On my iPod: Audiobooks

I spend nearly two hours a day in my car; I don’t ever really think about it, until I say things like that. Part of what keeps me sane, though, are audiobooks. I’ve reached the point in my current book (The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larrson, which is *fantastic* and highly recommended, but read (or listen to – the narrator for the English translations of these (Simon Vance) is wonderful!) The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played With Fire first) where I’m desperate to know what happens next and at the same time terribly sad to know that by this time tomorrow there will be no more left to listen to. In this case, it’s even more pronounced than it tends to be because in addition to being the last book in the trilogy, Mr. Larrson died young so there really won’t be more to enjoy by him, involving these characters or others (he apparently finished about half of a fourth book – out of ten originally outlined – but there are apparently some Swedish legal matters that make it unlikely it will every be finished and published). While he pushes the bounds of suspension of disbelief quite a bit, the Millenium trilogy is a fully enrapturing romp and his characters are truly unforgettable, ranging from fully anti-social and eccentric to everyday hero to straight out villain with a few other deviants along that spectrum scattered about for good measure.

Recently, I’ve also listened to The Sunless Countries, the fourth book in Karl Schroeder’s Virga series. It was, again, not the direction I expected him to take, but still very, very good. I like that he seems to be doing character-based sequels, where a character from a previous book becomes either the main or a connecting character to a new cast. It’s been a rather believable way of doing the world exploration without stretching credibility *too* much that a single core group of characters is directly and integrally involved in everything fantastical that happens throughout the series. He also does a remarkable job of keeping his characters human without over-accentuating either their virtues or their flaws.

Prior to that.. hrm.. oh, yes, The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande on a recommendation from a work colleague. Very engaging (and reasonably short), but I’m not entirely sure there’s anything particularly groundbreaking about anything in it, except perhaps the author’s attempts to introduce the concept to the healthcare industry and his subsequent results.

Anyway, I’m not sure what will be up next as I usually decide what I’m in the mood for when I get to that point, but I have waiting in my library How Pleasure Works by Paul Bloom, The Sacrifice by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (which you can get, too, and for free, even: “Limited Time #FreeBook ANYONE can get the First Book of Fey, The Sacrifice by Kristine Kathryn Rusch http://ht.ly/248Jd” (via @audible_com on Twitter)), A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan, Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende, and Green Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson.

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