Monday, August 22, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me

It was my birthday a week or so ago. I received excellent presents from my sister.

The first was Carry on Jeeves by PG Wodehouse read by Jonathan Cecil. I know I've said before that I don't need to own audiobooks, but there are exceptions. Carry on Jeeves is a classic. I now know I can now listen to it any time without being dependent on the fickleness of library collections. This will help me sleep at night.

The second present was The Penny Pollard Collection by Robin Klein read by Rebecca Macauley. I loved these books when I was in Grade 4. I actually thought I was Penny Pollard. (It turns out that I'm not though because I'm scared of horses.)

The third present was an Indonesian novel Obsesi. I used to learn Indonesian at Uni and to keep my eye in I occasionally read pot-boilers in Indonesian. This makes it sound like I'm more proficient than I am. I don't understand a lot of the words, but it doesn't really matter, I still get the idea.

So, this was an excellent combination of presents. But did my sister have to scour the streets of Melbourne wandering from shop to shop looking for the perfect present? No she did not. She just went to this shop. They specialise in audiobooks and foreign books. All future present dilemmas solved - something for everyone! Brilliant.

Sunday, August 7, 2011


I'm listening to The Demon Under the Microscope by Thomas Hager read by Stephen Hoye.

It is a ripper. It's a non-fiction book all about the discovery of the first antibiotic, sulfa. One of my favorite ever subjects at university was The Ecological History of Humans and was all about how diseases have shaped human history. And boy have they! The outcome of wars, colonisation, trade - all of these major forces have been at the mercy of diseases and our ability to deal with them.

So, as an old history and philosophy of science nerd I am flipping loving this story tape. My only criticism is that I find the narrator a little dramatic. He has a habit of extending and then falling away on the last word of sentences, which sounds like he's narrating a movie trailer. You can listen to a sample.