book of a thousand days will be out sometime this fall. I will be doing a very brief tour for it, and bringing along Max, Maggie, and my mom. Ay ya ya. More details on that later.
Lately I've been listening to a lot of audio books. Not only in the car, but I keep them on my ipod and listen for stretches during the night when I'm up with Maggie. It's very comforting to find refuge in a story when I'm awake anyway but too tired to focus on a book. They've all been great, so I thought I'd pass along the recommendations:
Inkheart, by Cornelia Funke - Perhaps my favorite so far. Lynn Redgrave does a phenomenal job at narrating this captivating story. (One interesting note, and this is by no means meant as a criticism of the book, which I thought was outstanding--in the book the characters remark how people assume that authors of the books they read are dead, and yet all the books mentioned were written by writers now deceased. I kept noticing that throughout the story, especially given our ongoing discussion about how older books are often perceived as being better than newer books.)
The Wee Free Men - Krivens! I loved this story. You simply must listen to the audio book because the voices of the wee free men and their accents are so delightful, so funny, I often laughed aloud. I'm listening to the sequel right now, A Hat Full of Sky. The main character, Tiffany Aching, girl witch, is truly great. Terry Pratchett is the unquestioned king of humorous fantasy.
America the Book - I'm a fan of The Daily Show, and this audio book, read by Jon Stewart, Stephen Cobert, and other Daily Show correspondents, is really funny and actually quite interesting to boot. Be warned, they do drop the occassional f-bomb.
Peter and the Starcatchers - Funny, exciting, and quite different than I expected. The narrator is Jim Dale, who also does the Harry Potter books. He's excellent.
I also induldged in reading a three-book series this new year. It's a rare pleasure I don't often allow myself because there are so many books by so many authors I want to read. But I'm so glad I did. The books are The Thief, The Queen of Attolia, and The King of Attolia, by Megan Whalen Turner. The first book was a Newbery Honor (and we all know what fine taste the Newbery Honor people have), and the last book was a top ten in the ALA's Best Books for Young Adults. They read like fantasy novels, though the fantastical elements are very subtle, so that the books almost seem historical novels. I've never read stories like these and am still trying to figure out just how Turner does what she does. She is a cunning plotter. The books have been repackaged in gorgeous covers, the first two in paperback. I'm hoping she'll write another in this series. See?! I've become like one of the fans who write to me, insisting on another Bayern novel or a princess academy sequel. I actually tried to find Turner's email address so I could email her! I hope I get to meet her one day so I can gush.