Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is an all about audio freebie.
Honestly, I don’t listen to very many audio books and I didn’t want to pad out this list. So, I’m cutting this week’s list into two top fives. The first half of the list will be my five favorite audio books. And, since I watch a ridiculous amount of YouTube, the second half of will be my top five favorite web series (at the moment).
Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
Narrator: Michael C. Hall
Truman Capote’s writing is gorgeous and Michael C. Hall did a truly spectacular job of narrating this one. This is my all time favorite audio book. If you get the opportunity, it’s definitely worth a listen.
Back Cover Description: It’s New York in the 1940s, where the martinis flow from cocktail hour till breakfast at Tiffany’s. And nice girls don’t, except, of course, Holly Golightly. Pursued by Mafia gangsters and playboy millionaires, Holly is a fragile eyeful of tawny hair and turned-up nose, a heart-breaker, a perplexer, a traveller, a tease. She is irrepressibly ‘top banana in the shock department’, and one of the shining flowers of American fiction.
The Martian by Andy Weir
Narrator: R.C. Bray
I expect this one will make it onto a lot of audio book lists this week. R.C. Bray nailed Mark Watney in his narration of “The Martian”. The way this one is written makes it so excellent to listen to since it feels like you’re hearing to recordings Watney is making while stranded. This is one book where I’ll actually suggest someone listen to it vs. read it.
Back Cover Description: Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.
Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there.
After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate the planet while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded on Mars’ surface, completely alone, with no way to signal Earth that he’s alive. And even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone years before a rescue could arrive.
Chances are, though, Mark won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first.
But Mark’s not ready to quit. Armed with nothing but his ingenuity and his engineering skills—and a gallows sense of humor that proves to be his greatest source of strength–he embarks on a dogged quest to stay alive, using his botany expertise to grow food and even hatching a mad plan to contact NASA back on Earth.
As he overcomes one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next, Mark begins to let himself believe he might make it off the planet alive.
But Mars has plenty of surprises in store for him yet.
The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams
Narrator: Martin Freeman
I listened to “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe” narrated by Stephen Fry. While I enjoyed Fry’s reading, I found that I prefer Martin Freeman as a narrator for this series.
Back Cover Description: Facing annihilation at the hands of the warlike Vogons is a curious time to have a craving for tea. It could only happen to the cosmically displaced Arthur Dent and his curious comrades in arms as they hurtle across space powered by pure improbability, and desperately in search of a place to eat.
Among Arthur’s motley shipmates are Ford Prefect, a longtime friend and expert contributor to the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy; Zaphod Beeblebrox, the three-armed, two-headed ex-president of the galaxy; Tricia McMillan, a fellow Earth refugee who’s gone native (her name is Trillian now); and Marvin, the moody android who suffers nothing and no one very gladly. Their destination? The ultimate hot spot for an evening of apocalyptic entertainment and fine dining, where the food (literally) speaks for itself.
Will they make it? The answer: hard to say. But bear in mind that the Hitchhiker’s Guide deleted the term “Future Perfect” from its pages, since it was discovered not to be!
Always Looking Up by Michael J. Fox
Narrator: Michael J. Fox
I have a thing for listening to celebrity biographies on long road trips. This was hands down the best one I’ve listened to so far. Of course, it’s always great when they read their own books.
Back Cover Description: There are many words to describe Michael J. Fox: Actor. Husband. Father. Activist. But readers of Always Looking Up will soon add another to the list: Optimist. Michael writes about the hard-won perspective that helped him see challenges as opportunities. Instead of building walls around himself, he developed a personal policy of engagement and discovery: an emotional, psychological, intellectual, and spiritual outlook that has served him throughout his struggle with Parkinson’s disease. Michael’s exit from a very demanding, very public arena offered him the time-and the inspiration-to open up new doors leading to unexpected places. One door even led him to the center of his own family, the greatest destination of all. The last ten years, which is really the stuff of this book, began with such a loss: my retirement from Spin City. I found myself struggling with a strange new dynamic: the shifting of public and private personas. I had been Mike the actor, then Mike the actor with PD. Now was I just Mike with PD Parkinson’s had consumed my career and, in a sense, had become my career. But where did all of this leave Me? I had to build a new life when I was already pretty happy with the old one. .
Always Looking Up is a memoir of this last decade, told through the critical themes of Michael’s life: work, politics, faith, and family. The book is a journey of self-discovery and reinvention, and a testament to the consolations that protect him from the ravages of Parkinson’s.
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
Narrator: David Sedaris
Another great one for long road trips. Sedaris is highly entertaining as he reads his work.
Back Cover Description: A new collection from David Sedaris is cause for jubilation. His recent move to Paris has inspired hilarious pieces, including Me Talk Pretty One Day, about his attempts to learn French. His family is another inspiration. You Cant Kill the Rooster is a portrait of his brother who talks incessant hip-hop slang to his bewildered father. And no one hones a finer fury in response to such modern annoyances as restaurant meals presented in ludicrous towers and cashiers with 6-inch fingernails. Compared by The New Yorker to Twain and Hawthorne, Sedaris has become one of our best-loved authors. Sedaris is an amazing reader whose appearances draw hundreds, and his performances including a jaw-dropping impression of Billie Holiday singing I wish I were an Oscar Meyer wiener unforgettable. Sedaris essays on living in Paris are some of the funniest hes ever written. At last, someone even meaner than the French! The sort of blithely sophisticated, loopy humor that might have resulted if Dorothy Parker and James Thurber had had a love child. Entertainment Weekly on Barrel Fever Sidesplitting Not one of the essays in this new collection failed to crack me up; frequently I was helpless.
Top 5 Web Series
The Brain Scoop
Stationed out of The Field Museum, this is a great web series about various natural history topics. My favorite episode is about the man-eating lions of Tsavo.
John and Hank Green create videos on various subjects such as psychology, U.S. history and literature. They’re all pretty great, but the literature ones are my favorite. I especially enjoyed the two about “Catcher in the Rye”. Mostly because it helped me appreciate the book a little more.
Stuff You Like
Jill Bearup discusses stuff she likes (typically movies/tv shows/books that are either considered nerdy and/or nostalgic). The web series is enjoyable because she takes a critical look at why she enjoys what she’s talking about. Her episode on “Hot Fuzz” is one of my favorites.
I’ve featured this web series on my blog before. It’s shot as four friends chatting about movie and tv show theories in a diner. The “4 Terrifying Psychology Lessons Behind Famous Movie Monsters” is a favorite of mine. In part because of those costumes…
This is a game review series that tends to concentrate a lot on old educational games. I’m a little shocked at how many of the games I actually played growing up. One of my favorite episodes is “Pajama Sam In: No Need to Hide When It’s Dark Outside”. For some reason I tend to gravitate toward Halloween episodes.