Sunday, November 15, 2009

2009 Gift Guide: Stuff I Love #1

Maybe you really don't care what sort of material possessions I own and love. I would not blame you. But.

As I suggested below in my Gift Guide For Guys, I take gift-buying VERY seriously. (More on this in future issues.)

So I thought I would create a few choice posts about stuff I love, would never want to live without, in a gift-guide-y like way, in case you can use this info to shop for someone this holiday season.

(And if you think these are stupid entries, YOU try writing something every day.)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

#1 Thing I Own And Love: Any (And All) Of The Harry Potter Books On Tape/CD, As Narrated By Jim Dale

Let me make two things very clear about this.

FIRST, understand that I never read fantasy. Shameful though you may find this, I've not read The Lord of the Rings, or The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, or any of those I should have.

Perhaps understandably, then, I started the first Harry Potter book three times and just didn't like it, didn't get it, didn't care.

Finally
I forced myself through it and got to the end and was like, "Eh."

Then I read the second one, egged on by my ex, and was even less enthused. I just couldn't bring myself to think it page-turningly amazing. Yes, I was mildly curious in how things would eventually go down with old Voldemort, but I wasn't exactly losing sleep over it, either.

But, I allowed my mild curiosity to lead me to the third book. And by the end of that one, I was hooked.

I devoured the fourth, which had come out not long before I started on the whole series, and was miserable when it ended because I couldn't wait for number five.

Oh, and I waited and waited and then -- well, by then I was in San Francisco and with El_Gallo and the day The Order of the Phoenix came out the both of us walked down to Borders on Powell St. and got in line a block away and made our way through the store and purchased two copies and walked home and read them both that weekend.

As maybe a couple of you miiiiiiight remember, number six came out the week before I left one job for another. I took a week off in between, and (quite serendipitously) was able to enjoy The Half-Blood Prince at my leisure.

The final installment came out right before the first annual BlogHer Conference I was responsible for planning, and I waited until the final night of the event to crack it open. What a divine gift to myself, being able to enjoy that when the even was all finished!

The point is, I didn't immediately love the series, but came around and fell in love. It's really something special.

THE SECOND point I want to make is that, regardless of how you feel about the series or books on tape in general, these are A-MAZ-ING. Jim Dale is the narrator and I have never heard anyone like him. He's fun and enthralling and you just want to listen to him tell you these magical stories over and over and over.

Great for trips to the gym. Great for long car rides. (I discovered these when I bought the first four books on tape for my car drive across the country, moving from Connecticut to San Francisco.) Ish didn't think he cared for Harry, either, until I begged him to start over, from the beginning, with Jim Dale as his guide.

Ish was totally converted.


Bottom line: Give them to someone you love, ask for them for yourself. Jim Dale's narration makes it worth it to start from the beginning and get lost in the series all over again.

The whole audio collection is available at Amazon and on iTunes.

6 comments:

  1. I'd love to make my fiance listen to the books on tape. Harry is one of my favourite series and he won't read them to save his life!

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  2. I like the Jim Dale version with one minor exception - I hate his Hermione voice. But I love the rest of it enough that I forgive him for it.

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  3. I know so many people who didn't like the series until the third book. I actually started with the third book, to see what all the fuss was about, and then went back to read 1 and 2 after.

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  4. Do you still find the first two books rather meh? Or do you appreciate them more now that you've enjoyed the rest of the series?

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  6. One of my Google Reader recommended items today was a blog entry about a wine glass that holds an ENTIRE bottle:

    http://www.kotulas.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10051&storeId=10001&productId=14275&langId=-1&parent_category_rn=13055&top_category=10096

    I'm not sure what this says about me. Or Google Reader.

    Anyway, I'm always glad to hear when someone hops (er...apparates) on the HP bandwagon. I've never tried the audiobooks, but they'll be first on the list during my next roadtrip.

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