Curiosity plus an audio book –> smarter

My new audiobook from SoundsTrue ships today (see below) and it got me thinking about the magical power of repeated, semi-passive audiobook listening.

You sit (in a car, even) doing something else and at the end of the first, second or tenth listen, you are transformed, seeing the world in new ways. I marvel at this every time it happens to me–a good audiobook is a game changer. A good non-fiction audiobook gets you in sync with the author, slowing down your consumption and making the ideas more real. And for many people, it's a lot less forbidding than cracking open a book.

Steven Johnson's new book, How We Got to Now, is a perfect example. Beautifully written and professionally read, it will make you smarter, more curious and demands that you listen to it again.

Jared Diamond's book, Guns, Germs, and Steel is a classic in the same vein. It's a magical book, worthy of its Pulitzer Prize.

If you're curious as to why a few parents are endangering their children and their community by failing to vaccinate their kids, Eula Bliss' even-handed On Immunity will gently and clearly help you understand the deep cultural and psychological stakes. [… an update on polio.]

All three books are about the collision of technology and culture over time, and they're all fascinating. My new project isn't in their league, but in response to requests to do an unscripted audio…

My new audiobook isn't an audiobook at all, it's an audio-only live recording, available as of today via download and on CD in a few months. I recorded it during a weeklong seminar in my office, and it's organized into short essays. 100% of my royalties go straight to Acumen, and it's produced by my favorite audiobook publisher, SoundsTrue. After listening to hundreds of hours of their inspiring work, it's a privilege to be part of what they've built.

[UPDATE: a new interview with Tami Simon at SoundsTrue.]