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A Product Endorsement April 21, 2014

Posted by Mitchell in Home.
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Let’s have a bit of a break here from the artsy stuff for something even more completely different. If you haven’t checked it out already I highly recommend trying out Audible.com. I’ve been using the service for about a year and a half and I thoroughly enjoy it. Basically it’s a subscription service for $15 per month where you get a credit each month. You then use that credit to purchase an audible book. Easy peasy. You can also just buy audible books outright without the subscription service (I think), but then you’ll pay full price for it. The 15 bucks is usually a great deal less than the full boat so it’s a good deal to go with the subscription. Then you download the book to your computer, pocket computer what also has a phone, tablet, etc. Larger works are broken up into sections for easier downloads. I load them onto my phone and bluetooth it to my car’s stereo and listen to them when I’m driving around. It’s brilliant! This is such a better use of my time in the car over listening to “Sweet Home Alabama” for the 23 millionth time.

In my younger days I was mainly a consumer of the Sci-fi / Fantasy genre and not much else. These days…eh, not so much. The real world is actually a lot more interesting to me lately. I highly recommend all of these books whether audible or dead tree versions.

Biographies:

Steve Jobs - This was a fascinating one to listen to. I’ve never been a Apple guy so almost everything about Jobs & Apple in this VERY in-depth biography was new to me. He was an interesting fellow, and a complete asshole. A bit of a stem-winder at 25 hours, but well worth it.

A Curious Man: The Strange and Brilliant Life of Robert ‘Believe It or Not!’ Ripley - I absolutely loved this one. I was a big fan of the Believe It or Not show back in the 80′s with Jack Palance and still read the newspaper cartoon. Riplely had an amazing life and career that easily easily rivals the most “Believe It or Not” people he ever highlighted in his comic.

Non-fiction:

The Monster of Florence - This book details the very long and complicated story about a vicious serial killer and obviously innocent people who got caught in Italy’s corrupt and incompetent criminal “justice” system. Some of the people involved with this case were also involved in the Amanda Knox case. It’s an amazing book

I Want My MTV - The hisotry of how MTV was born, how it changed over the years and why it is what it is now. I was in high school in the 80′s so MTV was a VERY BIG DEAL. Alas, we frequently lived in areas that did. not. have. cable. As such, I was cut off from a big chunk of my generation’s zeitgeist. It seems a LOT of people did a LOT of cocaine in the 80′s.

The Gulag Archipelago Volume 1 – Solshenitsyn’s extremely detailed and grim account of life in the early Soviet Union. I’ll admit, this is a hard one to get through, both because of the material and the narrator’s voice. Orwell’s “1984″ in real life.

The Great Courses Lecture Series:

How to Listen to and Understand Great Music - A simply amazing lecture series by Professor Greenberg that takes you through the history of western music. There are 48 lectures over 36 hours, so it’s a long one but worth every single second.

The History of Ancient Rome – Of all the ancient civilizations Rome is my favorite. Well, the pre-emperor republic Rome anyway.  I’m still working on this one but loving every minute of it. It’s directly related to the next title below.

Historical Fiction:

SPQR Series - There are 13 books so far in this series about the world’s first criminal detective set in ancient Rome. The link goes to the first one. I’m on book VI Nobody Loves a Centurion. These are just pure fun and rather punchy at around seven hours each. I picked up the ancient Rome lecture series because of these books to get some more of the back-story of events that pre-date the series start which right at the beginning of Caesar’s rise.

So, have you read any good books lately?

Comments

1. Nicole - April 21, 2014

I read the Monster of Florence. Didn’t realize there were connections to the Knox case. I started reading it because I love the other books that Preston writes with Lincoln Childs but then I got way sucked in. Good stuff. The last thing I listened to on audiobook was a Terry Pratchett book read by Nigel Planer – there are others who narrate some of the books but Planer is by far the best, IMO. I have a friend who is a total Discworld fanboi and he can’t stand the audiobooks – says he already has voices in his head for the characters and those aren’t the right ones. :)

Mitchell - April 21, 2014

The Monster of Florence and Amanda Knox cases are linked by common members of the Italian “justice” system. Some of the police, prosecutors, & judges were involved in both, with equally disastrous results.

I latched onto Pratchett when the first Discworld hit the SciFi bookclub catalog and grabbed each new one for a long time. I haven’t been following for a while though. Yeah, I can see how a narrator’s characterization doesn’t fit with someone’s pre-established notions. All the more reason to start a NEW audio series with no such preconceptions! John Lee does a fantastic job with all the characters in the SPQR series.


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