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Topic: Recommend a book to listen to?

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Subject: Recommend a book to listen to?
Date Posted: 8/17/2008 5:43 PM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2007
Posts: 123
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Hi - I'm planning a road trip with my boyfriend and I'm wondering if anyone can recommend a good book to listen to in the car.  Here's the catch:  my boyfriend has (or thinks he has) very little interest in any kind of reading that is not a technical manual.  He thinks he'd lose interest pretty quickly, but I'm hoping that I can find the perfect book to keep him interested.  :)  My tastes are pretty open, with my favorites being contemporary fiction, memoirs, Stephen King, etc.  I've read most of King's works but I think I'd consider listening to one of them again if I thought my boyfriend would enjoy it.   His reading consists solely of technical manuals, and that's not an exaggeration.  I think something with a lot of action and/or humor might appeal to him.

Any suggestions?  Thanks in advance!

Date Posted: 8/17/2008 5:50 PM ET
Member Since: 4/8/2008
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The gal who reads the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich does a great job. She makes the books even funnier when you hear them on audio. I also loved all the Alexander McCall Smith "Tears of the Giraffe" series and Mrs. Dalhousie series (the Sunday PHilosophy club). I haven't listened to the Odd Thomas books by Dean Koontz on audio, but the books were great. I bet your bf would like those. Good luck! Maybe you can turn him into a reader. My husband retired end of April, had never read a book in his life. He's read 5 or 6 books since then just because I suggested reading might make a good hobby!


Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 8/17/2008 5:59 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
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I'm not a huge audio book listener, but the guy who reads the Harry Potter books cracks me up.

Date Posted: 8/17/2008 8:25 PM ET
Member Since: 7/1/2008
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Hmm, what about Monkeewrench if it's on tape. A thriller ivolving a software game company?


What does he like to watch on televison? What kind of movies?

Date Posted: 8/17/2008 8:56 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2008
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Here's a list of possibilities with brief summaries:


"Enders Game" is another possibility.

Last Edited on: 8/17/08 8:57 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/17/2008 9:50 PM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2007
Posts: 123
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Wow - thanks for such quick responses!!!  You all had really good recommendations that I never would have come up with, too.  I'm going to show these to him and see what he thinks...  JK H:  To answer your question, he really likes comedies (think Monty Python), and I'd say that his 2nd favorite type of movie would be action/adventure.  Thanks again, and if you think of any more, let me know!

Subject: books to listen to
Date Posted: 8/17/2008 10:46 PM ET
Member Since: 5/22/2008
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I listened to two books just recently....Secret Life of Bees by Susan Monk Kidd (I believe) the person who reads it does a wonderful job. 

And also "Nanny Diaries"  it is read by Julia Roberts and she does a wonderful job as well.  I think your boyfriend would like this one, it is rpretty funny.  Enjoy

Date Posted: 8/18/2008 6:05 AM ET
Member Since: 7/1/2008
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Get a good action adventure like Patrick O'Brian's Master and Commander or any of his other books.

Frederick Forsythe. try Icon or the Deceiver or Avenger (any will do).

Dick Francis, especially Wild Horses, Decider, Second Wind. Second Wind is about hurricanes, among other things.

Terry Pratchett. Thief of Time.

Lawrence Block's Hit Man or Matthew Scudder. Escpecially A Walk Among the Tombstones.

Date Posted: 8/18/2008 7:57 AM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2007
Posts: 5,671
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I would recommend Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer.  It's available on audio cassettes right here at PBS (I checked!!).  It's his first-hand account of his disasterous climb up Mt. Everest.  The book was excellent, it did not waste any time on all the boring stats but got right into the guts of the story.  I have not heard the audio version....but if it's even half as good as the book, I can't believe your boyfriend (and you) would not be fascinated right from the start. 

Date Posted: 8/18/2008 8:12 AM ET
Member Since: 5/5/2006
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A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini is a terrific book to listen to.  The narrator is wonderful.

I'm listening to all the Harry Potter books.  The narrator is in the Guiness Book of World records for the number of voices he does. I believe it's over 200 for the Harry Potter series.  I've really enjoyed listening to them. These might be more in line for the action/acventure.  I'm on the Goblet of Fire right now and it moves very fast and is a pretty long book.

Date Posted: 8/18/2008 3:57 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 8,411
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Here are some that I've listened to recently:

The Year of Loving Biblically-  Loved it!  the author narrates it, too

The World Without Us-  very interesting, makes me want to go green as much as possible

Can You Keep a Secret?- LOL funny

The Nanny Diaries- read by Julia Roberts- better than the movie

Like Water For Chocolate-  very good

Date Posted: 8/18/2008 6:27 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2007
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World War Z is outstanding on audio book.  It's like listening to a documentary about the war and it's aftermath, only the war in question is the zombie war.  It has so many elements, some technical/tactical, that I think your bf might just find himself thoroughly engaged in the story.

Date Posted: 8/19/2008 12:30 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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He might like Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet.  I listened to it on audio and I found all the technical stuff about monastic life and how to build a cathedral boring.  But it might be up his alley. There's some violence, political intrigue and sex.   Is he into sports?  I listened to the Harlan Coben Myron Bolitar series on audio.  Myron is an ex-FBI agent and now a sports agent.  He gets involved in a murder mystery every book. They're funny and great on audio.  It's mostly about basketball since the hero was a college basketball star but there's other sports in there. 

I love audio books and here's some authors  that I can recommend, although he probably wouldn't get into them:  Kathy Reichs, Patricia Cornwell, James Patterson, Harlan Coben, Charlaine Harris and the Harry Potter books were great on audio.

Date Posted: 8/19/2008 8:18 PM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2007
Posts: 123
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Wow - these are great suggestions!  I am going to head to the library tomorrow with a list of these and see what's available.  And, no matter what we decide to listen to, I think I've got myself a pretty long list of books I'd like to read.  I have read a few, but many of them I'm just hearing about now.  Thanks again for everyone's responses...so helpful!!!!  I'll let you know what we end up choosing.

Date Posted: 8/19/2008 10:48 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2006
Posts: 7,886
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I listen to a lot of books on tape and the best one I have heard is "The Green Mile" by Stephen King.  It is marvelous and a man would also like it.

Date Posted: 8/20/2008 4:50 AM ET
Member Since: 9/15/2005
Posts: 319
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If he likes utterly screw-ball comedy stuff and isn't easily offended (by bad langauge, adult content, and messing around with religious mythologies, usually all at the same time), Christopher Moore has some pretty fun books.  I loved A Dirty Job, and a lot of people go for Lamb, and they both have the same great narrator.  What really got me was how much my mom likes Moore!

Sci-fi might be a good bet -- I'd second Ender's Game as a possibility.  It reads a bit like a young adult novel but wasn't written to be one.  I read it just a few months ago and was very impressed!  An especially fascinating aspect is seeing what the author envisioned for the future of computers/computer games, keeping in mind the book was written in the early 80's.

The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov is also cool in a similar way.  It's a classic sci-fi/detective story, written in the early 50's, and it's very cool to see all the different things the author imagined for the future and what he got right and what he didn't.  He even envisioned computers with search engines -- but they still have punch-cards, what a hoot!  Trekkies of the world will see the seeds of the character Data in this one.  I was surprised by this one.  I usually stay away from older sci-fi, thinking it will all be dry, sexist and dull, but I may need to rethink those assumptions!

Hmmm....A couple other thoughts I know have strong male followings are Lois McMaster Bujold's A Warrior's Apprentice (more sci-fi -- one of the two places to start her Vorkosigan series.  She's a fantastic writer but I have to warn you the action/heavy plot-twisting doesn't start right away in her books.  She likes to build her way up to that stuff.)  Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys is a thought too.  It's more on the quirky side of funny, about what happens when ancient gods run amok in the life of a very average now-British-was-Floridan/Jamaican guy.   Both Bujold and Gaiman are just really gifted in the art of storytelling, so their stuff makes good audios.

Last Edited on: 8/20/08 4:51 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/20/2008 12:37 PM ET
Member Since: 8/14/2006
Posts: 55
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Derailed by James Siegel

The Jester by James Patterson, Andrew Gross

I know a manual reading guy who enjoyed those two audio books.  He said it helped take his mind off work as he drove to and from work.

Date Posted: 9/3/2008 9:18 AM ET
Member Since: 7/1/2008
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What did you choose and did he like it?

Subject: The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon
Date Posted: 9/3/2008 1:23 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2008
Posts: 4
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Yes, you are probably done with your trip by now, but I must say that one of my favorite audio books was, "The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon" by Stephen King, read by Anne Heche.  I was so impressed with her, she was by far THE BEST reader I have ever heard.  Some readers can be rather bland, but she made the characters come alive and read it with such feeling!  I gained a new found respect for Anne as an actress after hearing her work on that.

Date Posted: 9/3/2008 1:42 PM ET
Member Since: 8/14/2006
Posts: 55
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Yes, I'm curious, too, about what you and your boyfriend decided upon.

Thanks for the tip, Cindy, about the best reader.  Anne Heche is a good actress and I loved her in Men In Trees. 

Has there ever been a discussion on 'good readers' of audio books?

Date Posted: 9/3/2008 5:42 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,575
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Even though some would automatically think that her books are "lady books" as my brothers say, Barbara Kingsolvers' book on CD or ipod of Poisenwood Bible is a big favorite with the whole family.   My brother the software guy and my dad the engineer and my brother the contractor all LOVED this audio for a long trip.  I don't think except for one Tom Clancy book they passed around, between the 6 adult males in my family that is about  .01 books a year each!!    We women had read the book already but also loved the audio. 

Date Posted: 9/3/2008 11:07 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2007
Posts: 4,582
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I haven't seen a discussion on great readers before.  Generally I enjoy most male readers, but female readers tend to annoy me.  I think it's the pitch of a female voice more than anything because I find I have difficulty hearing them sometimes.  That being said, the best female reader I've ever listened to is Lynne Thigpen.  She had the most wonderful voice and you haven't experienced Toni Morrison until you've heard her work read by Thigpen. 


Date Posted: 9/5/2008 11:55 PM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2007
Posts: 123
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Hi everyone!  Thanks for checking back with me...it's been a looong week.  Anyway, we ended up with Into Thin Air and we loved it!  I had the Harry Potter series on hand too, just in case, but we didn't even get to that.  Thanks again to everyone for their recommendations.  My reminder and TBR lists have gotten quite a bit longer after reading all of your responses!  And, my boyfriend is a little less skeptical about his ability to remain interested in an audiobook.  We've made progress!  :)

Date Posted: 10/1/2008 2:09 AM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2008
Posts: 183
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Try Stephen King's "Cell" ... my fiance really loved it.

Date Posted: 10/3/2008 3:36 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2008
Posts: 8
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The Secret Life of Bees-incredible!!!!