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Nevada Libraries Offering Audiobooks

When was the last time you listened to an audio book? If it involved a vinyl record and a sonorous ping prompting you to turn the page then it’s time to give audio books another listen.

Audio books are convenient, high-tech, quality productions that are available not only at the library but are also downloadable from your library’s Web site (see links below). Once downloaded, many can be burned to a cd or transferred to an mp3 player, IPod, or IPhone. And downloaded audio books are green: they save trees while saving you from late fees.

Today’s audio books feature talented narrators (sometimes famous actors, sometimes full casts), spooky sound effects, and inviting music to draw the listener into a story.

Audio books can also help students maintain their reading skills over the summer. Yes, audio books count as reading and they can engage a reluctant reader or engage the whole family in summer reading.

Bring an audio book and a long car ride becomes a quality family activity. Take your mp3 player to the beach and learn a new language, laugh at a well-told story, or zone out to a trashy romance novel. This year, enhance your summer by rediscovering audio books from the summer listening list.

┬áThe Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. Loosely based on The Jungle Book, this year’s Newbery Medal (best children’s fiction) is the story of Bod (Nobody) Owens, an orphan raised by the inhabitants of a graveyard. The author’s soft English accent fosters the macabre mood without being dreary. A unique and well-written story for families and tweens through adult.

The Composer is Dead by Lemony Snicket. The snarky Mr. Snicket reads this orchestral whodunit with accompaniment by the San Francisco Symphony. The story and music reach a crescendo as the investigator questions each instrument about their alibi on the night of the composer’s untimely death. A great introduction to music for children and families.

Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich. This recent title in Evanovich’s series about bail bondswoman Stephanie Plum is perfect for the beach. Narrator Lorelei King reads all of the characters from Plum to a tough cop to a larger than life woman with panache. Adults.

When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris. The latest collection of hilarious and cringe-worthy personal stories read by the popular humorist. Choose any story from the 8 audio discs but don’t miss “The Understudy” about uncomfortable adventures with a white trash babysitter and “That’s Amore” about a pint-sized Sicilian neighbor that swears like a sailor. Adults.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz. A preeminent modern writer, Diaz crafts a portrait of the Dominican-American experience set in a New Jersey ghetto. Actors Jonathan Davis and Staci Snell read with passion and urban accuracy as Oscar tries to overcome the fuku, an ancient curse that haunts his family.

More for children and families:

The Tale of Despereaux and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo

Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry. Read by Jim Dale, narrator of the Harry Potter series

Teens and Adults:

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie. The proverbial emotional rollercoaster: the listener might laugh or cry within the same paragraph.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak


A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore, very funny

Supreme Courtship by Christopher Buckley, read by actress Anne Heche

Saffron Kitchen by Yasmin Crowther

Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist by Michael J. Fox, uplifting non-fiction read by the author

Nevada Libraries offering downloadable audio books:

Washoe County Library System
Las Vegas / Clark County Library District
Henderson Libraries
Carson City Library