We Got Your Ears Covered

Two “Always Available” Overdrive digital nonfiction audiobooks and one with plenty of copies!

For me, audiobooks fall into two categories: “Books I Meant to Read” and “Books to Listen to while Gripped by Insomnia.” Right now, that second category has taken prominence. I’m primarily a nonfiction book reader, so when I lie down for the night, I’m looking for something that informs and delights, while being just “cozy” enough to not make me freak out.

If you need a nighttime listen and can’t wait for your hold on that perfect title to come up, check out our Always Available downloadable audiobooks collection. We have over 150 titles to choose from and all are ready to download at a moment’s notice to fill that yawning void. Here’s a few nonfiction titles I’ve tried recently that have held my interest for just long enough to get me off to Slumberland, but are also engaging enough to listen to while up and about.

Continue reading “We Got Your Ears Covered”

Speculative Short Stories to Read or Listen to Online

Friday the 13th of March was a dynamic scene at the Central Library, with patrons queuing for help to find good books to read during the library’s closure, and the DVD aisles packed with browsers. I miss assisting patrons in person in finding a great story to read or watch – though do visit my colleagues at I at Your Next Five Books where we continue to advise readers and listeners online. Fortunately, there are many other ways to enjoy stories right now.

If you have internet access, here are some places to find speculative stories – e.g. science fiction, fantasy, horror, magical realism, slipstream, and anything in the realms of the imagination. Because it times like these, we need stories that take us away from our current realities, don’t you agree?

Tor.com is a publisher of books, yes, but they also post full-text short stories, as well as blog posts about books and popular culture weekly. Stories are updated in the carousel at the top of the site. Recent stories stories have been written by the likes of Maria Dahvana Headley, Charlie Jane Anders, Harry Turtledove, Garth Nix, and Neil Gaiman. Continue reading “Speculative Short Stories to Read or Listen to Online”

Stay Home, Stay Healthy. Stay Sane with the Library.

March 13th, 2020 was notable for two reasons. One, it was Friday the 13th, but hardly anyone at the Seattle Public Library noticed for the second reason: it was the last day we were open before closing our doors for a month because of COVID-19. It was a frantic and stressful day full of uncertainty for everyone, with an outstanding outcome: on a typical Friday, SPL checks out 13,000 physical items, but on March 13th we checked out 104,000 books, DVDs and CDs! 

Southwest Library, Friday March 13, 1 p.m.

While patrons are unable to borrow any physical items until at least April 13, SPL has a rich and robust collection of digital resources that can be accessed anytime. Patrons new to digital resources will find lots to choose from, and experienced patrons will find new items to discover.

OverDrive has a large collection of popular eBooks and eAudiobooks, many with holds queues. Avoid the wait with our Always Available Audiobook collection, dream of a world beyond your home with 75 Lonely Planet Travel guides, dig into that classic you’ve been meaning to read with the Duke Classics series, or check out the Big Library Read, Funny, You Don’t Look Autistic by Michael McCreary. Continue reading “Stay Home, Stay Healthy. Stay Sane with the Library.”

Best Audiobooks of the Year: The 2020 Audies Award nominees!

Each year, the Audio Publishers Association recognizes the best audiobooks of the prior year at the Audie Awards. The awards ceremony is a big fancy to-do: here’s video of last year’s awards,  and here is a spreadsheet of previous awards. This year’s Audies gala will happen on March 2 in New York City, but the nominees have just been announced. Your library doesn’t own every last one, but here is a full list of those we do have.

Among this year’s nominees are great recordings for kids – such as Jim Dale leading a full cast in an original musical production of a delightfully irreverent Puss in Boots, as well as a new recording of Charlotte’s Web with an a full cast of stellar audiobook narrators, headed up by Meryl Streep. Older kids may enjoy Julie Berry’s Lovely War, in which seven narrators’ tales of love and war interweave in unexpectedly haunting and romantic ways, or On the Come Up, Angie Thomas’s second novel (after to The Hate U Give) in which Bahni Turpin impersonates a whole neighborhood, as related by young hip-hop artist Bri. Continue reading “Best Audiobooks of the Year: The 2020 Audies Award nominees!”

Audiobooks Voiced by Your Favorite Seattle Actors

It has probably happened to you. You suddenly sense that the performer you’re enjoying live on stage sounds hauntingly familiar. What you may not have realized is that theirs was the voice reading into your airpods on that morning’s commute. Here’s just a small sampling of local talent on audio.

One of Those Malibu Nights, by Ellizabeth Adler, read by Julie Briskman. You’ve likely seen her at ACT Theatre or the Seattle Rep, most recently in Indecent. Now hear her relate how handsome Private Eye Mac Reilly and his intrepid  gal Friday Sunny Alvarez brave the wilds of Malibu  and southern France to save the life of a beautiful movie star from a stalker.

Heyday, by Kurt Andersen, read by Charles Leggett. Veteran character actor Leggett has appeared at Intiman, the Village Theater, ACT and the Seattle Rep, most recently alongside with Julie Briskman in Tiny Beautiful Things.  Now hear how his knack for characters and accents get a full workout in Andersen’s sweeping historical novel. Continue reading “Audiobooks Voiced by Your Favorite Seattle Actors”