I love a good, immersive audiobook experience. The longer the better. But recently, my attention span took a deep dive. Call it the challenges of everyday life. Nothing especially dramatic was going on, I just couldn’t face my normal length audiobook. Go figure.

Thus, over the course of a few days I listened to four short audiobooks. Rather than review each individually (and clog up your email with notifications), I’ve combined them here.

The Other America: A Speech from The Radical King

Giving this 5 stars for content, 3 stars for performance, with an average of 4 stars overall. This is an excerpt from The Radical King.

Every word in this short audiobook is important. Martin Luther King, Jr. discussed topics that, sadly, are still vital to understand today. Perhaps that goes without saying, but let’s say it. Hypocrisy, injustice, lack of acceptance, and so much more.

Unfortunately, Wanda Sykes performance of this speech just didn’t work for me. The simplest explanation is that she doesn’t lend enough gravitas to it. Still, it’s a worthwhile listen.

Has Anyone Seen the President?

Short and not-so-sweet essay from the acclaimed Michael Lewis. It’s basically a day in the life of the author. During this day he’s in the White House press room, talking ethics, visiting Trump International Hotel in DC, and watching the State of the Union address with Steve Bannon. Lewis has a much more interesting life than most of us!

This is just under an hour on audio, and well narrated by the author. It’s good to hear his inflections and attitude, but really, his perspective is pretty clear from just his words.

I enjoyed it, despite the fact that it’s essentially all old news at this point.

The Coming Storm

Michael Lewis researches weather data, the Commerce Department, Accu-Weather, and why people don’t always heed weather warnings. Plus more! He says the Commerce Department should be called the Science and Technology Department, making shady businessman Wilbur Ross the wrong choice to head it. Short and hard-hitting!

Lewis is releasing this and other books only to audio.

#NeverAgain: A New Generation Draws the Line

David and Lauren Hogg, siblings who both survived the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, offer us rare insight into their experiences.

Lauren tells the emotional tale, sharing what it meant to lose four close friends that day. David tells the activist tale, reminding us what it means to take tragedy and use it to galvanize action and protest. They both talk about their childhoods, so we also get a feel for their lives before that day in February 2018. Not so long ago.

The book is well done, and the teens do a bang up job narrating the audiobook. I hope that, as David says, we adults can find some effective solutions to this horrible problem. Although, I’ll admit, I think plenty of kids getting involved is vital to the success of the #neveragain and March for Our Lives movement.

My conclusions

I would recommend short audiobooks for some of the following situations:

  1. Attempting to break a reading slump
  2. Desire to test out an author before buying one of their longer books
  3. Short attention span times, such as those with stress or intense emotion
  4. Readathons or reading challenges that focus on quantity of books read
  5. Because you like them

These four short audiobooks are all well worth the limited time commitment. And so much more.