According to Book Page, it’s audio month, and a thoughtful article from Debbie Macomber has us thinking about why we love audiobooks in particular. While some of us only give in to recorded books in the car to survive a long road trip or commute, others of us find that books read aloud are an essential part of the reading and learning experience. Debbie has several books playing in every room of her house, and she argues that a good audiobook is both a good performance and an optimal tool for dyslexic readers. Listening to a book is an entirely different experience from reading one, and it can be very rewarding in its own way.
It can also earn awards for especially talented readers. The Audio Publishers Association awards “Audies” every year for outstanding spoken word performances. They see audiobook production much the same way as movie production, and award books in many of the same categories as the Academy Awards. Who knew?
Come check out our collection of books on CD to celebrate audio month! Maybe you’ll discover a reader whose performances mesmerize you, too. Here are a few that have impressed us at Naperville Public Library:
1. The Help by Kathryn Stockett; read by Jenna Lamia, Bahni Turpin, Octavia Spencer, and Cassandra Campbell;
In Jackson, Mississippi, in 1962, there are lines that are not crossed. With the civil rights movement exploding all around them, three women start a movement of their own, forever changing a town and the way women–black and white, mothers and daughters–view one another.
2. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak; read by Allan Corduner;
Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel–a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors.
3. Bossypants by Tina Fey; read by Tina Fey;
In this big biggie, as the publicist puts it, Fey doesn’t give a blow-by-blow account of her life but reflects on the joys (ha, ha) of balancing work, marriage, and motherhood. Watch her agonize drolly over finding the perfect beauty routine and embodying Sarah Palin.
4. The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing by M.T. Anderson; read by Peter Francis James;
Various diaries, letters, and other manuscripts chronicle the experiences of Octavian, a young African American, from birth to age sixteen, as he is brought up as part of a science experiment in the years leading up to and during the Revolutionary War.
5. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris; read by David Sedaris.
In this collection of 27 fairly short essays, some of which appeared in Esquire and The New Yorker, Sedaris gives the impression of ease and naturalness. Whether he is writing about overcoming a lisp, learning to play the guitar, trying to master French, or taking an IQ test, whether the locales are North Carolina, New York, or France, the author is both amused and amusing.