June is National Audiobook Month

Will you be traveling during summer vacation? Do you have a long commute to work? How about listening to something while you clean the house or cook dinner? These are all great times to get a little reading in - by ear, of course! June is National Audiobook Month, and the Ann Arbor District Library has plenty of books on CD to help you celebrate.

For the younger set, Jim Dale brings life to all of the Harry Potter audiobooks, and Tim Curry brings mystery and intrigue to Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. You may know James Avery as Will Smith's uncle in the 90's TV show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, but he's also an extremely talented voice actor, and you can hear his work in the audiobook version of Christopher Paul Curtis' Bud Not Buddy.

If you're looking for a few good laughs, check out Stephen Colbert's satire I Am America (And So Can You!) or Tina Fey's biography Bossypants, each read by the author. For a gut-busting funny fiction read, try Lunatics, written and recorded jointly by Dave Barry and Alan Zweibel. Barry and Zweibel take turns reading chapters from their respective characters, and I dare you to get through a single chapter without cracking a smile.

For the ultimate audiobook experience, however, you must try something from the inestimable Bill Bryson. Bryson is mostly well known for his travelogues like A Walk in the Woods (in which he walks the Appalachian Trail), but he has also written Shakespeare in Shakespeare : The World as Stage, the history of science in the extremely informative A Short History of Nearly Everything, and the history of private life in At Home. (Note: All the commercially available copies of Bryson's audiobooks are read by Bryson himself. However, several titles in the AADL collection are library edition copies and thus have different readers.]

Comments

I discovered Dion Graham, a gifted audiobook narrator, while listening to A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (Dave Eggers) and began seeking out books based on his credit alone. The Wild Things (Eggers' take on the Maurice Sendak classic) and What is the What (about the lost boys of Sudan) were the next two. Will try The Tree Where Man Was Born (Peter Matthiessen) next.

Another book that's exceptional in audiobook is Let the Great World Spin (Colum McCann), with multiple talented actors.


I don't usually listen to audiobooks that often, so I'm hoping this summer I'll finally try some.