So, it takes a while to write a review, so even though there’s only a couple of reviews thus far in 2019, that’s not all the books I’ve listened to.

In fact, much of the time, I feel like writing a review is a bit of a chore. But I do it, because my memory isn’t that great, and I want to be able to recommend to my friends or family whether or not they should listen to the book, if they would like it…or what are the salient points made so that I can refer to it later.

This year, (at the time of writing) it looks like I’ve only listened to 4 books. Just because of the reviews, or at least when the reviews were published… but in fact I’ve listened to a lot more.

Here’s a total list of books I’ve listened to thus far (with covers & a brief description), + some that I’ve started but are either still on-going, or just haven’t finished and what’s the reasons for that:

Bubba the monster hunter series

Book 1 – 10hrs 16min
Book 2 – 12 hrs 55mins
Book 3 – 14hrs 43mins
Book 3.1 3hrs 31 mins
Book 3.2 3 hrs 36mins

Bubba the monster hunter series is basically a light hearted collection of stories about a tough, but good hearted red neck that goes around solving problems involving mythical/ mystical creatures.

It’s pure fantasy, and if you want to learn a bit about some mythical creatures in a very light hearted way.. then this book series may be good for you.  I found it as a good ‘take a break’ book series from the more hardcore education books that I often listen to.

Sam Harris Lying -1hr 15 mins.  See my review & notes here.

Basically about lying and the effects of people.  When to confront people about lying, also deals with white lies, and how your own lies affects people around you.  A short yet worthwhile book, that I’ve found useful to apply to people around me, and for confronting a friend who has slipped into a deep hole of essentially lying to himself, denying himself of reality.

American Kingpin – 12 hrs 14 mins 

The story of the man who set up ‘The Silk Road’ the worlds 1st, and biggest anonymous illegal goods marketplace utilising secure & anonymous transactions linking TOR & bitcoin payments, to buy and sell drugs, weapons, computer viruses etc. It follows the early days of the founder and incredibly smart individual Ross Ulbricht, and then the people ultimately responsible for bringing him to justice. (A combination of postal workers, homeland security, FBI, Internal Revenue Service etc) A gripping story of investigation and insightfulness.  I would thoroughly recommend this book to almost everyone. It’s well written, its well-researched, the narration is great, and overall just a great book.

The Operator -9hrs 42mins  See my review & notes here

About a member of the famous Seal Team 6 team that took down Bin Laden. From the surface, not my ideal type of book, yet it’s actually more about the training, camaraderie and teamwork of the group of men and people that flow in and out of these units. Actually fascinating, & would thoroughly recommend to people even if they’re not war buffs.

The Reaper – 7 hrs 40 mins.

About some of the missions of Nicholas Irving, a sniper in the US army. Also a fascinating autobiographical account of what it was like to fight in Afghanistan as a sniper, the stories, the team work etc. And just a huge realisation that everyone is just so young yet forced/ choose to go through these kind of experiences.  There’s a funny/ telling interview at the end of the book with the author, where it showcases a bit of civilian racial prejudice onto the military for which it turns out there’s less racial prejudice.  I’ll write a review about this soon, because it was truly a good book.

The Last Days of August – 3hrs 43 mins 

About the social pressure of a pornography actress called August Aimes which eventually led to her suicide. Doe with the usual investigative journalism of Jon Ronson, which bounces from half lead to half lead to paint a picture that is often incoherent ,in terms of where it might lead… yet also in a weird way captivating.

It’s a short book and would recommend it. There’s some interesting points from this, and it has a close relation to his book ‘So you’ve been publicly shamed’ on social media pressure, and ‘The Butterfly effect’ about the migration of the pornography industry towards an online medium and this has changed things, and impacted people all over the world, but especially in America.

Sub human (unit 51 series) – 11 hrs 5mins 

Its like a combination of alien vs predator in the snow (whatever that move was) and the movie Whiteout  Supposedly about aliens and vampires according to the publisher’s summary, but it was just terrible. Would not recommend this book for anyone.  At times I just used it to go to sleep. Its slow, its full of meaningless build up, there’s not a lot of character development to a point that you forget and don’t care what the characters names are… and you kind of hope they all just die.  Its meant to be a horror/ thriller/ sci-fi type of book…. But it doesn’t drawn you in on any level.

 

 

Climate a New Story – 10hrs 19 mins

A fascinating, and important book in this day and age about the conversation we should be having about climate change, and human willing degradation of the environment. Aims to change the conversation we’re having about climate change rather than just go ahead with whatever the latest research, fear tactics and apocalyptic predictions might be.  A well-researched book that gives plenty of examples yet falls short of reaching a greater target audience with its chosen words of ‘love’ etc.

The Spies That Bind  – 2hrs 56mins 

A prequel book using the Harry Potter like theme of a young person progressing through a particular special school and the trials, tribulations and adventures that that person will have. It’s a prequel book to the story, and it didn’t grab me.  This particular school is a spy program for young women.

Siege Tactics – Spells, Swords & Stealth book 4 – 15hrs 15mins.

Book 4 by the amazing Drew Hayes about a fantasy, role playing game world much like Dungeons & Dragons in which certain actions are determined by the roll of a device and the corresponding scores. While the overall series has been good, this book was a bit so-so as it focused on just a couple of the characters too much, rather than balancing the whole thing and really developing the story.

The Old Man – 11hr 13mins 

About an old man that was previously a black operations operative, with whom the US military had a falling out with, and allowed him to take the fall to satisfy particular allies in Libya. The story is about him trying to give back some money he managed to have, and clear his name.  Interesting enough, but wouldn’t be jumping to recommend it to too many people.

Power Moves – Lessons from Davos– 3hrs 4mins

A worthwhile book about interviews with the World Economic Forum members and attendees that gather at a very secretive place every year, known as Davos in Switzerland.  There are even conspiracy theories revolving around ‘The Party of Davos’ as a group of people that secretly control the world. Much like the Bilderberg group or Bohemian Grove.  (All real groups, all with powerful men and women in attendance who discuss current events and the relationships made there go on in one way or another to give guidance to current events. )  Well worth the listen.  The narrator/ author sounds like a Californian surfer dude, which sets a quirky tone knowing that he is actually a very accomplished writer and educated person.

The Men That Stare at Goats – 6hrs 36mins 

The book by Jon Ronson that inspired the movie of the same name.  Difficult to understand how a movie was actually made from this, because the book is just a collection of random, scrambled true stories of people that believe they can do fantastical un-human feats, and programs that actually existed to train them to do exactly that.

It’s interesting enough if you’re aware of Jon Ronson’s writing style, but it’s not one that you’d be rushing back towards.  Its just absurd, the events portrayed, knowing that they’re actually true, or the people being interviewed at least believe them to be true, and it’s this absurdity that makes it reasonably interesting to listen to.

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed – 7hrs 26mins

A much needed look at the pressure of social media and the potential for groups of people to destroy other’s lives by hiding behind a keyboard and not realising the true effects on people’s lives.  Various interviews of people that have been shamed, and those that have done the shaming.

Jon Ronson’s usual meandering of thoughts and interview style is less pronounced in this particular book, and that’s a good thing, because I think this book is quite important.  Still revolves around people’s reactions and the absurdity of situations, but just in a slightly more serious manner.  Would recommend.

Molly’s Game – 8hrs 30mins 

An autobiographical account of Molly Bloom, the organiser of the biggest, most secretive poker games in Hollywood & in New York, which brought Hollywood A-list actors and millionaires together as well as wall street bankers and titans of industry in illustrious poker games.

Really interesting, and well worth a listen.  She gets pretty vague in details towards the charges brought against her at the end, to a point that you feel she actually must have done something illegal otherwise why leave it out of the book unless it was because she would be incriminating herself.  But other than that, it’s a great book.

7 Years in Tibet – 11hrs 38 mins

An autobiography of an Austrian guy who found himself in Indian at the start of WW2, and later escaped to Tibet to avoid being imprisoned by the British.  Written in a style of continuous diary entries.  There was a movie of the same name with Brad Pitt, yet it seems there was some serious creative license taken in the production of the movie, because although the author briefly mentioned the invasion of the Chinese Communists of Tibet, he doesn’t write badly of them or go into much detail.  Yet apparently the movie is very anti-Chinese.  They did invade, yet according to the author they treated people reasonably well. He writes only from what he saw, and his interactions with Tibetans, including the Dalai Lama, his learning of languages, jobs, exploring etc.  Interesting, and I’m glad to have listened to this, but it’s was written in the 1950s and there’s a slow and colonial style of writing to it.  Listening at 1.1x speed is recommended.

The Elephant in the Room – 1 hr 47 mins 

Jon Ronson interviews several people in the lead up to the Trump election, including Alex Jones, a TV & radio personality he met years ago in the making of a previous book called ‘Them: Adventures with Extremists’   Interesting enough, but not super necessary. If you’re bored, or really a fan of Jon Ronson, go for it.

Super Sales on Super Heroes – book 3 – 12 hrs.

I will write a review about this very soon, because this book was pretty bad.  The original series has been pretty good, with lots of character development and an interesting story, but this was exactly none of that. If you read the reviews on audible… I would 100% agree with all the 1 & 2 star reviews.  This book falls flat of what it the series was about.  If you haven’t read the series thus far, I would definitely not recommend it.  And if you HAVE read the series thus far, I’d still give this book a pass.

How to Win Friends and Influence People – 7hrs 15mins. 

Currently reading this book as it was referenced as part of a job description I’m interested in.

It’s one of those book where you feel you really should read it because you’ve heard a lot about it, and its referenced here and there as you just go about life… but you never really had the desire to get it and listen to it yourself.

I am only 23% the way through this at the moment, having just started this morning, but I can tell you… I would thoroughly recommend this.

Well written, good explanations of points, and a clear statement of the point being made at the end of each chapter.

I know people hear this a lot, but this is one of those ..you should probably listen to this book kind of dealios.

It’s also relatively short, and because it’s written so well it’s a pleasure to listen to.

Models– 7 hrs 2 mins

I’m currently about a 3rd of the way through this book.  Originally I thought it was a ‘pickup’ kind of book, like ‘how to date models’ or something to this equivalent. However its actually ‘what’s the correct male model for you to be, confident, assured, living in reality…to find a meaningful and happy relationship that you desire and deserve.’

And I think that’s much more noble, and the kind of book I want to gain knowledge from.

The problem… if you can call it that, is that there’s so much good & poignant  information it that I just have to take so many notes.  And to be honest I’m tired of taking so many notes.

So I’ve paused listening to this book and will come back to it at some stage. But have already learnt a lot.  Again, this is a book that should be recommended to any male, or in fact any person in a relationship, or trying to get into a relationship to find the happiness they want with it.

Total so far

All in all, so far I’ve listened to 154 hrs 10 mins of audio book this year.

Pretty crazy. For 21 books and only 50 days, it’s like listening & finishing a book in just over 2 days.

I know plenty of people say “never stop learning”  but I feel many people don’t really live by this motto.  I feel like I’m trying to live up to this motto, and feel like I’m doing pretty well, as there’s a lot of useful information to gain from the majority of these books.

I feel like I will be content when I have listened to and gained the information of all the books I want to have listened to.  So far I’ve still got a back list of around 85 books, yet I will get through them one by one.