Decided that most of what I was hearing on the news to be depressing, I changed my morning routing in 2019 from starting my day with NPR to instead starting it with an audiobook. I decided to limit my listening to non-fiction, and, at least at first, I have focussed on science books.
Here is what I’ve been listening to so far, listed in no particular order, and I will continue to keep this updated.
Written by Siddhartha Mukherjee | Read by Dennis Boutsikaris
I love this book. It is a fascinating discussion abut what genes are, telling the story starting with human fascination with it, the slow steps of human discovery, the abuses of euthanasia leading to the horrors of the Nazis, and later discoveries.
An important distinction here is that the book is masterfully, excellently narrated. I would likely listen to anything that Deenis Boutsikaris reads.
Consciousness: Confessions of a Romantic Reductionist
Written by Christoff Koch | Read by Walter Dixon
I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book. It purports to tell th story of human consciousness, but what it really does is give an exacting, detailed history of the bran — how it evolved into existence in simple creatures, and developed into its incredible current state in humans. It may even discuss the nature of consciousness… but by the time I got three-quarters of the way through this book I had to fight hard to remain engaged.
There were two big problems. First: I bought a book about consciousness and then was regaled with chapter after chapter after agonizing chapter about brain evolution. Yes, it was very interesting — but that is not why I picked up this book. Second, and most importantly, the narration was the opposite of engaging. It was nearly monotone and required superhuman effort from me to give a damn. So much so that any book narrated by Walter Dixon is one that I will avoid.