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Listen Up: Audiobook Month Listener’s Advisory

This summer, whether you’re traveling, commuting, or taking a little staycation, audiobooks can be a perfect companion. The challenge is finding one that matches your tastes, which can be a little trickier than just picking a “great book.” Here are a few tips and suggestions for helping you find your next great listen:

Audiobook-recommending guru Renee Young has some appeal terms that you can use when browsing or asking for audiobooks. Think of these as basic lingo that can help you feel less overwhelmed and narrow down your selections.

Some listeners are voice-focused and some prefer more of a performance. For the former, you may be looking for:

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Other audiobooks sound more like a performance, complete with full casts, sound effects, music, and more! Here are a few suggestions if you’re looking for this type of audiobook experience:

-       World War Z by Max Brooks has a large cast of characters, including Brooks himself, as well as some celebrity voices

-       Rant by Chuck Palahniuk is a creepy thriller featuring a full cast

-       Here In Harlem by Walter Dean Myers is a family-friendly collection of over 50 poems, each narrated by a different voice!

-       Hoopla has a 32-title Twilight Zone: Radio Drama series that features a large cast, as well as engaging sound effects

-       The Complete Star Wars Trilogy is available in audiobook, with musical accompaniment by the London Symphony Orchestra

-       Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass provides another family-friendly full cast narration

In case that’s not enough ideas, here are a few favorites suggested by LPL staff and community members:

-       Meredith in Readers’ Services recommends Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (YA) narrated by the one and only Lin-Manuel Miranda, as well as The Book of Strange New Things (“Super long but SO good.”)

-       Jessica M. enjoyed Stephen King narrating his book, On Writing, and said that her whole family enjoyed Stockard Channing’s narration of the Ramona series!

-       Kim in Tech Services loved The Bone Clocks, with multiple-narrators, as well as The Magicians series (also recommended by patron Jill S.)

-       The popular podcast Welcome to Nightvale was turned into an Urban Fantasy book/audiobook, recommended by Anna T. and Kate N.

-       Brittany K. recommended The Boys in the Boat, narrated by the late great Edward Herrmann, “so it feels like Richard Gilmore is telling you this incredible story about young people coming together as a team during the Great Depression.”

-       Polli in Readers’ Services recommends The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. (Hilarious, held the attention of three teenagers on a long road trip, and narrated by Stephen Fry!)

Interested in more suggestions from your Lawrence community members? Check out this Facebook post!

Feel free to bookmark this post to come back to later. Another great resource for audiobooks is Audiofile Magazine, which provides info on award-winning narrators as well as short audio samples to help with your browsing! If you come across an awesome audiobook, please let us know :)

-Kate Gramlich is a Readers’ Services Assistant at Lawrence Public Library.

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