Alles wat Jan bezig houdt, interesseert en irriteert... en ook een beetje onzin...

woensdag, mei 17, 2023

Books I’ve read (and enjoyed) lately.


This book review is a bit different from my previous ones. You see, I signed up for a paid account at Audible, a service with a gigantic catalog of audiobooks.

So, instead of trying to read a book while lying in bed, waiting for that dreaded moment that I will blissfully doze off and nanoseconds later wake up with a painful nose because my Kindle (2019 model) landed on my face, I now just lie in bed, waiting for sleep to come and take me, while I… while away, listening to the soothing voice of the likes of Michael Lewis or John Lee.

About Audible

When I signed up for Audible, I didn’t fully understand how the subscription plan works. I assumed that as soon as I subscribed, I would have unlimited access to all audiobooks. This is not the case.

Basically, every month, a subscriber receives 1 credit”. All the books I’ve looked at until now have wildly varying prices, but all cost 1 credit” each in Audible. Which I like because having to consider the exact price would defer me from listening to a book, or it would make me think more expensive = better”, which is a silly thought.

So, every month I receive 1 credit that I can spend to buy one audiobook. Even if I cancel my subscription, the book stays on my shelve” in the Audible app. That is, for now, of course, until Jeff Bezos chances his mind.

But as an active subscriber, I also have unlimited access to other books in thePlus Catalog.”

And so, it happened that the very first book that I listed to didn’t cost me one credit at all.

As always, I try not to give any spoilers while still giving you a feel for the storyline.

April: Playing to Win by Michael Lewis.

Also Narrated by Michael Lewis, which is good because he has a pleasant voice. This little Also narrated by Michael Lewis, which is good because he has a pleasant voice. This little booklet describes how he (used) to travel all over the USA, almost every weekend, to accompany one of his daughters on training sessions and matches of women’s softball.

He realizes that although very few of these girls, his daughters, and the daughters of thousands of other families, make it into semi- or professional softball, the true money is made by the teams and various leagues that organize these matches. The youth sports industrial complex is a multi-billion dollar market❗️, and countless parents are sucked and suckered into it, thinking they are doing their kids a favor.

A little sad to think about, isn’t it? Moreover, this is just softball, but I’ve been told there are other sports out there that people throw money into as well… ðŸ¤”

  • $12.07 / £ 12.07 Recommend 3.5/5, it could have been more understandable for the uninitiated if more jargon had been explain.

April: Pushing ice by Alastair Reynolds

This sci-fi book takes place some decades into the future. This means that human technology is more advanced but very recognizable. Long story short: the crew of the Rockhopper under captain Bella Lind are capturing ice-comets to push them into earth orbit. If you ask me, that is a very uneconomical way to get clean water to earth, but whatever.

At some point, the crew is asked to fly to Janus, one of the moons of Saturn, because this moon by has started to move away from Saturn. Not only is it moving away, it’s speeding up, which is a clear indication that it is not a moon at all but a very ancient spaceship covered in a layer of ice.

The book mostly focuses on the crew, how to deal with living so isolated, away from humanity. And what do you do if you have an opportunity to get wealthy but also have a very slim chance of reaching earth and spending your hard-earned money? Give it to your family? Ignore the fortune you made? Get mad?

I noticed that some people were a bit salty’ about this book, maybe because it focuses more on humans and less on big alien spaceships than Reynold’s usual readers had hoped? I liked this book and would recommend it ðŸ‘

  • $16.99 / £2.82 / € 6.49. Recommend 3.5/5. If the storyline had focussed a bit more on the alien contacts and a little less on the interpersonal troubles, I would havel liked it even more.

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