Selected Readings

My paternal Grandmother, Virginia McConnell, gradually lost her vision to macular degeneration. She was legally blind after age 70 until her death at age 94. Around 1990 I had an idea for a novel Christmas gift for her: I read a selection of short stories out loud and recorded them on a small tape recorder. The experience was quite humbling! It is harder than you think to read accurately, intelligibly, and entertainingly. (I stand in awe of the professional readers - many of them stage actors - who appear regularly on the NPR program Selected Shorts. )

After the birth of my daughter, Erin, in 1994, what had been a one time experiment morphed into a regular parental duty. I read all the children's classics: the Dr. Seusses, the Beverly Clearys, the Shel Silversteins, etc. Later on, Through the Looking Glass, Alice in Wonderland, The Wind in the Willows. My Mom found an old copy of a book called The Happy Hollisters in her attic and I read that. Erin liked it so much we read all 31 books in the rather obscure Hollister series. (A few of the rarer ones had to be purchased on eBay.) Later on we graduated to The Chronicles of Narnia and the Harry Potter series. (I'll bet I'm one of the few people on the planet to have read every word of Rowling's wonderful creations out loud.)

Erin mostly reads to herself these days, but I still feel the urge to read aloud. Thus, this web site. I've collected here some mp3 recordings of a few of my favorite stories, and will add more as I have time. Despite all my years of practise I remain a reader of very modest ability, and I offer my sincere apologies to the authors - many mercifully deceased - whose works I've selected for performance. To listeners I offer no apology; these recordings are, after all, free. (In some cases I include discussion about issues related to narration.)