Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Listening on the Road

Since our vacations have been road trips for the past few years where it's about 10-14 hours to our destination, we're big on having audiobooks available to us and this year was no exception.  We heard that Michael C. Hall (Dexter, Six Feet Under) was going to be reading the unabridged version of Pet Sematary and it would be released right before our trip.  We figured since we were going to be in Maine where it is set and love us some MCH, this was a perfect choice.  The Mr had Kim Russo's book The Happy Medium on his wishlist and this seemed like a good choice too.  I got him hooked after finding her show The Haunting Of... and got to see all kinds of celebs go back to where they had otherworldly encounters.  Man, I ate that show up with a spoon, so I was into listening too.

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Pet Sematary

(Church!  Source)
The Mr is a huge Stephen King fan.  All through our dating and early marriage, gifts for him were simple if SK had a new book out.  So even though he'd already read it eons ago, he was down for another listen, and I was looking forward to hearing MCH read it and I'd be hearing the original story for the first time though I've seen the movie a zillion times.   (Which I hear they're rebooting.  Massive eye roll)

Let me tell you this...just get it.  Michael had better win a Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album.  He is RIDICULOUSLY talented.  He has the Maine accent down right to the "ay-yuht" (which is Mainer for yes) and I suspect borrowed heavily from Jud's character played by the late Fred Gwynne.  His voices for every character from Ellie to Gage and even Pascow were on point and done with such enthusiasm and attention to detail, it would be a travesty for him not to be recognized for it.  It was super cool for us because I made sure to start it on the day we were driving back to Freeport to Acadia National Park.   So as we were driving and he was mentioning Bangor, Orrington, and other Maine cities, we were practically driving through them at the same time getting us even more immersed into the story.  Did I ever tell y'all I wanted to buy the house SK wrote this book in?  It was on the market last year I think, and I had zero interest in it because of that, but it was friggin' gorgeous and totally affordable.  I literally cried over it because we couldn't just pick up and move which would've happened if the Mr could've transferred close.  This pic does it zero justice since it was the inside I fell in love with but you can see how gorgeous it is.  I digress.

The only downside to the book is because it's unabridged, it's looooong.  You know how wordy Stephen King can be and he was at a time in his career where he was into over-describing everything. We did have to briefly fast forward from time to time after screaming in frustration to STFU a few times.  I have to believe even Michael was like "seriously dude, if I have to read one more description about the wind "whining" through the trees again, I'm going to call it a day."  But seriously, Pet Sematary is a great, long way to pass the time which is totally entertaining because of Michael and his fabulous interpretation of these characters.

The Happy Medium: Life Lessons from the Other Side by Kim Russo


The Mr was always interested in the show The Haunting Of.. after I introduced him to it, but he was more interested in how Kim came to discover her abilities.  This book gave a detailed look into that and is read by Kim herself so it's got that Long Island flavor.  It was very interesting to see how she struggled with how to use her gift and how it related to her religion.  It was a spin I didn't expect but could understand how that could happen.  It was fascinating to hear how she used her husband in past life regression sessions and there are some revelations that came out of those sessions.  One thing I didn't expect was the comfort it would bring me in my healing process over my Grandma.  Some of those lessons I really needed when we got the final kick in the teeth with what her headstone said but basically, her whole family was cut out of it, and that's all I'll say about it.  There was a specific mention of dementia patients that kind of confirmed some things for me that happened after she passed.  She shared knowledge of things that were recurring themes that she felt could bring comfort and understanding to those of us still on Earth.   She does some tests and exercises to see how you can use your own intuitive senses that we tend to suppress.  You guys know I have always identified as an empath, and she talks about how those people tend to be more open to all energy including from the other side.  She talks about how you can identify if your child is an empath and how your responses can help keep their heart and mind open as they get older.  The sensitive child does really need to be nurtured differently.  I know many people think mediums are scam artists and yes, there are unfortunately people who do just that, but there are scam artists in every field.

I think anyone who has ever had an experience with the other side knows that when we die, that's not it and The Happy Medium confirms it.  The Mr and I had one just before the trip.  We make it a habit to visit all of our loved ones at the cemetery before a trip to ask for their protection as we travel.  I said a silent prayer to all of my relatives and I said something very specific to all of them.  I never told the Mr what I prayed.  The next morning, he said he dreamed about my great grandma, whom we visited said a few things and one of them was the particular phrase I said to her silently.  When he told me, I burst into tears and told him my prayer, and he couldn't believe it.

Both of these books are highly recommended and here are some other audiobooks we enjoyed on previous trips.

A Little Thing Called Life: On Loving Elvis Presley, Bruce Jenner, and Songs in Between by Linda Thompson

Very interesting and candid but respectful recollections of her time with Elvis, Bruce Jenner, and David Foster.  You would be surprised how many songs this former Hee Haw girl has written that you sing all the time!   (I will tell you, her poems starting each chapter will grate on your nerves about halfway through, but this was a fantastic book.)

Born Standing Up:  A Comic's Life by Steve Martin

This was a charming, funny memoir.  The Mr has been a fan longer than I have since I really came to love him more after Father of the Bride, but he didn't disappoint.  We both agree that this may be a boring read.  It really needed Steve's inflection and impressions to pull out some details that might've made you glaze a bit if you were just reading it.

Still Foolin' 'Em: Where I've Been, Where I'm Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys by Billy Crystal 

This was hilarious and also a little sad at times.  It detailed his early start as well as some great celebrity stories and situations.

Kathy Griffin's Celebrity Run-Ins: My A-Z Index 

I know, you either love her or hate her, but I'm obviously in the love camp.  I was going to review this book after a trip, and then that picturegate happened, and I decided against it.  But honestly, if you like her juicy celeb stories, then this book is right up your alley.  While reading it is probably funny enough, listening to her inflection and laughing is the best way to truly appreciate it.

So That Happened: A Memoir by Jon Cryer

If you're an 80's person, this will likely be up your alley.  He does give some very surprising takes on his time with John Hughes and Molly Ringwald.  You'll be shocked what roles he passed on and ones he was overlooked for.  He talks about his time on Two and a Half Men and of course, the whole Charlie Sheen thing.  It's more than just stories about that stuff, he talks very candidly about himself that makes him pretty endearing if you didn't already have one for cheering for Duckie.

Dancing with Myself by Billy Idol

We actually got this audiobook even after I'd already read the hard copy!  After reading all of his stories and laughing imagining how he would've sounded telling that story, I knew we had to get it so the Mr could hear it too.  I must say his voice can still make your loins swell you weak in the knees.  That British accent coupled with a bad boy tone could make him reading a manual on replacing a toilet erotic.  But seriously, it was awesome to read about his childhood and how he was actually basically American at one point in his childhood with zero English accent.  Then, of course, going through the punk era of Generation X and beyond including his almost life ending motorbike accident.  Definitely, a must listen for an Idol fan.

As you can see, I'm obviously a big memoir gal.  That can either be very enlightening or in the cases of Rick Springfield and Rod Stewart, put a little tarnish on the shine.  Audiobooks help make a long drive more bearable or maybe that long commute.

If you haven't had an audible membership, you can actually try it for free.  All of the audiobooks at the add to cart say "Get this audiobook plus a second, free.  1 audiobook credit per month.  Audible is $14.95/mo after 30 days. Cancel anytime"  So if you want to try it for free to see if you like audiobooks, you totally should, it's how we got hooked.  (Just don't forget to set up a reminder to cancel if you don't want it long term.)

Do you listen to audiobooks?  What's your favorite?

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  1. Listening to audiobooks on our trips have really helped make the time go by faster and I highly recommend it. I know I read the abridged version of Pet Sematary when I was in high school cause I don't remember it being quite that long winded, but Michael C Hall did an absolutely amazing job on that. On top of that, listening to it in the very place where it is all set was surreal and the best way to experience that.

  2. I'll need to remember to get an audiobook again when I take a road trip in the coming months. My favorite one thus far is Billy Crystal's Still Foolin' 'Em: Where I've Been, Where I'm Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys. Fantastic!

  3. Great idea! I've never listened to a book, but I'm taking notes on your recommendations. Long car rides are the pits and this might be a fun way to pass the time. Thank you :-)


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