Sep 3, 2020

Lovin' Life 3/9/2020: Audible....

I finally took advantage of my Audible credits a few weeks ago.  It was actually quite difficult trying to decide which books to download.  

I'm the kind of reader who creates a fixed vision of how characters should 'sound' and 'feel' in the fiction that I read.  Predictably, this sees me avoid most film and television adaptations of the novels I read.  I find myself disappointed when the characters on screen aren't a perfect fit for how my mind painted them to be.  Conversely, I've discovered a few novels based on films I've seen and enjoyed shaping the characters as I read based on what I remember from the screen adaptation.

Long story of navel-gazing short.   How does one choose a book to listen to when they're already a keen reader?  Is it wasting precious downtime listening to books that you've already read?  Should audiobook time be a way of exploring genres you don't usually read?  Should I be learning from what I listen to and only download fiction?

All that deliberation and this is what my first Audibles were...

Finding Freedom and Weirdo 2: Even Weirder for Master SSG.  I know.  After all of that I chose a book for myself that The Daily Mail has practically serialised with bonus photo editorials with each judgemental article.

I began listening to my Audibles this week and both presentations have exceeded my expectations.  I've a few criticisms of one book (I'm sure you can guess which one...) but listening to it remains a guilty pleasure.

Even Weirder!, WeirDo : Book 2 by Anh Do | 9781743622711 | Booktopia

Master SSG is a huge Weirdo fan.  The gross-out jokes, the gently humorous portrayal's of Weir's extended Asian family and Jule's Faber's on point illustrations that often get him laughing before he's had a chance to read the accompanying text.  

Weirdo x Audible is well worth a download if you've got primary school-aged children in the family.  Stig Wemyss does a brilliant job narrating and there's plenty of sound effects to add texture to the audio presentation.  Each book runs around half an hour when narrated, making them manageable for children to listen to on the school run for example.  I've enjoyed listening so much that I don't even mind that Master SSG has requested we listen to the recording on repeat all week.  Thankfully, there are a few more of the Weirdo series available on Audible and I'm intending to use my credits on a few of them.

Finding Freedom the Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand penned PR weapon that the Sussexes may or may not have endorsed.  Where do I even begin and why did I download it?

I knew this was going to be gushy, too much information and written in the manner of a PR release.  I knew all of this and I still downloaded it - justifying to myself that if I 'heard it on Audible' rather than read it in the tabloids it would somehow contribute to my literature quota for the month.

Whatever.  I pressed play and I can't seem to stop.

'Finding Freedom' on Audible is narrated by one of the authors, Omid Scobie.  I've only heard the opening chapters so far. They're very Meghan-centric which is why I'm finding it difficult listening to the very British, male Scobie narrating Meghan's internal dialogue.  Who knows, perhaps Scobie may pass the baton on to his co-author, Carolyn  Durand, later in the recording.  Sadly, I know I will still be listening to find out.

I can't fault the quality of the presentation, I just can't figure out why 'Finding Freedom' had to be written in the first place.  How can name dropping, awkward product placement and breathless 'insights' into the minds of Harry and Meghan delivered in the 'influencer' style further the cause of a young couple in a privileged position who have chosen to 'escape' the 'perils' of their privilege by entering a new world of privilege where they seem to be trading off the perks of the position and status they now sought to escape?  

Was the escape to Canada a mere diversion to the bigger prize of Los Angeles and all the potential fame and A-Listedness it has to offer?

Will the future be less 'visionaries for social justice' and more hustle for dollars and A-list status?

I know the answer to all of this. I know that the answer is dollar sign shaped but I cannot step away.  Instead, I keep listening on my way into and out of work.  I keep to the speed limit for each road and motorway I drive along, so focused I am on Scobie's voice.

'Finding Freedom' does have its moments though.  And those moments relate to memories and reflections on the late Princess of Wales.  She loved her sons and everything she did for them both was done with love and an ambition to give them a secure and loving upbringing.  She wanted them both to know their worth but also that their privilege commanded that they give their best.

And here endeth my moment on the soapbox.

Are you an Audible fan?  What would you recommend?

'Finding Freedom'.  Am I being overly dramatic?


  1. I'm with you re Finding Freedom - I haven't read it but don't understand why it needed to be written. (I do admit to reading some of the extracts in The Telegraph or The Times.) I find I can really only listen to non fiction & far prefer it read by the author. I used my initial credits on Bexcoming, by Michelle Obama, and Your Own Kind of Girl, by Claire Bowditch. I'm loving my audible subscription... Next on my list is Between The Stops by Sandi Toksvig.

  2. I love Audible but when I make awful choices or can't stand a book, or the narrator I return it for a credit. Right now I have 2 credits to spend and it wont be re Harry and Meghan. I do love listening to learn though and am listening to The Yield about Aboriginal language and more in NSW. Tara June Winch won a prize for it. We taught in areas out west so some of it has interest to me. Denyse.

  3. I had no idea Harry and Meaghan had a book! I'm putting that on my list. I've not done Audible yet. I tried once but had all sorts of problems with email addresses and already (apparently) having and Amazon account blah blah blah. So I got sick of trying to log on and have never gone back. Time for me to try again me thinks!


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