Many of us relinquished the pleasure of listening to stories as part of the process of “growing up.” A couple years ago I realized that I could reclaim that delight, and became hooked on audio books. Now, I can’t imagine riding the bus or walking to work without a good story to listen to.
The reader’s voice is so important in audio books. I’ve had to stop listening to otherwise good books because the narrator’s voice grated on me, and conversely some readers have become such valued companions that I’ve branched out of my genre comfort zone to follow a particular reader.
Following, in no particular order, is a list of FAVORITE AUDIO READERS based on an informal poll of Library staff:
Reading his own books, especially Angela’s Ashes and Teacher Man. His lilting Irish brogue is so integral to the text, it’s hard to imagine that a anyone reading words on a page could appreciate his genius and side-splitting humor.
She’s a great reader and records a number of contemporary literary African American authors including Toni Morrison, Octavia Butler, Maya Angelou and Virginia Hamilton.
Reading Elizabeth Berg’s trilogy Joy School, True to Form, & Durable Goods. Jen, a local actress, captures the sweet innocence of a little girl’s voice without the cutesy cliches. From the first sentence, you strike an Continue reading “Who’s your favorite audio book reader?”
Looking for a good novel to take along on your vacation—or read in your backyard? The Summer edition of Staff Favorites for Adults is hot off the press and available at your branch. The bright green booklet highlights 27 books, fiction and nonfiction, recommended by Library staff. The three novels suggested here are also available on audio, making them good companions for road trips, too.
Last Night at the Lobster by Stewart O’Nan
It’s Manny DeLeon’s last night managing a Red Lobster restaurant on a snowy stretch of Connecticut highway. The staff knows the restaurant is closing, yet they seat, serve, feed and clean up after customers with infinite consistency, despite the uncertainty of their own futures. Soft-hearted, conscientious Manny leads readers through twelve ordinary hours and lets us into lives at the Lobster. Tender, funny and concise, this novel is pure perfection for anyone who’s worked at a restaurant (ever change the oil in a Frialator?) as well as for Continue reading “Staff Favorites: Three novels to take to the beach”
I’ve never encountered a detective quite like Phryne (rhymes with “briny”) Fisher before – but now I’m totally smitten. Divinely elegant and stylish, this smart, confident woman turned her back on 1928 aristocracy to live independently in Australia. In one of my favorites, Murder in Montparnasse, Phryne steps in to help her friends Bert and Cec when their buddies start dying under under suspicious circumstances. She suspects that the men – and perhaps Phryne herself – unknowingly witnessed a crime in Paris ten years earlier during World War I. Even though I was attracted to the Art Deco cover art in this series, I resisted these books for a solid year. I finally realized my reluctance is connected not to the story or the character, but to the embarrassing fact that I had absolutely no idea how to pronounce “Phryne.” Continue reading “Book review: Phryne Fisher mysteries by Kerry Greenwood”
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – Audiobook read by Sissy Spacek
If you’re like me, you read this book in high school because you had to but don’t remember all the details. Harper Lee’s great novel is considered a classic for good reason – it’s powerful and gripping and deals with timeless issues of growing up and prejudice. And listening to this book is incredible – Sissy Spacek is the perfect narrator, her voice quirky and passionate and very believable as the young girl, Scout, who is wise beyond her years. Even if you’ve already read this book, it’s definitely worth a re-listen. I found myself looking forward to my bus commute so that I could tune back in to Scout’s world.
~posted by Paige C.
A Girl Named Zippy: Growing up Small in Mooreland, Indiana by Haven Kimmel.
This witty memoir about growing up in a small town in the 1970s is quirky, endearing and laugh-out-loud funny. Although populated with some peculiar characters, this autobiography is not a depressing account of dysfunction. There is something joyful and uplifting, though certainly not pedestrian or saccharine, about Zippy’s unique angle of vision. Continue reading “Growing Up Small”