Building notes, projects, and occasional rants


Due to lack of time (wife, 1.5 kids and a dog, and some hobbies), is almost my only source of books (apart from technical ones).

In the last month I listened to three books: Enders Shadow, The Fifth Elephant, and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.

I listened to Enders Game one or two years ago, and The Speaker of the Dead last year, and I wanted to continue exploring that story a bit more. I found Enders Shadow a very good book. Although I felt Bean's capabilities stretched a bit in some places, the story is a nice complement to Enders Game, and if you liked that one, this will not disappoint you. Recommended.

I had already listened to The Fifth Elephant beginning of last year, but I felt like doing it again because I picked up another Pratchett book while staying with Pedro in November during LPW. I would love to see more Terry Pratchett books at, but for now, this is the only one there.

But all is not lost. The UK Audible site has 35 Terry Pratchett books! So I'll be trying to figure out if I can move my account from the Audible US to the Audible UK site, or if I close the US account, will I lose my 100+ books and audio shows I already own from the US store.

The last one, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, I read it on carbon-based-medium last summer, both adult english and portuguese versions. It's by far my favorite book of the six. I was curious to see if the Audiobook was nicely done or a letdown, so I pre-ordered via iTMS. It was not available on Audible, only iTMS.

First things first: I wasn't able to play it on my 2G iPod, I would start on the first part, and it would skip until the last one, don't know why. I had to listen to it with the Shuffle I own, and listening to audiobooks with a Shuffle is not something I would recommend to anyone. If, for some bizarre reason, the Shuffle forgets where you left off (and it does, several times), you are stuck and have to fast forward patiently to the place where it left off. Not good. And yes, for more than one occasion, I was tempted to go out and buy a Nano or a iPod Video. Fortunately (for me) this is Portugal, there is a magical barrier worthy of the late Dumbledore that prevents Apple stuff to appear in the stores.

The reading was done by Stephen Fry, whom is also the narrator of other books that I have (like The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy), and with its nice british accent, slow and clear voice, the book really comes to life, and I think that anybody who likes HP will not be disappointed with the result.

One of the things I liked the most was that he doesn't rush to the end of the book. The pace is very nice and slow, giving you time to create a mental picture of the environments and situations that arise. This is the most important part about audiobooks and the cabon-based counterparts: with the latter you can lift your eyes and imagine what you just read and savour it for a bit before moving on. With a audiobook, unless you actively pause the stream of words, you don't usually get much time to picture the scene. I sometimes have to go back in the recording to re-listen to some segment that I missed because my mind wandered someplace else. It takes a bit getting used to it.

I wont buy the other 5 books, also available on iTMS, because I already own them in various paper editions, and they are not my favorite. But if you like HP, I would recommend that you pick the one you like the most from iTMS and give it a try.

Next steps: try and change my Audible account to the UK store, I have 35 books waiting for me there. Also read a couple more from the Ender saga.

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