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The audiobook recommendations for commuting thread

Old 12-07-12, 09:06 AM
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MightyLegnano
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The audiobook recommendations for commuting thread

It's arsprod's idea from what's your way not get bored on the same route? thread.

Althought I haven't tried anything audible while cycling, I have been listening to the Ricky Gervais Show quite religiously while I run or wait on queues. Not audiobook but for me, even better!

What's your recommendation?

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Old 12-07-12, 09:15 AM
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Yup, I have an audible account and go through about a book a month, depending on length. Right now I'm listening to the "Wheel of Time" series, which are huge, epic, fantasy books. Inbetween each of those though, I will listen to a different genre. Maybe a sci-fi, or a none fiction. Some none fiction I really liked were "A Short History of Nearly Everything" and "Physics of the Future". Also I have started listening to the "Dresden Files" books, a magical, murder, mystery, set in modern day Chicago. Those are fun and the reader really does a great job.
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Old 12-07-12, 09:30 AM
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I often listen in the car. Audible is way better than iTunes, at least on an iPhone. My iPhone frequently lost my place and I had to manually find the location where I had stopped listening. The Audible app works well.

My favorite audiobook this year is The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach https://www.amazon.com/Art-Fielding-N.../dp/0316126675. I also enjoy John MacDonald's Travis McGee series. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Travis_McGee
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Old 12-07-12, 09:32 AM
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Listen to your pod casts on your bicycle just like you do when running or waiting on queues.

If you wish to expand your horizons beyond podcasts, I suggest you go to your local library and find out about which Audio products are for loan. Audio books for download to mp3 players, or old fangled CDs and cassette tapes work just fine when cycling. My local library has thousands available in tape and CDs, and thousands more available (including latest best sellers) for download through Overdrive.
The list of books I've listened to while cycling (all for free) over the last several years is at: https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...1#post15022152
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Old 12-07-12, 11:00 AM
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+1 on local library - I get all my audio books there and it's free! I'm currently on book 4 of the Ender Wiggins series by Orson Scott Card. Don't read about Card because he's something of an extremist but the books are amazing (if you're into science fiction). The first is Ender's Game
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Old 12-07-12, 11:08 AM
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Thats what I did, Public Library, books on tape, cassettes, at the time..
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Old 12-07-12, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by arsprod View Post
+1 on local library - I get all my audio books there and it's free! I'm currently on book 4 of the Ender Wiggins series by Orson Scott Card. Don't read about Card because he's something of an extremist but the books are amazing (if you're into science fiction). The first is Ender's Game
Haha, Ender's Game was the first sci-fi book I ever read, back in highschool. It turned me onto the genre initially. Grea book, although the rest of the series gets more and more odd as you go. And I agree on what you said about him as a person.

Local library, forgot they do audio books now. Great suggestion for the frugal minded. I like the long, epic stories as they really get me sucked in, and I end up looking forward to my ride, so I can get back to it. Sadly, I don't ever get a chance to listen to my books other than traveling to and from work.
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Old 12-07-12, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Squidwalker View Post
Haha, Ender's Game was the first sci-fi book I ever read, back in highschool. It turned me onto the genre initially. Grea book, although the rest of the series gets more and more odd as you go. And I agree on what you said about him as a person.
Yep, loved the Ender books from way back when they were first published. But once I became aware of what a major dickhead Card is, I refuse to enrich him by buying anything else.

Anyhow, in regards to audio books - I like Bill Bryson on Audible. His style ( and the subjects ) lend themselves to being listened to over long periods of time, with regular interruptions.
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Old 12-07-12, 12:54 PM
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Wait; you guys are listening to books while you ride? The thought never occured to me. Can you still hear a car approaching from behind?
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Old 12-07-12, 01:36 PM
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That's what Bluetooth hands-free speakers are for. :-)
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Old 12-07-12, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by teachme View Post
Wait; you guys are listening to books while you ride? The thought never occured to me. Can you still hear a car approaching from behind?
With headphones, I have a mirror and use it frequently enough to keep me well aware of traffic approaching from the rear, I can hear a horn or siren; Don't need or want to hear anything else related to traffic noise. Do you? And if so why?
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Old 12-07-12, 04:16 PM
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I second the vote for Bill Bryson - his books and his narration are very enjoyable.

Freakonomics by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner is also great - like the Bill Bryson books, it's perfect for listening to over long periods of time with frequent interruptions and traffic distractions.

I also highly recommend CS Forester's Horatio Hornblower novels, narrated by Geoffrey Howard (stay away from the versions narrated by Christian Rodska: he has one of the world's most irritating voices). These books might not be as well known on your side of the pond, so here is a link for more info: Hornblower. These are my all time favourite audiobooks.
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Old 12-07-12, 04:22 PM
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I have leaky headphones, so I hear ambient noise well.

These headphones are fantastic for me, and they're even inexpensive.
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Old 12-07-12, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I have leaky headphones, so I hear ambient noise well.

These headphones are fantastic for me, and they're even inexpensive.
These JBL headphones work great with my mp3 player. Cost $29.95 on sale.
https://www.buy.com/pr/product.aspx?sku=229239947
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Old 12-07-12, 08:00 PM
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World War Z - Max Brooks

Gates of Fire - Stephen Pressfield
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Old 12-07-12, 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
With headphones, I have a mirror and use it frequently enough to keep me well aware of traffic approaching from the rear, I can hear a horn or siren; Don't need or want to hear anything else related to traffic noise. Do you? And if so why?
I use a mirror too and I am constantly moving my eye from mirror to road almost constantly, I don't really like hearing all the road noise, I just want to stay as safe as possible while I am riding on the roadways. Listening to a boo ksounds like a GREAT way to pass the time on a long ride.
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Old 12-08-12, 07:58 AM
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The only problem is not the hearing but the distraction, because your brain instead of being focus 100% on the road is trying to comprehend and imagine what the narrator says. That's my only concern.
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Old 12-08-12, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by RGNY View Post
World War Z - Max Brooks

Gates of Fire - Stephen Pressfield
+1 on World War Z, excellent production. And both Freakonomics books. The best audio book(s) are the Harry Potter series r read by Jim Dale.
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Old 12-08-12, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by MightyLegnano View Post
The only problem is not the hearing but the distraction, because your brain instead of being focus 100% on the road is trying to comprehend and imagine what the narrator says. That's my only concern.
If you actually need "100% brain focus" on the road to be comfortable, so be it.

I find it quite possible, practical and enjoyable to pay sufficient attention to the road while using my senses for other activity simultaneously.
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Old 12-08-12, 06:51 PM
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I use a one ear headphone and listen to books and podcasts on my commute every day. I love it. The one ear earphone lets me hear the outside world just fine, and the fact that I listen to talking and not music helps as there isn't a constant noise; I hear my environment around the words in a way I can't with music

Podcasts: I love NPR Fresh Air, and even though I don't read the business page, Planet Money is AMAZING. They make thing sI don't care about faniciating. I also love This American Life.

Recent books:
Anything by Iain M. Banks. SF at a high level.
The Secret Race. As a cyclist it will break your heart.
I enjoyed The Art of Fielding a lot.
I listened to the "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" series and liked it.
If you want to fall into a different reality for several months, Game of Thrones is perhaps the most amazing series I've listened to in my adult life. Listen to them all.
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Old 12-08-12, 06:54 PM
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Oh, if you like Harry Potter, or Hunger Games, listen to the Westerfield series, Leviathan, it's wonderful, and better!
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Old 12-10-12, 11:06 AM
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I don't listen while I ride, but I do listen to audiobooks while driving long distances or while I'm cleaning or knitting. Currently I'm listening to No Idle Hands: A Social History of American Needlework that is very fascinating. I'm up to the discussion of the relief societies during the American Civil War.

I also recommend James Herriot's books, also Dave Barry has lots of collections of his columns on audiobook. I tend to prefer non-fiction for listening, though. I prefer to read my fiction. I don't know why.
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Old 12-10-12, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by cccorlew View Post
Oh, if you like Harry Potter, or Hunger Games, listen to the Westerfield series, Leviathan, it's wonderful, and better!
Just downloaded Leviathon from the library - my next book!
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Old 12-10-12, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by teachme View Post
Wait; you guys are listening to books while you ride? The thought never occured to me. Can you still hear a car approaching from behind?
I can yes, I keep my volume turned up just enough to hear over the general background noise of trafifc. I can still hears cars coming up behind me. Someone on here posted they do this, but only use the right earbud, and leave the left out. Good idea that, if my right ear wasn't half def as it is LOL Books are different than music, in that the volume tends to be the same all the time, not up and down like music.
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Old 01-06-13, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by cccorlew View Post
Oh, if you like Harry Potter, or Hunger Games, listen to the Westerfield series, Leviathan, it's wonderful, and better!
Great suggestion, Leviathan was brilliant. I'm waiting for the library to get the rest of the series on audio. Went back to a series I started years ago, the Gabriel Alon series by Daniel Silva. Great for paying more attention to snow covered roads
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