Monday, August 01, 2011

Reading and listening.

Current bedtime reading/listening (both being commercial audiobooks from Audible) is Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar by Edgar Rice Burroughs and The Farthest Shore: the Earthsea Cycle, Book Three by Ursula K. Le Guin. Each is enjoyable in it's own way, though they are very different.

Burroughs was a fine writer. His early books reflect their pulp origins, but his later books show sophistication of both craft and thought. As to Le Guin, what can I say? She has long been one of my favorite writers from the reader's standpoint and one of my heroes from the writer's standpoint. The Earthsea Cycle, so far, is a wholly lovely series, engaging and absorbing. Recorded Books' choice of Rob Englis, narrator of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings to read The Earthsea Cycle shows sensitivity and discernment; for Le Guin's work is very much in the spirit of Tolkien's, though different and distinctive. Both Earthsea and Middle-earth are worlds one can imagine living in which, to me, is the mark of a gifted storyteller.

I've also been listening to two new, to me, LPs that arrived over the weekend, The Very Best of Engelbert Humperdink and I Wish You Love, also an Engelbert compilation. I Wish You Love is a particularly excellent record. The first cut on Side One is "After the Lovin'" - How much better can it get than that? The record also includes "quiet Nights," "Winter World of Love" and "Quando, Quando, Quando," to name a scant handful, as well, of course, as the title song. The compilers might have created this record just for me. It's not on RYM though, so I'll have to add it. Irritatingly, my scanner isn't large enough to accomodate LPs, which means I won't be able to upload the album cover. But, you can't have everything. *sigh*

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