Part of my morning ritual includes my daily walk with my dogs. My ability to walk with two of my favorite beings is truly a blessing. And what’s more, I’m able to listen — really listen — to my favorite downloadable audiobooks on my phone as we adventure through the neighborhood. Walking and listening to an audiobook every morning allows me the space to calm my mind before the day, all the while allowing my imagination to travel to wherever my book takes me. In those moments, I feel in harmony with my little pack and blissfully engaged in a story.
And so, I invite you to join me in exploring our downloadable audiobooks collection. You can search our online catalog, or check out some of our staff curated booklists, like our Short Stories Core Collection. Not to mention, listening to a book counts as one of the Winter of Reading activities!
Don’t worry if you’re not sure how to go about downloading audiobooks, we are here to help you! Our Community Technology Center offers virtual one-on-one tech appointments over Google Meet or phone if you’d like a step-by-step introduction to OverDrive or Libby (the apps used for enjoying ebooks and audiobooks).
If you’re already familiar with the apps and encounter an issue, you can access a request form from the “Contact OverDrive Support” section of the library site’s Downloads page. From there, an Overdrive support staff member will contact you directly. Still not sure where to start? No problem! You can get in touch with us through email, phone, or chat.
I couldn’t end a post without sharing some recommendations, so below are just a few of the books I’ve been listening to lately on our wintery walks. They’re not in any order, nor are they connected to each other by theme. Rather, I simply enjoyed them and think you might too. I’d love to hear about your adventures while walking or what you’re listening to; please leave your thoughts in the comments below! Happy walking and listening, everyone.
Spirit Run : a 6000-Mile Marathon Through North America's Stolen Land by Noé Álvarez - Growing up in Yakima, Washington, Noé Álvarez worked at an apple-packing plant alongside his mother. A university scholarship offered escape, but as a first-generation Latino college-goer, Álvarez struggled to fit in. At nineteen, he learned about a Native American/First Nations movement called the Peace and Dignity Journeys, epic marathons meant to renew cultural connections across North America. He left school and joined a diverse group of Indigenous runners, all running to overcome personal challenges and to connect with their identities. Telling their stories alongside his own, this one follows Álvarez as he runs through mountains, deserts, and cities, and through the Mexican territory his parents left behind. Álvarez forges a new relationship with the land and with the act of running, carrying with him the knowledge of his parents’ migration, and the dream of a liberated future.
Once a Wolf : The Science Behind Our Dogs' Astonishing Genetic Evolution by Bryan Sykes - The evolution of dogs and the forces that drove its amazing transformation from a fierce wild carnivore, the wolf, to the astonishing range of comparatively docile domesticated dogs that we know today. How is it that we formed such a special relationship with what appeared a most unlikely ally? It is more than just a story of domestication but an astonishing example of the co-evolution of two species, man and wolf, to each others' mutual benefit.
Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer - An inspired weaving of indigenous knowledge, plant science, and personal narrative from a distinguished professor of science. As a botanist and professor of plant ecology, Robin Wall Kimmerer has spent a career learning how to ask questions of nature using the tools of science. As a Potawatomi woman, she learned from elders, family, and history that the Potawatomi, as well as a majority of other cultures indigenous to this land, consider plants and animals to be our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowing together to circle toward a central argument: the awakening of a wider ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the world.
Too Much Lip by Melissa Lucashenko - This dark and funny novel follows Kerry, a tough, generous, reckless Aboriginal Australian woman as she returns home to Bundjalung country on the back of a motorcycle to say goodbye to her dying dad (and to stay just a step ahead of a looming prison sentence). Too Much Lip both draws on Lucashenko’s own heritage, and highlights how the tensions between indigenous and colonizer cultures play out the world over.
The Nature Fix : Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative by Florence Williams - From forest trails in Korea, to islands in Finland, to eucalyptus groves in California, Florence Williams investigates the science behind nature’s positive effects on the brain. Delving into research, she uncovers the powers of the natural world to improve health, promote reflection and innovation, and strengthen our relationships.