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Curl Up with a Good Listen


                This is too late for Thanksgiving travel, but I’m writing it the day before so audiobooks are on my mind. There is more holiday traveling on the horizon, so I’m running with it.

                I started listening to audiobooks in the car when we lived in West Allis and I commuted to East Troy with my toddler daughter. At that point we listened to picture books on CD while Emma held the book in her hands and turned the page at the sound of a bell. That quickly gave way to shorter chapter books such as the Junie B Jones series which taught me the true pleasure of a gifted vocal performer.

                Emma was exposed to my beloved Anne of Green Gables books long before she would have been ready to read them. We were both new to Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Chronicles of Narnia as we searched for good listens. As a result, some of my favorite books, are ones I’ve never read such as Angie Sage’s Septimus Heap series. Think of them as a less dark Harry Potter. I have to admit to using subterfuge in convincing Emma to listen. She assumed they were books for boys. I timed beginning the first book for a day we were on the way to Devil’s Lake and had no other books along. The first book opens with a found baby Emma quickly realized was the missing princess and she was hooked.

                Today I listen to a lot of nonfiction books some about serial killers such as In Cold Blood, Helter Skelter, and The Devil in the White City. There are areas of my backyard that make my skin crawl when I return to weed them years later. I do not recommend In Cold Blood while walking a dog at dusk in the woods. Last year, presidential biographies were my listen of choice. John Adams helped me deal with a patch of poison ivy.

                I love audiobooks for several reasons. The first I mentioned, a good voiceover actor is entertaining. Other reasons include keeping me company during solitary pursuits such as weeding and house cleaning. With nonfiction I can zone out a little at the less interesting parts. Finally, while I remember good books I’ve read, I don’t have the same type of memories associated with them such as weeding that section of the hill when learning how the gun used by Manson’s followers was found or walking down that dark path when the family was murdered or, best of all, driving to the beach with Emma when starting a seven book journey with Septimus and Jenna.

                 The library offers many options for accessing audiobooks: CDs, Playaways, Libby, and Hoopla. Today’s Hidden Treasures come from the nonfiction CD section. For years 12 Years a Slave and The Boys in the Boat have been on my TBR list. As of today, I’m moving them to my TBL list. Stop in if you’re interested in finding a good listen for your holiday travels.               


Currently reading:  Fundamentals of Library Supervision by Beth McNeil, The Weeding Handbook: A Shelf-by-Shelf Guide by Rebecca Vnuk, Crossing to Safety Wallace Stegner, The President is Missing by Bill Clinton and James Patterson