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TOPIC: What audio books are you listening to?

What audio books are you listening to? 04 Sep 2016 23:42 #233314

So I stuck a bluetooth speaker on my bike and have been listening to the Harry Potter series for the first time. My daughter swore they were amazing and after two books I can say that I really enjoy them. I've got a friend who bikes nine miles to work and gets all of his reading done via audio book. Is anyone else exploring this ancient technology?
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What audio books are you listening to? 05 Sep 2016 01:26 #233318

Yeah I started listening to the first book during a road trip to Disneyland a few weeks ago & I need to pick it up again. It seemed pretty predictable, but enjoyable nonetheless and I've managed to ignore pretty much everything related to the series so I'm spoiler-free. Now that my son, wife, and daughter have read all of them, I feel like I need to just hunker down and consume this bit of shared culture.

I tried Game of Thrones again, but the reader was insufferable. Some of them develop a cadence and tone inflection that they repeat with every damn sentence and once you notice it, it becomes really difficult to unnotice. I can usually deal with it with most audio books (Neil Gaiman does this a lot when he reads) but just bounced off of GoT hard because of it.
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What audio books are you listening to? 05 Sep 2016 07:03 #233319

I listen to audio books while I'm in the truck all the time. Usually after I've stopped for the night because as with actual reading they can tend to make me sleepy. I've also found that it's best to stay away from literature or anything where deep thinking or a desire to absorb the language used is of importance. In my experience, audio books can't deliver on that front the way reading can. Anyway, here is a list of some of the stuff on my ipad:

Game of Thrones (the first three books): Unlike Frohike, I enjoyed these. I thought the reader did a great job. They are quite long which can be good or bad depending on how you look at it. However, I'm so familiar with the story that I can jump in and out and not be lost. I recommend them.

The Guns of August: I like history books and I think they translate well to audio books. The one draw back with military histories is the lack, obviously, of maps. Visual depictions of the stuff being described is often so very helpful to understanding. Guns of August does not really suffer from this and the reader is absolutely fabulous, conveying Tuchman's wry sense of humor and scathing disdain for idiots perfectly. If you have any interest in the days leading up to and the first dynamic months of World War 1, I can't praise this one too highly.

The Civil War by Shelby Foote: These three volumes are fabulous reading in book form but unlike Guns of August, do suffer greatly from a lack of maps. I'm ok at geography but where is Bowling Green in relation to Paducah or Memphis? I kinda know but not really. And the reader with a sort of old timey "Cookie round the Campfire" tone is ok in small doses but gets under my skin after a bit. They are a comprehensive history of the American Civil War and if you wish to learn of that conflict they will give you an understanding.

The Nightingale: A story of a woman who gets swept up in the occupation of France during World War 2. This is a good one. The reader is excellent and the story entertaining. It was listed on the top five audio books from audible or something and it deserves it.

The Man From Berlin: The story of a German army officer who is tasked with unraveling the mystery of who murdered a fellow soldier in Hungary. A really good story in the "film noir" mold. I liked this one quite a bit.

The Illiad: I have the unabridged version of the Fagels translation. You'd think, being a story that was passed down in the oral tradition that it would be ideally suited to the medium of audio books but it is NOT. The reader is stupifingly dull.
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What audio books are you listening to? 05 Sep 2016 08:37 #233322

Whew, yeah, if there was ever a war that needs the maps at hand it's the civil war. All these random places that were economically/politically important but are now little more than villages!
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What audio books are you listening to? 05 Sep 2016 09:25 #233324

I've been enjoying Nine Princes in Amber on Audible. Read it years ago and am enjoying the rediscovery through another medium. So much better than those terrible Audible commercials on TV!
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What audio books are you listening to? 05 Sep 2016 09:47 #233327

I've always liked audio dramas and still listen to them sometimes, but could never get into audio books.
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What audio books are you listening to? 05 Sep 2016 10:49 #233330

I recommend this book to everyone and it had a great audio read too on audible---check out Fire Season.
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What audio books are you listening to? 05 Sep 2016 16:43 #233340

Gary Sax wrote:
I recommend this book to everyone and it had a great audio read too on audible---check out Fire Season.

Perfect Labor Day reading, especially right after backpacking last weekend. Thanks for that recommendation!
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What audio books are you listening to? 05 Sep 2016 16:57 #233342

I swore off them for the longest time and still prefer dead tree but I have such a back log and a hour and a half daily commute so I do occasionally partake.

Last one I finished was Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. A pretty good thriller, a little predictable for a long time science fiction reader toward the beginning but surprised me with a twist toward the end.

Currently working on Sapiens : a brief history of humankind by Yuval N.Harari. Very interesting and thought provoking.
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What audio books are you listening to? 05 Sep 2016 20:53 #233348

Mad Dog wrote:
I've always liked audio dramas and still listen to them sometimes, but could never get into audio books.

Might I then recommend a podcast called Alice Isn't Dead

It isn't really a radio drama nor an audio book. Sort of a merging of the two. It is a bit creepy and a bit surreal and perfect for Halloween time. Oh, and it's about a long haul trucker and they get many of the details of that life right.
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What audio books are you listening to? 05 Sep 2016 21:31 #233350

I discovered a little over 5 years ago that I prefer audio books to music when I go running. It really helps me zone out and not notice the time spent/distance as much. When I'm listening to music I just think "how long as this track been on? Is it almost over? If so that's about 3-4 minutes. How many songs have I listened to so far? etc). I also prefer listening to books I've already read so it doesn't matter if I miss a detail or two.

Harry Potter: The reader Jim Dale is one of the best I've listened to. He holds a Guinness World Record for number of unique voices created in Order of the Phoenix. I've listened to this series a lot, probably more times than I've read it thanks to all the running I've done of the years.

The Hobbit: I don't remember which version it is, it's OK. I'm not sure Tolkein adapts well to being read aloud. Still it's one of my favorite books of all time so it still gets a listen to every now and then. I've tried to find versions of Lord of the Rings, but every one seems to include music and different readers for different characters. I can appreciate an audio play if it's adapted as an audio play but not a book read like one.

Game of Thrones: I gotta disagree with Frohike, I think the narrator is my new favorite replacing the guy from Harry Potter. I think his cadence is very good with pauses and emphasis in places that really bring the text alive. He's not perfect though, I feel like all maesters sound alike, as well as anyone is who is old. I'm about halfway through the 3rd book though and I'm kind of losing interest. that's probably because the books are so long and the series starts getting tedious at that point anyway. My brother told me they get a new narrator for the 4th or 5th book and he's not as good.

The Dark Tower: I've listened to the first 1.5 books. Solid narrator. Really nails Eddie Dean's New York accent for me. The narrator had a really bad motorcycle accident though and didn't get to finish the series.
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What audio books are you listening to? 08 Sep 2016 11:19 #233590

Game of Thrones while running? I'm pretty sure you're going to end up like this:



But on-topic, I think it was Branham here many years ago that pointed out the Christopher Moore audiobooks, where Moore usually does his own narration. Those are really good if you like his comic writing style. Much lighter than recommended anything recommended so far.
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What audio books are you listening to? 08 Sep 2016 12:02 #233594

Try Dan Carlin's Hardcore History or Common Sense Podcasts.
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What audio books are you listening to? 08 Sep 2016 18:33 #233626

Finished Sapiens and started Battle cry of freedom. Volume 1 the Civil War era
by James M. McPherson.
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What audio books are you listening to? 17 Jun 2017 13:39 #250058

Sho-gun by James Clavell

I can't recommend this one enough. James Clavell is an excellent adventure story writer but beyond that he does insert a lot of actual historical details in his "epic" stories and so not only will you be entertained but also educated, at least a little bit, on the society and culture of 17th Century Japan and Europe. I think Clavell does a good job at both admiring these societies where they are admirable and scorning them where they are not. It's not pro-west nor pro-asia but rather a look at the clash of two very distinct societies.

You may or not remember it from the 1970's mini series that was a sensation at the time but the book is so much better.

Of course the author is only half the equation in an audio book and the narrator Ralph Lister is completely fantastic. A joy to listen to and his voices for each of the characters are distinct without being over the top. Especially female characters which some male narrators have a hard time with.

Tai-Pan also by James Clavell. This is the second book chronologically in Clavell's Asian Saga but was actually written about 9 years earlier than Sho-gun. I think it is a weaker book but still good and worth the listen. This is about the founding of Hong Kong by British, and other, opium traders around 1840. There are some quite suspenseful moments, the smuggling of the silver bullion being the most memorable, and again the insertion of actual historical knowledge about the times and the culture of coastal China at that time.

Clavell did seem to run out of steam with certain characters and has them killed off somewhat arbitrarily or as an easy wrap up to their sub plots. And the main confrontation of the entire books is a bit of a let down. Still, I enjoyed it.

Gilbert Jackson, the reader, does a good job but his version of an American accent is annoying as hell. Not saying it's inaccurate. Maybe that IS how we New Englanders sound to the British.


Tai-pan.jpg
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