Welcome everyone! I might be slightly, ever so minutely addicted to audio books at the moment… I currently have Audible, Audiobooks.com, Libby and a new platform from Quercus Books called Titleshare on my phone at the moment. It’s getting a little out of hand but I am enjoying them so much that a little (or a lot) of stress is nothing. I realised I haven’t been jotting my impressions on all these epic books so I thought I would run through my most recent listens. It is an interesting list and I would love to know if anyone has listened to these books as well. Please let me know in the comments. Also recommend me some more great books to listen to in the future. Enjoy the list!
Audiobooks I’ve Listened To Recently #1
Published by: Vintage Digital
Synopsis: At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, the next he was a patient struggling to live.
When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a medical student asking what makes a virtuous and meaningful life into a neurosurgeon working in the core of human identity – the brain – and finally into a patient and a new father.
What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when when life is catastrophically interrupted? What does it mean to have a child as your own life fades away?
Paul Kalanithi died while working on this profoundly moving book, yet his words live on as a guide to us all. When Breath Becomes Air is a life-affirming reflection on facing our mortality and on the relationship between doctor and patient, from a gifted writer who became both.
My Thoughts: When Breath Becomes Air was an experience that I doubt I will ever forget. Listening to a man documenting his own journey to death from a personal and medical perspective was profound to say the least. Talk about emotional! I was floored by Paul’s experience as he suffered with lung cancer. Bringing a medical visionary down in his prime. It was his wife’s epilogue that broke me. It truly is an amazing listen if you are looking for insights into how life has plans for us all. It is what you do with these eventualities that is the difference between living and existing.
Published by: HarperCollins
Synopsis: Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.
As Warden of the north, Lord Eddard Stark counts it a curse when King Robert bestows on him the office of the Hand. His honour weighs him down at court where a true man does what he will, not what he must … and a dead enemy is a thing of beauty.
The old gods have no power in the south, Stark’s family is split and there is treachery at court. Worse, the vengeance-mad heir of the deposed Dragon King has grown to maturity in exile in the Free Cities. He claims the Iron Throne.
My Thoughts: I think I was in the same place as everyone else with Game Of Thrones. Disappointed or at least a little let down by the TV shows grand finale. I had been meaning to read the books but had never got the chance. Then I saw Audible had a free trial. Next thing I know I am tackling the 34 hour best that is the A Game Of Thrones. I was amazed by Roy Dotrice’s effort to embody every single character that is present in this vast novel. Kudos to him. People often complain about the length of these novels but I revelled in it. Such a great introduction into the world of Westeros and beyond.
Published by: Orenda Books
Synopsis: When Liv, Ellen and Håkon, along with their partners and children, arrive in Rome to celebrate their father’s seventieth birthday, a quiet earthquake occurs: their parents have decided to divorce. Shocked and disbelieving, the siblings try to come to terms with their parents’ decision as it echoes through the homes they have built for themselves, and forces them to reconstruct the shared narrative of their childhood and family history. A bittersweet novel of regret, relationships and rare psychological insights, A Modern Family encourages us to look at the people closest to us a little more carefully, and ultimately reveals that it’s never too late for change…
My Thoughts: This was a very generous review copy from Orenda Books and I had such an interesting time with A Modern Family. Documenting a family’s response to divorce and its ability to make people question family values, relationships, love, commitment and the future. Helga Flatland crafted such a thought-provoking narrative that I easily listened to twice over.
Published by: Penguin Books
Synopsis: The downloadable, audiobook edition of Graeme Simsion’s prize-winning romantic comedy The Rosie Project, read by the actor Dan O’Grady.
Meet Don. Don is a genetics professor who just might be somewhere on the autistic spectrum. He looks a little like Gregory Peck and is getting married. He just doesn’t know who to yet. But he has designed a very detailed questionnaire to help him find the perfect woman. And it’s definitely not Rosie. Absolutely, completely, definitely not .Rosie, meanwhile, isn’t looking for love; she’s looking for her biological father. Sometimes, though, you don’t find love: love finds you…
My Thoughts: If you are reading this then drop what you are doing and go and procure yourself a copy of this novel in any form. I’m not kidding right now. Go! I loved The Rosie Project! It was probably my top read (or at least listen) of 2019. It was a genius mix of feel good, hilarity, romance and rational thought. Don is almost certainly on the high-function end of the Autism/Aspergers spectrum. Don’s search for a wife is as charming as it is hopeless and I had an amazing time during every second of this novel. I can’t wait to get to The Rosie Effect and The Rosie Result later this year.
Published by: HarperCollins
Synopsis: HBO’s hit series A Game of Thrones is based on George R. R. Martin’s internationally best-selling series A Song of Ice and Fire, the greatest fantasy epic of the modern age. A Clash of Kings is the second volume in the series.
Throughout Westeros, the cold winds are rising.
From the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding lands of Winterfell, chaos reigns as pretenders to the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms stake their claims through tempest, turmoil and war.
As a prophecy of doom cuts across the sky – a comet the colour of blood and flame – five factions struggle for control of a divided land. Brother plots against brother and the dead rise to walk in the night.
Against a backdrop of incest, fratricide, alchemy and murder, the price of glory is measured in blood.
My Thoughts: Yeah… I jumped straight into A Clash Of Kings! It’s longer but I am still enjoying it as much as a A Game Of Thrones. I feel like a lot more happens over the course of the story in this novel compared to A Game Of Thrones. I will undoubtedly be on A Storm Of Swords very soon. (I already have it set up on Audible).
Published by: Random House Audiobooks
Synopsis: Christie Watson was a nurse for 20 years. Taking us from birth to death and from A&E to the mortuary, The Language of Kindness is an astonishing account of a profession defined by acts of care, compassion and kindness.
We watch Christie as she nurses a premature baby who has miraculously made it through the night, we stand by her side during her patient’s agonising heart-lung transplant and we hold our breath as she washes the hair of a child fatally injured in a fire, attempting to remove the toxic smell of smoke before the grieving family arrive.
In our most extreme moments, when life is lived most intensely, Christie is with us. She is a guide, mentor and friend. And in these dark days of division and isolationism, she encourages us all to stretch out a hand.
My Thoughts: Since reading This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay I have been searching for similar insightful books that expand my perspective on modern healthcare. I was successful in this pursuit upon the discovery of The Language Of Kindness. Christine Watson gives us a completely honest and candid account of her experience as an NHS nurse. I was transfixed as I learned about Christine’s career and I gained more respect than ever for those who care for us in an already overburdened healthcare system. That moment when Christine is in A&E and she looks at the waiting room at all the people, seeing them each as an individual diagnosis was an amazing moment of perspective that I will keep hold of for a long time.
Published by: Random House Audiobooks
Synopsis: Was there a beginning of time? Could time run backwards? Is the universe infinite, or does it have boundaries? These are just some of the questions considered in an internationally acclaimed masterpiece by one of the world’s greatest thinkers.
It begins by reviewing the great theories of the cosmos, from Newton to Einstein, before delving into the secrets which still lie at the heart of space and time, from the big bang to black holes, via spiral galaxies and strong theory.
To this day A Brief History of Time remains a staple of the scientific canon, and its succinct and clear language continues to introduce millions to the universe and its wonders.
My Thoughts: I have been riding a wave of Quantum Mechanics at the moment (science pun!). I finished Fundamental by Tim James and I watched The Theory Of Everything pretty much back to back. Therefore I felt the need to explore Stephen Hawking’s view on the subject some more! A Brief History Of Time is exactly what it says on the tin. I can barely read what’s written on there but that’s not the point. It was a very interesting listen and my understanding of the universe is slightly more clear than it was a month ago.
Thank you for coming by to check out my adventures into the land of audio books. I have been busy but I have an absolute ton more to get through. I was amazed when Quercus contacted me and asked if I was interested in trying out Titleshare. There are some amazing books on there that I can’t wait to review. Audio books have allowed me to continue immersing myself in bookish goodness when I am too busy to actually sit down and read a book so just for that I am grateful. It is avenue in books I doubted I would explore in the past but how wrong I was for not getting involved. I hope you enjoyed the list and let me know if you have listened to any of these yourself!