Audio books are my favorite way to sneak a little “reading” into the post-holiday grind. And if Amanda keeps throwing down the gauntlet of 150 books per year, you might have to pipe it in while you sleep! Thankfully, the library has three ways to do it with CD audio, Playaway audio, and downloads from Overdrive.
Here are a few recent favorites: [All happen to be read by the author, and while it can be a great way for fans to connect with the artist and their work, chances are slim that your literary hero is the elusive "double threat"...]
Tenth of December by George Saunders: This collection of short stories is racking up on nominations and topping ‘Best of 2013′ lists, but I recommend listening to it. Saunders’ modern style and vernacular work together with his average Joe i.e. Chigago-ite delivery to add humor to, at times, twisted tales. Escape from Spiderhead is one of the best short stories I’ve read in a while.
Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver (technically a 2012): Her story of domestic disharmony and scientific inquiry was much discussed at our Second Wednesday Book Club. I have found her soothing voice and mastery of jargon impressive in the past, but it was her accents that did it for me this time (Tennessean and Jamaican both).
Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish by David Rakoff: A deceptively simple story of characters whose lives intersect, and here’s the kicker: it’s told entirely in rhyming couplets! Many will recognize Rakoff’s distinctive voice from NPR’s This American Life. However, this recording finds him at the end of a long battle with cancer, voice frail and broken. It can be hard to listen to, but before you have a chance to feel too bad he’ll cut through with a sardonic rhyme or ridiculous accent that lets you know, wherever he is, he’s still laughing.
Also check out Bryan Cranston’s reading of The Things they Carried (Cranston was Walter White in Breaking Bad), AND Roy Dotrice’s ongoing readings of the Song of Ice and Fire series. In addition to his usual noble narration, he voices 500 distinct characters! Skip the book, skip the show, listen to the audiobook!