Whenever I cannot read a physical book or e-reader, I try to listen to audiobooks (for example, when i’m working out, walking around downtown, on public transit, etc.) A really good tip that I learned about, I think it was from Steve Pavlina, was to listen to any podcasts or audiobooks at more than 1x speed – that way, you are getting more ‘reading’ done in less time and if you practice long enough, you won’t sacrifice any comprehension.

Now I’m always in the process of adding more and more to my (crazy) growing collection so here are a few that I’ve been listening to recently (haven’t quite finished yet) and some of my thoughts or takeaways from the books:

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Well, I had to grab copies of the books after watching and thoroughly enjoying Crazy Rich Asians – the book is slightly different from the movie and while I think it is hard for a book to be condensed into a movie, I do think that the director did a good job of portraying the essence of the book in a movie format. I also started listening to China Rich Girlfriend and finished that one – I won’t spoil the books or any future movies with my summary but I can say that there is still quite a bit of craziness and rich-ness? ahead! Quite entertaining and I like the interspersed slang throughout the books.

Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain

Anthony’s voice is soothing, melodic and his writing is incredibly descriptive, taking you into different metaphors and analogies that can have you pausing and thinking or laughing out loud. For example, he has a story in here about how he first realized that he wanted to be a chef and it was accidentally walking in on a wedding banquet where the chef was ahem fornicating with the bride-to-be unbeknownst to the groom. Are you interested in learning about what it takes to be a chef? All the good and the bad? The secret (or I guess not so secret) shortcuts that chefs take with your food? Read or listen to this book.

The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy

I’m not sure if the whole book is worth reading and I’m about 3/4 of the way through with the same message that I’ll leave with you here: small repeated actions, done with purpose, clarity and direction, will yield tremendous results.

The Day that turns your life around by Jim Rohn

Back when I first learned about Jim Rohn, a fellow Toastmaster lent me her audio CDs and told me that she listened to Jim Rohn at least once a year if not more. I didn’t really know why at the time but after listening to this CD in particular, I can tell you that Jim helps to set your life straight. He lets you see things in a new and refreshing way. Everything from your health, relationships, finances – Jim has some great advice for you.

Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu

This is a fiction book which I normally wouldn’t listen to but a good friend of mine recommended it to me and I can say that it is a great listen so far. My friend spoiled it a bit for me but I can forgive him because it actually made me really curious about where the book would lead to. Three Body Problem starts out with some graduate students who are caught in the middle of a revolution but then starts to expand into space communications. I’m only part way through the first book but really excited to hear what happens next. The author is incredibly imaginative – for example, he talks about the hypothesis that if it is dark and you are in the woods with a gun, you should shoot at anything that moves. The reason is because whatever is moving may harm you if you do not harm it first. Weird I know if you don’t get the context but it will come apparent once you read the book.

Do you have recommendations for audiobooks? Please share them with me in your comments below.

About the author:

Wang is a management consultant, self-published author, Distinguished Toastmaster, co-host of a podcast, Udemy teacher, former Uber driver and all around hustler. He is also obsessed about books and he reads books so that you don’t have to. Want a list of Wang’s top ten formative books in his life and career? Interested in book summaries and recommendations every month? Subscribe to Wang’s e-mail newsletter!