I’ve always enjoyed reading, when the reading was casual and on my own, but I always despised school requiring me to have a book read by a certain date. I have been very fortunate that at an early age I read some rather advanced books. One of the earliest I recall is J.R.R. Tolkein’s, The Hobbit. Being so into the story of the Hobbit-folk and Bilbo’s travels that I quickly moved on to The Lord of the Rings. These two books alone have gotten me through numerous book reports and childhood assignments. I also tagged along with Arthur Dent in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and the occasional sci-fi novel such as Alan Dean Foster’s Sentenced to Prism.
Beyond those, other stories and books are a blur. I grew fond of Science Fiction short stories and have read compilations by Isaac Asimov and Arthur C Clarke, among others. But my reading stopped early in High School. I always collected Science Fiction compilations and occasionally thumbed through them. It wasn’t until I read about an offer for a free book to all “Urban Exploration” interested bloggers. I added my name to the list and a book was sent my way. I read, and enjoyed The Unseen.
Since then, I’ve been listening to a few podcasts from the TWiT.TV network. This Week in Tech, This Week in Google, Windows Weekly, Security Now and all the others. One of their sponsors in Audible.com and aside from the commercials, the hosts all rave Audible.com. I never thought that I would enjoy Audio-books, but I just finished my second. I’ve now read (listened to) more books in the past 6 months than I have in the past 5 years!
The first was “on Intelligence” by Jeff Hawkins. I listened to about 90% of it. Jeff is (or was) a bigwig at Palm and has some interesting theories on Intelligence and how the human brain works (and why Artificial Intelligence is so difficult). He goes on to explain how teh brain’s ability to predict the future defines it’s Intelligence. Not the long term or psychic future, but I’ll leave it to the book to explain his theories which are pretty interesting and with in my scope of knowledge of the subject, plausable.
The second book, I just sat around for 4 hours finishing was Dan Brown’s “Digital Fortress”. a Fiction novel about a cryptographers plot to take down the NSA. Things get out of hand when he turns up dead, after his plans have already been set into motion. It’s a great story that had me hooked early and even had me laughing and shouting at the radio as if I were watching on television.
Utilizing time driving to and from work, and out with friends, to time “on the can”, I made it a point not to go anywhere without my Zune, and it’s really paid off. I have a couple of books that I’m looking forward to. Some on Audio Book and others in hard-copy. Eventually I’ll review them: Larry Niven, Ringworld, Neal Stephenson, Anathem, and a few I can’t think of off the top of my head.
To share my love, and spread support for TWiT and Audible.com, You can take advantage of the deal I used to download the 2 audio books by visiting www.audible.com/twit2. You can cancel if you don’t want any others, or stick with them and get 2 books a month. They have other plans too, so definitely check them out.