Is An Audible Subscription Good Value? Can I Download The Best Audio Books?

They are also an excellent way of making the best audio books accessible to those who may find the written word difficult, for whatever reason.

Audible on an ipad with Beats headphonesIs An Audible Subscription Good Value? Can I Download The Best Audio Books?

Free Audiobook Download from Audible.co.uk

Summary

Product Name: Audible UK – an Amazon Company

What It Does:

An online supplier of audio books, currently offering in excess of 200K of the best audio books, ready for you to instantly download. You can listen via their Audible app on your mobile device or on your Kindle.

Price:

UK £7.99 per month subscription, or one off payments as you buy (Free one month trial is on offer, as at January 2017)

Pros:

Easy to use

High quality audio

Makes the best audio books accessible to your mobile device

Cons:

The Audible app is getting some poor reviews, hopefully this is a short term problem

If you don’t read very many books, you may not benefit from the subscription.

It isn’t your local library.

Summary:

If you have an Amazon account signing up is ridiculously easy. The book choice is vast, the best audio books with high quality audio, often by the author brings the stories alive. You can even listen to a free sample before deciding. Search easily filtered virtual bookshelves, sample and download your book choice in minutes. The whole process is smooth and customer focussed, recommended.

Buy Now

By using this link to source the product, I will receive a small commission from the supplier. This doesn’t affect the price you pay. It does help support my work and keep these reviews FREE to you, thank you.

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Product Name:

Audible – an Amazon Company

Free Audiobook Download from Audible.co.uk

What It Does:

An online supplier of audio books, currently offering in excess of 200K best audio books, ready for you to instantly download. You can listen via their Audible app on your mobile device or on your Kindle.

Audible is a part of Amazon if, like me, you steer away from the huge companies, be reassured on this occasion it’s a good thing. OK, so it isn’t your local library where you may be able to obtain free audio books. However Amazon has the buying power and the technology to do their job well. The choice of books you can download is vast, up to date and as far as the ones I’ve sampled so far, with excellent audio, often by the author themselves.

The Audible app is ideal for anyone who uses a smart phone or mobile device. Sadly at the time of writing the app had been through an update and is receiving poor reviews. Hopefully this will be fixed soon. Amazon want happy customers to return to them again and again.

If you don’t fancy the Audible app, you can use your Kindle / Android etc.

I recently signed up for the free trial at Audible UK. I’d been asked by Audible to review the process

(For transparency this post does include Affiliate links, but I am not being paid to write this post)

So how did the sign up go? Easy!

  • I signed in as suggested using my Amazon ID. It auto-populated a payment option for the potential subscription cost to be paid on my chosen card. It had brought this information through from my Amazon account. Don’t worry you have an option to use a different payment method.
  • The sign up process immediately accepted me. I was auto-redirected to the ‘shopping’ page, my account already given ‘1 Credit.’ You get a credit a month, which you can spend as you choose.
  • The best value is box sets or anything over the cost of your subscription, but I guess you will work that out all on your own. My free trial has resulted in me being the proud owner of a £23 Stephen King audio book, so no complaints there.
  • The prices are shown in cash money prices or credit prices, so it’s easy to see what you can afford.
  • As with Amazon the search is quick and easy, filters apply for best sellers, genres, authors etc.
  • If you are community minded you can join up and follow other readers, see what they are reading etc.
  • If not, just click and buy, then sit with a brew and listen to your book. Job done.
  • My wi-fi is quite quick anyway so my new 10 hour listening book downloaded within moments. I’d recommend doing it on wi-fi when possible, if you are on a limited data package, just in case.
  • From start to finish it took me less than five minutes. If you don’t have an Amazon account allow a bit longer to add all your payment and account information.

Price:

Current UK price £7.99 a month, starting with a free month’s trial. Drop it in your calendar so you don’t pay after the first month, if you want to avoid payments going out after the free trial.

Pros:

If you haven’t discovered audio books yet, try it or maybe give a gift of a subscription to someone. They are also an excellent way of making the best audio books accessible to those who may find the written word difficult, for whatever reason.

The audio format is ideal when out on a walk or on the treadmill. I’d be reluctant to recommend listening in a car or whilst driving as I think it can be distracting, but maybe it depends what book you are ‘reading.’ I’ve recently got into baking again and use that time to listen to both podcasts and audio books.

How about downloading a children’s book and listening with your kids? There are free books on there too, ideal for bedtime.

Cons:

It’s not your local library and it’s not paper books. But get over it. It makes books accessible, you can read many more books and currently it really is great value. You can still snuggle up with a paperback when the mood takes you.

The subscription could become onerous if you don’t read enough, so don’t allow it to be like your gym membership, paid out but ignored, OK? In fact, listen to the books at the gym you’re already paying for but not using, exercising brain and body all at once. Result!

It’s part of a big machine, Amazon so I encourage you to drop in to your local charity or book shop and buy the odd paperback.

Summary:

The audio book will not be going away any time soon, it won’t replace a paper book, just yet anyway, but it can help you to ‘read’ many more books.

It’s quick and easy to sign up, the best audio books are immediately available and the ‘credit’ each month, if you subscribe, can be a real bargain.

I’d recommend listening to the free sample, you may be listening to that voice for a LONG time, so make sure it doesn’t grate on your nerves.

Buy Now:

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By using this link to source the product, I will receive a small commission from the supplier. This doesn’t affect the price you pay. It does help support my work and keep these reviews FREE to you, thank you.

Book Review – Lasting Damage, Sophie Hannah

A classic storyline and mystery of a woman, is she going mad, is she already insane or, is it a set up.

Book Cover - Lasting Damage, Sophie Hannah

Book Review – Lasting Damage, Sophie Hannah

Title: Lasting Damage

Author: Sophie Hannah

Copyright Sophie Hannah 2011

Ebook

Blurb extract: She finds herself looking at a scene from a nightmare: in the living room, in the middle of the carpet, there’s a woman lying face down in a huge pool of blood.

Plot: This story is well told, a page turner definitely. It deals with a dysfunctional relationship. A classic storyline and mystery of a woman, is she going mad, is she already insane or, is it a set up. 

I’m guessing the publisher is aiming it at a female audience due to the white ‘chic lit’ looking cover. To be honest I nearly didn’t pick it up for that reason. However it’s not a chic lit read, it’s a murder mystery although not a strongly masculine one. No guns and car chases, although I think there was a fast car drive throughout one scene.

Characters: There are a few characters I didn’t get clear in my mind. It felt like a sequel, numerous characters had unexplained history. A couple of characters were in there for no apparent reason, unless their involvement is to link to other stories in a series. I thought they should be left out, or explained as I didn’t feel any connection to them. In short I didn’t care about these side characters at all.

Conclusion:  It’s a good fiction story, with an unusual slant on the ‘is she going mad’ theme. I can understand why 1 million copies sold. The last two chapters repeated the telling of the story so I sped read the last one, bit of a shame I felt the need to. I knew the ending but for some reason the author felt the need to explain it twice to two different characters, not sure why. (I’ve since seen this story is in a series of 10 books, I’m not sure why this isn’t shown on the cover though)

Recommended: I did feel as if I had missed a previous book, however this one still falls onto my list of recommended books, probably a ‘holiday’ read

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Book Review: No Time For Goodbye, Linwood Barclay

Very cleverly written, is she going mad or is someone trying to make it seem she is losing her grip? If so, who?

No_Time_For_Goodbye

Book Review: No Time For Goodbye, Linwood Barclay

Title: No Time For Goodbye

Author: Linwood Barclay

Copyright C Linwood Barclay 2007

Ebook

Audio Download

Blurb extract: …Why had her family disappeared? Twenty Five years later the mystery is no nearer to being solved…

Plot (fiction book):  

This story twists and turns, it’s an excellent page turner. At some points this book reminded me of the Hitchcock movie, Gaslight, a great film by the way. The questions about sanity, insanity and what they are, perception and reality. Very cleverly written, is she going mad or is someone trying to make it seem she is losing her grip? If so, who?

What happened? Is her memory reliable? This book takes the reader on a journey at just the right pace for the genre.

Characters: The main character is surprising sane at start of novel, a little unbelievably so to be honest. She should have more angst of teenage arguments, the guilt of a survivor, but is OK with it, at first.

If you accept that she must have had an amazing therapist, despite the trauma of her youth. Living with the nightmare scenario of not being able to make up with her family etc. then you’ll dive straight into a great story. 

She is what most people would call happy, but…and there’s the story.

As many teenagers do, she dated a ‘bad boy’ who makes an appearance later in the book. This character was a clever addition, I won’t give you details as I’d like you to read this book with all its surprises along the way.

Conclusion:  There’s a slightly predictable twist that I had worked out about half way through, but still a great holiday book.

In My Book Recommendations?: It’s a well thought out story, with a couple of unusual, if predictable, twists so yes I’d suggest reading it. It isn’t the best, but it’s worth the few hours it will take you to read it. The pace of the story will carry you through. I do like a book where you want to always read ‘just one more chapter’ and this is it.

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Book Review – The Son, Jo Nesbo

I read this in just over a day, it really grabs you and over you through the plot. I guess I’d describe it as ‘Gritty Scandinavian’.

The_Son_Jo_Nesbo_book_coverBook Review

Title: The Son

Author: Jo Nesbo

Translation: Charlotte Barslund 

Copyright: Jo Nesbo 2014 (for other copyrights see book)

Ebook

Blurb: extract: Sonny’s on the run…He’s been lied to his whole life…Sonny wants revenge…whatever the cost

Plot: I read this in just over a day, it really grabs you and over you through the plot. I guess I’d describe it as ‘Gritty Scandinavian’. The film is no doubt on the way. Nesbo draws his characters with a bit too much stereotyping, baddy’s are big lads with tattoos and guns.

I love a conspiracy theory, and this has one, although it’s a bit predictable in places. Other parts of the book left me a bit confused. It just left me with a feeling that he maybe should have read it again and edited it down one more time to remove any confusion. 

Characters: An odd character or two seems to have little purpose other than to add emphasis to personality of main character. It left me with a feeling I’d missed something, I didn’t know them well enough, was I supposed to? Maybe if he had taken out some of the surplus characters it would have been a tighter more concise story. I don’t know if he’s written it yet but I can see a sequel for at least one of the characters, maybe that’s why they are included with future plans in mind.

Conclusion: I’ve always been a bit cynical about this author as he appeared shortly after the Stieg Larsson genius. Also I tend to avoid the best seller lists. I’m not as drawn in to Nesbo’s work. It is a quick fairly predictable read, predictability is not always a bad thing, we buy and read what we know will please us.

Recommended: A couple of really obvious scenes you can see coming from the start, but still on my book recommendations list. It’s the ideal great book to read in between some heavier classics, as a beach read for me so did the job.

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Another of my book reviews…

Jo Nesbo’s profile

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Book Review – Robert Crais – Hostage

It’s a good read for holidays, a page turner, but nothing unique. I guess though that predictable is a strength in itself. You know what you are picking up from the shelf, and Mr Crais knows his craft.

Book Cover Robert Crais Three Great NovelsBook Review

Title: Hostage

Author: Robert Crais

Copyright: 2001 Robert Crais

Ebook 

Blurb: This short extract of the blurb gives you the idea behind the story. “When a convenience store robbery goes horribly wrong, the teenage gang responsible make a run for it…the gang have chosen the wrong accountant to take prisoner” 

Plot: It’s a clever idea, not often pursued in TV cop dramas. This refreshing take on the plot of baddies v cops with the added extra of gangsters in between was quite a good idea for a thriller, the use of children as added vulnerability worked well.  This novel seemed like a first draft in some ways, although the plot concluded well. The gangsters when they arrived seemed like a bit of an after thought, I think I would have preferred a more simple two way hostage situation than a three way plot which suffered as a result of the added dimension. There were gangsters mentioned who were really not necessary, less is more etc.

Characters: I don’t mind the old formulas, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, as long as they are occupied by solid sympathetic characters. One of the baddies was chilling and I would have liked his part to be bigger at the expense of some of the other minor characters. If one or two of the extra characters were missing and the plot tightened up as a result this may have given space for more detailed characterisations. Sorry Mr Crais, it just felt rushed, with people added in to make up numbers. The characters were described well, in the main, however maybe there were too many, maybe it was hard to give them all a fully formed back story. The strongest one seemed to be a teenage girl, I won’t spoil the plot by saying more about her.
I prefer well rounded characters, likeable or not, someone you root for.

Conclusion:  Well, finally I completed the third book in my huge airport size book. Those who don’t like weight lifting can buy a more modest size version! The previous two stories LA Requiem and Demolition Angel introduced me to Mr Crais’ work, I hadn’t read this best selling author before choosing this book. I am now used to his style of writing and immersed myself in this story immediately.

Recommended: It kept me turning the pages, although I felt like the story could have been a lot deeper. It’s a page turner, not one of the best books I’ve read and nothing unique. I guess though that predictable is a strength in itself. You know what you are picking up from the shelf, and Mr Crais knows his craft. I’m far from publication of the number of best sellers under Mr Crais belt, so who am I to comment? Sometimes I feel let down by great writers who produce work that is just OK and not awe inspiring.

If you pick it up and read it, as one of my tentative book recommendations let me know what you think of his work, this book in particular?

Please feedback to me in the comments or via Twitter or Facebook.

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LA Requiem

Demolition Angel

Robert Crais Amazon introduction

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