I read Pat Conroy’s latest book, My Reading Life, last year (2010) when it first came out and wrote a post about it that you can read here. I just finished listening to the audio version which I downloaded from my public library onto my iPod. I loved it.
At first Conroy’s voice sounded almost jarring. His voice has an effort to it, a strain at times, that reminded me of someone who doesn’t talk much who is made to talk much. It wasn’t annoying or detrimental to the listening experience, just surprising. I suppose it has been over 15 years since I saw him give a riveting talk to an auditorium crammed full of adoring fans in Charlotte, NC. It looked forward to hearing his voice every time I got into my car. I tend to listen to audio books only in my car (and sometimes on the treadmill).
During his reading of this audio book, there were times when Conroy sounded like he was detached and others when his personality shines through with excitement and aliveness. At the end of his reading is a brief interview with Conroy where he talks about, among other things, the importance of libraries in his life. We also learn that his wife doesn’t like to spend money and checks out audio books from their library for road trips. I love learning those little details about a beloved author’s life.
If you’re in a reading slump, My Reading Life is a great choice to get you back in the game. It’ll re-ignite your passion for reading and turn you on to some great books.