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Old 06-25-09, 01:22 PM   #1
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Audiobooks on tour

My wife and I are embarking on a 10-day tour next week (CGOAB journal here). Last year on a shorter tour we played Doris Kearns Goodwins' Team of Rivals whilst going up-down-up-down the hills along the Pacific Coast Highway. This was a great book to listen to. I've listened to other audiobooks that weren't so great.

Anyone else "do" the audiobook thing on tour? If so, any recommendations? Our tour has a Civil War theme to it (Ball's Bluff, Harper's Ferry, Antietam, South Mountain, Gettysburg) so Battle Cry of Freedom seems like a good choice but we're open to classics or more current material as well.

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Old 06-25-09, 04:15 PM   #2
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well on my ipod i have bob dylan, led zeplin ,pink floyd,loads of music.. my son said DAD why don't you listen to a nice book in stead of all that now listening to the adventures of huckle berry finn ,,magic i should have done this years ago ,great stuff..oh and it diden't cost anything to download got it from the libery...
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Old 06-25-09, 06:09 PM   #3
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I listen to audiobooks that I've checked out from the library, ripped to MP3 and put on a player. I've been doing so for years. I probably listen to more than 50 books a year.

One very powerful book about the civil war that I listen to was Redemption, The Last Battle of the Civil War. It isn't about the civil war, per se, but is about what happened just after the Civil War was over and it came time to define how things would be from then on. As an American, it isn't pretty nor gratifying, but it appears to be well researched.

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Old 06-25-09, 07:50 PM   #4
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I don't have any specific book recommendations, but I listen to many books while driving. If you don't mind older books in the public domain here is a nice site with many free mp3 books:

Two things I dislike about librivox: some readers are difficult to hear/understand, and readers always include librivox introductory message prior to every chapter.

Other than those two drawbacks, there is a nice selection of free downloads.
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Old 06-25-09, 08:33 PM   #5
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I find librivox infuriating. I've downloaded more than one work only to discover that the recording was made in an underwater phone booth by someone with a nasal twang masked only by their cleft palate and stuttering.

I would gladly contribute to librivox if the works were recorded by competent engineers and read by two or three professional voices. But they don't, so iTunes gets my business.

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Old 06-26-09, 08:17 AM   #6
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I ripped "The Secret Life of Bees" from a CD and put it on my MP3 player. However, when I tried to listen I discovered that my Sansa played the tracks in some weird order (alphabetical?) which was completely out of sequence. There was no announcement when a new track started. I couldn't even tell from listening when one track ended and the next one started; the transition was seamless.

When I got home I corrected this in 5 minutes by creating a playlist with the tracks in proper sequence. But I was home and not interested in listening.

It's as if the Books-On-CD folks anticipated this and tried to sabotage my efforts.

If you put a book on an MP3 player, you might want to test it out at home before leaving on tour.

A Civil War book I liked was The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara. It's about the Battle of Gettysburg. After Michael Shaara died, his son, Jeff Shaara, started writing novels, including two that bookend The Killer Angels. They mimic the style of the father. My opinion is that the father was a much better writer, although I've read several Jeff Shaara books and they certainly aren't bad.

I also liked Cold Mountain. One Civil War book I didn't like so much was The March by E. L. Doctorow, though it won awards. I liked Gone With the Wind when I finally read it, though it was hard to shake the vestiges of the movie version.
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