Everyone likes being read to as a child. As adults, we are busy working, traveling, and often strapped for time, but audiobooks make it possible to listen and enjoy a story no matter what you are doing. A good audiobook, read by an excellent narrator can take you to outer space on your weekly commute or back in time while washing the dishes.
There are so many great audiobooks out there, something for everyone, but to start the summer we are recommending our favorites from The Great American Read by PBS. All of the titles listed here are available through Hoopla, which means no holds and no waiting! More information on Hoopla can be found here. There are links to other formats if Hoopla is not your preferred way to listen.
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez, read by John Lee – This book is the definition of magical realism, with a dreamy atmosphere and a full cast of characters that transports you to a place just outside our reality. Blending near nonsense with superb storytelling, Márquez’s melodic prose is transformed to poetry when read by Lee. Other formats.
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, ready by Ruby Dee – Dee’s soothing drawl will make you think you are sitting on the porch with Janie, listening to her life story. Set in central Florida, this book embodies the hot and humid summer, making you all the more thankful for air conditioning. Other formats.
Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin, read by the author – Gossipy and sharp, Maupin paints San Francisco in the late 1970s as a vibrant living thing. It is a good thing that this is the first in a series, because you will fall in love with every single character! Other formats.
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, read by Barrett Whitener – Toole was awarded a posthumous Pulitzer for this picaresque novel describing the life of Ignatius Reilly, a mid-century Don Quixote and despicable slob who lives with his mother in New Orleans, binge eats, and prefers the moral, fashion, and hygiene standards of the Middle Ages to those of the present day. The novel’s hilarious narrative voice manages to simultaneously repulse, amuse, and endear the reader, and the diverse cast of characters and New Orleans dialects are unforgettable. Other formats.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, read by Gildart Jackson – The beginnings of science fiction and horror are read here in that spine tingling way that makes you wonder, “Am I listening to a madman?”. Other formats.