While I love reading physical, tangible books made out of paper-- yes, those still exist-- the act of reading doesn't allow for much multitasking.
Sometimes there's only so many hours in the day, and I don't want to have to choose between finishing a breathtaking fantasy novel and, say, feeding myself.
But what if I could do both?
Enter the audiobook: reading for busy folk. We can listen to audiobooks while doing the dishes. We can listen to audiobooks while stuck in terrible traffic. We listen to audiobooks while soaking up sun on the beach. We can listen to audiobooks anytime, anywhere!
However, sometimes the problem isn't finding time to listen, but figuring out what to listen to.
Our library has over 6500 audiobooks in its collection-- not to mention all the audiobooks available for free download or streaming on Hoopla and MyMediaMall.
It can be daunting. But never fear-- the kind folks over at the Audio Publishers Association present the Audie Awards annually. These awards (the audiobook equivalent of the Emmys or the Grammys) nominate and select the very best titles published in the previous year.
Below are some of my top picks from this year's crop of nominees.
All of these are available on the third floor of the library. For the full list of nominees, check out AudioFile. Winners will be announced on May 11 and posted on the website shortly thereafter.
by Martin Pistorius
In 1988, Martin Pistorius fell mysteriously ill. Within a couple years he was bound in a wheelchair, no longer able to speak. Everyone thought his mind was gone. In fact, his mind was alive and well-- just trapped in his body for ten years.
Audiobook of the Year:
By Kristin Hannah
Narrated by Polly Stone
This tale of two sisters living in France in World War II is brought to life by Polly Stone's masterful narration.
The Sleeper and the Spindle
By Neil Gaiman
Narrated by a Full Cast
A kingdom cursed to sleep forever. A queen and some dwarves determined to save the land. This audio drama, complete with a full (British!) cast and sound effects, illuminates the magical, dark worlds Gaiman is so good at creating.
Best Female Narrator:
The Lost Landscape
By Joyce Carol Oates
Narrated by Cassandra Campbell
With her conversational style, Cassandra Campbell narrates Joyce Carol Oates' collection of connected essays. Oates, an accomplished novelist, muses on her girlhood in 1950s rural America, using her childhood as a jumping-off point for deeper reflections.
Best Male Narrator:
Breakfast of Champions
By Kurt Vonnegut
Narrated by John Malkovich
Screen actor John Malkovich lends his vocal talents to Vonnegut's classic darkly comic tale, a satire that investigates war, politics, American society, and the power of bad ideas.