f you have arrived at the point in your medical life where it is time to change neurologist, it can seem like an overwhelming process. It really do not have to be. From my experience it is neither daunting nor intimidating and can be the best thing you do for your health.
When I recently had my first appointment with my new movement disorder doctor, it was not simply a matter of showing up on time for the appointment. It was a process that began with first deciding I needed a new doctor. While I am speaking specifically about visiting a movement disorder specialist in this blog post, many of these ideas can be applied to preparing for any doctor visit. The following steps can ensure success transition and communication with your new physician.
Read the full blog post at: http://tremoraction.org/2014/07/success-details/
The Pageant of England is a four book series by Thomas B. Costain. The books in the series are The Conquerors, The Magnificent Century, The Three Edwards, and The Last Plantagenets. All four audio books are narrated by David Case who also records under the names of Frederick Davidson, Edward Raleigh, James Nelson, and Ian McKay, The Conquerors covers William the Conquerer through John. The Magnificent Century covers the regin of Henry III. The Three Edwards covered Edward I through Edward III. It ends with the beginning of Richard II. The Last Plantagenents covers Richard II through Richard III.
If you enjoy English history, this is a good series. I prefer Dan Jones to Thomas Costain in terms of writing style. Costain wrote over fifty years ago and can seem a little dated at points. As far as the audio books themselves, I would give them four out of five stars. I was not sure I would like David Case's voice. I found that he does do a good job on this series. I am not sure I would like a work of fiction narrated by him but for non-fiction, he is very good. Overall the series was good enough that I purchased all four audio books through Downpour.com
The Plantagenets by Dan Jones
read by Clive Chafer
The Plantagenets is excellent. I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys history and especially English history. It is well written, easy to follow and very interesting. My only reason for not giving it 5 stars across the board is the narrator. I was not familiar with Mr. Chafer before this audiobook. His voice is nice but there is just something about the way he changes his inflection at the end of each sentence. Almost sounds like they are all questions instead of statements. It is really a minor thing but the only one that kept me from 5 stars on the narration.
Originally submitted to Downpour.com on June 15, 2013
Switching your neurologist, or any doctor for that matter, can be a daunting experience. Changing from a local neurologist to a nationally recognized one at a hospital with an international reputation is even more intimidating. Very few people are willing to make that type of change unless their current neurologist retires, moves or fails them in an epic way. From my experience it is neither daunting nor intimidating and can be the best thing you do for your health.
Read the full blog post at: http://tremoraction.org/2014/07/finding-hope-without-gps/
The top three sellers of audio books online are Audible, Downpour and Tantor. I have bought from all three and have had variety degrees of satisfaction.
Audible http://www.audible.com/ - Audible has a couple of big pluses and several huge negatives.
The pluses are selection and the ability to "whispersync" with Kindle books. Audible's catalog contains over 100,000 titles. Kind in mind, there are not all books. Some are radios programs with each episode counting as as additional title. When Amazon bought Audible, they began to match their Kindle ebook selection to match Audible's titles. Whispersync is a feature where you can read a book in a Kindle app and have it sync to the Audible version. Basically it allows you to stop and start reading and/or listening to a book across devices.
The two negatives with Audible, and they are big ones in my book, are price and format. Audible is expensive no matter how you select it. Their plans range from $14.95 for one book a month to $22.95 for two books a month. Their daily deals are usually under $6 but I haven't seen one yet that made me want to jump on it. Buying the books without a membership is just plain expensive. Amazon will offer reduced prices on certain Audible titles if you purchase the Kindle book. That is probably the best way to go. Otherwise it is just too expensive. The other negative is the format. Audible has a proprietary format that makes Apple look like opensource. You cannot convert it. You cannot share it. You can only play it on a limited amount of devices using Audible's own app or file manager.
Tantor Media http://www.tantor.com/home-consumer.asp - Tantor needs to catch up.
Tantor has one positive and that is it's format. It is mp3. It can be put on as many devices as you like. It is not proprietary. You can listen to it through your music player on an iPad or an android device. You do not need to use the Tantor app. In fact, I would not recommend that Tantor app at this time. It is a mess and needs a lot of work. The Tantor website needs work too. Tantor has been testing a Beta site which is more functional but it is not up and running yet.
Tantor does not have a membership available like Audible or Downpour. The prices are not as expensive as Audible but then again the catalog is very limited. For example I tried searching for one book listed in all three vendors to compare prices. Tantor did not have any of the books that I could find in Audible or Downpour. You also have to be very careful with the listing at Tantor. Some listing will have the download version (as opposed to the physical cd version) as Audible. You need to make sure you are selecting the mp3 download and not the Audible download, which will be more expensive and proprietary. I am not sure if Tantor is owned by Audible/Amazon or just in a partnership of some type.
One last plus for Tantor is the staff. Anytime I have had a problem with them, it has been resolved relatively quick with one or two emails (number of emails is dependent on how coherent I am, not their fault). I think Tantor can really be a great option if they get their Beta site up, fix their app (no on second thought, throw the app out and make a new one from scratch) and increase their catalog. If they are not going to compete head to head in sheer number of titles, they can find a niche for themselves. Tantor just needs to decide what they want to be and make it happen.
Downpour http://www.downpour.com/ The best audio book option for the money.
Downpour's membership is $12.99 a month, almost two dollars cheaper than Audible. You can buy additional "credits" for $12.99 at any time. Almost all of their books are only one credit. Occasionally they have sales where you can purchase additional credits for a lower price. Their books are reasonable without the membership. They have excellent sales. I suggest signing up for their newsletter or following them in social media to be notified of the sales. Downpour's titles are in mp3 format and are DRM-Free. You can put it on any device and not be limited by how many devices you use. There is a huge catalog to pick from. Anytime I have had questions or issues the Downpour staff has been very helpful.
Downpour prices are much better than Amazon. To illustrate the price difference I found the exact same title in both vendors:
The Fellowship of the Ring: Book One in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Written by: J. R. R. Tolkien
Narrated by: Rob Inglis
Length: 19 hrs and 11 mins
Series: The Lord of the Rings, Book 1
Audible price $38.49 Downpour price $ 23.50 (this title is not available through Tantor)
Finally I would suggest getting a title first from your library to ensure you like the narration before spending money on a title. Depending on the length of the sample provided at the vendor's websites, it is not always possible to tell if the narration will work for you. As in all things, when shopping for audio books, compare prices. Make sure you are comparing the same exact title, same length and narrator. If you go just by price you may end up with an abridged version.
A quick recommendation on narrators that you cannot go wrong with: the late Robin Sachs, Simon Vance, Ron Perlman, Richard E. Grant, Paul Michael, Avery Brooks, and David Warner, just to name a few.
There are several sources for audio books. I will start with the free providers. The next blog post will cover other sources.
Guttenberg Books in public domain; read by volunteers or computers
LibriVox Books in public domain; read by volunteers
Your local library is the ultimate free source of audio books. Check with your local librarian for the rules on burning copies of CD books to your personal devices, like iPods or mp3 players. If you library has the Overdrive system, you can download the books directly to your device and listen them for whatever the lending period is. The York County Library system has a one or two week lending period that the user chooses when setting up their Overdrive account.
There are several "free" apps on iTunes and other app stores for audio books. Look at them carefully before installing. Many of them come with one or two books from librivox or gutenberg and then charge for additional books. Most of what they are charging for is already free.
Checking a book out from the library is a great way to make sure you like the narrator and style before you buy the audio book.
Concise, factual and easy to follow
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany By: William L. Shirer
Narrator: Grover Gardner
William L. Shirer's The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich is considered a classic for valid reasons. It helps the reader make their way through the torturous path Germany took to fascism. The information is presented in a clear chronological format. Having lived in Europe through most of the events discussed, Mr. Shirer has a unique perspective on history. The narration by Mr. Gardner is first rate.
Review original submitted on May 1, 2014 to Downpour.com @downpour_com
Books. You can never have too many books. Whether hardback, paperback or digital, books are my concept of what the ancient Greeks envision as ambrosia. Recently a category of books has gained popularity, the audio book. Audio books can give the reader more than just the written word.
I began listening to audio books when my children were quite young. It was an excellent way to introduce them to literature that they were not quite ready to read on their own. We listened to Treasure Island and Jane Erye. Two of the children's favorites were by Avi; Crispin: the Cross of Lead and True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle.
I found audio books were great for long trips. Rosemary Sutcliffe's Black Ships Before Troy: The Story of the Iliad and The Wanderings of Odysseus introduced us to Homer's epics and got us to Niagara Falls and back with our sanity intact. For a long trip to North Carolina we took Edward Bloor's Tangerine. We took another book which has become one of our ultimate favorites, The Hobbit.
The Hobbit is an excellent example of how the choice of a narrator can make or break an audio book. The narrator of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy is Rob Inglis. Do accept any substitutes. Mr. Inglis literally brings the story to life. Each character's voice is distinct. Each emotion is recognizable.
If you have not experienced audio books yet, check out your local library. The York County Library System has many classics, best sellers, fiction and non-fiction as mp3 cds. They can be played in your car, on your laptop or boombox. The library system also has the Overdrive system (https://www.overdrive.com/). Overdrive allows you to check out digital content, ebooks and audio books, and download them directly to your electronic devices, like an iPad. Using the library is an excellent way to test out audio books without cost.
An excellent source of free audio books appears each summer is the Sync Audio Book program (http://www.audiobooksync.com/) . Each week two free audio books are offered, one young adult literature and one classic. Available through July 23, 2014 is The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline by Nancy Springer and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes II by Arthur Conan Doyle. The Sync program is a wonderful way to add to your audio book library. Make sure you sign up to be notified as books are released, both this summer and next.
Upcoming blog will detail options for purchasing audio books as well as reviews of audio books I have listened to. In the meantime, why not try Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird read by Sissy Spacek?