I’m a neophyte to the audio book world, but I’ve absolutely fallen in love. Based on a recommendation, I checked out the first Artemis Fowl audiobook from our library, and began listening on my 40 minute commute into work. It was amazing! Listening to an audiobook, especially one with an excellent narrator, makes the time I spend driving go by so much faster (and is much safer than talking on a cellphone!). As the story progressed, I found I was so caught up in the plot that it became harder to get out of my car once I arrived at work! I also started listening to a downloaded version on my mp3 player while at the grocery store. Thanks to audio books, the stressful aspects of my day was transformed into something entirely different.
Our library has a wide variety of books on CD available, come by and look at the selection. Here are some of the newest titles available, place your holds today!
Dancing in the Dark: A Cultural History of the Great Depression
The Vertical Farm: Feeding the World in the 21st Century
Rival Rails: The Race to Build America’s Greatest Transcontinental Railroad
The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics: A Math Free Exploration of the Science that Made Our World
Nelson Mandela: Conversations with Myself
On The Edge of Survival: A Shipwreck, A Raging Storm, and the Harrowing Alaskan Rescue That Became A Legend
Betty White: Here We Go Again
Fresh Air with Terry Gross: Just for Laughs
The Mob and Me: Wiseguys and the Witness Protection Program
Bound: A Novel
Composing a Further Life: The Age of Active Wisdom
Don’t Vote: It Just Encourages the Bastards
At Home: A Short History of Private Life
Set in the volatile world of Jackson, Mississippi in the early 1960s,The Help, a debut novel from Kathryn Stockett, is full of good food and hidden feelings. The tension between the world of the white and the separate but intersecting world of black people is like a tight wire about to snap. Enter into this scene a naïve, newly graduated young Southern woman full of ambition- not to get married like most of her friends but rather to be a journalist. “Skeeter” Phelan was born and raised in Mississippi, but she is somewhat oblivious to the fragility of the relationship between the whites of Jackson and the blacks that work for them.
Aibileen has always known she would be a maid. Her mother was a maid and her grandmother was a domestic slave before her. She knows how to get the ring off of the bathtub and she has raised seventeen white babies, but what she can not do is get over the death of her own son. With patience and wisdom, Aibileen raises the white children to know they are important for who they are on the inside.
Minny, the third narrator of the book, is an artist with a caramel cake and unable to hold her tongue. This has lost her plenty of jobs and most recently has got her in hot water with Miss Hilly Holbrook, women’s league president and society queen of Jackson. Fearing that Miss Hilly will have her blacklisted from all maid jobs in Jackson, Minny fakes a reference for a job with Miss Celia Rae Foote, a white woman who may be even more alone and isolated than Minny.
When Skeeter decides to write a book which tells the secret life of black maids and their white employers, the three women begin a journey which is always dangerous, often painful and sometimes hilarious. As the women tell their stories, Skeeter’s eyes are opened to the painful truth about her friends and her family who are hiding a secret about their own long time maid.
Kathryn Stockett’s novel reflects her own life and gives insight into a complexity of emotional relationships between people treated unequally. While not presuming to know what it was really like to be a black woman in the 1960’s south, the author does hope that we will realize: “We are just two people. Not that much separates us. Not nearly as much as [we] thought.” A good reminder for any place and time.
As the nights start to get chilly and the leaves begin to fall, I always think of one of my favorite books Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke. Maybe I first read it in the autumn or maybe the tone of the book just fits so nicely with the fading light or maybe the morning fog reminds me of the man with the thistle-down hair. Similarly, I associate Pride and Prejudice with summer and Wuthering Heights with winter. But, I have read Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell at least three times, so I must search for another book to suit the season.
The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields . “ Bittersweet, beautifully written . . . deliciously unclassifiable, blatantly intelligent and subtly subversive . . . The Stone Diaries chips away at our most cherished, comforting beliefs about the immutability of facts and fate.”
—San Francisco Chronicle
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon. “A page turner in the most expansive sense of the word: its gripping plot pushes readers forward…Chabon is a reader’s writer; with sentences so cozy they’ll wrap you up and kiss you goodnight.”—Chicago Tribune
The Seance by John Harwood. “Harwood’s spellbinding second novel…pays homage to such nineteenth-century suspense masters as Wilkie Collins and Sheridan Le Fanu…Harwood invokes the hoariest cliches of supernatural suspense, from stormy nights to haunted houses, and effortlessly makes them his own.” (Publishers Weekly, starred review )
Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger. “A compelling modern-day ghost story set in and around London’s atmospheric Highgate cemetery…An engrossing love story that crosses to the ‘other side,’ Symmetry offers an inventive take on sibling rivalry, personal identity and what it’s like to be dead.”– People (3 1/2 stars)
Poe’s Children: the new horror: an anthology edited by Peter Straub. “Revelatory. . . . A remarkably consistent, frequently unsettling book.” —The Washington Post
Happy autumnal reading!
Still can’t get enough of novels about vampires? Given the sucess of the Twilight Series, it’s not surprising that there are a lot of books out- mostly in the Young Adult section- about vampires. Here are some that you an find at your library:
Vampire Academy (series) by Richelle Mead
Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz
In the Forest of the Night by Amelia Atwater- Rhodes.
Evernight by Claudia Gray.
My Sword Hand is Singing by Marcus Sedgwick.
Eighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer.
From the Adult fiction:
Aunt Dimity: vampire hunter by Nancy Atherton.
Fangland by John Marks
Baltimore,or, The steadfast tin soldier and the vampire by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden.
A great new selection of audio books are on their way to our shelves. Here is a partial list:
King of the World by David Remnick
Edith Wharton by Hermione Lee
The Legs Are the Last to Go: Aging, Acting, Marrying, Mothering and Everything Else I Learned Along the Way by Dianne Carroll
Things I’ve Been Silent About by Azar Nafisi
Diary by Chuck Palahniuk
Books: A Memoir by Larry McMurtry
Too Fat To Fish byArtie Lange
Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier
A Most Wanted Man by John la Carre
Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
Hurry Down Sunshine by Michael Greenberg
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
The Labrador Pact by Matt Haig
Shadowfires by Dean Koontz
We received two copies of The Savage Detectives by Roberto Balano. I’m looking forward to reading about this very different world of a militant literary movement in Mexico City in the 1970s. A friend who has read it already has warned me that the middle section of the book (there are three written in different voices and styles) was rather slow for him- he loved it, he hated it but ended up thinking it was the best book he read last year.
I also got two books that our library system does not currently have a copy but I will be recommending them: