First Reads In 2013

Hello everyone. I’m back from my big holiday vacation. I had a great time and I hope your holidays were a happy time for you as well.

I always look forward to a new start at the beginning of a new year. It usually prompts me to make all sorts of lists of things I want to do. So far, here are a few of my lists:

  • areas (cabinets and drawers) I want to clean out
  • items I want to knit, including something for a new grandbaby joining the family in May (our son and his wife’s first)
  • new foods/recipes I want to experiment with
  • places and people I want to visit

And, of course, a list of new books I want to read. If nothing else, I am a reader. I just listened to two new audiobooks I want to tell you about. They were both memoirs that I thoroughly enjoyed. Both were by famous women close to my age.

Audition by Barbara Walters

It was read by Barbara Walters, which added so much to the listening experience. I’m very familiar with her voice and it felt like she was talking directly to me.

I have never been a daytime TV watcher because I’ve always been working. But, in 1968 I was forced to take a maternity leave because back then school teachers could not be in the classroom after the fourth month. I had to stay home and, for the first time in my life, I turned on the TV in the morning. And there was Barbara Walters on the Today Show. She was immediately memorable because she was an oddity: an intelligent woman on TV. She had just become a mother (via adoption) and I enjoyed sharing her new-baby experiences. I have also enjoyed her special interviews with important leaders over the years.

Audition is Ms. Walters story of her spectacular career in TV, primarily paving the way for future female journalists. My favorite parts were about her struggles in the early years to be accepted as “one of the boys” and how she met the top leaders (Sadat and Castro) from around the world.

Ms. Walters was also very open about her personal life. She was very honest about her relationship with her father, mother, and mentally-retared sister, as well as her three marriages. She opened up about the problems she had with her teenage daughter. My heart went out to all of them and I rejoiced when her daughter was able to turn her life around.

The second audiobook I listened to was Dream More by Dolly Parton. This was also read by the author in her familiar up-beat voice and signature giggle. I like Dolly Parton. I loved her in Steel Magnolias and a few of her songs, but mostly I love her for her showmanship. I saw her in an amazing concert with Kenny Rogers way back when. The two entertained together and separately. I came away a fan of Dolly Parton because of how much she gave us of herself in that concert.

Dream More is an expansion of a speech Ms. Parton gave to the graduating class at the University of Tennessee in 2009. In this audiobook she shared the dreams that have pushed her life forward. She challenged all listeners to pursue their own dreams.

I especially enjoyed hearing about some of the programs that have been a part of Dolly Parton’s own plan to “dream more.” The best was hearing of her program for early childhood literacy in her home town. It was great to find out she’s a great advocate for the importance of reading.

I can happily recommend both Audition and Dream More to you. They are both available in conventional books, but try to listen to them. I think you’ll like that better.

I feel like my reading for 2013 is off to a pretty good start. You may have noticed I took a book off my list from the left side bar – The Jujitsu Blond and the Godless Rabbi. There were too many F words and so forth to suit my taste. It just wasn’t for me, even though it is one of Amy Einhorn’s picks.

Oh well, I’ll move on to the next one in line. I hope your reading list is shaping up and you are finding good books to spend time with. Bring on 2013.


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7 Responses to First Reads In 2013

  1. In 1968 teachers couldn’t teach beyond the 4th month?! Wow, I’m glad we’ve gotten past that archaic rule. I have a feeling my mom would love the Barbara Walters book.

    I listened to Dream More as well and thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m not a fan of Dolly’s music but I sure am a fan of her. She is a human dynamo!

  2. Beth F says:

    I have the Dolly Parton book and really should listen to it. I admire her and have enjoyed some of her music over the years. And Yikes! on the rule about not being pregnant in the classroom. I hadn’t remembered that.

  3. Margot so glad you enjoyed your time away, and congrats on the new grandchild to be.

  4. Julian says:

    I admire her and have enjoyed some of her music over the years. And Yikes! on the rule about not being pregnant in the classroom. I hadn’t remembered that.

  5. Staci says:

    This book sounds pretty amazing and that she really wrote about everything. There are times that I like her and other times not so much, but I think she has lived an amazing and interesting life!!! Fantastic review!

  6. Harvee says:

    I have a whole house to declutter, so my days should be filled too. Happy New Year and great resolutions.

  7. stacybuckeye says:

    Congratulations on your new grandbaby, Margot!

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