Saturday, December 4, 2010

Recent audio books I've "read"

It seems that I have very limited time in my daily life for reading books, even with my Kindle. So I am a big fan of audio books. It's amazing how quickly I can finish a book with about 40 minutes (minimum) spent in my car each day, plus the time doing errands about town.

Composed - Rosanne Cash

Most recently I finished Composed: A Memoir, by singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash. I've seen Rosanne perform and met her in Nashville about 25 years ago, but I never really knew much about her besides her dad being Johnny Cash and her first marriage being to Rodney Crowell.

I'm not sure she would have even been on my radar screen except that Mom was in love with her song, Seven Year Ache, and we listened to the tape on road trips to the lake.

Even though Rosanne's reading style is just that - reading - she tells a tale of a rather interesting life. Although a world traveler who has lived abroad, she grew up a California girl, now a New York City woman. She speaks lovingly about both her parents and the significant roles they played in her life. Family is obviously very important to her - as a daughter, sister, mother and wife.

I'm pretty sure I will have to buy a couple of her lesser known CDs, including The List (based on songs her Dad told her she needed to know about), and Kings Record Shop.

Rosanne also speaks candidly about her brain surgery and subsequent recovery. I enjoyed this autobiography very much - it provided a lot of insight to her struggle to become a better songwriter and artist.

A Little Bit Wicked - Kristin Chenoweth

One of the best audio books I've ever listened to is A Little Bit Wicked by actress-singer Kristin Chenoweth. Unlike Rosanne Cash's reading style, Kristin is not only telling you the story of her life, she is animating it through impressions, acting, exuberance and enthusiasm. It's more like she's sitting across the table from you rather than reading to you. It's an amazing audio presentation. It even includes cameo appearances from some of the special people in her life.

I first knew of Kristin Chenoweth when she was in the cast of The West Wing. Once I saw her on a late night talk show when she burst into song and I learned she was a trained opera singer. Others may know her from the Broadway production of Wicked.

I love biographies, especially show biz and political biographies. And I really loved this one. Kristin talks about her music ambitions as a youngster, her training, college years, how the pageant circuit paid for her college education (oh, it really was a scholarship program). Her life has not been without its ups and downs, and she has been surrounded by a supporting family and wealth of friends. Tryouts, auditions, successes and failures. It's all here.

This is one audio book I hated to see come to a close. I had really enjoyed having Kristin in the car with me for about a week and a half.

Current listen is Patti LuPone: A Memoir. Like Kristin Chenoweth, LuPone provides a very dramatic narration to her story. More on it once I've completed it.


  1. Susan, It looks like I'll be reading two out of the three. I've always adored Patti and Kristin (Patti's book ordered from the library, now to do Kristin). I remember seeing Kristin on her own tv show, Kristin (very long ago), and yes even on Glee. Thanks for the recommendations.

  2. Barb, Kristin talks about her tv show frequently throughout the book, with great humor. I certainly don't remember it. I'm sure you'll love both of these books.

  3. You would have loved it, she was a receptionist at a talent agency, or something like that, and of course, there were many stars appearing in the show.