I bought The King’s Speech yesterday on Audible. Found out today the movie won an Oscar. The book is narrated by Jamie Glover who also did voice work for the Star Wars gaming franchise including Star Wars: Battlefront and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic I and II.
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.
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!
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.
The alternate title of this post is“The British Pop Culture Invasion.” 🙂
Ah, to make up for the lack of recommendations for the past few weeks, here are three books I downloaded with my subscription from Audible. The first is a Diggnation recommendation from Kevin Rose titled Predictably Irrational. I got this version as it was cheaper on audio than it was on the shelf (Phoebe bought the tome version), and it’s narrated by this British guy with a strong James Bond accent. Winner.
Why do our headaches persist after taking a one-cent aspirin but disappear when we take a 50-cent aspirin? Why does recalling the 10 Commandments reduce our tendency to lie, even when we couldn’t possibly be caught? Why do we splurge on a lavish meal but cut coupons to save 25 cents on a can of soup? Why do we go back for second helpings at the unlimited buffet, even when our stomachs are already full? And how did we ever start spending $4.15 on a cup of coffee when, just a few years ago, we used to pay less than a dollar?