One thing I really like about Audio Books is that they take time. You can expect an Audio Book taking anywhere from 6 to 19 hours! Which, in this era of high-speed living, is a real commitment–much like reading a book!
It is also an easy way to share reading. Many families listen to Audio Books together and, as a result, the book becomes part of the family culture–
Here are a few of our newest Audio Books and a few that are too good not to mention . . .
The Case of the Deadly Desperados by Caroline Lawrence
Mystery, Western, adventure, historical fiction . . . what’s not to like? The reader, T. Sands, hits the mark with a Western drawl, a knowing swagger and a vulnerability that fits perfectly. My only hesitation: it starts with a bloody scene, so it is not for younger children. And, in the interest of full disclosure: I’m currently listening to this, so it’ll be unavailable for the next week!
Mr and Mrs Bunny – Detective Extraordinaie! by Polly Horvath
Sometimes you just need to hear the author’s voice—I find that especially true when the characters are not tradional humans. For example, if two of the main characters are bunnies. Luckily Polly Horvath has recorded this herself, so we can hear exactly what she had in mind.
The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex
The book isn’t new (2010) but the audio book is just in and I can’t recommend it enough. Aliens have invaded Earth and Tip (whose real name is Gratuity) goes on a road trip to find her mother, who was kidnapped by aliens. Tip’s sidekick, the alien JLo, is hilarious and I am so thankful that I got to hear Bahni Turpin’s vocalizations. It’s one of those books that I bet is better as an audio book and a great one for family listening.
Two that are older but sooo sooo good:
I was reluctant to ‘read’ this—it somehow had a tinge of “should!” and I really rebel against that—but once I put the CD in, I couldn’t stop. The reader is a perfect match for this fantasy adventure that relies on description and imagination as much as plot. I listened to it just as I was starting to work in the Children’s Room and it was the first book that really reminded me that it is completely possible that some adults are immortals hiding among us, that there might be magical forces at work, and that children really do live in a different imaginative plane than most adults.
Ed Asner. Do I need to say more? Scat is a great book–a deeply unpopular teacher disappears, a fire starts in the Everglades, and Nick and his best friend Marla are both deeply realistic kids, as well as adventuring detectives. It’s not a mystery, it’s not realistic fiction, it’s not adventure–it’s all those things. And this great audio book edition is read by Ed Asner, with his warm growling voice.