How (and Why) to Enjoy Audiobooks

As June is Audiobook Month, I’ve been pondering why I enjoy them so much.

They save time. I can listen to them in the car [commuting or on road trips]; walking my 10,000 steps; waiting around for music lessons and the other kid’s activities to be over; de-cluttering the house; folding laundry and the ever popular, Yard Work. These are all activities that I really don’t like and listening to a book can makes the task less odious.

I listen to all kinds of content: fiction & nonfiction; short stories & full length novels; all types of genres. I try to mix it up. Here are some recommendations from our CD Audiobook Collection:

Fiction:

NonFiction:

You’ll note that when I recommend an audiobook, I’ve included the reader in this blog write up. A good audiobook is all about the reader. A good reader makes the book a great listening experience. Sometimes I’ll explore a book just because I enjoy listening to the reader. Who knew that cholera could be so fascinating! Alan Sklar makes it so in Steven Johnson’s The Ghost Map.

CD audiobooks are wonderful in the car and in the house [I play mine on my son’s Xbox] but there are times you just want the tale on something a little more portable so why not try the audiobook content the Bentley Library provides through OverDrive. OverDrive adds hundreds of titles for you to choose from. Just download the free app or stream audiobooks online via OverDrive Listen and away you go on your own device [I use my iPhone, but the files play on many different devices.]

There currently are 403 fiction & 268 nonfiction audiobooks available through OverDrive. Here are a few to start with:

Audiobooks are a great way of refreshing your memory in anticipation of the next book in the series or the next movie release. I can’t wait for the next book in the Lisbeth Salander series called The Girl in the Spider’s Web which will be out in September 2015, so I’m listening to the earlier novels now. The movie, A Walk in the Woods, is also coming out in September, so it might be fun to listen to the book first.

[Audiobook tip: Depending on the content, you might want to pause before going through the drive through. Some clerks can give you interesting looks when certain words or phrases travel to their ears.]

Listening can be a fun family activity especially on a road trip. I wouldn’t recommend all the titles in this blog post as examples of stories to listen to with your kids, but I have listened with my 10 year old to the Rick Riordan’s Heroes of Olympus series [Read by Joshua Swanson] and the Harry Potter series [Read by Jim Dale] which are available through most public libraries and the following titles from the Bentley Library: Gregory Maguire’s Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West [Performed by John McDonough], The Graveyard Book and Watership Down, both listed above. The choice really depends on the interest and maturity of your kids, but an audiobook can make a road trip much more enjoyable especially when the charge for their electronics fade…

[OverDrive tip: Check with your local public library for additional OverDrive content.]

Well, if you’ve never tried an audiobook, I hope that this post has encouraged you take a chance on one. If you already are an audiobook fan, I hope you enjoy these suggestions. If you have any suggestions of titles you’d like the Bentley Library to consider purchasing, please let us know. Your recommendations and feedback are always welcome. As I am always looking for the next great reader and stories to follow, feel free to drop me a line when you find one. Happy summer listening.

–Kim

kmorin@bentley.edu

Want more audiobook title recommendations? Check out the Bentley Library’s Top 10 listings.

Stock your iPad, Kindle & other mobile devices with OverDrive eBooks

Did you know that we now offer more than 1,200 downloadable eBooks and audiobooks via OverDrive?  The Bentley Library’s OverDrive collection includes fiction and nonfiction bestsellers, award winners, classics and perennial favorites. Current Bentley students, faculty and staff can borrow eBooks and audiobooks from OverDrive at http://bentleydownload.lib.overdrive.com/ using a Bentley email address and password.   New titles are added monthly, so check back often.

OverDrive eBooks and audiobooks can be enjoyed on all major computers and mobile devices, including iPhone®, iPad®, NOOK®, Android™ phones and tablets, and Kindle®. Many eBooks can be also read immediately (no download required) on any device with an internet browser. Bentley users may checkout up to five OverDrive titles at a time for a borrowing period of 21 days. Titles will automatically expire at the end of the lending period, so there are no late fees! If you are new to OverDrive, check out their Getting Started page for information and assistance. Enjoy!

 overdrive-december-2013

Downloadable Books Drop-in Clinic

It’s been a couple of weeks since the launch of the library’s downloadable books service and we’re very happy to have received such a positive response. We’ve already added over 150 new ebook and audiobook titles to our collection to meet your demand, and we’ll continue to add new books every month.

If you haven’t already set-up your laptop, Kindle, iPad, smartphone or other device, we’d love to help you get up and running now so that you can enjoy downloading books this summer – whether you’re at home, work or the beach! We are holding two drop-in sessions this week to answer questions about the service:

Downloadable Books Clinic
Bentley Library, Research Instruction Center (room 11)

 Wednesday, May 2
12:00PM – 2:00PM

 and

Thursday, May 3
4:00PM – 6:00PM

 No RSVP is required – just drop in to our classroom (room 11) and we’ll be there to lend you a helping hand! If you bring your device with you we can help you with the initial set-up or troubleshoot any problems you’ve been having. We hope to see you there.

Get Caught Listening! Audiobooks Are Now On Display.

Officially, June is Audiobook Month, but we’ve decided that our new audiobook display just couldn’t wait until then.  In preparation for next week’s 2011 Audie Awards, we’re highlighting the 2011 audiobook nominees that we have in our collection (listed below).  And with Memorial Day just around the corner, we thought this would be the perfect time to promote our most recent audio acquisitions.  Being stalled on the highway in long-weekend traffic is no fun, but a captivating audiobook can help make the time fly!  Stop by and take a look at our selections.  Keep checking back, new titles are being added as they are received!

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2011 Audie Award nominees available at the Bentley Library:

AUDIOBOOK OF THE YEAR

  • LIFE by Keith Richards / read by Keith Richards, Johnny Depp & Joe Hurley [check availability]

BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR

  • ABIGAIL ADAMS: A LIFE  by Woody Holton / read by Cassandra Campbell [check availability]

BUSINESS/EDUCATIONAL

  • BUY-IN: SAVING YOUR GOOD IDEA FROM GETTING SHOT DOWN by John Kotter / read by Tim Wheeler [check availability]
  • DELIVERING HAPPINESS: A PATH TO PROFITS, PASSION AND PURPOSE by Tony Hsieh / read by Tony Hsieh   [check availability]
  • THE 4-HOUR WORK WEEK: ESCAPE 9-5, LIVE ANYWHERE, AND JOIN THE NEW RICH by Timothy Ferriss / read by  Ray Porter [check availability]

CLASSIC

FICTION:

HUMOR

  • EARTH (THE AUDIOBOOK): A VISITOR’S GUIDE TO THE HUMAN RACE by Jon Stewart / read by Jon Stewart, Samantha Bee, Wyatt Cenac, et al. [check availability]
  • SQUIRREL SEEKS CHIPMUNK: A MODEST BESTIARY by David Sedaris / read by David Sedaris, Elaine Stritch, Dylan Baker & Sian Phillips [check availability]

LITERARY FICTION

MULTI-VOICED PERFORMANCE

  • ROOM: A NOVEL by Emma Donoghue / read by Michal Friedman, Ellen Archer, Robert Petkoff & Suzanne Toren [check availability]

MYSTERY/SUSPENSE

NARRATION BY THE AUTHOR

  • A CHRISTMAS BLIZZARD by Garrison Keillor / read by Garrison Keillor [check availability]

NONFICTION

  • THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS by Rebecca Skloot / read by Cassandra Campbell & Bahni Turpin  [check availability]

SHORT STORIES/COLLECTIONS

SPOKEN NARRATION/ FEMALE

SPOKEN NARRATION/MALE

THRILLER/SUSPENSE

  • THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET’S NEST by Stieg Larsson / read by Simon Vance  [check availability]

June is Audiobook Month! We Have 2010 Audie Award Winners, HD Audio & More…

Get Caught Listening!

Celebrate Audiobook Month by stopping by to check out our collection of audiobooks on CD and Playaway.   With over 500 titles to choose from, you’ll find that we have a great selection of best-selling fiction and non-fiction, literary classics, and  language instruction.

We also have several audiobook announcements to share with you!  Keep reading for information about the 2010 Audie Award Winners, the exciting new changes to Playaways (now in HD Audio), and details about finding and submitting audiobook reviews at the BookBuzz @ Bentley blog.

2010 Audie Award Winners

On May 25, 2010, the Audio Publishers Association (APA) announced the winners of the 2010 Audies at its 15th Annual Audies Gala.  The Audies are the most prestigious awards program in the United States honoring audiobooks.

Here are the 2010 award-winning titles that you’ll find on our shelves:

AUDIOBOOK OF THE YEAR
NELSON MANDELA’S FAVORITE AFRICAN FOLKTALES
[check availability]
Read by Gillian Anderson, Benjamin Bratt, LeVar Burton, Ricardo Chavira, Don Cheadle, Matt Damon, Whoopi Goldberg, Sean Hayes, Hugh Jackman, Samuel L. Jackson, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Debra Messing, Helen Mirren, Parminder Nagra, Sophie Okonedo, CCH Pounder, Alan Rickman, Jurnee Smollett, Charlize Theron, Blair Underwood, Forest Whitaker, Alfre Woodard

FICTION
THE HELP by Kathryn Stockett [check availability]
Read by Bahni Turpin, Octavia Spencer, Jenna Lamia, Cassandra Campbell

LITERARY FICTION
WOLF HALL by Hilary Mantel [check availability]
Read by Simon Slater

AUDIOBOOK ADAPTATION
THE MALTESE FALCON by Dashiell Hammett [check availability]
Read by Michael Madsen, Sandra Oh, Edward Herrmann, and a Full Cast

BUSINESS/EDUCATION
RAIN: WHAT A PAPERBOY LEARNED ABOUT BUSINESS
by Jeffrey J. Fox [check availability]
Read by Jeffrey J. Fox

NON-FICTION
THE NATIONAL PARKS by Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan [check availability]
Read by Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan

In addition to the winners listed above, we have several of this year’s Audies finalists available at the library.  To view a complete list of finalists and winners, including reviews and audio clips, visit http://www.theaudies.com.  If you need assistance with finding an audiobook please ask us for help.

Playaway Enhancements: Now in HD Audio

If you haven’t checked out a Playaway (portable, pre-loaded digital audiobook) yet, or haven’t checked one out recently, you should come take a look at the new enhanced Playaways that have recently hit the shelves. In March 2010, Findaway World (the publisher of Playaways) began issuing Playaways in high-definition audio.  These new Playaways also come with enhanced features, including new audio speeds and improved keypad functionality.  Finally, battery life has been extended to over 30 hours of playtime per battery with HD Audio.

Our growing collection of Playaways currently contains 60 titles. To make it easier for you to find the Playaway collection we’ve temporarily relocated all of our Playaways to the “Popular Reading” area of the Library (shelved along the cafe wall).

BookBuzz @ Bentley

As you might imagine, most of us who work here in the library are avid book readers and/or audiobook listeners, and we love to share our opinions.  Pop on over to the BookBuzz @ Bentley blog to read our reviews.   We’d love to hear what YOU have to say, so BookBuzz is now also soliciting your reviews and suggestions!  Visit the BookBuzz blog and click on “Your Turn To Share With Us” to submit your review or to make a purchase recommendation.

New Audiobook Titles

You can find a listing of our newest audiobook titles on our New Books page. Listings are updated on or around the first of each month.