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{ Category Archives } Audio

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larsen; narrated by Scott Brick When the Lusitania steamed into the waters off Britain in 1915, everyone on board knew the Germans had threatened the ship. But the convergence of politics, military action, timing, and fate made the attack on the ship a startling and […]

Sous Chef

Sous Chef: 24 Hours on the Line by Michael Gibney, narrated by Fred Berman Sous Chef is part detailed explanation, part memoir, part battle narrative.  It recalls a day in the life of the assistant chef at a mid-level “star rated” restaurant in New York.  Gibney does a great job explaining both what the day […]


Farside written by Ben Bova; narrated by Stephan Rudnicki On the far side of the moon, a new observatory is building the biggest telescopes ever crafted by Man.  These massive instruments, combined with the Moon’s airless surface, and the far-side’s shelter from the brightness of the Earth, give its scientists the ability to see things […]

Thinking about dead bodies: Stiff, by Mary Roach

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach, narrated by Shelly Frasier As always, Mary Roach explores a topic of interest and (perhaps) disgust with tact, verve, and lots of humor.  In this book–the first of her science books–Roach explores the myriad ways we deal with death and dead bodies, and explains how […]

Where’d you go, D.B. Cooper? Skyjack

Skyjack: The Hunt for D.B. Cooper written and narrated by Geoffrey Gray Gray starts the tale of famed plane hijacker D.B. Cooper with his own introduction to the tale — a visit from a private-eye friend who wanted to pitch a story.  What follows is a three-year odyssey into one of the modern rabbit holes, […]


Bossypants written and narrated by Tina Fey Fey’s memoir is a nice balance between stories about her career, essays on life as informed by her own experience, and a few cogent and telling discussions of the modern state of comedy (particularly of women in comedy).  Fey shows herself to be a thoughtful, funny writer–this is […]

A Rumpole Christmas: Stories

A Rumpole Christmas: Stories by John Mortimer, narrated by Bill Wallis Everyone’s favorite cantakerous lawyer is back for more glasses of Pomeroy’s finest, carping at judges, and winning most of his cases.  In this collection, Rumpole puts up with Helga’s changing plans for Christmas, resorts to a bit of arm-twisting for a good cause, and […]

December music roundup: Holiday tunes

I review my music playlist for each month, compiled from albums that drift across my transom and tunes I download from eMusic. Simplify Christmas, Volume 3. Various artists This album is a mix of new songs and covers of classics.  The new songs are generally quite good, with the best being “It’s Gone Before you […]

Scaling back the podcasts

The last couple years have seen a big drop-off in the number of books I read.  In 2008-2012, I read more than 100 books each year (this includes comic collections). But in both 2013 and 2014, I have come in well under that.  There are two reasons for this drop.  First, as the Executive Director […]

2014 in Review: Podcasts

I listen to a lot of podcasts.  I’m planning to scale it back a bit, but here are the podcasts I listen to, divided up by how frequently I listen to them: Exhaustively (I listen to every episode of these podcasts – they’re the first to get played): Judge John Hodgman (weekly) Jordan Jesse Go […]

2014 in Review: Music

This is the hardest review post to write, as I often don’t pay strict attention to the music I ingest, even as I’m listening to it.  Nonetheless, here are some notes about music this year. Pokey LaFarge by Bill Streeter (cc-licensed) New albums (by month acquired): The White Stripes, The White Stripes Passenger, All the […]

November Music Roundup: The Mountain Goats, The Real McKenzies, etc

[youtube:] The Mountain Goats,The Coroner’s Gambit The Mountain Goats early albums have a pretty distinct sound, and I’d say The Corner’s Gambit fits that profile pretty well.  These guitar-driven story songs with fuzzy recording technique feel sincere and whole and often heartbreaking.  I particularly like “Island Garden Song” for its hopeful hermit narrator, “The Coroner’s […]

Dad is Fat

Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan Jim Gaffigan is funny.  If you didn’t know that, get thee to Netflix! Gaffigan’s book, Dad is Fat, explores the weird, wild world of the father of five who lives in a two-bedroom apartment in New York City with his apparently amazing wife.  It’s a funny book full of […]

October Music Roundup: Pokey LaFarge, Haunted Halloween, and the new U2 album

[youtube:] Albums: Pokey LaFarge, Riverboat Soul Last month, I liked the Pokey LaFarge song from the “Now Hear This” compilation so much that I downloaded a whole album from emusic this month.  The songs on this album are all pretty similar (the way most bands are), but that’s part of what makes them great.  I […]

On Voices 7

An update of the audio book narrators I’ve read since the last On Voices post. Scott Brick – Foundation; In Cold Blood; The Book of Fate; The Great Influenza; Mystic River; Sea of Glory; Isolation Ward; A Stir of Echoes; The Crime Writer; Game of Shadows; Moneyball; Superman: The High-Flying History…; *Bill Bryson – Life […]