Familiar Tales

June is Audiobook Month. It is a time to celebrate the spoken tale. Give your weary screen focused eyes a break and sit back and relax while someone reads to you for a change.

We have put together a collection of familiar and/or classic stories for you to enjoy. Included is some “comfort food” such as J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Plus some with a new twist on an old classic. For example, And the Ocean Was Our Sky by Patrick Ness evokes the images of Moby Dick but from the whales’ point of view. In addition, Eligible: A modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice by Curtis Sittenfeld and Longbourn by Jo Baker told from the staffs’ perspective, both extend enjoyment of the original tale. 

Need more selections? Check out the 2020 Audie Award Winners available in the collection. The Audies – the Oscars of the audiobook industry – are awarded annually by the Audio Publishers Association.

So much content so little time. In addition to listening in the car, here are some suggested activities that pair nicely with an audiobook.

  • Take a walk (Watching out for traffic of course!)
  • Sitting in the sun (Don’t forget your hat and sunscreen, safety first!)
  • Folding laundry or other important household tasks.
  • Gardening (Not recommended when using power tools!)
  • Tuning out other members of the household and finding a happy place. (Oh, did I think that aloud?)

Where do you enjoy the audio versions? Is there a particular author, narrator, title that you really enjoy? Please share by posting a comment below or shooting us a message through social media. We love to hear from you.

New to OverDrive? Check out our Getting Started page or contact a librarian for help.

Happy Listening.

June is Audiobook Month!

The Bentley Library’s collection of audiobooks is available for all your summer road trips! Weekend coastal drives or sitting in traffic waiting to get to the coast, in either case, listening to a good narrator makes the trip more enjoyable. Audiobooks are also great for taking long walks, gardening, sunbathing or just hanging out on the lawn.

With 1300 titles available through OverDrive and 600 CD titles available in the Audiobook Collection, there really is something for everyone.

You can:

Experience books in the news:

Catch up on a title for book club:

Explore a business topic:

Enjoy a life story:

Share the experience with the whole family:

And even work your way through The Great American Read:

Not sure of what to choose? Just stop by the Reference Desk, call, or chat with us online and we can recommend a title to start with. Want something we don’t have yet? Place a Suggest a Purchase request.

For help using OverDrive, view their Getting Started page or visit the Reference Desk for assistance.

For Pinterest users, the New Audiobooks Pinterest board alerts you as soon as a new CD title is added to the collection.

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:



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.



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