is one of an informal series of Fannie Flagg books set in the fictional town of Elmwood Springs, Missouri. This one features the character of Aunt Elner, who previously appeared in Standing In The Rainbow and Welcome To The World, Baby Girl. Aunt Elner is one of my favorite fictional characters ever. She’s a simple country woman with a warm, innocent and adorable view of the world. There are other really wonderful characters in the Fannie Flagg books, and they’re all believably nutty. Flagg’s stories always move me to tears. Tip: Do not listen to this book while grocery shopping; bursting out in tears in public makes people look at you funny.
Through another source (do not ask) I acquired a whole bunch of other audiobooks this week, including the complete Stephen King collection. King and I co-exist on uneasy terms. When he’s good, he’s very good, but his bad books FAR outnumber the good ones, in my opinion. I am not a fan of the gross-out, and King goes there too often for my tastes. However, I LOVE The Dead Zone, Carrie, Firestarter, and almost all his non-horror short stories. So. I am looking forward to hearing quite a few of these books.
Right now though, I am listening to One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey. I first read this book when I was in eighth grade; I saw the movie right around the same time. I got the gist of the story even back then, but I admit that just about ALL the subtlety went right over my head. When I re-read it in college, I got SO much more out of it. As I am listening to it now, I am really realizing how skillfully Kesey crafted this story. Now I completely comprehend Chief’s paranoia, McMurphy’s manipulation, and how the power struggle between McMurphy and Nurse Ratchet spirals out of control. The story has gone from interesting to positively CHILLING.
Other stuff in my audiobook queue now: the complete Harry Potter series (both versions – Stephen Fry’s and Jim Dale’s), Tina Fey’s book Bossypants, Chelsea Handler’s books Are You There Vodka, It’s Me Chelsea and My Horizontal Life, Alice Hoffman’s Practical Magic, and a couple Robert Heinlein books. With luck, these books will eep me occupied for a while.
In other news:
The kid is doing well living on her own (well, with the boyfriend, which is not so much “on her own” but still.) She has decided to back-burner her tattooing job for awhile, a decision I am not entirely on board with, but which I am supporting. There’s been a significant conflict between that and her retail management job; she’s getting far more hours at the retail job than she was initially planning on and the steady paycheck and benefits are a priority for her right now. I sincerely hope that she will not permanently shelve the tattooing gig. She put a LOT of effort, time and money into that career and I’d hate to see her abandon it.
The husband and I finally got my mother-in-law to give up driving permanently, something that is long overdue. The downside to this is that I am now responsible for shuttling her everywhere. I had already been driving her to doctor’s appointments and such, but now I am taking her grocery shopping every week… something she is apparently unable to do without first stopping for a leisurely brunch. Then when we get to the grocery store, she toddles off in one of the little golf carts, not to be seen again for at least an hour. Then there is the whole getting her in and out of the car thing and getting her in and out of the condo building she lives in. Thus, it’s taking approximately three to four hours out of my day to get her shopping done… and that’s assuming she doesn’t also want to stop at the bank or the pharmacy or whatever. I am being patient as I can be – after all, her not driving is something I have pushed for for quite awhile now, and I DID volunteer to do this – but, well, this is a bit more than I had bargained for and it’s already getting old. *sigh*
I am continuing to work my butt off in the studio. Which is what I am going to do right this minute, as a matter of fact.