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The Pleasure of Being Read to, Audiobooks - Livres du Mois

In Septembers Livres du Mois I share with you some of my most beloved audiobooks. I have always loved being read to and love reading to people. My love for audiobooks began when my mother and I would travel about four hours to visit her sister in Gwynedd. We would pass the time on our journey north by listening to audiobooks from the library, our chief favourite being Harry Potter read by Stephen Fry. His Hermione impersonation was excellent.

Now as an adult, I listen to them while I do menial tasks and when I struggle to sleep (which has been every night for the last 11 years.) Recording audiobooks is something I plan on doing in the near future, as I would like to give someone else the same comfort as being read to gives me. And as I do awfully good voice impressions it would be a shame not to do something with them. We begin with a new series of recordings of my favourite books. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings read by Andy Serkis.


The Hobbit


J. R. R. Tolkien

Released in September 2020, this unabridged audiobook of J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved The Hobbit is read by the BAFTA award-winning actor, director and author Andy Serkis (the actor who played Gollum in the films.)

"Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely travelling further than the pantry of his hobbit-hole in Bag End. But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard Gandalf and a company of 13 dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to request his aid in reclaiming their lost home the Dwarvish Kingdom under the mountain from the dragon Smaug. Despite his adverseness to adventures Bilbo agrees to be their 'Burglar' and sets out on a great journey across dangerous lands and once he reaches the lonely mountain, must somehow get a dragon away from its gold."

I listed to this in July and it was the most brilliant audiobook I have ever listened to. I listened to the final chapters while I sorted through the lavender I had cut from the garden to be dried. Picture a grown man sat at his kitchen table tying bunches of lavender together and crying over the end of 'The Battle of Five Armies'. Andy Serkis is a wonderful actor and his narration of The Hobbit could not be more perfect.


The Lord of the Rings


J. R. R. Tolkien

Released this month is The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, narrated again by the brilliant Andy Serkis.

"In a sleepy village in the Shire, a young hobbit is entrusted with an immense task. He must make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to Mount Doom, there to destroy the Ruling Ring of Power – the only thing that prevents the Dark Lord Sauron’s evil dominion."

Waiting a whole month to listen to this was absolutely agonising but never the less worth the wait. I hope for all our sakes that Andy Serkis continues recording audiobooks. I don't care if it's the 21st century guide to knitting, if he's reading it, I'm listening.


Interview With The Vampire


Anne Rice

Interview with the Vampire is a gothic horror and vampire novel by American author Anne Rice, published in 1976. It was her debut novel. Based on a short story Rice wrote around 1968, the novel centers on vampire Louis de Pointe du Lac, who tells the story of his life to a reporter.

This is the story of Louis, as told in his own words, of his journey through mortal and immortal life. Louis recounts how he became a vampire at the hands of the radiant and sinister Lestat and how he became indoctrinated, unwillingly, into the vampire way of life.


Harry Potter and the

Philosopher's Stone

read by

Stephen Fry

"Turning the envelope over, his hand trembling, Harry saw a purple wax seal bearing a coat of arms; a lion, an eagle, a badger and a snake surrounding a large letter 'H'."

Now this is a book that needs no introduction but I could not compile a list of favourite audiobooks and leave out the narration of Stephen Fry. And while I'm not impressed with recent opinions of the author, the magic of the book read by Stephen Fry is no way diminished.


The Unexpected Guest


Agatha Christie

The Unexpected Guest is a novelization by Charles Osborne of the 1958 play of the same name by Agatha Christie. The audiobook is read by Hugh Fraser, the actor who played Hercule Poirot's faithful friend Captain Hastings in the television series.

On a foggy night, the car of a man called Michael Starkwedder breaks down near an isolated house in South Wales and, entering it, he finds the body of a dead man slumped in a chair. A woman stands in the corner of the room, gun in hand, and confesses to the murder. She gives her name as Laura Warwick, the wife of the dead man. Michael decides not to turn her in to the police, and the two decide to come up with a cover-up story to protect Laura.


Brideshead Revisited


Evelyn Waugh

Brideshead Revisited, The Sacred & Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder is a novel by English writer Evelyn Waugh, first published in 1945. The audiobook is narrated by Jeremy Irons, who played Charles Ryder in the 1981 television series adaptation of the book.

"The wellsprings of desire and the impediments to love come brilliantly into focus in Evelyn Waugh's masterpiece - a novel that immerses us in the glittering and seductive world of English aristocracy in the waning days of the empire. Through the story of Charles Ryder's entanglement with the Flytes, a great Catholic family, Evelyn Waugh charts the passing of the privileged world he knew in his own youth and vividly recalls the sensuous pleasures denied him by wartime austerities.

At once romantic, sensuous, comic, and somber, Brideshead Revisited transcends Waugh's early satiric explorations and reveals him to be an elegiac, lyrical novelist of the utmost feeling and lucidity."


I hope you have found something that you'll enjoy but if not, you may find something interesting in the Compendium's Library. Personally I'm going to go and listen to The Fellowship of The Ring and sort through the rest of the lavender, a task that I have put off long enough.


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