Amanda Wilk, Public Services Librarian: Hello, my name is Amanda Wilk from the Haliburton County Public Library and this is library moments. Once a week, some of us from the library will come and talk about books, upcoming events, or services we offer at the library.
Did you know that June is Audiobook Month? Every June, the Audio Publishers Association carries out an initiative to enhance the visibility, awareness and popularity of audiobooks. So today, in honour of Audiobook Month, Catherine Coles, Sherrill Sherwood and I are here to share some of our favourite talking book titles in our library’s collection.
Not only can you listen to talking books from our physical collection in the form of compact disk sets, which consist of CDs that can be played in CD players in your home or car; but you can also borrow downloadable digital formats of audiobooks from the Overdrive Media Console found on our website, which can be played on your computer or transferred to portable music players like iPods.
While there are some voice actors that can make an otherwise interesting book seem boring, there are others that can positively transform your “reading” experience with their audiobook narration. Jayne Entwistle is the best example I can think of. She is the narrator for Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce mystery series and it is Entwistle’s voice that I will forever associate with the novels’ protagonist: a precocious eleven year old sleuth named Flavia.
The series is set in 1950s England at a historic country estate called Buckshaw, where lives Flavia de Luce, an amateur detective and gifted chemist. She shares Buckshaw with her eccentric family: two older sisters with whom she is constantly feuding and a standoffish father that mourns the death of Flavia’s adventurous mother. Flavia is funny, clever and as endearing as a character can be. The reader follows her mischievous life at Buckshaw and how she eventually gets to the bottom of the strange crimes that pop up with each novel.
Entwistle also narrates many of Sophie Kinsella’s charming chick-lit novels, including her brand new release Wedding Night, which I cannot wait to read and/or listen to.
Sherrill Sherwood, Collections Development: I haven’t listened to many audio books but I know someone who has – Vicki Fraser, supervisor of the Dysart branch. Her favorite talking book is The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Vicki knows what voices she likes on audio books and has encouraged patrons who have tried one but haven’t liked it to try a different one – that it may have been the voice that turned them off. Clive Cussler audio books are also favorites of hers and while there may be other narrators on them, Scott Brick is a regular. Brick has won a few awards for narrating and this line I found describing his work seems to say it all; he “understands the author’s intent. His voice is the vehicle that carries the author’s vision into our minds.”
Vicki says she gets so into the tale that when the characters are eating, she feels the urge to eat as well. She has jumped at sudden loud noises in the story and loves how when a narrator describes a plane passing overhead, you can hear the plane noise in the background. While many patrons use the books to make driving more enjoyable, others listen while they cook, do puzzles, knit and several local artists find them helpful as they create.
Some patrons listen to audiobooks to get to sleep. Just a couple of titles in the collection actually directed at making you relax are Meditation and autogenics: a relaxation and stress reduction audio program and Your present; a half hour of peace which has been clinically approved to diminish symptoms associated with health-related, work-related, chronic or post-traumatic stress. All of the eight library branches have a collection of audio books and others can be put on hold to send to your branch.
Amanda: One of my favourite talking books is The Night Circus written by Erin Morgenstern, and read by Jim Dale.
This enchanting novel tells the tale of a magical circus, which to visitors is a place of dreams, but for two young people marks a site of oppression, where they must compete in a deadly competition for which no rules are given. But when these two opponents fall in love, can they find a way to exist free from the confines of their contest?
Richly crafted, and read beautifully by Dale, this is a hugely imaginative title, suitable for a wide variety of listeners.
This was library moments, thanks for listening here on 100.9 Canoe FM.
* Originally aired on 100.9 Canoe FM from June 24th-July 1st