Naxos audio books feature appropriate music, and The Middle Way: The Story of Buddhism by Jinananda (3 CDs pounds 12.99) is punctuated by temple bells and bursts of chanting. It's thoughtful, subtle and wise, with readings by Anton Lesser and Heathcote Williams. In the same series is The History of Classical Music on 4 CDs, by Richard Fawkes and read by the mellifluous Robert Powell (Naxos pounds 14.99). The commentary is punctuated by musical examples - a brilliant idea.
In poetry, Seamus Heaney reads his wonderful Station Island sequence (Faber Penguin pounds 6.99) with a gently gobsmacked wonderment. Penguin Classics have brought out useful selections of the work of Christina Rossetti, Donne, Wordsworth and Shelley, read by a team of actors (eg Haydn Gwynne, Alex Jennings, Stella Gonet), each with a basic commentary (pounds 8.99). But the top poetry present has to be Paul Durcan reading his own sly, humorous, maudlin contemporary epic Christmas Day (Harvill pounds 7.99).Reuse content