E-books/audiobooks review: non-fiction

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 24 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 24 March, 2013, 4:56pm

There's a Bear in There

by Merridy Eastman

Bolinda Publishing


Write anything to do with sex and you're almost assured of an audience. So it is with There's a Bear in There (and He Wants Swedish), about an out-of-work actress' job experience as a receptionist at a brothel in Sydney, Australia. Merridy Eastman quickly realises her job provides material for a book or play so she probes into the inner workings of the business, befriends the women whose appointments she helps make, writes a book, and then narrates it. Although the profanity-littered dialogue may make readers wince, Eastman gives a different perspective of the business. "Victim" is not a word that comes to mind where the women are concerned, although some are drug addicts and most would rather not be on call at ungodly hours. Eastman reveals her brothel used various names in advertisements, promising different levels of exclusivity, but that the same women were used for all the jobs. She also exposes that each client had a customer file for quick reference. This book does not titillate but it may satisfy readers' curiosity.

Shouting Won't Help

by Katherine Bouton

Sarah Crichton Books


Katherine Bouton has to work to hear and practise hearing and listening. She and millions of others: one in five people have trouble understanding speech and many, she writes, can't hear certain sounds at all. That is remarkable, considering the statistic is for all age groups, not just the elderly. Shouting Won't Help will depress you but also give you hope. Bouton says she will never again hear the music of people such as Bruce Springsteen because the multiple instruments eclipse his voice. But because of technological developments (she has had a cochlear implant and been fitted with a hearing aid), she says that she now hears more than she did two years ago, including birds singing and cars coming up behind her. Bouton, who was a theatre editor for a newspaper despite her diminished hearing, discusses the cost of living in a silent world, how e-mail and phone texting are godsends, why so many people live in denial about their hearing and how noisy environments are contributing to the problem. Many of us, she writes, are responsible for our own hearing loss.