Remarkable Audio Learning

Over the past year I’ve had the pleasure of reading and listening to a number of great books. Books that motivate and inspire and have changed my life for the better. I thought I would share my list with you today.

Most of these titles have been audio books that I have listened to while walking, driving, or just relaxing. The majority have been part of my MBA on the Run program. The thing that really sticks out about the whole experience is how much I have learned while doing mentally unproductive things such as driving or exercising.

Audio books that I have downloaded on my iPod just work well for me. I listen while going back and forth to work and while at lunch. It’s easy to jot down notes and you can easily stop or rewind the audio at any time. Over the next few months I will be reviewing these titles on my other blog, MBA on the Run.

I would like to encourage you to give audio books a try. You can buy the CD collections from Amazon or download the titles from iTunes. If you have an iPod or other Audio player you can take this learning experience wherever you go.


Leadership Titles

Networking-People Skills


Life Hacks & Organization

Success & Motivation

Marketing & Branding


Innovation, Technology, & Creativity




  1. says

    I agree. Audio books are a great way to stimulate the mind during exercise, driving, etc.

    Since picking up an iPod, I’ve become a daily “listener” of such great titles as you have listed above.

    But here’s my question: if you listen to an audio book, can you say you’ve “read” the book? (No, really. I still wonder about this one.) :)

  2. says

    Hi Jason,

    Thanks for the comment. I think it really depends on how someone learns. I find I pick up a lot more listening to a book than reading one as long as the book isn’t a long list of facts. In the case of reference material it is nice to have a printed copy along with the audio.

    Take some of the John Maxwell books that have 21 or more items that are covered in the material. This type of book is very hard to digest and ends up being a reference book. It really doesn’t matter if you read it or listen to it since 21 items is much more that the average reader can remember.

    The audio gives a great overview but if someone really wants to cover all the bases a written copy is very helpful. I find that outlining while listening is the best method for me.

    The best thing about audio is I almost always finish the book, while finding enough time to read one cover to cover is much more difficult. If I added up all of the time I’ve spent listening while driving/walking it would number in the hundreds of hours. Much better than the usual stuff you find on the radio.

    BTW… great blog!


  3. says


    I think it depends, too. I was just at the gym yesterday thinking I might start bringing along a notepad just to write down little ideas and tid-bits here and there to keep my head in the game. I’d say it has a lot to do with the reader as well. Right now, I’m listening to 7 Habits as read by Steven Covey himself. Even having “read” the book before, I feel I’m getting so much more out of it now with Covey’s reading.

    And hey – how about those podcasts, eh? There are some great ones out there that are just as informative and thought-provoking as formal audio books.

  4. says


    I agree with you about podcasts. Some of my favorites are the Churchofthecustomer audio productions. Great quality and very insightful.


  5. says

    I read somewhere that when you walk your brain acts differently and enables you to be more creative. Have you ever noticed how you get tons of ideas when you walk.

    Listening to an audio book whilst walking means you are a lot more receptive to the creative ideas within the audio book.

  6. says

    I started listening to books while walking and on the elliptical and I love it. I have decided notes are out though – I almost killed myself trying to write once!

    I would add Dan Pink’s Free Agent Nation to your list. I got that (abridged) from iTunes. I tend to like the abridged versions (excpet for Tom Peters’ ReImagine – I listened to that in its entirety – gotta love Tom!). Actually, adding him to the list would be good too – don’t think I saw him.

    I wish that iTunes would work on their interface though – it’s really hard to browse their audio books – you really need to go in knowing what you want.

    Do you know anything about Audible? I know they actually are the backend of iTunes – but they have their own service as well.

    Thanks for a great list – I’ll be on it right away!

  7. says


    I really enjoyed reading your blog and loved the reference to Popeye. “I yam what I yam” is a great mantra to live by. We always seem to want to be someone else. I’ll have to pick up Dan Pink’s book. I really appreciate the abridged volumes as it really cuts out a lot of the clutter (especially after reading “On Writing Well” from William Zinsser).

    Audible is a great resource if you are buying multiple books. It costs $9.95 to join their book club but you save 33% on most books. Their interface is somewhat better than iTunes but still could use some improvement. The nice thing is when you download from them it automatically puts their download right into your iTunes directory. I usually check both sources as they tend to have different prices.

    Keep up the great work,


  8. says

    Yes, your experience with audiobooks is what many of our customers tell us: They manage to ‘read’ – actually listen – to many more books that way, as often one has the hands (and eyes) occupied, but the brain is running on 95% idle. A good time to feed it some good literature, business books or learn a language. Being able to download the new audiobook immediately is also something our customers like a lot.

  9. says

    You can’t beat the way audio books allow you to reclaim time spent on the mundane tasks of every day life. I almost welcome being stuck in traffic these days as I know the time will be used productively!

  10. says

    Wow! Your list just goes to show the awesome power downloadable audio books can give a person. The average person would never be able to read that many books in any reasonable amount of time. But, with downloadable audio books, you can take multi-tasking to a new level while continuing life-long learning. Plus, reading (I mean listening) to many different books from different genres ensures that you will never run out of things to talk about. I listen to audio books everyday on my commute. It sure beats listening to the same songs over & over, or even worse, the boring D.J.’s.

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