Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Audiobook Review: Born to Run

Recently I have started subscribing to Audible. If you don’t know what Audible is, they are a company that produces audiobooks ‘for your listening pleasure’ that can be downloaded to your iPod or MP3 player. The books run the whole range from bestsellers to textbooks to classic literature to podcasts. I can’t remember the number of thousands of titles they report to have but it is a lot. I first heard about Audible through the Phedippidations Podcast as Audible is one of the sponsors of the show. I’ve been subscribing for a few months and every month I can’t wait to use my one credit for my next download. Of course, you can buy as many books whenever you want but my monthly subscription affords me one book per month. If you do it this way by paying about $16.48 CDN/month ($14.94 USD)you can get more expensive books for less because most books are one credit which is your monthly allotment for being a member.
So far I have listened to three books but have built up a wish list probably for the next year or so. I am hereby going to give you my 2 cents worth of reviews for the books I have listened to.

Audible Review: Born to Run by Christopher McDougall (Narrated by Fred Sanders)
What more can a person say about Born to Run that hasn’t already been said. McDougall writes an epic tome about his adventures into the world of ultramarathoning. Being an ultrarunner myself, this was no brainer for my first Audible book. I bought the book a few months prior to buying the audiobook. If you haven’t read the book McDougall shares with his readers his adventures into Mexico to run an ultramarathon with the legendary Tarahumara Indians as well as some legendary ultrarunners from this world too. People have described this book as the best book they have ever read about running. I couldn’t agree more. I won’t elaborate too much about how much I enjoyed the book but it has so many facets that appealed to me such as: the history of ultrarunning, the Tarahumara, barefoot running, the science of running and some really interesting characters.

Finding time to read books for a father of four is almost as challenging as finding time to run. When I get a chance to read it’s usually in some crowded noisy place like an airport or on a train. At times the book can get pretty ‘heady’ meaning there are some deep anthropological or physiological theories explained in layman’s terms but still somewhat elevated. McDougall gives full credit to the researchers and their work and thus gives as much background as possible before delving into the full on theories. That being said if you can’t read the chapter from start to finish the flow of thought is interrupted and you lose the gist of the theory. Step in Audible and a narrator coursing through the heady matter explaining it at a pace and meter better than you could ever read yourself. You can back up or speed forward if you want. Audible is perfect for some of my long commutes or long runs.

This is my favorite audiobook by far. I have listened to it start to finish a couple of times and listened to certain chapters nearly a dozen times. I never tire of the subject matter and always seem to pick something up each time though.
Bottom Line: Two thumbs up. Audible rules

1 comment:

  1. Very cool. I signed up with Audible a few months ago as well, as I heard it on a podcast. Very cool site.
    I have to read this book. I have heard others mention it, but it is never in the library. I will check it out on Audible now.