Guest blogger Judith Deborah on cruising with your favorite books.
I adore a good story, and am a hopelessly smitten movie buff with fangirl-esque attachments to certain actors and actresses. I'm also a mother of young children with very little quiet time in which to read. All this has made me an ardent proponent of the audiobook. My iPod is loaded with them, and I've burned more books to CD than I can count. I've thus been kept happily entertained through many an evening's cooking or afternoon of shuttling around town from one after-school activity to another.
A monotonous or uninspired narrator can crush a book, so tread carefully. Actors, particularly British actors, are often an excellent choice, as they are trained at accents and stage performance and are able to bring a whole range of voices to life. Performers like Robin Suchet, Juliet Stevenson, Derek Jacobi, and Alan Cumming are a joy to listen to; their performances are so fine, and so carefully thought out, that they bring new layers of nuance to the material. Juliet Stevenson's reading of Barbara Pym's wonderful novel Excellent Women, for example, is pitch-perfect, as is Patrick Tull's reading of The Hound of the Baskervilles and Robin Bailey's reading of Agatha Christie's The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. At the top of the heap is the incomparable Jeremy Sinden, whose readings of a handful of P.G. Wodehouse's novels are all hilariously on-target.