Audiobooks - Librarian Top Picks
In May, I took a couple weeks of vacation and went for a little – ok, pretty big for me – bike ride from San Francisco to San Diego. Knowing that I’d be spending some long, lonely hours on my bike saddle, I loaded up my phone with audiobooks suggested by friends, along with a few that caught my eye in Greater Phoenix Digital Library.
When I started my ride, reality hit: I couldn’t run out my phone’s battery in case I needed to use it for an emergency, and I needed to be able to hear traffic approaching from behind in order to ride safely. So, my grand plan of making it through ten audiobooks on a trip didn’t pan out.
I’ve been listening to the books since then, and I can definitely recommend them for listening while cleaning the house, driving to work, or on a road trip – as long as it’s not a bicycle road trip. The best part: These are all available from Greater Phoenix Digital Library, and they don’t have a long wait list.
-- Librarian Maren
1453: The Holy War for Constantinople and the Clash of Islam and the West - Roger Crowley
A comprehensive account of the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks in 1453 examines the end of the Byzantine Empire and the medieval era, and the implications of the siege for the relationship between the West and Islam.
The Wars of the Roosevelts - William J. Mann
An account of the decades-long rivalries, grudges, and battles between and within the Roosevelt families. Biographer William Mann draws on previous histories and primary sources in a chronicle that spans the presidencies of both Theodore and Franklin.
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail - Cheryl Strayed
Following her mother’s death, author Cheryl Strayed resolved to hike the Pacific Crest Trail, a wilderness route stretching from the Mexican border to Canada. She tells the story of her 1,100-mile solo hike and how it broke her down (too-big backpack, too-small boots) and then built her up again.
The Double Bind - Chris Bohjalian
Working at a homeless shelter, student Laurel Estabrook encounters Bobbie Crocker, a man with a history of mental illness and a box of secret photos, but when Bobbie dies suddenly, Laurel embarks on an obsessive search for the truth behind the photos.
Year of Wonders: a Novel of the Plague - Geraldine Brooks
Inspired by an actual remote British village decimated by the bubonic plague, journalist Geraldine Brooks recreates the story from the perspective of 18-year-old Anna Frith, a widow with two young sons.
Saving CeeCee Honeycutt - Beth Hoffman
For years, 12-year-old CeeCee Honeycutt has been the caretaker of her psychotic mother, Camille-the tiara-toting, lipstick-smeared laughingstock of an entire town. But when Camille is struck and killed by a truck, CeeCee is left to fend for herself. To the rescue comes her previously unknown great-aunt, who whirls CeeCee into her world of female friendship, strong women, humor, and good old-fashioned heart.
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry - Rachel Joyce
Recently retired Harold Fry receives a letter from Queenie Hennessy, an friend from 20 years previous, saying she is in hospice and wants to say goodbye. Harold intends a quick walk to the corner mailbox to post his reply but, inspired by a chance encounter, he becomes convinced he must walk to Queenie to deliver his message—a 600-mile journey.
Bill Warrington’s Last Chance - James King
Recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, Bill Warrington decides it’s time to bring his estranged children together while he still can. He hatches a plan to “kidnap” his daughter April for a summer road trip (with her at the wheel), and drops clues along the way in hopes that all of his children will unite in the effort to find them.
A Cup of Friendship - Deborah Rodriguez
Running a Kabul coffee shop patronized by ex-pats, Sunny reaches out to a growing circle of new friends including a pregnant rape victim, a wealthy woman longing to help others, a journalist with a painful secret and a den mother who is engaged in a complicated affair.