What are you listening to: Audiobooks edition

Yeah, I know it’s a similar topic, but I don’t feel like this fits in with the PodCast edition.

I have a long drive coming up, like 50 hours, but that’s spread out. I like to listen to books on drives like that, something to get a little lost in while staying in my lane and enjoying the cruise control on the interstate.

I love SciFi above all other genres, but I’m open to any kind of story.

Do any of y’all have suggestions? What have you been listening to or reading?

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The last few times I did this trip, I listened to these:

Cixin Liu’s Three Body Problem trilogy
Neal Stephenson’s Seveneves, and The Baroque Cycle
Anything by William Gibson
Everything ever written by Scott Sigler

I’ve wanted to wade into the waters of Terry Pratchett, but I am intimidated about where to start.

What do you like, and/or recommend?

And, really, bonus points for anything available at Downpour because they do MP3s so I can share it with my mom on a memory chip. I will do Audible, but under protest because I can’t share (and I don’t mean pirate and distribute, it’s just nice to share one copy with my mom).


What did you end up listening to for your drive? We have one coming up at the end of January (only about 17 hours, but still…). Would love some recommendations.
For nonfiction but with a sci-fi vibe, I find the Oliver Sacks books are always fascinating.
Every time we’ve gotten Stephen King it’s been pretty good. (Little known fact: As a Mainer, one is constitutionally required to read that author’s works.)

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I ended up with all fiction. To the coast was The Actual Star by Monica Byrne, which was good, but the ending was abrupt. The way home was Termination Shock by Neal Stephenson, which just came out. Hopefully I can say more once I’m in front of a real keyboard, this is thumb tapping, and slow.


On the BBC I was listening to Robert Bloch’s Psycho ready by William Hope.

It’s exactly the same story as the movie — and in some places has the same dialogue — but without George Stefano’s adaptation and Hitchcock’s visuals it lacks a psychological depth. It comes across as simply a lurid potboiler.

In an interview with George Stefano, he said that he based the script on his own psychiatric sessions dealing with his troubled relationship with his mother. I think that must have helped the final product. For example, there is the old-fashioned home beside the motel in the book, but the symbolism of it is totally missing.

A big difference between the book and movie is the character of Norman Bates. In the book he is a chubby, misogynistic incel, who has a bit of a drinking problem.

One thing I got out of this reading is why Bloch chose the name “Bates.” When Marion Craine addresses Norman as “Mr Bates,” it just became a little too obvious. Pardon me if I am the last person on Earth to figure this out.

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I do a lot of walking as my preferred method of exercise, so I listen to audiobooks alot.

I listen to Neal Stephenson’s The Diamond Age every couple of years. It’s pretty much my favorite book. There’s great world building, and something about the neo-victorians sort of jangles the steampunk vibes.

Two other books that I find myself relistening to are 10 Restaurants That Changed America, by Paul Freedman, and At Home by Bill Bryson. Both non-fiction, and both fascinating.