Spend a lot of time on the road and tired of talk radio? Want something to chill out with while cooking dinner? Need to learn about Brittany before that trip of a lifetime? My friends, the audiobook format might just be the solution you are looking for!
For people working on their Winter of Reading checklist, listening to a book is always an option. Let me make it easy for you:
Listen to a Book
Where to start? Okay, instead of giving you a list of titles, how about a list of award winners? The Listen List is compiled each year by a group of librarians who specialize in the audio format. To get to the final 12 winners, the committee listened to 261 titles with a total listening time of more than 2,806 hours! If I had to pick a favorite from the 2019 winners, I’d have to go with An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green, narrated by Kristen Sieh and Hank Green. It’s a crazy scifi romp with alien invaders named Carl. For real.
Listen to a Book from the Year You Were Born
Hmm, a couple of tough choices here… Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlen or The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson? (Ha, you’ll have to look them up to figure out how old I am!) If you need some help finding a title from the year you were born, this site will help you get started.
Listen to an #OwnVoices Book
Here are a few options for you, depending on what you’d like to explore. For Asian speculative fiction written by Asian authors, check out The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang or A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates or Kindred by Octavia Butler are a couple of options for books written by people of color about the black experience. This Winter of Reading #OwnVoices blog post includes more suggestions. Or submit a Personalized Reading List request and we'll send you a customized list.
Listen to a Book That Was Translated
You will totally fall in love with the coast of Brittany while listening to Nina George’s The Little French Bistro, translated from French by Simon Pare. A much heavier (and longer) listen would be Roberto Bolaño’s 2666, translated from Spanish by Natasha Wimmer, which clocks in at 39.5 hours, enough to keep you occupied while driving from Denver to Prince Edward Island!
Give Yourself Permission to NOT Finish a Book
Full disclosure… even though I’m from New Jersey, I could not get through even one hour of Bruce Springsteen’s self-narrated Born to Run. But I know other people who loved hearing The Boss tell his own story, so don’t put all your trust in me!
Recommend a Book to a Friend
For a librarian, this can be a tricky thing. What if my friend doesn’t love Circe by Madeline Miller as much as I did, or really can’t stand the insanely large cast of readers on George Saunders’ Lincoln in the Bardo? On the risk/reward scale, there’s not really much to lose. See above, Permission to NOT Finish a Book!
Just a reminder – Winter of Reading 2019 wraps up Thursday, February 28th – visit any Denver Public Library branch for the official WOR brochure!