Bibliotherapy Walkman: Audible Top 9 (2020)

One of the few positives over this bleak year for me has been the introduction to audiobooks courtesy Stephen Fry's mellifluous narration of one of my favourite books, the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

If the ability to 'read' while walking wasn't a tempting enough reason, the Audible subscription is extreme value-for-money as well (at the moment, especially in India).

- The first month and audiobook is free for everyone. (Prime members currently can avail a three-month trial offer)
- Post that, upon paying just ₹199/month, you receive a credit every 30 days which can be used to purchase any title from the Audible library, whatever its original price.
- Even if you choose to cancel your membership, your curated collection is yours to keep for life.

Plus, there are jaw-dropping sales happening every now and then, if you keep an eye out.

Over the past few months, I have built a library of nine eclectic picks narrated by the finest out there. This Delhi winter, a.k.a sloth season, I'm aiming to reacquaint myself with the pre-pandemic pleasures of long aimless strolls, with this lot for company.

If you also wish to treat your aural senses to a feast while on the move (or wherever else), grab your trial Audible subscription here and join in... :)


#1

Narrated by Stephen Fry | 5 hours, 51 minutes
add to audible library --> the hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy - douglas adams

I can endlessly wax eloquence about Stephen Fry, Douglas Adams and the greatest book in the galaxy, but I'd be repeating myself. To know more, check out...

(For a free-to-read sneak peek, scroll to the bottom of The Bibliophile's Guide to 42)


#2

3 hours, 56 minutes
add to audible library --> the hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy (the dramatised primary phase) - douglas adams

Interestingly, this massive cultural phenomenon originated as a radio show in 1978, exactly 42 years ago. No better time than now to experience it in its earliest avatar.


#3

Narrated by Stephen Fry | 71 hours, 57 minutes
add to audible library --> sherlock holmes - the definitive audio collection - arthur conan doyle

“The pairing of [Stephen] Fry and [Sherlock] Holmes is a bit of a marriage made in heaven. Fry’s Holmes is sharp-witted and mercurial, though not especially idiosyncratic: quite right, as he is merely being reported by dear old Watson. But Fry’s skill in phrasing and articulation over the whole 72 hours is beyond praise.

How he relishes a sentence like "The conversation, which had roamed in a desultory, spasmodic fashion from golf clubs to the causes of the change in the obliquity of the ecliptic, came round at last to the question of atavism and hereditary aptitudes." Every consonant in place, every phrase perfectly shaped and filled with sense.” ~ Simon CallowThe New York Times

Yes! Over 72 hours, Stephen Fry breathes new life into the legendary detective's casefiles. Listen to an excerpt below...


#4

10 hours, 54 minutes
add to audible library --> the sandman - neil gaiman

“For years, I’ve said that I would rather have no adaptation of Sandman than a bad adaptation.” ~ Neil Gaiman

I've been saving this aural treat adapted from the first three volumes of the epic graphic novel saga for a long, cold winter evening. Hopefully, soon enough.


#5

29 hours, 10 minutes
add to audible library --> A Promised land - barack obama

A Head of State who doesn't invite facepalms /eye-rolls at the mere mention of his name? Yes, please!!

Must-Watch!!

An author who has a kick-ass playlist to accompany his memoir? OH YES, PLEASE!!


#6

13 hours, 18 minutes
add to audible library --> pale blue dot - carl sagan

Immerse your mind in the infinite pool of wisdom called Saganism and Druyanism, brilliantly illustrated below by Gavin Aung Than (swipe sideways) ..


#7

17 hours, 56 minutes
add to audible library --> jeeves and wooster: the collected radio dramas - p.g. wodehouse

Six dramatizations of Wodehouse's novels featuring the dynamic duo, this one is highly recommended for all Plumheads. For those not familiar with the Master of Wit, check out...


#8

Narrated by William Roberts | 18 hours, 59 minutes
add to audible library --> A short history of nearly everything - bill bryson

One of my most beloved reads in recent years. Swipe sideways below for a few choice quotes...


#9

Narrated by Bill Bryson himself | 14 hours, 47 minutes
add to audible library --> the body: a guide for occupants - bill bryson

“I don’t know how much of this is pandemic-related [but] I’m really quite enjoying not doing anything at all. For the first time in literally decades I’ve been reading for pleasure and I’m really enjoying it. Whatever time is left to me on this planet I’d like to spend it indulging myself, rather than going out and trying to cover new territory.” ~ Bill Bryson

A fascinating look at the world within us, and if the above report is to be believed, the last of the many glorious offerings served to us by Mr Bryson over the years!


In total, these add up to over 190 hours of aural pleasure. Time to start walking away the blues, one Audible at a time :)

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Once upon a time, over the course of one billion seconds (or 31.7ish years), I followed the path glorified by society for any Indian kid getting good grades in school. Armed with a degree in Engineering and an MBA, I led a comfortable existence, earning decent paychecks in exchange for selling stuff; biscuits at first, followed by advertisements - for seven years. But being a bibliophile, someone who prefers books to people, a career in Sales wasn’t exactly my calling. So the moment I gathered enough confidence to do so, I quit! Three years have passed since then. Three years of living on my own terms, one day at a time, mostly without a plan, either 'On The Road' or 'At Home'. Three years, and counting…