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July 27, 2017

Book Related Birthday Trip

Filed under: audiobooks,best books,Reading life — rmlblog @ 9:43 pm

I was listening to a podcast (http://modernmrsdarcy.com/what-should-i-read-next/) that makes book recommendations based on 3 books the guest likes and 1 the guest doesn’t. One guest was planning a trip for her 50th birthday. She lives in San Francisco and was going to go to 10 bookstores in 10 towns as she made her way to San Diego. Her plan was to buy 5 books at each store so that she’d have 50 books by the end.

This got me thinking. 1) I don’t need 50 more books in my house and 2) which of my books do I count as the ones I want to reread as I get older.

I love fantasy and reread several of my authors: Stephen Donaldson, Robin Hobb, Brandon Sanderson, Guy Gavriel Kay, JK Rowling, Robin McKinley and Tolkien. I don’t think I’ll be rereading Donaldson’s Thomas Covenant series mainly because I haven’t finished the last two books in his 4th trilogy. I don’t think I’ll reread Sanderson’s 10 volume set that he’s working on now, but I might reread some of his others. I reread Kay and Rowling regularly either in book or audio. I love Tolkien in audio and will probably relisten.

I also love mysteries and Agatha Christie and Louise Penny are on my reread lists. I’ve been slowly accumulating Christie’s novels.

I relisten to Patrick O’Brien’s Aubrey and Maturin series often as well.

What would you collect if you were going to make a 50th Birthday trip? It could really be anything! 50 skeins of yarn and visit yarn shops. 50 bottles of wine and visit vineyards. 50 vinyl records.


April 24, 2017

Maggie’s Favorite Audiobooks (at least right now)

Filed under: audiobooks — rmlblog @ 11:55 pm

I listen to audiobooks on my drive to work every day and I have lots of favorites. Here is a list of some of them.

  1. Adrian McKinty’s Sean Duffy series. Gerard Doyle reads them with a wonderful Irish accent. The series takes place in the 1980s in Northern Ireland during the Troubles. They are exciting, informative, funny, and I keep wanting to get back in my car. The first one is Cold, Cold Ground.
  2. Spencer Quinn’s Bernie and Chet series. Chet is the narrator. He is a dog. Bernie Little, his owner, is a private eye in Arizona with a lot of personal problems. Chet often misses some key moments when he gets distracted. Did you say squirrel? The reader Jim Frangione really does a great job with Chet’s internal voice. Start with Dog Gone It.
  3. Alexander McCall Smith’s Precious Ramotswe (No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency) series. These books take place in Botswana and the reader, Lisette Lecat, brings it alive. I always want to visit after listening to one of these books.
  4. Louise Penny’s Three Pine series. The reader of the first ten books was Ralph Cosham (he has since died) and that is how I remember Armand Gamache’s voice. The new reader, Robert Bathurst, takes some getting used to. But the stories are still wonderful. Again, a place I want to visit. Start with Still Life.
  5. The Good House by Ann Leary. Hildy Good, a realtor, a townie and an alcoholic is the narrator of this story that follows several secrets in this small North Shore town. The reader, Mary Beth Hurt, really catches Hildy’s voice. You feel like you know her. This is being made into a movie with Meryl Streep as Hildy.
  6. Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. I particularly enjoyed the Tiffany Aching set (which starts with The Wee Free Men), read by Stephen Briggs.
  7. Ivan Doig’s Montana series make wonderful audiobooks. His descriptions are lyrical. Try Work Song with reader Jonathan Hogan.
  8. One series I collect at home is Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey and Maturin books. This naval historical set takes place during the Napoleonic period. One of the book covers the great naval battles of the War of 1812 between the US and Britain. The reader, Patrick Tull, brings the characters to life. You understand the humor more in the audio than you do reading them yourself. Start with Master and Commander. There are several readers for this series and your favorite is apt to be the one you start with.
  9. Michael Connelly’s books have several readers. I’ve enjoyed all of them. He writes clearly enough that you can follow the plot as you drive.
  10. And, of course, the Harry Potter series. I like the Jim Dale versions, but others really like Stephen Fry, the British reader, but those aren’t available in our system.

Answers to last month’s quiz:

  1. Morse by Colin Dexter
  2. DCI Alan Banks by Peter Robinson
  3.  Tess Monaghan by Laura Lippman
  4. Armand Gamache by Louise Penny
  5. Hamish Macbeth by MC Beaton
  6. Dismas Hardy by John Lescroart
  7. Alex Cooper and Mike Chapman by Linda Fairstein
  8. Walt Longmire by Craig Johnson
  9. Bernie Little by Spencer Quinn

November 17, 2016

Have a Great Ride with Audiobooks

Filed under: audiobooks — rmlblog @ 11:31 pm

A recent discussion on WBUR’s On Point with Tom Ashbrook was about audio books, their history and the current increase in popularity. That reminded me that it was the time of year to remind people of the various ways to access audio books for those long car rides.

The SAILS system has a large, over 20,000, selection of audio books for all ages, on all topics, and varying lengths. For families there are books such as the Harry Potter or the Lord of the Rings series that appeal to a wide age range. Many of the young adult titles– The Hunger Games or frank-beddorFrank Beddor’s Looking Glass Wars — are enjoyable for adults as well. There are classics — Treasure Island, Gulliver’s Travels, Just So Stories — that are good for all ages. To find the books in the catalog, just limit the search to Audio Books instead of Everywhere. Most of the titles will be on cd and most are unabridged.

Another option is the downloadable audios through OverDrive. These can be downloaded to an mp3 player or a smartphone and then accessed by bluetooth if you have it in your car. There are almost 3000 audio book titles in OverDrive and more if you use the Boston Public Library eCard.

For people without families, I recommend the books by Louise Penny, Spencer Quinn, Alexander McCall Smith and Patrick Tull as well as nonfiction titles such as Destiny of the Republic or A Walk in the Woods.

February 23, 2016

Goodreads Groups and the Library

Filed under: audiobooks,best books,Reading life — rmlblog @ 12:58 am

Many library patrons have signed up for Goodreads.com which is a book-sharing, book recommendation, and book list storing site. Members can search for book suggestions based on what they have read previously, or search by genre or author. There are also Goodreads Groups. I have just joined one for Terry Pratchett readers. There is a book suggestion each month and a place to comment about it.

I wonder if anyone out there would be interesting in starting a couple of Goodreads groups for the library. We could have a group that shares good audiobook titles and voice talent. Another could be for good OverDrive books. Let me know if you would be interested and I’ll set it up.


July 23, 2014

Put a Little Humor in Your Summer

Filed under: audiobooks,best books,Reading life — rmlblog @ 8:31 pm

My sons and I listened to Carl Hiaasen’s book, Skinny Dip, as we wandered around Virginia and Maryland during our vacation. I had to be careful not to laugh too much on some of the hairpin turns, but we really enjoyed it. While Hiaasen — and many of the books recommended on various lists — are not necessarily good for a young audience, he is great for adults.

Consider picking up some funny books for your drive or beach read. The RML staff are particularly fond of Christopher Moore (Dirty Job is my favorite) and PJ Wodehouse. I also like the Lucia and Mapp series by E.F. Benson.

This clickable list is from Flavorwire. Some are not in the SAILS system.

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
Woke Up Lonely by Fiona Maazel
The Little Disturbances of Man by Grace Paley
Stench of Honolulu by Jack Handey
The Ask by Sam Lipsyte
White Noise by Don DeLillo
Portnoy’s Complaint by Philip Roth
Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol
Metropolitan Life by Fran Lebowitz
The Most of S.J. Perelman by S.J. Perelman
Don’t get Too Comfortable by David Rakoff
The Great Frustration by Seth Fried
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes by Anita Loos
Civilwarland in Bad Decline by George Saunders
Heartburn by Nora Ephron
The Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker
Boswell: A Modern comedy by Stanley Elkin
Like You’d Understand, Anyway by Jim Shepard
Christmas Pudding and Pigeon Pie by Nancy Mitford
Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy
I was told there’d be cake by Sloane Crosley
Carry on, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse
Flatscreen by Adam Wilson
The Magic Christian by Terry Southern
The Complete Short Stories of Mark Twain by Mark Twain

August 25, 2011

Learning Languages Resources

Filed under: audiobooks,Foreign languages,travel — rmlblog @ 7:16 pm

People frequently come to the library looking for the Rosetta Stone language software. Unfortunately, the company does not support library use copies and we’ve never been able to successfully borrow them from anywhere.

There are other language resources available, however.

The best way to look in the catalog is to use the subject search terms: <language you want> self-instruction.  For example “Spanish self-instruction” comes up with 6 resources just in Richards Memorial’s collection.  Using the audiobook search and adding “discs” in the Keyword field, you will find 51 Spanish instruction cds in the SAILS system.  If searching for dvds, you use the dvd search and put “Spanish self-instruction” in the Keyword field. However, you do get a lot of ESL material.

Another place to check out is Overdrive (sails.lib.overdrive.com). I found downloadable audiobooks in a lot of languages.

  • On the Move series — The Lively Audio Language Program for Busy People — offers French, Italian and Spanish.
  • Global Access — general social- , travel- and business-related conversation–has French and Spanish.
  • Hear-Say for Kids has French, Spanish and English.
  • All-Audio by Living Language has German and Italian.
  • In-Flight also by Living Language has Arabic, Chinese, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Ingles, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai and Turkish.

Finally, you may want to try one of the two Spanish classes through Universal Class (access is on the RMLonline website. ) There is Spanish 101 and Spanish for travelers. There are also some ESL classes.

Working on the 100th book: I will probably get up to 75 books by the end of August. That leaves me 3 more months to reach 100. The goal is in sight!

June 17, 2009

Celebrate Audio Book month with a Golden Voice.

Filed under: audiobooks — rmlblog @ 2:06 pm

AudioFile Magazine and website has a Hall of Fame of audiobook narrators that they call the Golden Voices.

“AudioFile editors celebrate the Golden Voices of audiobooks. This Hall of Fame showcases top narrators for their exceptional audiobook work. We celebrate these actors for their commitment to the craft of audiobook narration and for their achievements in spoken-word recordings.”

Here is a linkable list of the Golden Voice award winners so you can find your own favorites.  Also check out Audiofile’s search tool to find readers by accents and genres.

May 22, 2008

Made to Stick: Audio book you’ll be talking about

Filed under: audiobooks,Uncategorized — rmlblog @ 7:12 pm
Tags: , ,

I recently listened to Made to Stick by Chip Heath & Dan Heath, a nonfiction audio and found that I was referring to it in conversation the whole week. The authors have researched what makes one idea stay in our minds longer than another. By looking at hundreds of examples they culled the key points down to six: simple, unexpected, concrete, credible, emotional and story. (Check out their website for more information.)

What was interesting was that the business-oriented book captured my attention. I wondered what other business books might be good “listens.”

Here is Library Journal’s 2006 list of recommended audio business books:


* Covey, Stephen R. Principle-Centered Leadership. 6 CDs. unabridged. SAILS only has cassette version.

* Drucker, Peter F. Managing in the Next Society. 3 CDs.

* Goleman, Daniel & others. Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence. Cd and cassette.

* Welch, Jack with Suzy Welch. Winning. Cd and cassette.


* Anderson, Chris. The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More.

* Charan, Ram. Profitable Growth Is Everyone’s Business: 10 Tools You Can Use Monday Morning. Not in SAILS.

* Collins, Jim & Jerry I. Porras. Built To Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies. Cd and cassette.

* Kofman, Fred. Conscious Business: How To Build Value Through Values. Not in SAILS.

* Krames, Jeffrey A. What the Best CEOs Know: 7 Exceptional Leaders and Their Lessons for Transforming Any Business. Not in SAILS.


* Lencioni, Patrick. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. Not in SAILS.

* Singer, Blair. The ABC’s of Building a Business Team That Wins: The Invisible Code of Honor That Takes Ordinary People and Turns Them into a Championship Team.


* Liker, Jeffrey K. The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles from the World’s Greatest Manufacturer.

* Lundin, Stephen & others. Fish!: A Remarkable Way To Boost Morale and Improve Results. Not in SAILS.

* John Yokoyama and Joseph Michelli. When Fish Fly: Lessons for Creating a Vital and Energized Workplace from the World Famous Pike Place Fish Market

* Underwood, Jim. More Than a Pink Cadillac: Mary Kay Inc.’s 9 Leadership Keys to Success. Not in SAILS.

December 5, 2007

Audiobook Reviews

Filed under: audiobooks,Favorite Books — rmlblog @ 3:56 pm

Audiobooks are a growing part of our circulation. Which books have you found particularly good? Who are your favorite readers?

Playaway: Listen while you work, or play, or travel, or wait

Filed under: audiobooks,travel — rmlblog @ 3:32 pm

The newest technology in audiobooks is a system called Playaway. Essentially it is a small — think tic-tac box–electronic gadget that has an entire book stored in its memory. Just plug in your own earphones and put the gadget in your pocket and you’re ready to listen while you work, travel, wait in line, do the dishes — whatever. Our circulation director, Ellen, is finding them perfect to listen to as she does her chores at home. With two busy children, it’s hard to fit in time to read, so this way she can listen to new books.

The easiest way to see which titles are available in playaway format is to search in iBistro by typing in playaway.

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