Since Audible finally let the UK catch up with the rest of Europe by giving us access to the Audible Plus catalogue, I’ve been browsing the free goodies that I can sink my teeth … ears into. Unfortunately, my main loves of fantasy and sci-fi (and for the most part horror) don’t have the greatest of showings on there. There’s a lot of books in those genres, but just nothing that grabs me.
I did, however, find a couple of horror collections and some nice-looking non-fiction goodness to get involved with. I decided to put these up now rather than in a haul post next month as I can see myself getting through a couple long before then. Also took advantage of the daily deal with the planets book.
If anyone uses Audible Plus and has come across any awesome little gems of fantasy, sci-fi, horror or historical non-fiction, please do let me know. This call for recommendations is pretty much the main reason for the post 🙂
Sir Derek Jacobi reads a collection of tales from the master of ghost stories, M. R. James, whose stories have for many years inspired the BBC’s A Ghost Story for Christmas TV adaptations. M. R. James was described as “a man who, in company with Sheridan le Fanu, is the best ghost-story writer England has ever produced”.
A second collection of tales from the master of ghost stories, M. R. James, whose stories have for many years inspired the BBC’s A Ghost Story for Christmas TV adaptations. This volume includes ‘A Warning to the Curious’, ‘The Stalls of Barchester Cathedral’, ‘The Mezzotint’, and ‘A Neighbour’s Landmark’.
”I hate every wave of the ocean”, the seasick Charles Darwin wrote to his family during his five-year voyage on the H.M.S. Beagle. It was this world-wide journey, however, that launched the scientists career.
The Voyage of the Beagle is Darwin’s fascinating account of his trip – of his biological and geological observations and collection activities, of his speculations about the causes and theories behind scientific phenomena, of his interactions with various native peoples, of his beautiful descriptions of the lands he visited, and of his amazing discoveries in the Galapagos archipelago.
Although scientific in nature, the literary quality rivals those of John Muir and Henry Thoreau. Charles Robert Darwin, FRS (12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English naturalist. He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors, and proposed the scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection. Darwin published his theory with compelling evidence for evolution in his 1859 book On the Origin of Species, overcoming scientific rejection of earlier concepts of transmutation of species.
By the 1870s the scientific community and much of the general public had accepted evolution as a fact. However, many favoured competing explanations and it was not until the emergence of the modern evolutionary synthesis from the 1930s to the 1950s that a broad consensus developed in which natural selection was the basic mechanism of evolution. In modified form, Darwin’s scientific discovery is the unifying theory of the life sciences, explaining the diversity of life.
Challenged by an expert who said it couldn’t be done, Joshua Slocum, a fearless New England sea captain, set out in April 1895 to prove that a man could sail alone around the world. A little over three years and forty-six thousand miles later, the proof was complete. This is Slocum’s own account of his remarkable adventures during the historic voyage of the Spray.
Whether Slocum was more accomplished as a writer or sailor is hard to say. His writing style is fast paced, witty, and exhilarating, an absorbing match to his harrowing adventures – adventures that included being chased by Moorish pirates off Gibraltar; escaping a fleet of hostile canoes; being submerged by a great wave off the Patagonian coast; an encounter with Black Pedro, “the worst murderer in Tierra del Fuego”; and foiling a nocturnal attack by savages by strewing carpet tacks on the Spray’s deck.
Captain Joshua Slocum (1844–1909) was the first person to circle the globe alone entirely by sea. This remarkable achievement made Slocum the most famous North American sailor of all time.
The millennium between the breakup of the western Roman Empire and the Reformation was a long and hugely transformative period – one not easily chronicled within a single volume. Yet distinguished historian Chris Wickham has taken up the challenge in this landmark book, and he succeeds in producing the most riveting account of medieval Europe in a generation.
Tracking the entire sweep of the Middle Ages across Europe, Wickham focuses on important changes century by century, including such pivotal crises and moments as the fall of the western Roman Empire, Charlemagne’s reforms, the feudal revolution, the challenge of heresy, the destruction of the Byzantine Empire, the rebuilding of late medieval states, and the appalling devastation of the Black Death. He provides illuminating vignettes that underscore how shifting social, economic, and political circumstances affected individual lives and international events. Wickham offers both a new conception of Europe’s medieval period and a provocative revision of exactly how and why the Middle Ages matter.
A companion book to the critically acclaimed BBC series.
The best-selling authors of Wonders of the Universe are back with another blockbuster, a groundbreaking exploration of our Solar System as it has never been seen before.
Mercury, a lifeless victim of the Sun’s expanding power. Venus, once thought to be lush and fertile, now known to be trapped within a toxic and boiling atmosphere. Mars, the red planet, doomed by the loss of its atmosphere. Jupiter, twice the size of all the other planets combined, but insubstantial. Saturn, a stunning celestial beauty, the jewel of our Solar System. Uranus, the sideways planet and the first ice giant. Neptune, dark, cold and whipped by supersonic winds. Pluto, the dwarf planet, a frozen rock.
Andrew Cohen and Professor Brian Cox take listeners on a voyage of discovery, from the fiery heart of our Solar System, to its mysterious outer reaches. They touch on the latest discoveries that have expanded our knowledge of the planets, their moons and how they come to be, alongside recent stunning and mind-boggling NASA photography.