Monday, June 16, 2008

Roadside Reviews on NPR

I've long been a fan of audio books; and judging by our circulation numbers, a lot of our library card members are too. Last year over 257,000 audio books were borrowed from the Cumberland County Library System.

Now, National Public Radio has started a summer series called "Roadside Reviews" where truckers offer their recommendations of the best and worst books for listening. The first trucker interviewed loves murder-mysteries by Kathy Reichs and Patricia Cornwell. The only problem is, he is renting them from truck stops. He could make his diesel money go a little further if he borrowed them from his local library!

Three of my own personal favorites from the past six months or so are:
  • Lush Life by Richard Price, narrated by Bobby Cannavale -- This will definitely be on my list of Best Books for 2008. Richard Price's use of language and Bobby Cannavale's narration make this police procedural superb.
  • Rhett Butler's People by Donald McCaig, narrated by John Bedford Lloyd -- For anyone who has ever read and loved Gone with the Wind, this is a wonderful re-telling of the story we all know, but from Rhett Butler's perspective. McCaig makes it possible, even in this day and age, to fall in love with Rhett Butler all over again.
  • Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo, narrated by Arthur Morey -- This rich, complex story of life in a small town in upstate New York is one that I simultaneously read and listened to...a technique I recommend for getting through big books in time for your next book club meeting!...It will also be on my Best of Books of 2008 list.


Anonymous said...

For light entertainment, Lizette Lecat does a wonderful job narrating the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series; and of course Jim Dale is amazing as the narrator for the Harry Potter books.

Jonelle Prether Darr said...

I couldn't agree more. Jim Dale is unbelievably good narrating the Harry Potter books. I enjoyed his reading as much, if not more, than the stories themselves.