I listened to a great sci-fi audiobook last week: The Martian by Andy Weir. The plot is that a human mission to Mars goes horrible wrong a few days after arrival. The crew has to evacuate when they get in a big dust storm. During the evac the main character Mark Watney is heavily wounded, and believing he didn’t survive it, the other astronauts leave Mars.
Imagine being the only person on a planet, with broken machinery, no way to communicate and very limited food. What would be your plan?
Watney writes a log of all of his experiences and tells us all about the science and calculations he uses to fix things, create water and how to grow food. On Mars! Of course the story also switches to what is happening at NASA back on earth and to the returning spacecraft with the other astronauts.
The narration of this audiobook is excellent. Even when I arrived at home I stayed in the car for a few minutes to finish a chapter or a section of the book. Regarding the story I like the fact that there is no unnecessary/unwanted deviation from the core storyline. So no romantic bs woven into it.
In 2015 a movie will be released based on this novel. Director is Ridley Scott and Mark Watney is portrayed by Matt Damon. Looking forward to that one!Books, Review
When the Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson was announced I instantly pre-ordered it for my Kindle. I’ve read numerous books on Apple and Steve Jobs before, but none of them were authorized by Jobs. So I was excited to finally get the complete story. But when the book got released in November ’11 I tried to read it, but just couldn’t get into it. The book starts a bit slow, I already knew most of the early stories and maybe most important I just didn’t have the time to read for a while.
That’s when I tried audiobooks. I’ve seen those Harry Potter 20-cd packs at bookstores selling for over €50,- so I never looked further into this medium before. But after a quick web search I found Audible, an online audiobook mp3 store, owned by Amazon. Audible has this neat promo which gives you 2 free audiobooks upon registering without charging your creditcard!
So I downloaded the Steve Jobs book to listen in my car to try this concept. As I drive for over 2 hours each day I already listen a lot to BNR FM Radio (10% news, 10% traffic updates, 40% commercials, 40% boring bs blah), a selection of weekly podcasts and of course Spotify. Now, a few weeks later, the FM radio time has been minimized and mostly been replaced by a range of cool audiobooks.
Listening to somebody telling you a story is easy, takes almost no effort and is very relaxing. While listening you can think about the story instead of being annoyed by radio DJ’s and commercials. This made my daily car rides way more efficient. I recommend you to check this out too. Go to Audible, get the free books and give it a try.
By the way, the Steve Jobs biography was superb! What a great story and I even got some great new insights out of it!Posted in: Books, Lifehacking