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:

 

John Green: From Loathe To Love

When I first heard about John Green, it was in 2012 when The Fault In Our Stars was released, and I immediately hated him. Let me explain before you stone me.

I was always on the lookout for young adult books that weren’t vampires, because vampires were getting boring, fast. So here comes this decent author with a book about kids with cancer, and I thought ‘hey, if it’s a good story and it raises awareness, this is going on my to-read list.’

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So with my brand new copy of The Fault In Our Stars, I settle down in my communal living room to start reading, tea in hand and then I hear a screech from my wonderfully-vocal Italian housemate and best friend. I then spent the next two hours receiving a lecture from her about how John Green was profiting from cancer and that the medical aspects of the book were completely outrageous. So the book went on my shelf and hasn’t been opened since.

So four years pass, I get a degree, move back to my home town, get a job, blah blah blah, and then I hear about this edgy indie book with a bad-ass female lead with a weird name and an amazing metaphor: Paper Towns. Three guesses who it’s by, *drum roll* John Green.

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In the four years, I had pretty much forgotten about my hatred for John Green, as I had since learned that my loud friend’s opinion of TFiOS was just that, an opinion. But still with this ingrained fear of reading the book, I skipped it altogether and dove head first into Paper Towns. I finished it in less than a week.

Safe to say that since then, I’ve been pretty happy to hear about John Green’s work, particularly when I realised he is the older brother to Hank Green, and that they co-created YouTube channel vlogbrothers, the world of Nerdfighteria, and are ultra nerds that are so cool and the human embodiment of tumblr.com.

I now spend nearly all of my spare time attempting to catch up on the 10 years of vlogbrothers videos, and am eagerly awaiting payday so I can buy all of John Green’s book and add them to my copies of Paper Towns and The Fault In Our Stars. I’m also desperately searching for a copy of John Green reading TFiOS audiobook.

I have officially become a fan, and I wish I had had the balls to stand up for The Fault In Our Stars when I first bought it all those years ago… and I shall be reading it tonight!

So, I have one thing to say to you John Green and other members of Nerdfighteria (if you’ll forgive my stupidity): Don’t forget to be awesome! 

Why Adults Need To Start Reading Kids Books Again

I wasn’t really allowed to read or own books as a child, so I discovered many kid-loved classics in my teens and twenties when I went to university.

Children’s books teach us so many things, and as someone who believes that there is always a lesson to be learned, I think adults need to start putting down the crime thriller and the erotica and start picking up those bedtime stories again.

I’m not saying never pick up a +15 novel again, but sometimes we are so wrapped up in work, bills, cars, problems that we don’t take any time to be a kid again; to be creative.

The one huge difference I have noticed between children’s fiction and adult fiction, is that children’s books are so much more creative!

They invite the reader to imagine some extraordinary things, like in Harry Potter where we are thrown into a world of magic and muggles combined. We are asked to believe that magic exists in our everyday lives… and I am so okay with that.

harry potter books curtosy of Flickr

Children’s literature has been shaping the minds of kids for years, whether it’s Beatrix Potter teaching us that we all need to have a little adventure in our lives, or Roald Dahl showing kids that adults don’t always know what they’re doing.

Peter-rabbit taken from Commons.Wikipedia

Learning lessons isn’t just for younger readers, and I’ve found that books written for the post-high-school world don’t teach us enough! The only thing I have ever learned from a crime or a thriller is that people have too much access to weapons, and that we can be cruel – but I think we all knew that…

So next time you think about picking up that dark cover with the girl’s silhouette on the front, maybe go for something with a little colour, a little fun and definitely some imagination!

Twenty-Five Seven: An Extra Hour A Day!

Good news — another hour has just been added to every 24-hour day (don’t ask us how. We have powers). How do you use those extra sixty minutes?

I’d probably use it to read and write more. There is nothing better than to be able to spend time doing the things you love – especially when those things can actually help and hone your career skills!

Melissa Holden book selfie with Angela Carter book

The Writer Who Isn’t Reading

Stephen King always said you should read for a few hours everyday. I think I’ve been reading a few hours every week.

I feel terrible that I’m not reading, particularly as I have so much free time and so many unread books lying around. But I just can’t seem to get into the reading mood.

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The last book I finished reading was A Girl with a White Dog by Anne Booth, and it was amazing book – but since then I just can’t be bothered to pick up a book and delve in.

I am currently attempting to read Carrie, Stephen King. I say attempting, because I started it over a month ago. It’s not even a long book – I could read it in a day, and it’s a really good book. I just can’t concentrate long enough to read anything longer than a blog post (and even that is a struggle). I’m on page 90/242 – hopefully I finish it this week, but if not – I need to sort my priorities out!