19 January 2013

Some miniature audiobook reviews...



**Click on any of the images in this post to purchase these books through my Powell's affiliate account.

Earlier this year I listened to the backlist of Malcolm Gladwell on audio.  Gladwell is such a pervasive cultural figure; I was a little ashamed that I hadn't read him. I saw him speak last year, and really, really enjoyed it, plus I am a fan of pop sociology.  I listened to the books in the order they were published: Tipping Point, Blink and then Outliers.  Gladwell reads his own books on all of the audio recordings, and although he is a great reader, it did sort of homogenize the experience.  I felt like the books got better in chronological order, but Blink ended up being my favorite. Gladwell uses anecdote to illustrate his points, and the ones in that book stuck with me.

 I like all of these books, but I'm not sure it was the best idea to do them all at once, since it did make them sort of blend together.  I plan to reread Outliers this year though, so maybe I will get to the others as well...this time with some distance between them.




The other audio book that I listened to towards the end of 2012 was Blood, Bones, and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton.  I really wanted to like this book, and there were things that I did like, a lot.  There were also things that I really didn't like. 

I'll start with the likes: Hamilton's descriptions of food are pretty amazing.  I am a foodie, and I was seduced by the descriptions in this book.  It made me wish that I was a better cook.  As Hamilton travels the world, I really did wish that I could have her experience and appreciated being able to, just a little bit, through her words.

But what I didn't like was the whining.  Hamilton lives a pretty awesome sounding life, but she complains about it and it isn't easy -- for me at least -- to sympathize.  And it is wearing.  I started out in love with the book, and ended being glad I was done. 

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