Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Three Cool Things, October 30

Three cool things you need to try:


Do you ever listen to audiobooks? They are a fantastic way to distract yourself from mundane tasks, such as washing dishes or raking leaves or driving. I like to listen to them as I drive back and forth into the city sometimes. They make a commute pass quickly, too, I hear. Lots of truckdrivers really enjoy them.

Unfortunately, audiobooks are very expensive to purchase. Your local library may have a good stock of audiobooks on CD, but over time they get worn out and scratched, or they may have titles in a series that are missing. There is another option. Through your local library (at least in Utah, I'm not sure about other states, but it's worth looking into!!) there is a great service called One Click Digital. Using it is pretty simple. 

  1. If you don't have a library card, go to the library and get one.
  2. You may need to ask your library for the website to access it from. I have cards at my local Tooele library and also at the Murray library. Both of these libraries have links to One Click from their library websites. These two are:
  3. Creat an account. You will need your library card number. 
  4. Go to the home page and start searching! There are a ton of audiobooks available for library users to check out digitally. 
Sometimes the titles you want aren't available (they have a limited # of copies and due to licensing agreements (or some such nonsense) they can only have so many checked out at a time) so you have to put things on hold, but I've never had to wait too long, and it's fun getting that email telling me my title is ready for checkout. 

Though the titles are somewhat limited, the catalog grows every year, and there are lots of books you haven't read before, so check it out!

P.S. If you live in Tooele County, but don't want to pay for an annual card at the Tooele City Library, Murray library's cards are free to all Utah residents. I love my local library, but getting a card at Murray might be a good alternative for you so you can access great online resources like this one and borrow books and movies without an annual fee! 

The podcast I've become most addicted to is NPR's "Ask Me Another". 
(Disclaimer: I'm not actually an avid NPR listener. There is a kind of... pretentiousness to a lot of their programming, which I find irritating. But I do LOVE this podcast.)

This quiz show is so much fun to listen to. It's fast-paced, challenging without being too difficult, peppered with funny topics and games, and features guest stars and funny people and quirky commentary and I really enjoy it a lot. I like it better than their more popular "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me." Though I do catch myself answering most of the contest questions in the form of a question, as though it was "Jeopardy". 

Oh, also Jonathan Coulton does the music and helps out with some of the games. He's this guy:
Also the guy who wrote this song for Portal (2?):

Sometimes I forget things. Okay, most of the time I forget things, especially what books I've read and what I thought of them. I read a lot. I read fast, too, so I sometimes don't retain much beyond a vague impression of a book. 

Me: "Oh, I liked such-and-such book- you should read it." 
Friend: "Really? What's it about?" 
Me: ""

Yeah. That happens more often than not. SO, I was very happy when, years ago, my brother told me about Goodreads, which is a fantastic website where you can track, rate and review all the books you have read, want to read, or are currently reading. (Click the links to see my pages.) You can also create "shelves" of books that you stopped reading because they stunk, or books that you most most most want to read. It's wonderful! I just love it. Here's a link to my main member page.

As readers of my other blog know, I like to write up reviews of books I read, especially if they are books I want to recommend to friends/family members. Which brings me to the second cool thing about this site: Friends! You can find your friends on the site and share book recommendations or just see what they thought of a book you want to read. 

The third coolest thing about Goodreads is that if you go to the dropdown menu "Explore" and click "Giveaways", you can enter to win free books. I've won two first read books. (I haven't read them... yet.)

The fourth cool thing about Goodreads is that some authors have blogs there that you can follow. I especially enjoy Brandon Sanderson's

Those are your three cool things this week. 
Happy Internet-surfing! 


Chris said...

The Old Man confesses that he listens to NPR quite often, but more often is playing audio books or dramatizations on his iPod. But there is one NPR show we never miss, the Saturday news quiz "Wait! Wait! Don't Tell Me." Hilarious. Our favorites of the rotating panelists are Paula Poundstone and Mo Rocca, but it's worth a listen (or podcast download) no matter who's on.

Steph said...

I confess, I've tried to listen to that and felt kind of lost. Maybe because I don't watch the news? I'll have to give it another go, though, because lots of people have recommended it to me.