Take a walk with MLK Jr. this Monday

Last year around this time, as folks surfing wave after pandemic wave faced a difficult decision of whether to gather together on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we suggested for those staying home a streamable festival of films about MLK and the fight for Civil Rights. Now that more of us are feeling comfortable out walking, although many are still reluctant to gather in crowds during what has been called the triple-demic of flu, RSV (Respiratory syncytial virus), and COVID, we offer up a range of downloadable audiobooks so that whether you march with others or just take a quiet walk on your own, you can walk along with Dr. King.

There are several recordings of King’s own speeches and sermons to choose from, from the epic 15+ hour essential box set, to the somewhat briefer anthology A Call to Conscience, or the more sermon-centric A Knock at Midnight: Inspiration From the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., and its political counterparts The Birth of a New Nation and Where Do We Go From Here? All of these compilations were assembled by Stanford historian Clayborne Carson, and feature original audio of King’s stirring and profoundly impactful oratory together with helfpul introductions and commentary for added historical context. For a briefer selection for young and old listeners alike, check out King for Kids, in which recordings of King’s most iconic speeches are introduced by such notable Americans as George McGovern, Coretta Scott King, and Andrew Young. Or to focus in on King’s best known speech, check out I Have a Dream, which features the orginal recording of Dr. King’s speech, together with a reading by actor Blair Underwood, and a new foreword written and read by poet Amanda Gorman.

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New Picture Book Format Allows Children to Read Along

Our children’s picture book kits have long been a popular way to listen to a book while you read it, but CD players are getting harder to come by for many families. We are excited to introduce a new format, the Read-Along, into our children’s kits collection. These are hardback picture books with an attached MP3 player on the inside front cover that reads the book aloud to you!

You can choose to listen to the books out loud or through your own headphones using the standard headphone plug on the side. These books should be fully charged at check out, but you can also charge them at home with any standard micro USB cable. Continue reading “New Picture Book Format Allows Children to Read Along”

2022 Finalists for Best Audiobooks

This year’s Audie Awards gala – yep, still virtual – is scheduled for March 4: here’s a list of the nominees. (Well, the nominees that we’re able to get in libraries; some productions are unavailable for library distribution; find the full list here.

So who’s in the running? Everybody who’s anybody, including such seasoned narrators as Edoardo Ballerini (reading local author Jonathan Evison’s Legends of the North Cascades), Julia Whelan, (reading local author Kristin Hannah’s The Four Winds, also up for Best Audiobook of the Year), Lin-Manuel Miranda (oh yes, he does audiobooks too), honorary Seattlite Dave Grohl for his terrific memoir The Storyteller, and Barack Obama reading his A Promised Land, and no doubt looking to pair Michelle Obama’s 2020 Audie award with one of his own. Continue reading “2022 Finalists for Best Audiobooks”

New to Always Available Audio

The library has added more than 40 new audiobooks to our collection of Always Available titles. We’ve highlighted some below, but be sure to check out the latest additions to the collection!

In 101 Essays That Will Change the Way You Think, Brianna Wiest presents short but provocative essays that guide readers towards seeking wisdom in the everyday in all aspects of life. Readers looking for philosophical insight mixed with self-care rituals will be as inspired as Wiest’s legion of fans. If you are stuck inside your own head and obsessively ruminate with negative thoughts, then Can’t Stop Thinking by Nancy Colier will help you break the loop and start living.

For history buffs, check out Nicole Eustace’s Covered with Night, where she explores an attack by two white fur traders against an Indigenous hunter in 1722 that, while practically forgotten today, set the stage for what was considered justice in colonial America. In The Bookseller of Florence, Ross King tells the story of Vespasiano da Bisticci, whose books chronicled a thousand years of ancient knowledge and helped set the stage for the Enlightenment.

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2021 Audiobook Awards: And the Winners Are…

This month saw two major audiobook awards: the Grammys and the Audies. We have a full list of nominees and winners in our catalog, here, but here are at least some of the audiobooks that went home holding trophies this month.

The winner of this year’s Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word or Non-Musical Album is: Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth, by Rachel Maddow, read by the author.  Think it’s all about the money? Guess again: it’s all about the oil. The popular cable news star digs deep on the dirty open secret of geopolitical power.

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