Welcome to the first edition of the Audio Book Challenge: Challenger Spotlight. Today I am chatting with Emma from Words and Peace.
TRC: In looking at your blog, you appear to be a very eclectic reader. Do you have a favorite genre?
Emma: As you can see, yes I’m interested in many things, but I’m becoming more and attracted by Historical Fiction. I’ve always been fascinated by the Middle Ages, so medieval historical novels are really fun for me, as long as I can see that the writer did a great job at background homework before setting to write
TRC: Ooh, I like Historical Fiction as well. I haven’t really read anything about the Middle Ages though. You listen to a lot of audio books.
Emma: Actually, I have only listened to 16 this past year (in comparison, I read 83), so I could do better.
TRC: Really, it was only 16? That is still quite an accomplishment. Have you always been a fan of audio books? What prompted you to pick up your first one?
No, I have not always been a fan, for too many years, I only considered to be a book a volume I could hold in my hands. But then, I started begin much more active at my rock painting (http://rocksbyemmanuelle.com), and I realized I could actually use this time both for painting and devouring more books! I started with audiobooks on CDs, then on Playaways, and now I listen to them through my ipod touch.
I also listen to audiobooks while I do house chores: cooking, ironing, washing the dishes (much more fun then than pushing on a button for a machine to wash them for you!)
TRC: I couldn’t agree more! What are your five favorite books and why?
Emma: My most favorite book ever, the only one I reread at least 4 times, is Le rêve [the dream], by Emile Zola. It’s a tough book, but I love its ambiance, and Zola descriptions are great in there.
In 2011, my favorite was clearly 1Q84. I love Murakami, I enjoy his characters, and the way he deals with memories and suspense was excellent, I thought, though I have noticed that readers either love or hate this book.
As for audiobooks, my favorite non-fiction this year is Atlantic, by and read by Simon Winchester: a very smart history of the Atlantic ocean, extremely well organized, and Winchester is a fantastic reader as well.
My favorite fiction audiobook for 2011 is Before I Go To Sleep, a great psychological thriller, read by the amazing Orlagh Cassidy. She’s my favorite female narrator.
My favorite male narrator is John Lee. One of my favorite is Fall of Giants by Ken Follett. John Lee is great in that book at imitating accents from all kinds of nationalities. I like that type of huge epic books (also Wolf Hall, The Historian). And I was happily surprised to discover that John Lee was the narrator of books by SJ Parris: Heresy, and Prophecy, great books mixing historical novels and thrillers. – I have not yet reviewed them.
TRC: Do you have a favorite place to listen/read?
Emma: My favorite place to read is on my couch, with a fluffy cushion on my lap where I put the book.
My favorite place to listen to audiobooks is while I paint, in my “art studio”, that is, the basement of my house.
TRC: Is there a book on your bookshelf that people would be surprised to learn about?
Emma: hmm, I have to say I don’t have that many books, the ones I have are mostly religious books. For instance, of the 100 or so books I read/listened to this past year, I own only 4. I do believe in Public Libraries, my economic resources are very limited, and I reread very few books, so why would I buy them?
Maybe people would be surprised then to find out my name on the cover of one book? yes, I published a book myself! It’s a collection of short daily meditations on light, for every day of the Winter season. see here.
TRC: Okay, here are a few… anything else you’d like to add?
This past year, I have discovered that some books were better as audiobooks, and some better on paper. For instance, several people I talked to did not like at all The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova, but I thought it was so lively on audiobook. It may have been indeed more difficult to follow on paper. A big disappointment this year for me was The Night Circus. Very confusing on audiobook, I could not go back and check the dates of the events, for instance. It may have worked better on paper.
Also, if you are not sure where to begin, some bloggers and events can give you great ideas.
There’s of course Teresa’s Audiobook Challenge, and I’m delighted to be doing it for my 2nd year. Have you signed up yet?She even has new extra features this year!
I enjoy very much Audiobook week organized by Jen @ Devourer of Books in June.
And the top is The Audiobook Jukebox, where you can even request audiobooks to review!
Thanks Teresa for interviewing me, and again I’m thrilled to be on for the great Audiobook Challenge you host.
By the way, I also host a Reading Challenge, about books published when you were born and after.
TRC: Thank you so much for agreeing to be featured and for being such an active participant in the Audio Book Challenge. If you want to learn more about Emma make sure to check out her reviews in the monthly linky as well as hopping over to her blog. She recently posted her recap of 2011, it’s definitely worth a read!
If you are interested in being a featured participant, fill out the google form on the 2012 Audio Book Challenge sign up page!
© 2012, Teresa. All rights reserved.