Audible and general audiobook recommendations

I had never heard of Graphic Audio before. Sounds cool. Except, holy cow there’s 117 episodes of Deathlands and counting. Only $2000 for the set!

Have an Audible subscription going back to 2006. Favorites in my library:

Name of the Wind
Devil in the White City
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
The First Law series by Joe Abercrombie
The Big Short
The Book Of Lost Things
World Without End
The Terror
Heart-shaped Box
Destiny Of The Republic (James A. Garfield biography)
Team of Rivals (be sure to get the unabridged version)

All of those are not only good books (well, most are) but also are given terrific readings.

Which is great because Ill probably be commuting for a good time before I move closer/get to work from home. First one was good, but its gotten better each book peeling the onion on Ryan Cawder and his companions (though he seems to lose 1 companion to the wastes every book). Almost want to take bets on who, bites it next. I’ on book 5 so far, Homeword Bound. Ryan confronts his past, his brother and evil sister in law and brings justice to his old ville in the post apocalyptic wasteland. The writer certainly enjoys going into details about the weapons Ryan and his crew carry and go into explicit detail what those weapons do when they blow the head off a mutie or some evil baron

Beware though, the books are unabridged. Which means you get to enjoy some graphic sex scenes in the story. Hitting a drive through while actors are moaning in the throws of a love scene is kind of embarrassing.

Cool! I was hoping someone would recommend history stuff. I get another credit in a few days, I’ll have to see if Foote’s Civil War history is only one credit.

Nice! Though that bit you said about interpretations being disagreed with by other historians sounds a bit iffy. So far, all the history lectures I’ve heard in the Great Courses series always always always specify when there’s little evidence to back up theories. The History of the Ancient World course I’m listening to now, for example, has several whole civilizations from which no texts were discovered, so the Professor repeatedly points out multiple theories by different historians about their culture based on the physical evidence found (pots, buildings, etc), but reminds us again and again that we just don’t know for sure and most of it is conjecture.

An interesting aside. The death throes of the Roman Empire sound pretty cool right now, because I recently got done through a series of 6 or 7 lectures on the Roman Empire, from Rome’s inception to the start of the Roman Republic when they threw out the conquering Kings (which led to their huge aversion to Monarchy) to the start of the Empire where Caesar first tried to become a King, but was killed because of it, and then Augustus, who successfully became the Emperor without making it feel like he was a King. Then the crazy emperors, and then the Golden age of the empire, and then the slow and eventual decline of the empire.

What a crazy story. I feel like there’s soooooo much untapped material there. That’s the disadvantage of listening a series of lectures that come in one semester that are supposed to cover such a large material. I feel like there was enough material in just the Roman Republic and then the Roman Empire to fill multiple lectures. So I definitely want to revisit this topic later if I can.

Thanks Ginger. I’ll look for Pocket Casts and start with some NPR podcasts and go from there. I already know I love Radio Lab, This American Life, Car Talk, etc. And never manage to catch them at the right time on the radio every week. I also listen to the WTF podcast religiously since it’s inception, but that has it’s own app. I’ve been a big fan of Marc Maron since his Air America days.

@davidf: That sounds a bit like a radio play. Like Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, for example. BBC Radio used to have those radio plays on sometimes when I was a kid. I found them utterly fascinating.

Did you know you can get BBC radio plays as a podcast?

Oh and if you like radio plays, you absolutely have to listen to the Thrilling Adventure Hour podcast. Start from the beginning and you’ll have nearly a hundred hours of fantastic content.

No, it’s actually broken into three parts. But since each part is around 40 hours, it’s well worth the three credits.

Thanks i didnt know about that.

I bought a BBC radio show about superman, it was good, but the sound effects are far less impressive than Graphic Audio. Battles on the BBC show sounded like superman was in a girl slap fight. Graphic Audio sounds are deep BOOMs and THUMPs, like you would expect from a superpowered brawl! GA has spoiled me on that front, but a podcast, of a non superpowered nature would be right up my alley and cant argue the costs… :) and I’ll check out Thrilling Adventure Hour

If you can track them down, the old BBC Hitchhiker’s Guide and NPR Star Wars radio plays are awesome.

I got home, downloaded Pocket Cast on my phone over Wifi. (Only $3.99. As you’ll see below for all that it does, that’s a great bargain!)

So far I’ve subscribed to 10 podcasts:
Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History
This American Life
Serial (a podcast from This American Life producer)
Freakonomics Radio
Car Talk
Fresh Air
The Thrilling Adventure Hour
Radio Lab
Ted Radio Hour
Snap Judgement


But here’s the best part. I set up Pocketcast to keep the last 3 episodes of each podcast. To delete podcasts after I listen to them. To not stream them but to download the episodes. To only download them when I’m connected via Wifi AND my phone is charging (which means it’ll be done every night while I’m sleeping). Now that is a beautiful set of options. Thanks again Ginger. I had no idea getting podcasts was so easy nowadays. You don’t go to them. They come to you! Automatically! And get automatically deleted! And only over Wifi! While Charging! It’s a thing of beauty.

I wonder what other phone apps I know nothing about that are fabulous like this. But that’s a topic for a different thread perhaps.

I love Pocket Casts. If guy want to toss them more money sign up for the web based interface and you can pick up where you left off back and forth between mobile devices and PC.

As for audio books, I loved a few of those recommended and would suggest adding Shadow Divers to the pile. A fantastically read non fiction account of divers finding a sunken Nazi U-boat off the coast of NJ.

By the way, “Serial”, the new podcast from the producers of This American Life, is riveting. The concept is to tell a single story over the course of many episodes. I’m skeptical that the concept can work for many of the type of stories that they do on This American Life, but for this particular story that they happened to luck on to? It’s fucking gold. This particular story is a murder mystery in the Baltimore area. Even in the first episode, I went from thinking the guy was guilty to having doubts, to thinking he might actually be innocent.

Great stuff. But still, they got lucky as hell to have happened upon such a story. We’ll see what other type of stories they can come up with in the future, because I doubt they’ll ever get a murder mystery that can be sustained over several episodes ever again.

Since there’s a strong history and public radio bent to the podcasts you’ve chosen, can I recommend a couple of others I think you would like? 99% Invisible is one of the best podcasts around, and there’s also an abbreviated version that goes out on the radio I understand. It’s ostensibly about design and architecture, but a lot of the time it’s basically about forgotten moments in history. The most recent one, for instance, was about why pinball used to be illegal in most states. Another great podcast/public radio bit about forgotten history is The Memory Palace. It’s become rather sporadic, unfortunately, but each one is a wonderful little tale.

Couldn’t resist picked up Dawn of Destiny by Lee Stephen here

I’m a huge HUGE X-COM fan (my steam play hours is just about to hit 700 hours with my latest play through of the Long War mod). This is a audio movie of Lee Stephen’s first book in a series that is the closest and most faithful novel adaptation of X-com to date (including Diane Duane attempt). This audio book is a little expensive for $25 but Im doing a lot of driving now and as a fan of all things X-Com I had to get it. Its good, in some ways better than graphic audio offerings (which are the benchmark), but the narrator takes a while to get comfortable in the role, thus making it feel more amateurish than it should. You can hear samples on CDbaby, but I wish they would distribute it somewhere else (CDbaby doesn’t allow resume download functions -which is just lame).

I picked this up on Audible. It will be my first attempt at a fiction book on audio. I’m not sold on the concept. Usually I like taking my time when reading fiction, and wouldn’t someone reading it be going too fast, making me lose track? I guess I’ll find out now with the Savage Tales of Solomon Kane. :)

I’d be very surprised if it did. Listening is slower paced than reading. And good readers adopt different voices for the characters which make them easy to recognise. I find audio books are an excellent way to consume fiction on the move.


I agree. If you “read along” to an audiobook with the printed version, chances are you’ll be impatiently waiting for the narrator to catch up to you.

For me, audiobooks are excellent when you’re doing something else - driving; cleaning; performing a tedious task. I have - on occasion - listened to an audiobook while sitting and doing nothing… but usually only because it was the end of the book and I was really into it.

If I’m going to be actually sitting and doing nothing (for instance lying on the beach), I prefer a written work over a narrated one.

The Magicians: a Novel is excellent and the narration is insanely good
Off to be the Wizard is probably the funniest audible book I have listened to in years.

Someone a few months back recommneded the Joe Ledger novels, been reading this series and enjoyed it quite a bit. Still not a Monster Hunter International beater, but quite good. Love to hear more reccomendations in the miltary sci fi/horror arena.