By December 31, 2011 2 Comments Read More →

Best Audiobooks for Book Groups 2011

If there’s still room on your 2012 reading group lists, give some consideration to these outstanding titles on audio.

Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson and narrated by Graeme Malcolm. A layered literary mystery full of dark charm and dry wit. Malcolm’s voicing of an aging actress on the verge of dementia is stellar.

The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey by Walter Mosely and narrated by Dominic Hoffman. A man in his nineties is drifting in and out of the final days of his life and reliving it with the help of a young, streetwise teenager. Hoffman brings a regal and tender voice to Ptolemy and his companion, Robin.

The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai and narrated by Emily Bauer. Librarians will enjoy giving this road novel to readers. Runaway librarian Lucy is devoted to Ian, a precocious reader with a termagent mother. When the two leave town after a biblio-scuffle with Ian’s mom, Lucy ponders her new role—kidnapper or kidnapped?

Shavetail by Thomas Cobb and narrated by Tom Stechschulte. Book groups looking for a juicy old-fashioned western with depth will appreciate this novel. A realistic and grand mixture of cowboys, cavalry, revelry and discovery on the high plains.

The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obrecht and narrated by Susan Duerden and Robin Sachs. This lauded first novel is even better in audio. Obrecht’s elegant prose is elevated by the dual narrators and Sachs adds an element of dark humor to the encounters with the Deathless Man.

Why Read Moby-Dick by Nathaniel Philbrick and narrated by the author. A two-disc audio book packed with delight and insight from the biggest fan of an American classic novel. Anyone who hasn’t read Moby-Dick will feel empowered to do so after Philbrick’s championing of it. Readers who have already gone on the journey with Ahab and Ishmael will find new elements of the novel to appreciate.

The Alchemist and The Executioness by Paolo Bacigalupi and Tobias Bucknell and narrated by Jonathan Davis and Katherine Kellgren. These fantasy novellas are an audio original set and should be experienced together even though both stories stand on their own. This is political fantasy at its finest and readers will find much to discuss here: the medical industry, the justice system, and the everyday choices people make to save an individual and strike down a society.

All of these books are wonderful in print, but the narration adds more depth and connection for reader-listeners.

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About the Author:

Kaite Mediatore Stover refuses to give up her day job as director of readers' services for The Kansas City Public Library to read tarot cards professionally or be the merch girl/roadie for her husband's numerous bands. Follow her on Twitter at @MarianLiberryan.

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