It almost feels like I’m cheating a bit!

I don’t read much anymore! I used to read quite a bit, but after undergrad followed by grad school, I fell out of the habit of reading for fun. After all the required reading for class and long days at work, reading just dropped to the bottom of my list.

Fast forward – I began working at the Library and discovered a way to “read” while accomplishing other activities.  Audiobooks!  I love being able to listen to audiobooks either via CD while driving (since my car is ancient) or on my phone via the Libby app while doing just about anything else. An added benefit to audiobooks, I quickly discovered, is that they tend to have a shorter wait (if they have one at all) than print and e-books. It almost feels like I’m cheating a bit!

There is one important thing to look for in a good audiobook, besides making sure you actually like the content – the narrator. Not all narrators are created equal. I’ve quit listening to books five minutes in because the narrator either bored or annoyed me. Other narrators draw me in and make me completely lose track of time.  The narrator can make or break the listening experience. I sometimes read reviews and research the narrators to determine if it’s best that I just read it myself.

Here are a few suggestions of audiobooks in which the narrator and story work well together.

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah is one of the best audiobooks I’ve listened to. It’s an interesting and funny first-hand account of how Trevor grew up in South Africa during apartheid when his mixed race heritage was considered illegal. It deals with some serious subject matter, but listening to him read it adds a layer of humor that would be missing if someone else had narrated his story.

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Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham covers her careers and thoughts up until the 2016 reboot of Gilmore Girls.  Graham talks about both the original and rebooted series. This was a perfect listen for any Gilmore Girls fan and was made way more fun with her personal experiences and quirky sense of humor read by her own voice.

 

 

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens is a popular book, but just did not interest me.  I want to keep up with what everyone is reading so I listened to it in my car.  I made the right decision. The narrator was surprisingly animated given the overall seriousness of the story. The only issue I had was that the different voices were sometimes hard to distinguish, but eventually I was able to catch the slight subtleties and remember who was who. If you haven’t read the book yet, I would definitely look into the audiobook.

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer is a young adult pick that I highly recommend. If you’ve seen the movie and aren’t familiar with the books, I urge you to listen to the book, or even the first few, to help redeem the mess of the movie. The story is excellent.  Colfer builds a wonderfully detailed fantasy world. Several of the main characters are Irish along with a lot of the story being set in Ireland. The narrator is actually Irish, which adds a lot to the overall experience.

 

Gingerbread Cookie Murder (Cosy mysteries) is an anthology with 3 short holiday mysteries by 3 different authors. I typically avoid these types of books as they are generally a little too cheesy for me, but I was looking for something light and seasonal around the holidays while in the car.  I didn’t have high expectations for this, but was pleasantly surprised. Along with the story being light, the narrator had enough variety in her voice to hold my attention. Although these types of books are not my first choice, this story was definitely a second choice when the excitement of Christmas music wore off.

 

I have really grown to enjoy audiobooks. They are a good distraction when multitasking with other activities. If you haven’t really listened to books, now is a great time to begin. It will help those summer road trips and afternoon workouts pass by a lot faster! If you’re interested in checking out an audiobook, you can find BCDs (books on CDs) and Playaways (preloaded audiobooks) at any BCPL location. If you prefer to use your own device, the Libby app for Apple and Android devices has audiobooks available to check out by visiting the BCPL website and scrolling down to Libby. There’s no excuse not to read now, no matter how busy you are!

 

Kelsey Shackelford is the Community Events Liaison at the Main Library. Her favorite audiobooks are the Harry Potter series. Kelsey’s favorite time to listen to audiobooks are during long road trips.

Treat Yourself to a Staycation!

Treat yourself to a staycation!  Have some local fun by taking a trip around Boone County.  BCPL has created a scavenger hunt to help you discover little hidden gems around the county.  Learn our history, discover a new hobby or become one with nature!


 

Several stops on the hunt are probably places that you visit from time to time.  If you visit Boone County Parks, you are likely familiar with the walking trail at Walton Community Park or the Children’s Garden at Central Park, but have you ever found Snoopy located in England Idlewild Dog Park? If you stop by, look around for him. We promise he’s there!

 

 

 

Fancy some history and animal exploration? Big Bone Lick is a great place to stop on your hunt! Did you know the fossilized remains of mastodons, wooly mammoths, and ground sloths were discovered at Big Bone Lick State Park in 1739? The bison herds are a reminder of the park’s prehistoric past. All of this information and more can be found at the park’s on-site museum. BCPL employee, Emily Cornett, explored Big Bone Lick State Park with her two little ones recently!

 

 

 

This jockey is just begging for a fist bump! Find him at Tousey House Tavern in historical Burlington. And while there, cross off another item on the scavenger hunt list, Hogan House! There is so much to explore in this historical area.

 

 

This is just a start. Check out our scavenger hunt for more discoveries!  Take pictures of your hunt and share with us on social media by tagging Boone County Public Library and using the hashtag #CheckOutBCPL. If your account is private, feel free to send us a private message with your photos. We may even feature them on our social media accounts!

Here is a MAP if you need some help.

Are there any hidden gems you would add to the next scavenger hunt?

Happy Summer!