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Audiobook recommendations

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 Philip 30 Jan 2022

Any recommendations for non-fiction audiobooks that work well in that format.

Using a trial of Audible, but anything I have on my to-read list I would prefer as a book.

Looking for things in the history / natural-history / geography probably.

 deacondeacon 30 Jan 2022
In reply to Philip:

Not very original but anything by Stephen Fry or Bill Bryson is good in Audio format (except that they both tend to make me relax until I fall asleep 🙂).

OP Philip 30 Jan 2022
In reply to deacondeacon:

I did consider a Bill Bryson. Ideally needs to be the kind of thing that doesn't need 100% focus, or the equivalent of rereading a paragraph a few pages later when you realise you've missed something.

In reply to Philip:

Not everyone is a fan, but I loved listening to Yuval Noah Harari's three books (Sapiens, Homo Deus, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century).

 climbingpixie 30 Jan 2022
In reply to Philip:

I just finished The Court of the Red Tsar, which is a really good overview of the life of Stalin. I wasn't sure how well it would work as an audiobook and I had to occasionally resort to a web archive of politburo members to remember who they were but I found it quite gripping throughout. And if I'd read it I'd never have known how to pronounce all the names. Now listening to Paul Mason's How to Stop Fascism, which is pretty bleak and depressing at the start but I hope will have a more positive ending. Plus he's got a really lovely Lancashire accent that reminds me of my grandma so that's a bonus.

In reply to Durkules:

> Not everyone is a fan, but I loved listening to Yuval Noah Harari 

What? I've yet to speak to anyone who didn't think sapiens was brilliant. As did I. 

What didn't they like about it? I'll fight them over it.

Admittedly not read/listened.to the other two yet. This has prompted me.

 snoop6060 31 Jan 2022
In reply to Philip:

Slightly off topic but does listening to audiobooks get easier? I’ve just signed up for a trial and have started a couple of books. One of which I’ve already read some time ago (BB’s short history of nearly everything). And I must admit I’m finding it hard to actually follow along. I’m dyslexic but its never really affected my reading and I’m not convinced it’s that anyway. Perhaps you just get used to listening to someone reading to you? Hope so because I’m quite enjoying the flexibility of being able to listen whilst driving even if I’m not always fully following it! 

I started with simple books as well haha. 

In reply to mountain.martin:

Apparently he's not popular amongst academics in certain areas as he's very 'broad brush' on many topics. Although personally, I thought one of the great things about the books is how they cover so many perspectives (which you couldn't do if you focussed in on each topic).

In reply to snoop6060:

It can really help to adjust the speed of the narration to suit you. If it's too slow to too fast it's easy for your mind to drift off.

 Inhambane 31 Jan 2022
In reply to snoop6060:

interesting point im also dyslexic and find it hard to follow along with podcasts while driving in busy or complex areas. Normally i have to rewind a bit and I find that i've heard it but taken it in 

 Ram MkiV 31 Jan 2022
In reply to Inhambane:

I think that's the same for anyone, dyslexic or otherwise.

 Ram MkiV 31 Jan 2022
In reply to Philip:

Not quite in your preferred categories but found Toby Ord's 'The Precipice: Existential Risk and the Future of Humanity' worked well in audio format, listened to mostly in the car.
I read rather than listened but, as suggested, the Harari books are great.

In reply to Ram MkiV:

Kind of parts memoir part history/anatomy but I found Sue Blacks Written in Bone and All that Remains  really interesting 

In reply to Inhambane:

Not dyslexic but find the same too. Well known, easy journeys then audio books are fine. 

Suppose it's the same as the first thing you do when lost in a car is turn down/off the stereo

In reply to Philip:

In the Natural History bracket, I've just finished listening to "Back to Nature" by Chris Packham and Megan McCubbin. The bonus being in this case, that the authors also narrate.

 mondite 31 Jan 2022
In reply to snoop6060:

> Slightly off topic but does listening to audiobooks get easier?

I generally go for lightweighter stuff since just like reading a book if its a hard subject then it needs attention paying to it which isnt really an option when driving. Okay when walking or other stuff but does need choice of when and where.

OP Philip 31 Jan 2022
In reply to Mark Collins:

> In the Natural History bracket, I've just finished listening to "Back to Nature" by Chris Packham and Megan McCubbin. The bonus being in this case, that the authors also narrate.

Thanks. I'll give it a go. (Edit : I notice Wilding by Isabella Tree is also narrated by her)

I had been considering a Robert Macfarlane. 

Post edited at 21:43
In reply to Philip:

Below are a list of books, not all of them fit your bill but I enjoyed them all. 

Winter 8000 - Bernadette McDonald

The Bomber Mafia - Malcom Gladwell

Feet in the clouds - Richard Askwith

Wild Swans - Jung Chang

Talking to Strangers - Malcom Gladwell

Talking to my daughter about the economy - Yaniks Varoufakis

Fake Law - The secret barrister

There is no map in hell - Steve Birkenshaw

Space below my feet - Gwen Moffat

Ascent - Chris Bonnington

1
In reply to Philip:

> Thanks. I'll give it a go. (Edit : I notice Wilding by Isabella Tree is also narrated by her)

> I had been considering a Robert Macfarlane. 

No worries, and good points there.

I need to read that Wilding myself and visit the Knepp estate. I did hear her Desert Island Discs a while back though, so if you want a condensed version of Wilding, that would go some way I would have thought. That's assuming its available on BBS Sounds.

I've not tried an Audible Macfarlane yet, someone bought me The Wild Places for Christmas some years ago which I thought was good inspiration for UK based places to visit for a bit of an adventure.

In the Geography bracket, I'm currently enjoying On The Map: Why the World Looks the Way it Does by Simon Garfield.

In reply to Philip:

Very leftfield because not on the topics you indicated but might turn into unexpected treat? Many autobiographical audiobooks are *Not* narrated by the authors even when accomplished actors/speakers because they find it too difficult

Just as a bit of random fun  the audiobook of "Living with a Seal" by Jessie Itzler is narrated by Jessie Itzler. I'm never sure how much is unexaggerated fact and how much is for story, but it's certainly a good story!

Post edited at 16:33
In reply to CantClimbTom:

I found this really enjoyable and easy to follow along when concentrating on other stuff. 

 wercat 05 Feb 2022
In reply to Philip:

If you want to be afraid to go to sleep then I'd suggest "Thin Air" (mountaineering context) or "Dark Matter" (arctic darkness) by Michelle Paver, both as scary as MR James


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