Posted On: Nov 26, 2013 In: In the Spotlight, Staff Picks
Are you heading out of town to visit family or friends this holiday season? Are you dreading a car trip where everyone is constantly asking “are we there yet?” Audiobooks can make the time in a vehicle fly by and keep everyone entertained. Of course, finding something that fits everyone’s interest can be a bit tricky. These audiobooks are family friendly but entertaining enough for adults to enjoy.
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
This Newbery award winning book is the delightfully spooky story of Bod, short for Nobody, a boy who is perfectly normal, except he has been raised by ghosts and lives in a graveyard. Not only is the story absolutely enchanting, it’s narrated by the author. Neil Gaiman’s voices bring the characters to life. If your trip is shorter, you might want to consider Odd and the Frost Giants instead, another of Neil Gaiman’s books, which is just an hour and half long.
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
Readers of all ages will find this story of an orphan who repairs the clocks in a Paris train station who meets a mysterious toyseller. While you won’t get to see the fantastic illustrations if you listen to the audiobook version, the sound effects of train whistles and chiming clocks make up for it.
Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool
A young Jack Baker moves from Kansas to an East Coast boarding school after the end of WWII, and meets a strange boy, Early, who reads the number Pi like a story. Listeners will be spellbound by this story of adventure, family, and “finding the thing that connects us all.”
Sabriel by Garth Nix
This classic young adult novel is brimming with magic, and it even has a sassy talking cat. Sabriel must rescue her father and ensure that the world of the dead does not encroach on the land of the living. Younger listeners may not recognize the voice of Tim Curry, but they will enjoy the way he brings the characters to life.
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Cathrynne Valente
This is another audibook narrated by the author, and it is fantastic. A fairy tale in the style of Alice in Wonderland or The Wizard of Oz, the adventures of September will engross readers of all ages. Magical and mysterious, in beautiful language with layers of meaning and creative twists, this is a story that will make hours in a car a true treat.
If these aren’t to your taste, there are hundreds more audiobooks available for you to peruse. If you don’t have time to stop by the library before heading out of town, you can even download digital audiobooks at home – the details on how to do so are on our website.
Posted On: Jun 18, 2013 In: In the Spotlight, Staff Picks
After reading Prep, a novel about the trials and tribulations of a teen girl at boarding school, and American Wife, a novel whose main character is modeled after Laura Bush, I never expected that Curtis Sittenfeld’s next novel would be about psychic sisters.
Despite the supernatural hook, Sisterland is very much in the tradition of Sittenfeld’s previous novels, which feature startling realistic and unflinchingly honest narrators and examine complex family dynamics. Rather than an angsty teenage outsider or a wife who loves her husband but is at odds with his politics, Sisterland centers around Kate and her identical twin sister, Violet, who both have “senses” that give them glimpses into the future. While Kate eschews her given name–Daisy–and her psychic abilities for a quiet life in the suburbs raising her two young children as a stay at home mom. Vi, who makes a living as a professional psychic, predicts a massive earthquake and appears on television warning local St. Louis residents, and Kate can’t escape the fallout, or her own premonitions. Read More..
Posted On: May 21, 2013 In: In the Spotlight, Staff Picks
I discovered The Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris (back when it was called the Southern Vampire Mysteries and before it was HBO’s True Blood) entirely on accident. I picked up the paperback on a whim while standing in line to buy Anna Karenina at The Dusty Bookshelf. The title caught my eye, and though I thought the cover art was a bit silly, the blurb on the back sounded fun and I thought it might balance out the serious and sad classic of Russian lit I’d already selected. Read More..
Posted On: Apr 23, 2013 In: In the Spotlight, Staff Picks
My best friend runs marathons. For fun. On the weekends. This requires lots of training, registration fees, and travel. I’ve always been kind of baffled by this choice of pastime. When I asked her why she decided to adopt this hobby, she explained that the endurance required to reach the finish line made her feel proud of her achievement. She ran just to prove to herself she could do it.
I still didn’t quite understand how she could get such joy from such an endeavor until I decided to read Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. Weighing in at 3.2 pounds and 1079 pages, it’s the reader’s equivalent of running a marathon. After successfully completing the novel and actually enjoying it, I thought I’d share some tips for reading this intimidating yet rewarding book.
Posted On: Mar 26, 2013 In: In the Spotlight, Staff Picks
Mix one part teen angst, one part black humor, and one part witty prose, and you’ll get The 39 Deaths of Adam Strand.
For reasons never explained, Adam Strand has been unable to kill himself, and not for lack of trying. No matter what method he utilizes, he always wakes up hours later, alive and well. His friends, family, and the whole town know of his condition, and mostly just seem annoyed. But this book isn’t really about suicide: it’s about family and friendship and finding the will to live while recognizing the inevitability of death. Read More..
Posted On: Feb 26, 2013 In: In the Spotlight, Staff Picks
I’ve been nervous to read Ruta Septys’ debut novel, Between Shades of Gray because I knew a novel about the Holocaust would be an emotionally draining reading experience. When her second novel, Out of the Easy, was released, I thought a whodunnit murder mystery set in 1950s Louisiana would be a good introduction to her work. It proved to be a rich historical novel with a complex plot and a compelling protagonist. Read More..
Posted On: Jan 29, 2013 In: In the Spotlight, Staff Picks
I have never been a fan of audiobooks. This is perhaps because my first experience was listening to The Scarlet Letter during 11th grade English class, which at 16, I found unbearably boring (no offense to its fans). But I am constantly jealous of all the reading people get done while simultaneously completing other tasks. I can see how commuters fall in love with audiobooks, but since I live less than a mile from the library and rarely drive, listening to books in the car wasn’t going to work for me. I needed another way to work audiobooks into my reading routine. Read More..
Posted On: Dec 30, 2012 In: In the Spotlight, Staff Picks
It’s 1999 and Lincoln hasn’t had a girlfriend in a decade, still lives with his mother, and has just taken a job at a newspaper where his main task is to read company emails that are caught in the network filter and flagged as inappropriate. Though he is supposed to reprimand those who are using work email for personal correspondence, he doesn’t ever notify Beth, the movie reviewer, or her best friend Jennifer, the copy editor, of their violations — because he likes them. Read More..
Posted On: Dec 4, 2012 In: In the Spotlight, Staff Picks
Known for his never-ending sentences and lack of paragraph breaks and quotation marks, José Saramago can be an intimidating author, but the philosophical richness and dry wit of his prose are worth the laborious process of reading it. His works range from historical to speculative, yet most contain elements of magical realism. With an affinity for the ironic, Saramago writes allegorical stories that explore questions of life and death and human nature. Read More..
Posted On: Nov 6, 2012 In: In the Spotlight, Staff Picks
I had the pleasure of seeing one of my favorite authors speak at YALSA’s Young Adult Literature Symposium this past weekend. Scott Westerfeld, who is most famous for his popular Uglies series, has also written a fantastic series for young adults that blurs genres. It is at once steampunk, science fiction, historical, and speculative fiction. Read More..