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Category: Audio Books
JANUARY 21, 2012
Now that the bustle of the holiday season is over, I will try to get back to a better schedule for keeping you informed about library news. In the flurry of last minute buying of materials before the end of the year, we added two popular series to our collection of audio books on CD. The first is a very well-done version of Lord of the Rings narrated by Rob Inglis. I just loved going back to this epic story, and then rewatching the fabulous films directed by Peter Jackson. These are also available on DVD at the library. Also new to the collection are all seven of the Harry Potter series read by Jim Dale. His interpretation of the characters is perfect, as he brings to life all the detail of the books which the movies could not supply. Audio books make great listening in your car, as a bedtime treat, or while you clean or cook. Try one of these classics and enjoy a great 'reading' experience!
The Help by Kathryn Stockett. What a thoughtful, delightful, inspiring book this is! And how meaningful to those of the baby-boomer generation. In 1960's Jackson, Mississippi, Eugenia Phelan, also known as Skeeter, has just returned from college. She is looking to make a place for herself in the world, preferably not under the thumb of her overbearing mother, Charlotte. But Skeeter's old friends, Hilly Holbrook and Elizabeth Leefolt are interested only in the Junior League, their ambitious husbands, and having children. Pursuing her interest in writing with a purpose, Skeeter seeks the help of two unlikely partners-Aibileen Clark and Minny Jackson, two black maids who agree to tell Skeeter what it is really like to serve the privileged ladies of white Jackson society. This partnership results in real change for Skeeter, her friends, and for the black women who agree to tell their stories. The book is filled with references to the early Sixties and the news and cultural events that marked the decade-the Kennedy assassination, integration in Mississippi, Bob Dylan, and mini-skirts all make an appearance. I would venture to say that everyone who has read or listened to this book, whether staff or patron, has enjoyed and recommended it to others. We have both the book and the audiobook versions. The latter uses different voices for the main characters and is very well done. Read this soon-the film comes out in August, 2011!
If you still have a cassette player, you might be interested in a book on tape currently available in our rotating collection. P. D. James wrote her first mystery novel when she was forty. Until that time, she was employed in the British Civil Service. Too bad she didn't start to write sooner, for her work is excellent. Cover Her Face was the first of her acclaimed Inspector Dalgliesh series, and it is detective fiction of the classic kind. A cozy country house, a tightly knit family group, a brazen interloper-this novel has all the elements of a good English mystery. The character of the detective is not yet quite developed-we are just getting to know Dalgliesh, and his backstory is only partially revealed. Once you get a taste of P. D. James, you will most probably want more.
The Lion's Game by Nelson DeMille. This book was recommended to me by a library patron, so I squeezed it in between my regular reading by listening to an audio book version. It was read by Boyd Gaines, a really top-notch Broadway actor, and he does a good job with it. DeMille is well known for his fast paced novels of FBI and CIA suspense, and this volume, featuring John Cory, the tough New York cop turned Federal agent was one of his most successful. In it, Cory meets the Lion, a Libyan turned terrorist after his family is killed in a U.S. bombing raid. Cory is one of those rough around the edges guys that women can't help liking in spite of his flaws. In DeMille's latest novel, The Lion, John Cory and the Lion return to meet again. Both of these popular bestsellers are available for loan here at the library.
I'm never sure whether listening to a book on tape or CD counts as reading! It is such a totally different experience. Any way, I just finished listening to St. Peter'sFair by Ellis Peters. Ellis Peters is an English woman who began life as Edith Pargeter. Her two most famous book series, however, were written under her pen name. Probably the best known of the two in America is the Brother Cadfael Chronicles, many of which were made into excellent Mystery installments on PBS. The medically adept Brother Cadfael, a monk in 12th century Shrewsbury, England can always be counted on to come across a brain teasing murder case. These books are a great way to get a painless dose of history as well. Peters is also responsible for a detective series featuring Inspector George Felse, the typical kind of English policeman that we all love. A few books in both series are available at your library.