Tagaudiobook

Artemis

ArtemisArtemis by Andy Weir
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I listened to the audio book read by Rosario Dawson.

It’s not The Martian. And that’s a good thing. Artemis is its own story in its own world. it takes place in the moon. There’s a city there in a series of bubbles.

We follow Jazz and what she gets up to and it’s a wonderful story. Not a deep cerebral novel, but a fun adventurous read about life on the moon.

I enjoyed the story and Rosario’s narration and choice of voices. I like the worlds Andy Weir creates and I want to keep living in them.

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The First Rule about this book

Fight ClubFight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fight Club is another “book that became a movie I loved but I’ve never read the book” so I got to it this year. I listened to the audio book and thoroughly enjoyed it. I never did catch where the “I am Joe’s ____” came from until now.

I enjoyed the story and the slow build up to the realization of who Tyler really is.

I didn’t know there was a Fight Club 2 graphic novel until today, so I’ve added that to the to-read pile too.

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On “The Martian”

The Martian by Andy Weir is a wonderful book. I saw many people mention and recommend it on Twitter and I was curious because I like sci-fi as much as the next guy.

But I also saw many people mention it was “hard sci-fi” and “very math heavy.” I do not math well and numbers across paragraphs scare me off.

So I took a chance on the book in audio form. The narrator, R.C. Bray, was just wonderful. Seriously, a narrator you can’t stand reading a book kills the story. Even if they’re a great narrator, it’s all about their voice. If I don’t like it, I can’t listen to it for hours.

This was not the case with The Martian.

I tweeted it was taking over my life. After starting it, I listened to it on the commute home from work. I listened to it that evening after I got home. I listened to it before falling asleep that night. I listened to it the next morning, during the commute to work and most of the day at work. (The joy of support work with little to support means time to listen as I reply to email.)

I finished it the second day as I walked home. I had about an hour to go once I got home and finished it as I did chores. The Martian was a fantastic story. The main character, Mark Watney, was funny and snarky. He took the situation he was in and made the best of it.

I loved the journal entries, recounting each sol on Mars. I enjoyed hearing of his triumph. Then hearing of his life-and-death struggle the very next sol.

It was a fun listen and the math didn’t seem overwhelming and wasn’t important to the story anyway. Yes, he took this many millilitres of this and combined it with that many liters of that to get this and that. But it’s not important. The importance is what it means for his survival.

I can see how the math could bog down a reader. But in audio it was a joy to listen. There is a map of Watney’s travels on Mars with a spoiler-free version for those who haven’t read the book.

The book clocks in at 10 hours and 53 minutes. I had a hard time stopping it at any time. The story is riveting and the outcome is never clear.

Get The Martian on Kindle, paperback or audio. It’s about $9 in print and $21 in audio-form.

Get 3 months of Audible for $6

I love Audible. On the way back from Bonnaroo my wife and I enjoyed Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison. Having seen both seasons of the Netflix show, I enjoyed the book. It was interesting to see what liberties were taken with the show. It was fun to see some of the memorable parts from Season 1 show up in the book. It was equally interesting to see who and what were completely made for TV.

Road trips commutes are made for audiobooks. No matter how much music I have I eventually get tired of it. Podcasts are great too, but eventually I wanted something longer I could really get into. Our 12 hour drive was perfect for listening to Orange is the new Black.

When I can lose myself for hours in a book, read by a professional, it can enhance an already great story. When read by the author, it can bring a story to life with the voice and inflections which gave birth to the story.

There are often deals for new customers. However, Audible is running a deal for new and expired members.

Tell me more about this deal!

The deal is a discount from the $14.95/month price to $1.95 for three months. That’s three books, one per month, for $6.00.

Go here to get the deal.
Enter the code TZ2014

Now you’ll enjoy Audible for $1.95 a month for the next three months. The membership will give you one credit to use each month. The credit is good for any book on the service. The deal expires June 30, 2014 so you’ve got a couple of weeks to use it.

Membership comes with some other perks.

  • 30% off all purchases.
  • Member-only deals and sales
  • Free audio subscriptions to The Wall Street Journal or The New York Times
  • Freely exchange any book that doesn’t meet your expectations. No questions asked.

I returned a book with the reason I did not like this book. I got a refund of the price I paid for the book, no questions asked. I haven’t had an active membership in a few months and I had no trouble redeeming the deal with my expired membership.

Be sure to set a calendar reminder to cancel your account after three months. Otherwise, you’ll be charged $14.95 per month after that.

Photo credit: Forest Hills Audio Book Month Display

Recently Listened: April 2014 Audiobooks

I love reading, but lately I’ve not been able to sit down and put eyes to words. So instead I’ve listened to a few audiobooks this month and have really enjoyed them.

Ready Player One By Ernest Cline

Ready Player One is a wonderful book. It was recommended to me by a few friends who said I would love it. They were right. I listened to Wil Wheaton read it.

It’s an 80’s Geek Love Fest. The story is filled with 80s computer games, music, video games, movies and everything else 80s you can think of. A great story of misfits hunting across a virtual universe for a secret treasure it did not disappoint.

Predictable in places and unexpected in others. I listened to every word with eager anticipation of what was going to come next. The worst part of Ready Player One is that it ends.

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell

David and Goliath was an interesting look at re-examining common situations and looking at them a different way. Read by the author, Gladwell talked often of how stories we’ve come to know by heart can actually be seen very differently.

And how the David in stories can triumph over Goliaths by changing the game and playing to their strengths. I didn’t learn and great truths or insights, but it was interesting to look at things differently.

The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Rubin

Happiness. It’s something we all seek to find and maintain. Rubin took on a challenge each month to try to become happier. In the course of being happier, she also tried to make the people around her happier.

In examining her behaviors, she tries to act better. To quit nagging. To be more positive. To be a good example for her children.

She shares her Secrets of Adulthood. Many of which I found myself nodding my head to. Those were things I could do better at. Or at least things to strive for.

Reading her own book, she never preaches her way is The One True Way™. But instead shares her experiences and experiments and reports what worked for her and what she found after trying out different things each month.

Searching for Dave Chappelle by Jason Zinoman

Dave Chappelle is an interesting figure. At the height of his success, he vanishes out of the public eye for reasons unknown. The kindle short doesn’t have any definitive answers. It does paint a fuller picture of Dave Chappelle, the man and the comic.

It was a short, enjoyable story. I really enjoyed his television show and stand-up comedy. And while I didn’t learn anything new about the why he left the show. I did learn more about him as a person. And that was worth the listen.

Got a suggestion of what I should read or listen to next? Curious what else I’ve enjoyed? Check out my Books page.

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