Hello, everyone! I’m dashing off a quick (and rare) Sunday post just because I want to let you all know about Audible’s latest sale: no less than 153 lecture series from The Great Courses!
Specifically, it’s a 2-for-1 sale; it only works if you’re an Audible member with credits available. If so, you just select two and pay only one credit for them. That means that, until Thursday, June 23rd, you can get half off of the special price of the members-only access that’s cheaper than the sale price of the publisher.
I’ve been a huge fan of The Great Courses since I was in middle school, and I would repeatedly check out what little my local library had on science and history. My father decided to get in on the action, getting the sales from The Teaching Company and listening to them on his commute, which meant I finally had access to even more interesting things as I mowed the lawn, cleaned the house, built with Lego, or played video games. (I love being able to engage my mind while doing something with my hands.) We actually got so many that we wound up with about eight large boxes of nothing but told-style cassette tapes, and by the time we thought of getting rid of them, nobody wanted them because of the format. Too bad. Great stuff, but honestly, who uses tape decks anymore?
These days, it’s really easy to get these courses, if all you want is the audio; if you’re an Audible member, you can get almost anything in the Teaching Company’s library for one credit, or $25 (as opposed to even more when it’s actually on sale). It used to be you couldn’t get the additional course materials, but now you can; so the only difference between getting the audio from Audible as opposed to The Teaching Company is that the individual tracks aren’t labeled. I find that a small inconvenience for such a cheap price. So when Audible puts these courses on sale, they’re worth taking a look at.
Several of my favorites are on the list this week. They include:
- Arts and Culture
- Books that have Made History: Books that Can Change Your Life. This lecture comes from the nearly-incomparable Dr. J. Rufus Fears. I’ve listened to every one of his Great Courses lectures, and believe me, if there is just one lecturer you should listen to from this series, make it him. This isn’t my favorite from him by far (that would be The History of Freedom), but we’re talking about a very high bar here.
- Customs of the World: Using Cultural Intelligence to Adapt, Wherever You Are. I could talk at length about this one, but I already did.
- Dante’s Divine Comedy: A rare lecture series that actually has two lecturers, this is part of what I used to get through (and come to love) Dante in college.
- Espionage and Covert Operations: A Global History. If you’re a fan of both spy thrillers and history, you’ll like this one. While the series covers techniques and famous figures, and even covers James Bond in both film and print, the true focus of the lectures is how espionage has shaped history and culture, thanks to true deeds of heroism, from despicable villainy, or just thanks to public hysteria at the very thought of spies.
- The History of the Supreme Court. Today, the Supreme Court of the United States is very much in the news, and yet not understood by a lot of people. While it’s obvious that this lecturer has a political bias, he still presents this subject from an historical perspective that makes it very easy for an uninitiated listener to understand how the highest appeals court in the US has been shaped over time, and how its key cases (some of which you’ve never heard of) have had both national and international significance.
- The World Was Never the Same: Events that Changed History. This is another lecture from Dr. J. Rufus Fears. Honestly, that’s all I should have to say to interest you in it.
- Science and Math
- Einstein’s Relativity and the Quantum Revolution: Modern Physics for Non-Scientists, Second Edition. This is one of the collections I used to check out of the library . . . when my friends weren’t doing the same! Well, to be precise, this was back during the first edition, but there isn’t much difference. Actually, it’s a little outdated, but considering it’s teaching the basics of a complicated subject rather than trying to stay on the bleeding edge of science, I still highly recommend it for anyone wanting to understand this subject. In fact, if you’re looking to write sci-fi, you might want to consider this required listening.
These are only a small fraction of the 153 titles on sale right now, and even they don’t cover all of my favorites. I should probably review a bunch of those, but trust me, that’s a lot to go through.
There are still many on this sale list that I haven’t listened to, which means it’s time for me to stop typing and figure out what I’m going to spend my credits on. Have fun!