Audiobook Review and Reflect: Talking As Fast As I Can – Lauren Graham

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I’ve just had that ‘staring-at-the-wall-with-a-fresh-book-shaped-whole-in-my-heart’ moment. Loralie Gilmore (I mean, Lauren Graham) just spent four hours reading me a book.

I was in the city today, so I’ve been on a lot of trains and tubes. It was a new experience to listen to someone talk to me as I tapped in at London Bridge Station, or raced down the stairs to catch the next Northern Line tube. Her soothing voice filling my head. She had me in fits of laughter, followed by bursts of sadness or melancholy. I suspect I looked slightly deranged on public transport today.

In the background, as I absorb and write this review, There She Goes – The La’s, plays quietly through my headphones. I felt the need to listen to The Gilmore Girls soundtrack; stopping Stars Hollow from leaving me straight away. There’s a warmth in my fingertips that I only get when I need to write.  It’s late, so I’ve got a hot chocolate sat, steaming in my chilly office space, waiting to be sipped.

It is strange, listening to her voice. I can picture her, sat with her legs curled up on a comfy sofa, coffee cupped between her hands. She’s telling me her story, her life. But it’s like hearing a familiar tale with a whole new character. I know it, and yet I don’t.

Loralie Gilmore raised me. I was Rory. Luke was my step-dad. Books made me safe. I’m back in Stars Hollow, however now it has that dewy glaze of a warm memory. That’s what it’s like listening to Lauren Graham read Talking As Fast As I Can: From Gilmore To Gilmore. 

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Talking As Fast As I Can is a charming, delightful book, and makes for an interesting audiobook on Audible. Graham takes us on a journey from Kindergarten to the end of filming Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life.

She shares a lot, the usual witty anecdotes, but also some deep, personal information that anyone may have left out. Lauren Graham’s attention to detail is also someone quite wonderful to observe. She goes on a tangent about a blue coat from The Gilmore Girls set for several paragraphs, which is simply enchanting to read.

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Lauren Graham makes every single word seem and sound magic. Speaking in particular for the audiobook, hearing her read the book herself gives it an added layer of intimacy which is missing from some audiobooks. You can hear the laughter in her voice when she recalls a conversation with a beloved friend. Her tone carries the weight of the time they found of Gilmore Girls was over. She sounds… affected. It is beautiful to listen to.

I realize this is more of a Lauren Graham worship than a review of her book as a format, or as a piece of writing. Perhaps I have been influenced because I listened to it rather than read it. But all I know for sure is, Loralie Gilmore just told me a story, and I loved every minute of it.

If you are a fan of Gilmore Girls, of Parenthood or just of the wonderful Lauren Graham as a human being, I strongly urge you to read or listen to this book. It’s life-affirming, charming and downright enjoyable to consume.

 

Gilmore Girls Spotify Playlist:

 

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Alan The Christmas Donkey | Recent Reads

​Recent Reads: Whilst on the train back from Wales recently,  me and my mom ended up reading Alan The Christmas Donkey by Tracy Garton. 

It’s a sweet, funny book all about the donkey sanctuary the author set up twenty years ago, and the donkeys she adopts along the way; the most mischievous of all being Alan. 

It’s a quick read and a good laugh, and quite an eye opener to the amount of work that goes into these sanctuaries. Worth a read! 

They have a website where you can learn a little bit more about their donkeys: http://www.radcliffedonkeys.com

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children | Book Review

If you haven’t heard of this book, you’ve either been living under a rock or living in a 1940’s time loop *spoilers*. 

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16-09-16 via @melissholden94: I’ve just got a comfy new bed, so what better excuse to spend the evening in it – than a book!? Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
I’ve had this beauty on my book shelf for a while now, but I’m itching to read it before the movie comes out.

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs has blown up in the most beautiful way. It is rare to find a teen-fiction-lit book that can capture an adult reader so easily; but perhaps it’s because only one of the children is actually a child… 

This book is right up my alley; fiction, weird kids, superpowers, a talking bird with a cane and a creepy dude who’s out to kill everyone. Can you say ‘perfect read’?!

And the fact that a movie is about to join the delivery option of this tale is fantastic! I cannot wait to see how they transposed this to the big screen, and with such an amazing cast. 

Back to the book itself, I will confess: it was a hard start for me. I think it was a mix of life distracting me and the annoying best friend to Jacob that made me put the breaks on reading this book several times. However once I reached the peculiar part of the story; you could not pry it from my hands. I even considered taking it to the gym with me: I was that hooked! 

missperegrine_334x518.jpgOUTLINE (CONTAINS SPOILERS!) 

The basic premise of the book is this: sixteen-year-old Jacob Portman watches his grandfather die at the mercy of a mysterious creature that no one else can see.

Convinced their son has gone crazy, Jacob is sent to the therapeutic care of Dr Golan, who listens to Jacob’s retelling of his grandfather’s supposedly tall tales about children with strange gifts who lived on an island.

Guided by Dr Golan, Jacob and his father visit the island, and Jacob is immediately in search for any evidence of Grandpa (Abe) Portman’s time on the island, and the intriguing Miss Peregrine. 

Jacob therein discovers the children’s home that Abe had grown up in, along with evidence that the peculiar children weren’t in fact just stories to keep Little Jacob listening. He also discovers that they are still alive and young, and ready to share their tales with Jacob. And the infamous Miss Peregrine, is very much real – and ready to tell him everything he’s ever wanted to know… 

I won’t spoil anything – just in case you’re one of those readers that ignores the *SPOILERS* warnings in book reviews, and believe me when I say: I have but scraped the surface of the plot line with that description. 

THE COVER / PHOTOGRAPHY:

miss_peregrines_photo2I enjoy the fact that the cover image is NOT of the main character, Jacob Portman. They could easily put the resident heartthrob of the story on the front of the book, but instead they maintained the eeriness of the in-lain sourced photography that is threaded – quite naturally, might I add – throughout the entire book. 

The photos in the book are all real and all sourced by the author, hence the inspiration for the book itself. Creepy kids and shadowy characters add an extra layer to an already amazing read. The maintaining plot line that the photos are picked from Miss Peregrine and Abe Portman’s photo albums is simple yet stunning. It’s very natural and very in-character for these two to have kept pictures of the peculiar children and their talents, so it’s very fitting for them to also be displayed in the book.

There is something almost magic about the way Ransom Riggs describes a character or photo, allowing you to conjure up your own image, and then having it revealed to you on the next page. It makes you, the reader, feel a sense of accomplishment when your image matches his image. Some might argue that it takes the imagination away, but I think it’s quite unifying to know that we’re all seeing the nightmare monsters and the strange children all in the same way. 

All in all, it’s a charmingly dark book and I can’t wait to read the sequel, HOLLOW CITY.