Mostly Everything

Audiobook Recommendation: The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi


It’s been a while since I’ve done an audiobook recommendation. I recently purchased The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi, which was released last month. The book is read by Jonathan Davis, and author Paolo Bacigalupi. Paperback costs USD but with an audio subscription you can get it for USD .00.

Anderson Lake is a company man, AgriGen’s Calorie Man in Thailand. Under cover as a factory manager, Anderson combs Bangkok’s street markets in search of foodstuffs thought to be extinct, hoping to reap the bounty of history’s lost calories. There, he encounters Emiko…

Emiko is the Windup Girl, a strange and beautiful creature. One of the New People, Emiko is not human; instead, she is an engineered being, creche-grown and programmed to satisfy the decadent whims of a Kyoto businessman, but now abandoned to the streets of Bangkok. Regarded as soulless beings by some, devils by others, New People are slaves, soldiers, and toys of the rich in a chilling near future in which calorie companies rule the world, the oil age has passed, and the side effects of bio-engineered plagues run rampant across the globe.

What happens when calories become currency? What happens when bio-terrorism becomes a tool for corporate profits, when said bio-terrorism’s genetic drift forces mankind to the cusp of post-human evolution? In The Windup Girl, award-winning author Paolo Bacigalupi returns to the world of “The Calorie Man” ( Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award-winner, Hugo Award nominee, 2006) and “Yellow Card Man” (Hugo Award nominee, 2007) in order to address these poignant questions.

[Link to Audible page]

Mostly Everything

Discovering Roy Dotrice and his 500 voices


It is no secret that I have sold myself to audiobooks, devoting time to “reading” at least 12 books a year from my iPod. And it was with such audacity that I invested time to a reading of book one of A Song of Fire and Ice: A Game of Thrones by famous fantasy author George R. R. Martin. The audiobook spans 33 hours and is read by British actor Roy Dotrice, who voices over 500 characters (you might know him from Hellboy II: The Golden Army and The Cutting Edge).

Yes 500 voices. Such is the world of Martin’s fantasy. All voiced by Roy.

Wonder how he remembers them all. Wonder why I have the book version and the audio as well. Hm.

Mostly Everything

Audible Recommendation: A Short History of Nearly Everything


During the holidays I had wanted to pick up a copy of Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers on Audible after a tease read from Fully Booked, High Street. I swear, I can go all out with bookstores, having finished books while waiting for people. As it turned out, a good friend from high school read my mind and got me a hard copy for Christmas, bless his soul!

So that left me with a free credit on Audible … and another good option: I’ve heard about Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything being recommended as a good listen, given that for all intents and purposes – is a science book.

Bryson describes graphically and in layman’s terms the size of the universe, and that of atoms and subatomic particles. He then explores the history of geology and biology, and traces life from its first appearance to today’s modern humans, placing emphasis on the development of the modern Homo sapiens. Furthermore, he discusses the possibility of the Earth being struck by a meteor, and reflects on human capabilities of spotting a meteor before it impacts the Earth, and the extensive damage that such an event would cause. He also focuses on some of the most recent destructive disasters of volcanic origin in the history of our planet, including Krakatoa and Yellowstone National Park. A large part of the book is devoted to relating humorous stories about the scientists behind the research and discoveries and their sometimes eccentric behaviors. Bryson also speaks about modern scientific views on human effects on the Earth’s climate and livelihood of other species, and the magnitude of natural disasters such as earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, hurricanes, and the mass extinctions caused by some of these events. [Good ‘ol Wikipedia]

The perfect book for the sci-fi nut. Especially now that I’m re-watching Enterprise, the “new” 2005 Dr. Who, and Big Bang Theory.

There are three versions available on audio – two unabridged versions read by William Roberts and Richard Matthews – but I opted for the third abridged version read by Bill Bryson himself.

Mostly Everything

Leo Laporte reads The True Story of the Little Golden Hood for Audible

There’s more to this audio book that meets the ear. The one and only reason why I recommend this free audio book is because it is read by TWiT founder and radio personality Leo Laporte! If you’re an avid TWiT Netcast listener, Leo would occasionally mention that he’s working on something with the guys from Audible and I guess this is the first of many readings. My verdict? Even though the book is only 9 minutes long, Leo brings a familiar and engaging listen through and since it is a FREE download, you can’t go wrong!

Leo Laporte does a fantastic job reading this engaging classic childrens tale. Long has he wow’ed us all with his NetCasts via the TWiT network, now we get to enjoy the limitless qualities of his hypnotic voice with Audible. Here’s hoping that this is the first of many top-quality audio-books from Leo, and here’s to a never-ending extension to the relationship between Audible and TWiT. [wiredkiwi]

If you’re an Audible subscriber, the member price slash is down to USD $ 0.00 – maybe part of their Black Friday sale.

Mostly Everything

Audible Picks: The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks

This is part 3 of my Halloween series of posts. Part II is here and Part I is here. Happy Halloween! This post was inspired by AM and AG.

The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead is a cult favorite among those fascinated with the inevitable arrival of the zombie apocalypse. The book is hard to find, as compared to Max Brooks’ second book World War Z which is available in National Bookstore, Fully Booked and Powerbooks.

The Zombie Survival Guide is your key to survival against the hordes of undead who may be stalking you right now. Exhaustively comprehensive, this book covers everything you need to know, including how to understand zombie physiology and behavior, the most effective defense tactics and weaponry, ways to outfit your home for a long siege, and how to survive and adapt in any territory or terrain.

Top 10 Lessons for Surviving a Zombie Attack:
1. Organize before they rise!
2. They feel no fear, why should you?
3. Use your head: cut off theirs.
4. Blades don’t need reloading.
5. Ideal protection: tight clothes, short hair.
6. Get up the staircase, then destroy it.
7. Get out of the car, get onto the bike.
8. Keep moving, keep low, keep quiet, keep alert!
9. No place is safe, only safer.
10. The zombie may be gone, but the threat lives on.

Don’t be carefree and foolish with your most precious asset: life. The Zombie Survival Guide offers complete protection through trusted, proven tips for safeguarding yourself and your loved ones against the living dead. It is an audiobook that can save your life.

So if you can’t find the book, let’s listen to the audiobook. Once again, Audible saves the day!

P.S. World War Z is also available on Audible.

P.P.S. Max Brooks is the son of Mel Brooks.

P.P.S. If you’re a non believer in the zombie apocalypse and believe that one day robots will rule the world, you can also check out How to Survive a Robot Uprising.