I remember being about 8 years old, going on a long road trip to our favorite campsite up near Sudbury. It was my first encounter with an audio book. It was _Eye of the Needle_ by Ken Follett. I was gripped. The usual never ending drive flew by; too quickly as it turned out. The drive ended before the story. We were going canoeing into the back country for a couple of weeks, so it would be a long, impatient wait to find out how it all came together.
About 4 months ago, I started commuting to work again. I’ve been working close to home for about 10 years, so this spending a couple of hours a day in my car is kind of new to me. It does indeed suck, but not nearly as much as I had feared. The reason? Audio books.
I joined audible as a premium listener right off the bat. For $24 a month, I get my choice of any two books in their collection of 20 odd thousand titles. So far, I’ve ‘read’
* Blog (Unabridged) by Hugh Hewitt
* On Intelligence (Unabridged) by Jeff Hawkins and Sandra Blakeslee
* Coming to Our Senses by Jon Kabat-Zinn
* The Dream of Reason (Unabridged) by Anthony Gottlieb
* Getting Things Done by David Allen
* Mind Wide Open (Unabridged) by Steven Johnson
* The Fabric of the Cosmos (Unabridged) by Brian Greene
* A Short History of Nearly Everything (Unabridged) by Bill Bryson
* Autobiography of a Yogi (Unabridged) by Paramahansa Yogananda
* The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra
* Awakening the Buddha Within by Lama Surya Das
Not a bad use of my time. Especially considering that I get *no* time to read in my “regular” life. I’ve been surprised to find that my recall on the subject matter is really good – better even than if I’d read the book the usual way. I’m especially fond of books narrated by the author. I’m (obviously) a fan of the printed word. But there’s something about the emphasis and pacing that an author can give to his own words that punctuation just can’t replicate.
I plan on reviewing all of the books above in the next couple of days, and adding to the library of reviews as the months progress. You’ll note there’s a new ad down there on the sidebar. If you feel like checking out any of my suggestions, please do me the favor of clicking on the ad to go directly to audible. There’s no catch for you, and a small kickback for me. My hope is to cover my very modest hosting costs, and maybe even buy a book or two.
I’ll leave off with this one final thought: damn that’s a list of serious looking books. Time to lighten up!