It’s no coincidence that LibraryReads make great listens. The top ten titles selected as librarians’ favorites each month (if you work at a library, learn how to vote here), LibraryReads often go on to be some of the most popular titles of the year—topping bestseller lists, racking up high holds in all formats, and no doubt being adding to already-towering To Be Read (TBR) piles. As if we needed more proof that librarians have great taste. (But if you do—for some reason— this rap song sums it up nicely.)
So what is it about LibraryReads picks that wins over early readers? Whether it’s “period detail and relatable characters” (In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume) or “gorgeous prose [that] brings the characters to life with a unique perspective” (Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar) often what makes these books worthy of a rave LibraryReads review is what can also make the audiobook so compelling. Phenomenal writing enchants the ear, unique plot twists liven up a commute, and the fun of getting inside the head of an unreliable narrator—perhaps a girl who rides the train every day, just for example—makes listening to the audiobook an unforgettable experience.
As librarians, you know what your patrons want. You’re magical mind-readers like that. Or maybe your intuition just feels magical because, as David Weinberger, the recent co-director of the Harvard Library Innovation Lab, told Fast Company, “One of the great virtues of libraries is that they have the reader’s interests at heart.”
So in the interest of all types of readers who request every LibraryRead on the list, be sure to check that these in-demand picks are also available in the audio format. Plus, what better way to alleviate the holds on a hot new LibraryReads hardcover than suggesting that a patron try the audiobook? Or reach for it yourself! (We know you want to read what your fellow librarians recommend, too.) And June is Audiobook Month, so if a reader hasn’t tried the format before, this is the perfect month to start! Anyone can follow the celebration on social media with #audiomonth.
Check out our June LibraryReads Make Great Listens titles below and click here to see the full list of all of BOT’s LibraryReads since the program began.
THE TRUTH ACCORDING TO US
By Annie Barrows
Read by Ann Marie Lee and a Full Cast
LISTEN TO A CLIP:
LibraryReads review: “It is 1938 in a rural West Virginia town and a young woman arrives to write the town’s history. Layla doesn’t really know what to expect from the town, and the town doesn’t know what to make of her. This is the heart of the South, the soul of small towns, where everyone looks out for you and knows your history. Sweet story tailor-made for fans of Billie Letts, Fannie Flagg, Pat Conroy and Harper Lee.”—Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin, TX
Why try the audio? Twelve incredible narrators truly put the “us” in THE TRUTH ACCORDING TO US, reading letters, notes and passages, and beautifully bringing the voices of this Southern town to life. Barrow’s The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (written with the late Mary Ann Shaffer) is still named by many avid listeners as their favorite audiobook of all time. Her writing translates perfectly to the audio format.
By Nina George
Read by Steve West, Emma Bering
& Cassandra Campbell
LISTEN TO A CLIP:
LibraryReads review: “Quirky and delightful, Nina George’s book focuses on Jean Perdu, owner of the Literary Apothecary, a floating bookshop. When a new tenant in his apartment building sets in motion events that force Jean to re-evaluate his past, he finds himself floating off down the rivers of France in search of lost love, new love, and friends he didn’t know he needed.”—Beth Mills, New Rochelle Public Library, New Rochelle, NY
Why try the audio? It’s like taking a trip to Paris. Let the expert accents of three award-winning narrators transport you; listeners will taste the croissants, smell the old books, and sense the breeze on the Seine. And the vivid and hilarious characters who greet Monsieur Perdu along his journey are a delight to hear.
By Judy Blume
Read by Kathleen McInerney
LISTEN TO A CLIP:
LibraryReads review: “The obvious ‘unlikely events’ of Judy Blume’s latest—the three plane crashes afflicting Elizabeth, NJ in one horrifying winter—set the framework for everyday unlikely events around love, family, friendship, relating all that can go so wrong, and so right, with all three. Readers will enjoy the period detail and relatable characters that feature in this hybrid domestic/disaster tale.”—Becky Bowen, Kenton County Public Library, Independence, KY
Why try the audio? Judy Blume herself asked if Kathleen McInerney, who narrated her children’s series The Pain and the Great One, could return to read her latest, even though it’s an adult title. As Blume said at the BEA 2015 Audio Publishers Association Audiobook Tea, she doesn’t believe in categorization; when something’s good, it’s good, and anyone should read it. In the likely event this will be a popular YA cross-over as well, expect high holds from both teens and adults. Blume had high praise for McInerney, who is tasked with bringing a huge cast of characters to life. Pop quiz: Can you guess McInerney’s favorite studio snack? Blume shared the yummy fact at the Audiobook Tea. Click here to see our Tea tweets.
By Robert Kurson
Read by Ray Porter
LISTEN TO A CLIP:
LibraryReads review: “This is the journey of Tracy Bowden, John Chatterton, and John Mattera as they follow a quest to find the sunken pirate ship named the Golden Fleece. I think anyone would be interested in the treasure of a famous buccaneer, Joseph Bannister. Many people, including me, have dreamed of digging up a treasure chest of gold. What could be more fun than traveling along with treasure hunters to find a lost pirate ship?”—Linda Payne, Lake Placid Memorial Library, Lake Placid, FL
Why try the audio? Kurson’s non-fiction narratives play out like a suspense novel which means this audiobook will appeal to non-fiction fans and thriller enthusiasts alike. What better way to add some real life adventure to a summer road trip, a day at the beach, or a daily commute?