Saturday, July 30, 2016

Awesome Audios!

To round out the month of July and our focus on everything audio, I present two of my favorite audiobooks. Personally, I am not an audiobook person. I appreciate the audiophiles who have such an intense love and knowledge of all things audiobook, but I seem to have a very fraught relationship with them. However, everyone once in a while, I come across one that grabs me.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
First of all, you have to read this book. Whatever format you prefer, just read this book. I highly recommend the audio version because you get the delight of a good story paired with the vocal stylings of Wil Wheaton. Actually, if you love audiobooks or Wil Wheaton, I recommend any book he narrates.
The story is set in 2044 when the Earth has been ravaged by famine, poverty, and disease. All the people who struggle with a day-to-day existence escape to the OASIS, a virtual world lacking all of the misery in the real world. The creator of the OASIS has hidden puzzles that will lead to a massive fortune, but no one has been able to unlock one until Wade comes along. From there, the story turns into a fantastic, action packed adventure into 80s nostalgia.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Authors are not necessarily the best choice as narrator for audiobooks. However, memoirs and other personal nonfiction seem to be the most logical books to be read by the author. Personal accounts of sensitive topics or life altering events can sometimes only best be read by those who lived them.  Ta-Nehisi Coates’s book, Between the World and Me, is one of these books.
Coates’s poignant memoir framed as a letter to his teenage son is a must read. It discusses the impact of American history and ideals on the safety and perception of black Americans. It is Coates’s personal history and his awakening to the truth about his place in the world, which is best told in the author’s voice rather than by a disconnected narrator. 

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