Tag Archives: audiobooks

Five Years on the Blog: June

Welcome back to what has become a regular monthly activity: A walk through some of  Syosset RandR’s blog posts for the past five years:

2016: What We’re Reading Now

2015: New and Exciting Museum Exhibits for Summer

2014: Read to Children Beginning at Birth

2013: The Battle of Gettysburg: 150 Years Ago

2012: Monthly Book Club Recap: Room by Emma Donohue

Watch out for our next look down blog memory lane again in July!

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services


What We’re Reading Now- Audiobook Edition

Most of us working here at the library love to read.  And some of us like to listen to our books from time to time.  Here are some audiobooks we have been enjoying lately:

Pam M., Assistant Library Director – 

“I am listening to 4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster. It is the story of Archie Ferguson, a Jewish boy born in Newark in 1947,  and tells about four different alternative futures for him.  It is narrated by the author which makes the listening experience great because his voice is so believable as the voice of an older Archie.  It is 29 CDs, but I don’t want it to end – – you really look forward to hearing about Archie’s parallel lives and what comes next.”

Megan, Systems Manager

World War Z by Max Brooks. With a cast of over 20 famous actors doing the voices, including Alan Alda, Nathan Fillion, Simon Pegg, and Jeri Ryan, it was an amazing listening experience.”

Evelyn, Readers’ Services Librarian

“I have found an audiobook narrator that I love listening to.  Bahni Turpin has narrated some wonderful YA books such as The Sun Is Also a Star and Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon.  She is also the narrator of The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, which has won numerous awards including the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Literature.  My next audiobook will be The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas which is another YA book narrated by Ms. Turpin.”

Rosemarie B., Children’s Services Librarian

“I just finished listening to The Two Family House by Lynda Loigman.  The story is about two Jewish families living in Brooklyn during the 1950’s.  The narrator uses a “Jewish-Brooklyn” accent which adds to the sense of place and time.  Listening to an audiobook adds an emotional dimension to a story.”

Jackie, Head of Readers’ Services

“I just finished Once We Were Brothers by Ronald H. Balson for the Afternoon Book Discussion. The narrator truly brought the characters to life.”


Lisa J., Readers’ Services Librarian

“I recently finished listening to The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher, a funny, poignant autobiography about Fisher’s early days making the first Star Wars Movie. A flawed but creative and talented person that left us too soon.”

Betty P., Reference Librarian

I’ll Take You There by Wally Lamb.  The book is about 7 hours long. It was short and entertaining.  The typical Wally lamb book concerning women’s issues.”

Sonia, Health Reference Librarian

“Every once in a while I like to listen to one of James Patterson’s books because they have brief chapters which makes it easier to listen to them in short spurts.  The one I am listening to now is The Black Book which had great reviews for its audio version.  I’m enjoying it because I am suspecting almost everyone, except the hero, of being the bad guy (or girl).”

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services





Five Years on the Blog: April

Today we’re to going reminisce a bit and take a look at some of Syosset RandR’s blog posts for April during the past five years:

2016: Audiobooks We LIke

2015: Earth Day’s 45th Anniversary

2014: Put a Poem in Your Pocket Today

2013: Why Not a Mystery?

2012: 5 for the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction

Watch out for our next look down blog memory lane again in May!

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services

Lazy, Hazy Days

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More light and fun reading for the beach… this display keeps getting bigger and better, so stop by for some entertainment at the beach, pool or just in your back yard. “Beach Reads” includes lots of popular titles that you might have missed.

Our second book display on the first floor is “Incredible True Stories.”  What a fascinating collection. It has biographies of inventors and inventions, such Steve Jobs, the Wright Brothers and the story of photography; tales of war heroes from George Washington, The Fly Boys, Heroes of 9/11 to Heroes Among Us; survival stories including The Envoy and The Perfect Storm; athletic feats in books such as The Perfect Mile, Triumph (Jesse Owens) and Friday Night Lights.  The collection also includes books on the topics of religion, psychology and history.

The mini display is on “Elie Wiesel” another incredible story of survival and human triumph.  On the other side we have a nice selection of “Audiobooks” which make great travel companions for car trips.

Our third floor health display is “Have a Healthy and Safe Summer” which features a varied collection related to staying happy and healthy during the summer. Handouts are there for you on sun safety for infants, teaching children summer safety, weather safety, tips for safe gas grilling and more.

“To the Moon and Beyond” is the second display on the third floor. It covers the history of space exploration from unmanned flights, manned flights, landing on the moon, research on Mars, space shuttles and the Hubbell Space telescope. What a great ride!

Make Syosset Public Library part of your summer.

-posted by Betty, Reference Services

Audiobooks We Like

audio books picI recently asked my coworkers to tell me about some of their favorite audiobook experiences. Here’s what I heard about audiobooks:

echo“A favorite book on CD was Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan.  It is a children’s book that revolves around a harmonica that makes its way into different hands as three intertwined stories come together.  The best part of this audiobook was how it incorporated the harmonica music into the story!”

-Pam S., Reference Librarian


“I love audio books, but the three that stand out to me at the moment are:

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, The Tenth Justice by Brad Meltzer, & Coolidge by Amity Shales.

Unbroken is just such an amazing story, and the fact that Louie Zamperini found a way to forgive his Japanese captors is beyond amazing to me.  I came to listen to this because I always knew a little bit about his story, but I wanted to learn more.

The Tenth Justice is an exciting story that kept me involved throughout the entire audio book.  It’s a great, quick fiction that is great to listen to during a run (which is when I most often listen to audio books).  I came to listen to this audio book after learning watching his show TV “Decoded.”

Coolidge is a very in-depth book about our 30th President.  Calvin Coolidge has always interested me so I decided to listen to this while training for a marathon, and it did not disappoint.”

-Jason, Systems Librarian


Man Called Ove audioInvention of Wings audio“For me its a toss-up between  A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman and The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd.  I loved a  A Man Called Ove for its charm and feel good message about the importance of being a good person.  The narrator has a great delivery too.  The Invention of Wings was a wonderful historical fiction novel about the friendship between a wealthy Southern girl and a young slave.  Having two different narrators for the characters of Handful and Sarah really add to the story and make the characters come alive.”

-Lisa J., Readers’ Services Librarian


Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese – The story grabbed me from the beginning… and the narrator’s voice was wonderful to listen to.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett – Another dimension was added to the book because of the dramatic readings of the actresses narrating it. I don’t think I would have noticed it had I just been reading it.

 A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson – I don’t think I would have had the patience to read this and probably would have skimmed over a lot of it but listening to it was a different experience in that you focus on each word and the rhythm of Bryson’s text.”

-Pam M., Assistant Library Director


nightingale audio“I have 2 audio books for you:

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah.- I enjoyed listening to it because it was an emotional and intense read. I felt more connected to the characters listening to them.

world war z audiobookWorld War Z  by Max Brooks – There are multiple narrators, most of them well known actors (Carl Reiner, Rob Reiner, Jerry Ryan, Mark  Hamill to name a few). It’s interesting because so many people are involved in this audiobook – which is a narrative about the war against zombies.”

-Stacey, Readers’ Services Librarian


woman of independent means“I don’t get to listen to audiobooks very frequently, but I loved A Woman of Independent Means by Elizabeth Hailey Forsythe.  Since it is written in letter format, it is perfect as an audiobook.   I enjoyed it so much since it follows her life from childhood to the end.  It spans so much history (from the early 1900’s to the 1960’s) and her development from an innocent girl to a courageous, confident woman.”

-Sue Ann, Head of Children’s Services


americanah“Here are 2 audiobooks:

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie:  This audiobook was beautifully narrated by Adjoa Andoh.  Her voice easily captured the language and culture of the main character’s home country, Nigeria, giving the listener an immersive experience.

me talk pretty one dayMe Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris:  This author/narrator is a humorist and comedian so I thought it would be better to listen to the book rather than read it.  I was right, with many laugh-out-loud scenes it made driving more enjoyable.”

-Rosemarie B, Children’s Services Librarian

“For me it’s two mystery series, both by the same author: M. C. Beaton‘s Agatha Raisin and Hamish MacBeth series.  I started by listening  to the first of each a few years ago and I’m still at it.  I have read some of them in print but I enjoy them very much more in audio. I like listening to British accents and these have had every kind you could imagine. Plus they are often laugh out loud funny. I’m also enjoying listening to Robert Galbraith‘s (J. K. Rowling’s pseudonym) Cormoran Strike mystery series.  The reader, Robert Glenister, makes all the characters distinctive and Rowling is proving she’s no fluke.”

-Sonia, Reference, Librarian


What are some of your favorite audiobooks?  Please tell us in the comments.

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services

Try an Audiobook for Your Book Club Read

audio books picMany book clubs explore various titles and different venues to add interest and excitement to the overall book discussion experience.  Some groups have included book to film excursions, or theme-related activities.  Another idea that may interest book clubs is to try an audiobook for their next discussion.  An audiobook can provide a unique involvement for the listener.  Personally, audiobooks such as The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, The Other Story by Tatiana De Rosnay, Brooklyn by Colm Toibin, and The Son by Jo Nesbo have remained with me for close to a year now.  I believe that if I had read these books, the characters may not have resonated in the same way.

The 20th Annual Audie Awards Gala is scheduled for May 28th in New York City.  This award competition recognizes excellence in audiobook and spoken word entertainment.  For the complete list of this year’s finalists, go to http://www.audiofilemagazine.com/audies/.  One thing to consider is that it may be more convenient for members to choose a winner from a previous year since the audiobooks may be more accessible.  If you are interested in locating previous audiobook winners, you can go to http://www.audiopub.org/audies-gala.asp.    Here are some suggested audiobook titles:

goldfinchThe Goldfinch by Donna Tartt  – Read by David Pittu


Taken in by a wealthy family friend after surviving an accident that killed his mother, thirteen-year-old Theo Decker tries to adjust to life on Park Avenue.

Still Foolin’ ‘Em: Where I’ve Been, Where I’m Going, and Where the Hell are My Keys by Billy Crystal—Read by Billy Crystal.

still foolin em audio2014 WINNER: AUDIOBOOK OF THE YEAR

& NARRATION BY THE AUTHOR  One of America’s favorite comedians looks back at his extraordinary career, highlighting the most powerful and memorable moments of his long and storied life, and outlines the absurdities and challenges that come with growing old.

The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks—Read by January LaVoy and Ron McLarty

longest ride audio2014 WINNER: ROMANCE  After being trapped in an isolated car crash, the life of an elderly widower becomes entwined with that of a young college student and the cowboy she loves.

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter— Narrated by Edoardo Ballerini.

Beautiful Ruins audio2013 WINNER: SOLO NARRATION – MALE  A novel that spans fifty years with the Italian housekeeper and his long-lost American starlet, the producer who once brought them together, and his assistant. A glittering world filled with unforgettable characters.

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett— Narrated by Hope Davis

State of Wonder audio2012 WINNER: LITERARY FICTION  A researcher at a pharmaceutical company, Marina Singh journeys into the heart of the Amazonian delta to check on a field team that has been silent for two years–a dangerous assignment that forces Marina to confront the ghosts of her past.

– posted by Jean S., Readers’ Services

This article appeared in the May 2015 issue of Syosset Public Library’s newsletter, The Book Club Insider.

Another “5 Questions About Books”

Welcome Readers’ Services Librarian, Jackie Ranaldo, who is back to answer 5 more of our questions about books (her first 5 are here).

What book are you currently reading?

As always, I am currently reading more than one book.  I am almost done listening to The Whisperers, a Charlie Parker mystery, by John Connolly.  I couldn’t really get into the book while reading it, but then I started listening to it and the reader’s voice really brought the book to life for me.  It’s a mystery with a supernatural twist.  I am enjoying it, but not loving it.  The storyline is a little confusing to me.

I am also re-reading Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov.  I read it years ago and my other book club recently chose it as our next book.  I started re-reading it last night and had to put it down.  I think reading it once in a lifetime was enough, but unfortunately, I don’t remember enough to be of any use to my fellow book club members.

And finally, because it’s summer, I need a lighter book to turn to for beach reading.  I just picked upLost and Found by Carolyn Parkhurst.  I’m not far enough into the story to really give an opinion on it, but so far I’m enjoying it.  However, it makes me want to take an adventure to an exotic location, and alas, in the real world I cannot.

What is the last book you’ve read?

The last book I read was Remind Me Again Why I Married You by Rita Ciresi.  I loved it!  I found myself giggling constantly.  Ciresi managed to give such an informative, yet humorous view of marriage through her characters.  She was able to represent the daily struggles of a stay-at-home mom longing for “something else” and a devoted dad who sometimes “forgets” many of his “manly chores” without getting too sappy and unrealistic.

What is your favorite book of all time?

I cannot honestly pick an absolute favorite book of all time.  I’ve loved so many but to call any of them “my favorite” would be a bit much.  There are still too many books out there to pick a favorite.  I may not have come across it yet.  However, the two books I believe I’ve loved the most are To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck.  There’s no way I could choose between the two.  The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck would also be another huge contender.

Is there a book you’ve faked reading?

I can honestly say I read every book assigned to me in High School (in complete and utter fear of getting in trouble).  However, once I became an English Literature Major in college, things changed.  I was assigned several books weekly and, unfortunately, some got thrown aside if I really couldn’t stand them.  In my own defense, I did read the large majority of my assigned reading, but at least two stick out in my memory as getting the “Cliffs Notes” treatment:  Moby Dick by Herman Melville and Clarissa by Samuel Richardson.  I disliked both books greatly and just couldn’t get through them!  But, I did read a lot of Clarissa.  I just skipped a few chapters here and there and supplemented with the Cliffs Notes.  I know that makes me a bad English Major, but come on, it’s 1533 pages of pure torture (for me at least)!

Is there a book you recommend a lot?

I am constantly recommending Lee Child’s 61 Hours.  It is the perfect suspense/mystery fiction read.  Lee Child is the absolute “King of the Cliffhanger.”  Every chapter left me on the edge of my seat.  I kept having to tell myself to put the book down and go to sleep (but I really wanted to keep reading).  “61 Hours” is the 14th installment in the “Jack Reacher Mystery Series”, but I hadn’t read any other books in the series and I was perfectly able to follow.  Child gives just enough background info to introduce new readers to “Jack Reacher” but not enough to be too repetitive for devoted series readers.

– posted by Sonia, Readers’ Services