Jumat, 14 September 2012

How Audiobooks Can Change The Way You Experience Literature

Audiobooks are CDs or even MP3s that permit users to listen to spoken word recordings of their favorite novels. At one time these were most commonly known as books on tape. It just does not make sense to call them that now that they can be played from an iPod or through a disc player. Though this type of media has always been popular in academic settings for people of all ages, it is now becoming a common type of "reading" for all variety of literature and all settings.

Audio books come in a few different formats. You can select the unabridged version or the abridged version. When a book is abridged it has been made shorter to make it a briefer read, and audio books are like this to shorten the recordings. Not everyone loves the abridged versions since they enjoy the story in its original glory and strength. Some say that the abridged story isn't missing much at all in terms of presenting all the major aspects of the story in proper detail.

Unabridged audiobooks are definitely the best choice among true fans of literature. These are full readings of the original text. Nothing is taken out of an unabridged version, so there is no argument about the necessity of removing details from a novel. The only real downside to unabridged audio books is the occasional extra recording costs. However, if you want to listen to the most accurate depiction of a book that is available in spoken word, then this is the route you need to take. Which version you are getting is generally displayed clearly on the front of the package.

Millions of literature lovers and casual readers alike have turned to this form of novel. It is especially popular with those who travel a lot as well as readers who may have weak eyes from age. Nearly all popular books are marketed this way now. Libraries, bookstores, music shops, as well as other retailers offer audio versions of your favorites. The newest way to get your audio books is by downloading them from the internet. Now you can upload a spoken word text directly to your MP3 player for easy access, no matter where you are.

Audiobooks are a fantastic option for busy readers who want access to their favorite pastime without having to sacrifice other parts of their life. Listen to your favorite tales from anywhere you are at anytime you choose. No matter how you decide to listen, everyone loves to be read to.

An Introduction to Downloadable Audio Books

An audio book is a recording of a reading of a text. This recording may be the full text (unabridged) or of an abridgment of a book, meaning the publisher has taken away parts of the text to shorten the recording.

Audio books are not new, rather they can be traced as far back as 1933 when J. P. Harrington started recording oral histories of Native American tribes. In the late 1970s they began to be distributed on cassette tapes. CD technology increased their popularity by making them more convenient and offering a cleaner and crisper sound. Technology has undergone another change in recent years with the advent of downloadable audio books.

Downloading and listening to audio books is a straight-forward process. In most cases, it is as simple as finding the one you want and then clicking your mouse to commence the download. Once it has finished downloading, you can then transfer it to a MP3 player, personal digital assistant (PDA) or smartphone for listening on the go. Or, you can transfer (i.e. "burn") the content to an audio CD or simply listen on your computer.

Surveys of listeners have found the most popular place to listen to books is in the car. Titles can be played on your car stereo system with CDs or by connecting your listening device (e.g. iPod) to the stereo via a FM transmitter or the AUX input.

The quality of audio available for download online can vary. When searching online look at the bit rate as it is the best pragmatic measure of quality. Put simply, the higher the bit rate, the higher the quality. Audio encoded at 32 kbp is usually more than good enough. Encoding at 64 kbps is more crisp and clear, but you need to consider the hard drive space and capacity on your listening device.

One issue to consider is Digital Rights Management (DRM). Audible and iTunes, the two largest online retailers, sell DRM-protected audio books which means the titles are embedded with usage limitations. If you dislike DRM and want more DRM-free content made available the best thing you can do is support companies that sell DRM-free media such as eMusic and We Read 4 You.

If you're interested in trying audio books, a good place to start is a free site such as or a large retailer such as which offers a free trial.

To read more about this topic visit Audio Book Downloads, a blog which can has a simple mission: to help you find the very best downloadable audio books available on the internet.

The Bestselling Authors of the 1950's

People love to read books by best-selling authors. Once an author makes it onto the top selling list it seems that they will make it on the list at least once again. Just who are the authors who made it onto the annual Top Ten Hardcover Book List for the 1950's?

Using the Top Ten Books of each year in the 1950's as calculated by Publisher's Weekly, here are the authors who made it onto the list more than once.

Francis Parkinson Keyes was at the top of the Best Selling List more than any other author in the 1950's. Her first book on the list was Joy Street in 1950. Her other books on the list were Steamboat Gothic (1952, The Royal Box (1954), Blue Camelia (1957), and Victorine (1958).

What is fascinating about Keyes (rhymes with skies) is that she published at least 60 books starting with The Old Gray Homestead in 1919. Her historical novels gradually showed her increasing interest in the Roman Catholic religion. Keyes husband was a former Governor of New Hampshire and served in the US Senate for 25 years of their married life.

She published 10 other books during the 1950's that did not make it onto the Top Ten List for that year. One of the reasons that she might have been on the best-selling list so many times is that she may have been the author who wrote the most books!

Daphne du Maurier had 3 books that showed up on the Top Ten Best selling List of the 1950's. In 1952 My Cousin Rachel was a best-selling book that was later made into a movie and a serial TV movie. In 1954 Mary Anne was on the top of the charts followed by The Scapegoat in 1957. The Scapegoat was also made into a movie.

Daphne wrote over 25 other books and had 3 other books published during the 50's, all of those books being collections of short stories. Her first book was published in 1931 and her last one was published in 1980.

Edna Ferber had 2 books on the list, and both books were made into block buster movies. Giant (1952) was made into movie starring Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor, and James Dean. This was the movie that James Dean was filming when he died. Ice Palace (1958) was credited for helping Alaska achieve statehood.

Ferber wrote at least 32 books including several that were made into musicals. Giant and Ice Palace were 2 of the last 3 books that she published.

Francoise Sagan was a French author who wrote her first book, Bonjour Tristesse (1955) while on a break from school. Her second book followed closely in 1956 with A Certain Smile. Both books were made into movies. Sagan wrote 20 other novels and 3 short story collections. She was also a playwright with 9 plays to her credit.

Frank Yerby had four books on the top-selling list in the 1950's. Only one - The Saracen Blade (1952) - was adapted to film. The others were Floodtides (1950), A Woman Called Fancy (1951), and Benton's Row (1954). Yerby was the first African American to write a best-selling novel and to have a book purchased for screen adaption. He wrote at least 33 novels and had 11 books published in the 1950's.

Herman Wouk wrote one of the books that was on the best-seller list for a long time - The Caine Mutiny (1951). That book was adapted into a highly rated movie starring Humphrey Bogart. His other book that appeared on the top of the list was Marjorie Morningstar in 1954. That book was also adapted and starred Gene Kelley and Natalie Woods.

Wouk is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author of over twenty works. He won a Pulitzer Prize for The Caine Mutiny.

John O'Hara has two books on the top list the first being Ten North Frederick (1955) followed by From the Terrace (1958). Both books were adapted to film. Ten North Frederick starred Gary Cooper and From the Terrace starred Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward.

His writing credits include at least 20 novels, two screenplays, two plays, and several newspaper and magazine columns and articles.

Kay Thompson was a children's author whose books sold enough to make it to the top of the Fiction Best Selling List. Her books are about Eloise, a six-year-old who lives in the Plaza Hotel in New York with her mother and her nanny. Eloise (1956), Eloise in Paris (1957), and Eloise at Christmastime (1958) were all at the top of the list. Eloise at Christmastime has been made into a TV Movie while Eloise in Paris will be released in 2012. Thompson was the godmother of Liza Minelli, and it is said that these books are based on her antics.

Battle Cry (1953) and Exodus (1959) were best selling books for Leon M. Uris. Both books were adapted to film. Battle Cry was based on his experiences during WWII. Uris actually helped write the screen play for the movie that was more popular with viewers than the critics. It is said that Uris sold the movie rights to Exodus so he could foot the bill for his research into the novel.

Mika Walteri is a Finnish writer whose books have been translated into more than 30 languages. The Adventurer (1950) and The Wanderer (1951) were his first two books on the best selling list for the 50's. The Egyptian (1954) was adapted to film and Marlon Brando was considered for the lead. After he turned it down it eventually went to a newcomer.

Patrick Dennis hit comic payday when he wrote the novel Auntie Mame (1955). This successful novel was followed up with Around the World With Auntie Mame in 1958. Patrick Dennis is a pen name for Edward Everett Tanner who based his novel on his own Aunt Marion. The book was adapted and the film starred Rosalind Russel in a hilarious film.

Robert Ruark's novel Something of Value rose to the best-selling list in 1955. This novel is about the Mau Mau rising in colonial Kenya and the movie starred Rock Hudson and Sidney Poiter. In 1959 he also published Poor No More and that was on the top of the book list too. He wrote three other books during the 1950's that were published, but did not make it to the top 10 books of the year.

Taylor Caldwell wrote over 40 novels. Eight of her works were published during the 1950's with two making them to the best-selling list for a year: Never Victorious, Never Defeated (1954) and Dear and Glorious Physician (1959). Dear and Glorious Physician is being adapted to film in 2012.

The Silver Chalice (1952-53), The Tontine (1955), and Below the Salt (1957) were all written by Thomas B. Costain. The Silver Chalice was made into a movie starring Paul Newman. This was his first starring role, and he has since apologized for being in the movie because he felt it was bad.

Find out more about the plots of these books in Books Into Movies

Linda Reavill enjoys writing about movies and books. You can check out other reviews at

Review of Nevada Barr's Burn

Anna Pigeon, a ranger for the National Park Service, is in post-Katrina New Orleans visiting a friend and wondering about one of her friend's tenants. Like any law enforcement official she is never truly on vacation and her curiosity finds her in the middle of an organization that caters to the sickest of criminals, the pedophile. Putting both her relationship with her husband and her job with the park service on the line, she plunges into this ugly world of child abusers.

This is the sixteenth book in the Anna Pigeon mystery series. I often have difficultly with the flow of Barr's writing style and find myself rereading a line to make sure I understand it correctly. At other times she can be almost poetic. However, it is the descriptions of the national park surroundings that are the main draw to her books. Her last attempt at writing about an urban park in Liberty Falling was one of my least favorite of her books in this series, but in New Orleans she has learned to stretch her writing abilities to a new level. My husband commented that he thought Burn was her finest mystery book to date.

Once again Anna is in an urban setting and meets an interesting, wounded character, much like she did in Hard Truth with the wheelchair bound mountaineer. Anna continues to make an effort to come out of her hibernating, nature-loving world and become more involved with other humans. Her observations on humanity are presented in the same way she describes any other animal behavior. I often feel that in her eyes humans, more than any other animal, have the most to account for when it comes to how they treat their own.

Some people may be surprised at the dark nature of the crimes in the book. It is not for the young or for those who like cozies. But in spite of the uncomfortable subject matter, I applaud and appreciate Barr's growing abilities to draw more complex characters, to use more dialogue and to be more descriptive in her language. She still leaves us wanting to know more about Anna and what makes her tick and for all these reasons, I recommend Burn. If you have never read her, you may want to go back to the beginning in Track of the Cat and get better acquainted not only with Anna Pigeon, but with the beauties that lie in our national parks.

Copyright 2011 by Linda K. Murdock, the author of Mystery Lover's Puzzle Book, Crosswords with Clues from Your Favorite Mystery Series. Her book is a mini-anthology that includes reviews of 29 award-winning writers, who do mystery series. A check-off list of all the series' titles, along with a puzzle for each series, are included. See a sample crossword and learn more at

Ex Back System Review

Ex Back System written by Brian Bold and launched on January 01, 2010, is a special-purpose guidebook addressed to dating beginners and aimed at helping them endure post-breakup stage. The book reveals step-by-step strategy of actions meant to get your ex back. The author has built up the Ex Back System plot using four "rehabilitation boxes" - Recession, Reconstruction, Reconnection, and Reconciliation. The newbies are sure to get a thorough and precise instruction set on what should and what should not be done when break up is already an inevitable reality.

Ex Back System reviews the first reaction to the breakup news as a vital point for starting building up your further movements. In order to reach the desired aim you must be strong, steady and reasonable and avoid momentary impulses for which you'll be regretting later. The author doesn't approve of pressing or aggressive behaviour. He is also very convincing in talking you out of the "dumped victim" role. Your moaning is more likely to erase all the chances of ever getting her back. Instead, Bold recommends taking a time out. In a clear and readable style the author explains how to direct your forces into rebuilding the "mistaken" part of yourself and become a better person.

The book also refers to one of the most "popular" reasons of being suddenly told by your girlfriend it's over. What's the decent way to behave when you found your girlfriend dating another man? How to act with no harm to your dignity and self respect? And what are the most effective tools to sweep the rival off your way and win your ex back? Answers to these questions can be found in another chapter of the Ex Back System.

The beginning of the book is very good. The content is comparatively weak closer to the end. However, let's get a clearer idea about cons and pros of this product in a brief Ex Back System review.


The practical part described in the second half is a little bit conservative and out-of-date. Bold offers a long and persistent way of rational negotiations that would result to the reunion with your ex in their positive outcome. This approach is hardly to be practiced widely but still can be useful for those preferring the old style.


The first half of the book contains excellent advice on what should not be done when encountering a breakup. It clearly explains the techniques of self-improvement you should follow to appear to your ex in a new light and make her re-estimate your relationship.


The first chapters of the book offer a truly good piece of advice. Especially beginners will pick up lots of useful ways to get their ex back in no time. As to the second part, it's a little bit outdated for the followers of modern lifestyle, yet can be appreciated by guys who prefer to surpass sharp angles and choose the longer but safer way.

Have a look at more Ex Back System Review in Read a thorough analysis of all the parts of the book in a detailed Ex Back System editor review.

To walk the right way you must take the right start. Download the Fast Track Manual here and discover how you can succeed with women in months, not years!

100 Years of Solitude: A Book That Brings You 100 Years of Life

Gabriel Garcia Marquez's 100 years of Solitude (Spanish: Cien aƱos de soledad) is a very complex book. This is actually what makes the book really interesting for us to read. The complexity lays on the various problems it describes, the time of the story that lasts from 1st until 7th generation, the various conflicts of feeling, the magical realness that makes us wonder if the story is about magic or reality, the unpredictability of the story, and the puzzle that only can be answered at the very end of the story.

This novel, whose writer won Nobel Prize in 1982, is exactly wonderful. It consists of both tragedy and comedy that make you laugh in one page and cry in another. In one way many plots and scenes are really real, but if you think about them deeply, it will feel weird and impossible. The most entertaining about this book is that it has many never-ending, surprising weirdness such as the ascending of Remedios, blood that can move miles and become somewhat 'warning' of someone's death, and a man that is followed by butterflies everywhere he goes.

100 years of solitude is an epic story which tells us about the founding of Macondo by Jose Arcadio Buendia, his wife Ursula Iguaran, and other 19 families. Macondo lies in the great swaps surrounded by mountains and coasts. At the beginning of the story, Macondo is a very happy village, like what Gabriel describes, "it was a truly happy village where no one was over 30 years of age and where no one has died".

As time goes by, many things happen--tragedy and comedy, laugh and cry, birth and death. The story begins from the 1st generation of the Buendias, Jose Arcadio Buendia and Ursula Iguaran; through the 2nd generation, Jose Arcadio, Col. Aureliano Buendia, and Amaranta; through the 3rd generation, Arcadio, Aureliano Jose, and 17 Aurelianos; through the 4th generation, Remedios The Beauty, the twins Aureliano Segundo and Jose Arcadio Segundo; through the 5th generation, Jose Arcadio (II), Renata Remedios (Meme), and Amaranta Ursula; through the 6th generation, Aureliano Babilonia (Aureliano (II)), until the final, Aureliano (III) as the 7th generation.

In more than 100 years, the people of Macondo have witnessed many huge happenings, starting from the arrival of gypsies (one of whom is Melquiades, a person who finally becomes the friend of the Buendias), the civil war commanded by Col. Aureliano Buendia, the arrival of the gringos who build banana company, the arrival of railroad, telephone, and electricity, the arrival of unexpected plagues and natural calamities, until the last, the 'taifoon' which brings an end to the village that lives in solitude for 100 years.

In Columbia, where the story takes place, machismo or excessive masculinity plays a great role in the society. Machismo has made some discrimination towards women. According to Leyson (2001), machismo gives great value on female virginity. Other repressions towards women, especially for sex liberation, are Western culture and Christianity (Roman Chatolic). Gabriel shows in his novel how machismo has held the society very strongly, especially in ideology towards virginity of women as the assessment of moral value. He tries to break the ideology by giving 'sexual liberation' to women.

Here, sexual liberation seems to be the symbol of freedom. The sexual strength of Pilar Ternera also symbolizes the power of women. This novel, not like any other epic stories, has a woman, a very progressive woman, as the hero. And her name is Ursula Iguaran. Maybe Gabriel is a feminist, I do not know. But still, however free women are in expressing their sexual desire; they are still the ones who get bad effect of this. Col. Aureliano Buendia who has 17 children with 17 one-night-stand women is never considered a bad guy or a whore, while Pilar Ternera who sleep with guys is called a bitch.

I read this book a couple of months ago and since I opened the 1st page, I could not stop until I read the last line of the story. One sentence that I like and I think is unforgettable from the story is 'The 1st in line is tied to a tree and the last is being eaten by ants'. The sentence is simple but magical, I think. One thing that I realized very late is that Gabriel Garcia Marquez is also one of the names of minor characters in the novel. Talking about my most favorite character, of course it is Melquiades. Subjectively, it is because he ever goes to one place in Indonesia (If you want to know, just read the book by yourself). Also, he is such a key of the story, the missing piece of a very huge puzzle of life. I just can give you one suggestion: read this book and spend your one-hundred-year life to finish it!

'How to Train Your Dragon' Characters - Differences Between the Movie and the Books

"How to Train Your Dragon" the movie is a completely different beast to the series of books of the same name. In fact, with a few name changes they would be almost unrecognisable as related. The plots are substantially different, though the movie could possibly operate as a much earlier prequel to the books if the names were changed.

There are characters who appear in the movie but not in the books vice versa. There are also characters who are substantially different in the movie to their original incarnations.

Characters who appear for the first time in the movie

Astrid Hofferson is Hiccup's love interest and primary sidekick. She essentially replaces both Camicazi and Fishlegs from the books, although Fishlegs does appear in the movie.

Ruffnut is Tuffnut's fraternal twin and provides the welcome addition of another female character in the movie. Initially she is not fond of Hiccup, but as his skills improve she becomes quite a fan and even begins to flirt with him, until Astrid stops her.

Important characters who appear in the books but not the movies

There are actually a lot of characters who only appear in the books, as you would expect given there are several books and only one movie. Some of the important ones are:

Camicazi is a Bog Burgler and doesn't appear until the third book, How to Speak Dragonese, when she is captured along with Hiccup and Fishlegs by the Romans, and helps Hiccup engineer the final part of their escape. She then becomes Hiccups's main helpmate in the fourth book, How to Cheat a Dragon's Curse, as Fishlegs is at home sick. She is replaced by Astrid as the main female character in the movie.

Dogs Breath the Duhbrain is Snotlout's main offsider in the books but doesn't appear in the movie.

Characters who are changed for the movie

Fishlegs is hiccups best friend in the books. He is weedy and asthmatic and just as unpopular with the bigger boys as Hiccup. In the movie he is chubbier and bigger than Hiccup and is accepted okay by the other teenagers. He is just a minor character, effectively replaced by Astrid as Hiccups's main offsider.

Toothless is Hiccup's hunting dragon in the books, which means he would not be big enough to ride even if he were full size. As it is he is the smallest hunting dragon anyone has ever seen. He is an emerald green Garden Dragon (as in 'garden variety'). In the movie he is the rare Night Fury, a jet black dragon who is big enough to carry Hiccup and Astrid together on his back while flying.