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Winking with Proust

How Proust Can Change Your Life audiobook coverYou might think literary heavyweight Marcel Proust has nothing to say to you, but French author Alain de Botton wants you to experience How Proust Can Change Your Life. This book is a unique animal, blending wit, literary biography, and self-help to illustrate the power of reading and life experiences. The short chapters have pithy titles including “How to Be a Good Friend,” “How to Suffer Successfully,” and “How to Be Happy in Love.” The audiobook format best allows you to appreciate the humor, with narrator Nicholas Bell easily bringing out the lightness in the anecdotes and observations. Change your life with one of the books we are reading along with our friends in Sèvres, France.

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on September 16, 2013 Categories: Audiobooks, Books, Humor, Literary, Nonfiction

Tortured Souls Make Terrific Television

Difficult Men book coverFor a long time, bad guys were introduced primarily to add conflict for our heroes, but somewhere along the way, they grew on us. Those of you caught up in the final season of Breaking Bad know what we mean. Especially in the last decade, television has embraced a specific type of antihero, the “unhappy, morally compromised, complicated, deeply human characters who stir both our sympathy and our revulsion.” In Difficult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution, author Brett Martin explores not only signature characters of landmark series but also the show runners – the brilliant and often damaged men driving the programs through the casting, the writing, and the directing. What does the success of these shows have to say about those who craft them? And what does it say about those of us who watch?

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on August 26, 2013 Categories: Audiobooks, Books, Movies and TV, Nonfiction

LISTS: Romance Audiobooks

Beyond the Highland Mist book coverThe sultry heat of summer is dulling out. The wide open nights are shortening – but there is still time! Still time to crawl into bed or take a drive and let someone tease you away from real life. Have you tried listening to a romance novel on audiobook?

Click here for romance audiobooks that will make you shiver in the heat and quiver between the sheets.

By Readers' Advisor on August 16, 2013 Categories: Audiobooks, Books, Lists, Romance

LISTS: Full-cast Productions

Complete Miss Marple book coverIf you love old time radio, you might like audiobooks. Both have professional actors stitching a story to the audience’s attention by sound alone. Try a full-cast audiobook where multiple actors narrate, thus bringing depth to the presentation.

For full-cast audiobooks, click here.

By Readers' Advisor on August 2, 2013 Categories: Audiobooks, Lists

Looking for a Thrill?

Spilled Blood book cover

The winners of the 2013 Thriller Awards were announced this week, and readers who enjoy a pulse-pounding pace will want to experience the excitement for themselves!

Best Hardcover NovelSpilled Blood by Brian Freeman

Best Paperback Original Lake Country by Sean Doolittle

Best First NovelThe 500 by Matthew Quirk

Best Young Adult NovelFalse Memory by Dan Krokos

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on July 17, 2013 Categories: Audiobooks, Awards, Books, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense

Star Trekkin’

Redshirts audiobook coverAll action stories need minor characters who are somewhat expendable. When bad things happen to them, it makes the danger feel more real and raises the stakes for the heroes. In science fiction the label redshirts has become shorthand for these doomed roles, and John Scalzi has imagined a world where they refuse to play along with the script. Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas is both a hilarious adventure in space exploration and a playful tribute to the quirks of serial storytelling. Fans of the films Galaxy Quest and Stranger Than Fiction will find this an appealing mix of affectionate nitpicking and fun reinvention, especially as performed by veteran sci-fi actor and author Wil Wheaton.

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on July 8, 2013 Categories: Audiobooks, Books, Fantasy & Sci-Fi, Humor

LISTS: British Classics on Audiobook

Wuthering Heights book coverWuthering Heights is a must-read. Even Bella from Twilight was obsessed with it. But for some people, books like Wuthering Heights can be hard to read because of their thicker language and plot lines. Have no fear! Relax as someone else reads a British classic to you.

Click here for British classics on audiobook.

By Readers' Advisor on June 14, 2013 Categories: Audiobooks, Lists

A Beautiful Telling of an Ugly Aftermath

Round House audiobook cover

National Book Award winner The Round House is an iron fist in a velvet glove. In this intimate stunner, Joe is a thirteen-year-old living with his parents on a North Dakota reservation. When his mother is raped, he cannot bear to watch her waste away in a self-imposed prison of silence and suffering. Instead, he determines to do what he can to bring peace to his family, even as he struggles with understanding his own place in a complicated intersection of worlds. This powerful tale gains even greater impact in the measured pacing and authentic cadence of performer Gary Farmer. With an eye for detail and an ear for language, author Louise Erdrich masterfully crafts a layered, thoughtful narrative that exposes both beauty and truth.

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on June 10, 2013 Categories: Audiobooks, Books, Literary

Best Audiobooks of the Year

Age of Miracles audiobook coverCelebrate June is Audiobook Month by turning a ready ear to the brand new winners of the 2013 Audie Awards. Whether on a sunny walk, a cross-country road trip, or even a daily commute, you will find the journey to be all the better in the company of an expert story. Audiobook listeners can also earn chances for prizes in MPPL’s summer reading program, Have Book, Will Travel, so why not start with one of these?

Science Fiction: The Age of Miracles (Walker) – read by Emily Rankin
Literary Fiction: Bring Up the Bodies (Mantel) – read by Simon Vance
Mystery: The Beautiful Mystery (Penny) – read by Ralph Cosham
Romance: The Witness (Roberts) – read by Julia Whelan
Solo Narration – Female: Katherine Kellgren for The Boy in the Suitcase (Kaaberbøl and Friis)
Solo Narration – Male: Edoardo Ballerini for Beautiful Ruins (Walter)
Teens: The Fault in Our Stars (Green) – read by Kate Rudd
Children’s Title for Ages 8-12: Same Sun Here – written and read by Silas House and Neela Vaswani
Children’s Titles for Ages Up to 8: The Great Cake Mystery: Precious Ramotswe’s Very First Case (McCall Smith) – read by Adjoa Andoh

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on June 1, 2013 Categories: Audiobooks, Awards, Fantasy & Sci-Fi, Historical Fiction, Literary, Romance

Who Needs a Bookstore at 2 AM?

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore audiobook coverOut-of-work graphic designer Clay Jannon stumbles on an unusual bookshop and impulsively asks for work. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore seems innocuous enough, but soon it becomes apparent that there is a strange plot that can’t be contained by the towering shelves of unusual tomes. It will take a love of books, complex data visualization, connections at both Google and Industrial Light & Magic, and a motley crew of friends with unusual skills to complete this quest, and even then the victory may not be theirs. Author Robin Sloan crafts a modern lit-tech adventure, and reader Ari Fliakos brings it to life, honoring the wit, geekery, and enthusiasm that make decoding the secret of immortality hard to resist. The glow-in-the-dark cover helps, too.

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on May 20, 2013 Categories: Audiobooks, Books