My life involves a fairly long commute. When I ride the train, I like to read or blog, but when I drive, I like to listen to something. Usually, this involves the radio or my steady rotation of Adele, The Civil Wars, The Rescues, Sara Bareiles, and Ingrid Michaelson. But last week, BF C lent me the audio book version of Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells.
I’m surprised I hadn’t already read this book, considering it’s a critically acclaimed book about female bonding in the South. On my drives home, I listened to the book from end to end. I loved it! The audio version is performed by the author herself. Wells truly gives each character a specific voice, and because she knows where each character is going, she has complete command over the entire story. I loved her different Southern accents, and her ability to totally over-dramatize the Ya-Ya parts to show how utterly devoted the women are to each other and to their adventures.
There were a couple of things I noticed about the audio book. It’s hard to go back if you forgot something or weren’t paying attention right at that moment. Also, it was too short. With how much I drive, I finished the audio book in four days. And only two of those days were hour long drives. I would linger in my car for just a couple of minutes to bank a few more minutes with the Ya-Yas. I can’t finish a book that long in four hours, mostly because I like to linger over a moment in a book, and reread it in case I missed something.
Another downside is the extra expense of audio books. On iTunes, audiobooks can run the same cost as a hardcover. I understand the expense. Someone is reading the book to you in an entertaining (let’s hope) way. Luckily for me, I am an auditory learner, so I can really pick up things when I hear them. Some people do not remember a thing if they don’t see it or do it themselves. The benefit is that you get to hear the whole book being read, instead of watching the movie, a poor substitute. This book is a prime example of that, because the movie is a terrible adaptation of a beautiful book, in my opinion. (And you know that I am usually nice to film adaptations of books.)
It is for all these reasons that I would probably not approach an audio book as my first medium of “reading” (more like absorbing information). However, that does not shadow over the fact that I loved Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood and give it a 4 out 5.
Anyone have an opinion on audio books or on Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood? And as a last note, has anyone else noticed that a requirement for a book set in the South is that it mostly takes place in the summer? It’s like I can feel the humidity as well as hear the Southern accents. What’s winter like in the South?