Shelf. Life

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We never outgrow being read to

Willard Library Director Leah Dodd reads a book to a class.

Recently I've been invited to be the "mystery reader" at several local elementary schools, and as I'm selecting my books to share, I always think back to the teachers and parents who read to my classes. Turns out, this isn't something I've ever outgrown; I still like it when people read to me!

My kids read to me every day for a few minutes at bedtime, but that isn't enough for my story-hungry ears. This is why I get my listening fix from audiobooks. In most months, I'll listen to more novels than I'll actually read.

When recommending an audiobook to a first-time listener, I like to start out with my favorite audiobook of all time, Maggie Stiefvater's The Scorpio Races, read by Steve West and Fiona Hardingham. Based on a Celtic legend of water horses that come ashore once a year, this audiobook has action, villains, and a little bit of light romance. Steve and Fiona are talented actors, and their voices create a relationship with the characters that you don't get in print.

Did you watch the movie The Girl on the Train with Emily Blunt? I didn't, and I'm bonkers for Emily Blunt. But I am a bigger fan of Louise Brealey, one of three narrators for the book by Paula Hawkins. The readers each had different accents that matched the point of view from the different women telling the story, and this sets the mood of this psychological thriller so perfectly than I was always looking for another excuse to pick up my headphones.

These aren't the sort of books that I would normally "read. The Scorpio plotline would sound "too young," and I'd tell you that the three different characters telling the story in Girl would confuse me and that I didn't have time to sort it all out. In audiobook form, there no flipping back, no checking on details. You just let the story wash over you, and it's every bit as wonderful as you remember from childhood.

If you would like to request a classroom visit or talk audiobooks, please contact Leah.

Library Director Leah Dodd is listening to "The Time Traveler's Wife" on Libby.

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Wednesday, 27 October 2021