Well, I made it back to Northeast Ohio from two weeks in South Carolina where the living is easy but the Internet access is about as fast as an Amtrack car being pushed by hand through a python. Oh, well. Looks like I didn’t miss much. Cain is out. Newt is in. And Madonna is going to warble during the halftime show at the Super Bowl.
Say what? More on Madonna later.
And for a pajama-clad citizen journalist who keeps a cynical eye on most things these days, I have no complaints about the weather during the 12-hour or so drive from the sunny South until we were engulfed by endearing gray of Ohio. Gee, Toto, I guess we’re home. Yeah, but we could have gone through snow in West Virginia which would have made the turnpike a hockey rink.
Anyway, during the drive we listened to Tina Fey’s Bossypants. And I’ll admit to loving the book — and the quality of the audio and recording as well as the content. I don’t listen to audio books. Why? Well, for one, I’m not in a car much these days. And beyond that, the last time I listened to an audio book — maybe fifteen years ago — the narrator sounded like someone wearing a paper bag and fighting what I expect was a terminal case of post-nasal drip.
Tina Fey is an excellent writer. And the book is entertaining — and informative about her life, career and views on a number of subjects. Here’s the blurb:
Before Liz Lemon, before “Weekend Update,” before “Sarah Palin,” Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV.
She has seen both these dreams come true.
At last, Tina Fey’s story can be told. From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon — from the beginning of this paragraph to this final sentence.
Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we’ve all suspected: you’re no one until someone calls you bossy.
Given that I liked the book, I pondered while chasing the treadmill belt this early a.m. just how popular they are these days. After all, audio books are kind of Reading Lite, which should appeal to the masses who don’t want to read much of anything beyond 140 characters these days. Oops. I digress.
It turns out audio books are extremely popular: a billion-dollar-a-year industry and growing along with e-Books. Here’s from the Audio Publishers Association (as reported by the blog audiobook entrepreneur):
PRINCETON JUNCTION, NJ – September 15, 2008 – The Audio Publishers Association (APA) released the results of the 2008 APA Consumer Survey and the 2008 APA Sales Survey which were conducted to measure the growth of the audiobook industry as well as gain an accurate picture of audiobook listeners’ behaviors. Independent research firm LewisClarkBoone Market Intelligence surveyed a sample of American consumers, as well as audiobook publishers, who reported sales data from 2007.
This year’s Consumer Survey showed that 28 percent of adult respondents have listened to an audiobook in the last year, showing a growth of three percent from the survey results in 2006, and a growing comfort with the audio medium among a broadening base of users.
This year’s Sales Survey showed a 12 percent increase over 2006, with audiobook sales now estimated at $1,033,760,000billion. Thanks in part to blockbuster audiobook releases in 2007, the growth rate doubled since the previous findings which showed a 6 percent increase from 2005.
Not bad. And since I had no clue about this, maybe my world is being a little too small these days.
Now, back to Madonna and the Super Bowl half time show.
OK. Full disclosure: If the Steelers are playing in the game (aren’t they always?), I’m generally in the bath room at half time pumping the Iron City from my bladder. If the Steelers aren’t playing, like most Americans, I’m generally sound asleep in front of the TV by half time.
So I guess I shouldn’t be too concerned who entertains at half time. Still I fret over the choice of Madonna, but not for the reasons that I’ve seen: too old, thought she had retired years ago and so on.
I worry that she won’t be able to master the original Pittsburgh Steelers fight song. Now, like Tina Fey’s Bossypants, that’s great audio. And hey. Madonna is no Happy Louie.