Blackberry and “Everyone Worth Knowing”

product placementI’m thoroughly enjoying my current listen, “Everyone Worth Knowing” by Lauren Weisberger.

But I was quite surprised when one of the parties that the main character organizes is to promote the Blackberry mobile phone/pda from Research in Motion. Huh?

I thought… usually, authors use generic companies in books, just like they usually make up fictitious US presidents or Middle Eastern countries.

What is going on here?

I suspect that product placement has gone from movies and television into books now.

There was no particular reason for the party sponsor to be someone esoteric like Research in Motion.

It would have made more sense in fact for it to be a company like Apple, famous for its movie product placements.

I suspect that now we’re going to see characters drinking Snapple and visiting Home Depot. Or maybe not.

Maybe Lauren just loves her Blackberry.

Listening to TV Shows

tv showsAbout 15 years ago when I first started listening to audiobooks, I quickly went through my local library’s selection and found myself forced to listen to all sorts of dreck.

The area I lived in (Ithaca, NY) didn’t have a local audiobook store.

Listening to one particularly horrid collection of short stories, I found myself thinking about TV shows in audiobook format.

At the time, Cheers was a hit show on TV and was heavily dialogue-based. I imagined that a pure audio track from that show would still be fun to listen to. If I had already seen the show, so much the better.

With well-known characters, it would be easy to visualize the scenes regardless.

Recently I tested the approach and taped the audio for an episode of Seinfeld. Listening to it later in my car, sure enough, I enjoyed it immensely.

It seems like this would be a good area for audiobook publishers to get into. I suppose someone here should look into it as well.

I’m not sure how many shows this would work for. Certainly, I think I’d enjoy “Everybody Loves Raymond“. It would be too complicated trying to listen to “West Wing” or “CSI”.

I’m just writing about this here on the off chance that someday this sort of audiobook becomes a popular phenomenon.

So in case you, dear reader, are reading this ten years or so from now and TV track audiobooks are a big thing, it was MY idea. Erect a statue or something. At least a plaque…

Love and Gelato Audiobook Review

love and gelatoHi everybody, a couple of days ago I downloaded “Love and Gelato” audiobook by Jenna Evans Welch for free from this website and here’s my honest review:

This is a purely adolescent story, easy, uncomplicated, and written in fairly simple language.

Don’t expect much intrigue either. I literally immediately guessed what kind of secret the mother of the main character was keeping, and Lina’s numerous research efforts to penetrate this very secret were often illogical and unnecessary. It might have been easier if she’d read a little faster, or if she’d just decided to talk to her guardian earlier.

However, without all these adventures, Lina would not have enough time and opportunities to be charmed by a good guy who always supported her and was ready to do a lot for her. So I would have pined for a handsome model appearance (and completely empty inside).

What is the book about?

italyRaised by a single mother, a young American woman who did not know her father, after the death of the only close person is invited to Italy – to visit an old friend of her mother. She doesn’t know anything about this man, and his role in her mother’s fate is not entirely clear. He acts as if he considers Lina his daughter, and clearly wants the girl to stay with him, but does not push her.

Lina is tormented by the question of why her mother never told about her father and did not try to introduce them. He seemed like a really nice person, so why weren’t they happy together? She will get answers to all her questions largely thanks to her mother’s old diary, which accidentally fell into her hands, as well as thanks to her own research. And in parallel, he will realize the simple truths and find true love.

The solution will be simple. As I said, there will be almost no intrigues, but the book is very summer, light, permeated with love for Italy and the people who inhabit it, Italian architecture, Italian cuisine.

Extremely simple, but at the end quite delicious. And I wanted ice cream, Yes)))

Everybody Loves Raymond with my eyes closed

Everybody Loves RaymondI was on a flight last night and my eyes hurt, but I couldn’t resist trying the fancy new on-demand video system on the plane.

So I found an episode of ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’, started it up and promptly fell asleep.

What surprised me is that I woke up a few minutes later during a laugh-track crescendo, and started to listen to the show with my eyes closed. It was hilarious.

There were a few moments where it was clear something visually funny was going on, but I was too tired to bother looking. The show was plenty funny without the video.

I’m pretty sure that the reverse wouldn’t be true. Audiobooks from TV shows, it’s a start!

I could completely visualize the characters, right down to the expressions on Robert’s face. When the show was over, I tried to do the same thing with another tv show, some episodes of CSI.

But I fell asleep for real with that one. Of course, I don’t like CSI anyway.

Legend by David Gemmell Review

David Gemmell may not have become a classic of world fiction, but his main work – the so-called Drenai Series – has enjoyed a steady interest of fans of good fantasy for more than twenty years.

Already with his debut book, the British writer managed to prove his worth and gain a foothold in his chosen genre.

Over time, the “Legend” has grown numerous sequels and backstories, but Gemmell, unfortunately, did not create a real masterpiece. So it is recommended to start acquaintance with his work with the first novel.

In “Legend” Gemmell tells the story of the legendary warrior Druss, who is forced to defend a small fortress from the hordes of the enemy along with a small handful of allies.

The plot, frankly speaking, does not Shine with originality since the time of Homer and his “Iliad”, but it is a good classic and, most importantly, masterfully developed by Gemmell.

You read the legend with a zest, page after page, chapter after chapter: it was the fascination that kept the book from going unnoticed.

Moreover, the author forces the reader to sincerely empathize with the characters, seemingly doomed to defeat.

It’s a pity, but the audio version has lost a lot compared to the original source.

It seems that the text is the same, game lounge, and the reader, trying to keep the tone of the novel focuses on the characters – but still, it lacks sincerity to awaken in the listener a deeper feeling, in addition to interest in the development of the plot.

The result: excellent military fantasy with rapidly developing action, without frills, excessive congestion, and special depth.

Not perfect, but generally sound and high-quality release.
Highest quality audio and narration by Sean Barrett.

Where do Audiobook Listeners Come From?

thinkingI did internet research last week to see where people got their audiobooks. The results were a bit surprising.

I expected that most of the audiobook listeners would previously have been a) online, and b) paying for their audiobooks.

Much to my surprise, I found that the single largest source of audiobook listeners is from the Library system. Libraries and retail bookstores (Barnes and Noble) each account for about 35% of total audiobook listeners.

Some websites report that their customer base has twice as many former library users as former retail purchasers. And internet-based rental and sale were distant runners-up.

I’m still trying to figure out what this means. Are library users more dissatisfied with their source? Or are they such voracious listeners that they’re always looking for more?

Regardless, it would appear that audiobook websites should be targetting library users to get them to add audiobook subscriptions to their portfolio.

Trouble is there’s no easy way to get to them other than standing in the library, skulking behind the audiobook carousels. A dilemma.