I have been listening to audio-books consistently for about 4 years now. It started when I got the AirPods and I grew tired of the irregularities of Podcasts. I signed up for Audible and haven’t looked back. There are 2 things I am looking for in an audio-book:
- A topic or story I am interested in, and
- A good narrator(s)
The first one is obvious and the nice thing with Audible is that the browsing feature is pretty good. They also have everything. So if I hear about a book on the radio or in an article I can pull up the Audible app and 99% of the time find it right away.
The second one is more tricky. You can listen to the 5 minute sample of a book and feel like the narrator is going to be tolerable. Then after 10 hours of a 20 hour book you might begin to get annoyed with certain quirks a narrator may have. I have stopped listening to many books halfway through due to the way a narrator says certain words.
One nice thing about Audible is that you can return a book at anytime for up to a year after buying it. So you can get a book and listen to the whole thing and then return it. Audible calls it an Exchange and you should take full advantage of it. I am not suggesting that you listen to entire books and then return them. But I have listened to 90% of a few books hoping they would get better only to finally realize they aren’t going to get better, and exchanged them for something else.
Audible has made it easier, and harder, to exchange a book recently. Now you can exchange a book from the app. You used to have to log into the website and dig for the return page. They have made it harder by putting a type of lockdown on your account if you return too many books in too short a time. When you hit that mark you have to call Audible and get the exchange done. Its a little inconvenient but not as bad as returning a physical book.
I like to switch between various types of books. I like science fiction and listen to a few books a year. Most recently I listened to Exhalation by Ted Chiang and enjoyed the short stories.
This winter and spring I had a biography/memoir kick:
First Man by James R. Hansen about Neil Armstrong, its the book the movie with Ryan Goslin was based on. I cannot recommend it enough if you are interested in manned space flight. Also Neil Armstrong was a badass mother f@*#er.
Acid for the Children by Flea of The Red Hot Chili Peppers. He reads the book and its an awesome insight into a wild life.
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah is the funniest and saddest book I have ever listened to. Racism is such a horrible thing and Trevor does a great job of reading about his experiences growing up in post apartheid South Africa.
An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hatfield is another great book about manned space flight. Chris’ voice is wonderful to listen too as he explains how he got to space and then stayed there. This book helped me refocus myself and my life on trying to be the best I can be.
Currently I am doing some history with The People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn. This isn’t the history they taught in most public schools in the US. If you need help understanding where Black Lives Matter is coming from, this book should help.
I don’t listen to audio-books all of the time. However there are times when I am tired of music and need more than just a podcast. I will always have a few books in rotation ready to go. If I am driving more than an hour by myself I will usually put something on.
My back is still pretty sore from the weekend so I went for a nice walk on my trails today. I got 3.3 miles in and had a nice long phone call with my sister. She is in Arizona right now and we both agree that everyone has lost their damn minds.