Adult Services Assistant Stephanie F.

Welcome back to Third Thursday Treasures! This is where we give OFPL staff members an opportunity to write about some of their favorite books. This month, my fellow Adult Services Assistant, Stephanie F. shares some old and new favorite audio-books – a perfect choice for holiday travelling. Thank you, Stephanie!

Like many busy people I don’t have that much time to read. One of the things I have found to help me are audio-books. During my drive to work, taking children to their various activities, waiting for pick-ups and drop-offs, I can use this time to catch up on my reading list. So if you have limited time to get to the books you want to read, try getting an audiobook and you will be surprised how much reading and listening you get done. Lucky for me on the second floor of the library, we have an entire wall dedicated to audio-books.

Even though my nightstand is still stacked high with books I always have an audiobook in my car. On that note I often have a children’s or young adult book to listen to with my children as they are in the car with me so often. One of the stories we loved listening to together was The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo. This wonderful book takes you on an emotional journey as Edward Tulane, a porcelain bunny, travels from owner to owner – each with their own quirks and sensibilities. He is forced to lean into all of these new encounters and find joy where he can. To say we were mesmerized by all the twist and turns of his journey would be an understatement. Long after the story was over, we continued to think about and discuss Edward Tulane.

On a completely different note, I recently listened to Talking with Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell. He sets this audiobook a part by not just narrating but also, when possible, having the actual people from his interviews speak their parts in this book. This just adds another layer of interest to the opinions and facts he shares throughout the book.

This audiobook is not for the faint of heart as it deals with how we relate to strangers and how we often overlook acts of injustice by authority figures without even realizing it. This is another audiobook that will leave you thinking long after you are done listening.

Finally, I recommend The Whisper Man by Alex North. If you enjoy a good suspenseful thriller then you will not be disappointed. The story follows Tom and Jake Kennedy as they begin a new life in a new town after the unexpected death of Tom’s wife. After moving into to their new home, Jake has trouble settling into their new life. Tom notices an increase in Jake’s imaginary friends, particularly a new friend he calls “the boy in the floor.” From there the story moves at a good pace and is well narrated by Christopher Eccleston.  His performance is impeccable and easy to listen to. This brings up an important point about audio-books – voice matters. If you find that you are not enjoying the reader’s cadence or style, just move on to another book.

I hope you will check out some audio-books next time you are here at the O’Fallon Public Library. If you do, or if you are already a fan of audio-books let us know which titles you enjoy and which narrators you find to be the best.

Happy listening!

Inspired by Stephanie’s Recommendations:

The Tale of DespereauxBeing the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, and a Spool of Thread by Kate DiCamillo – Welcome to the story of Despereaux Tilling, a mouse who is in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea. It is also the story of a rat called Roscuro, who lives in the darkness and covets a world filled with light. And it is the story of Miggery Sow, a slow-witted serving girl who harbors a simple, impossible wish. These three characters are about to embark on a journey that will lead them down into a horrible dungeon, up into a glittering castle, and, ultimately, into each other’s lives. What happens then? As Kate DiCamillo would say: Reader, it is your destiny to find out.

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell – Three thousand years ago on a battlefield in ancient Palestine, a shepherd boy felled a mighty warrior with nothing more than a stone and a sling, and ever since then the names of David and Goliath have stood for battles between underdogs and giants. David’s victory was improbable and miraculous. He shouldn’t have won. Or should he have?

In David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell challenges how we think about obstacles and disadvantages, offering a new interpretation of what it means to be discriminated against, or cope with a disability, or lose a parent, or attend a mediocre school, or suffer from any number of other apparent setbacks.

Gladwell begins with the real story of what happened between the giant and the shepherd boy those many years ago. From there,  David and Goliath examines Northern Ireland’s Troubles, the minds of cancer researchers and civil rights leaders, murder and the high costs of revenge, and the dynamics of successful and unsuccessful classrooms—all to demonstrate how much of what is beautiful and important in the world arises from what looks like suffering and adversity.

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