Thursday, June 16, 2011

[Quick Picks] June is Get Caught Listening Month

Get Caught Listening Month takes place during the month of June. Publishers, narrators, and authors are promoting the value and enjoyment of audiobooks. We asked our library staff to share their favorite audiobook listening experiences. Click the format links next to each title for item availability. Titles are arranged in alphabetical order.

Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier (Unabridged cassette, Abridged cassette)

Innman, the principal character of Cold Mountain, is a wounded Confederate soldier returning home. While the Civil War is a subject matter for which I would ordinarily turn to non-fiction, this extremely well-wrought fictional work was a complete pleasure to read. Indeed, so much so, I subsequently purchased the audio version (read by the author) so to give equal gratification to my ears as I listened to Charles Frazier's exceptional prose as I drove across country.
--Robert Bain, Randolph Branch Library

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer (Audio CD, Downloadable audio)

A wonderful listen with a cast of readers that brings the letters and their authors to life. The main character, Juliet, begins corresponding with members of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society following WWII all thanks to a used paperback book by Charles Lamb. We, along with Juliet, learn about the German occupation of Guernsey and life during WWII.
--Beth, Highland & Randolph Branches

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan (Audio CD)

Percy (who we come to learn is the son of Poseidon and a mortal woman) goes on a quest along with the help of another half-blood, Annabeth, and his best friend (who is half goat-half human), Grover. The quest involves retrieving one of Zeus’s lightning bolts and Hade’s helmet. Jesse Bernstein, the reader, who has appeared in Dawson’s Creek and hosts a talk show called The Underground, wonderfully brings to life the various characters. He has a gift for creating distinctive voices to portray a wide range of characters varying in age, gender and even species. Perfect for the action-oriented listener, The Lightning Thief is a plot driven story that helps the listener learn and remember the names and roles of various Greek Gods.
--Henrietta Alvarez, Cordova Branch Library

The Millennium Series-The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, etc., by Stieg Larsson (Audio CD, Downloadable audio)

I think I would have been tempted to either read ahead or speed through parts of this book, but listening to it really kept me on track. The pacing was excellent, and although the reader didn’t “do voices”, the individual characters were distinct and easy to tell apart. As an added bonus, the reader also had a much easier time pronouncing the Scandinavian names than I would have had reading them. --Mary Seratt, Children’s Department

The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall-Smith (Audio CD)

Precious Ramotswe is a clever, “traditionally built” (plus-sized) woman who has established the first detective agency in Botswana. She solves all types of mysteries and she dishes out life lessons. I read the first two or three books but I soon discovered that Lisette Lecat does a wonderful job narrating the audio recordings. Lecat voices for each character, regardless of gender, which is amusing because of her refined, elegant tone. I listen to the audiobooks while working around the house--they keep me relaxed and focused. Listening to the No. 1 Ladies series has been better than reading the books, because many words found in the novels are in complex languages found in and around Botswana.
--Darletha Matthews, South Branch

Do you know of other great audiobooks we missed? Leave us a comment.

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