Need a good book? Listen to one of these winners

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 17, 2009

By Melody Moxley
Rowan Public Library
The Audio Publishers Association annually presents the Audie Awards to the best audiobooks of the previous year. This year’s ceremony took place in New York City on May 29.
Many of the winners are available at Rowan Public Library on CD and/or in downloadable format through the library’s Web site.Drum roll, please.
The highest honor (think Oscar for Best Picture), Audiobook of the Year, was awarded to “The Graveyard Book” by Neil Gaiman, who also narrates. In this latest of Gaiman’s clever, dark fantasies, an orphaned boy is raised by ghosts in the local graveyard. Bookmarks magazine says that this gothic fantasy, a coming-of-age story modeled after “The Jungle Book” and with slight nods to Harry Potter, will appeal to all ages.
The finalists for Audiobook of the Year are outstanding as well. “Brisingr” by Christopher Paolini is the third in his Inheritance Cycle and is narrated by Gerard Doyle. Audiofile notes: “The long-awaited third novel will not disappoint devoted fans. Swords, sorcery, and plenty of ‘Chosen One’ teenage angst await the listener. Gerard Doyle’s performance takes the excitement and high fantasy of the story to dragon-soaring heights.”
Listeners of the remaining finalist, Augustin Burrough’s “Wolf at the Table,” should prepare for something completely different from the popular author and satirist. Audiofile observes that “Burroughs’s newest memoir is the story of a sensitive child longing for love from an emotionally unavailable father, a dangerous, even deadly man, given to playing demented ‘games.’ Burroughs’ narrative voice is shivery, breathy, slow, and humorless, for there is nothing humorous here and he makes each moment immediate for the listener.”
The fiction category was so strong that the competition ended in a tie, with two very different audiobooks winning the award. Audiofile calls Stephen King’s “Duma Key” “his best story in nearly fifteen years. The story centers on Edgar Freemantle, a downtrodden artist who takes to a deserted beach in Florida after losing his arm in a freak accident in Minneapolis. Narrator John Slattery commands his audience like a seasoned professional, his solid delivery perfectly suited for King’s tense writing style.”
“The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows is an evocative story ó told in a series of letters ó of life on the British Island after World War II. Audiofile notes: “The unfolding of the story through the different voices is completely charming, joyful, sad, and uplifting.”If you are more in the mood for nonfiction, try Thomas L. Friedman’s “Hot Flat and Crowded,” which won the Audie in the that category. Oliver Wyman reads this call for Americans to lead a green revolution. Audiofile notes that Wyman “deftly reflects Friedman’s intelligence, passion, and, perhaps most importantly, impartiality when discussing … hot-button issues.”
All of these superb books are available in both CD and downloadable audio formats. And if you’d like to read them in print, Rowan Public Library has that format too. So start listening.
To see the entire list of winners, go to
Computer classes: Classes are free. Sessions are 90 minutes long. Class size is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis. Dates and times are subject to change without notice.
Headquarters ó Monday, 7 p.m., Creating a Free Website: Part Two; Thursday, 2:30 p.m., Introduction to Resume Maker.
Children’s: Summer Reading Program. This week’s featured program is Zelnick the Magician “Bee Creative-Magic Reading Show.” Storytellers, educators and entertainers will make “Be Creative” a fun-filled summer. For more information, call 704-216-8234.
Headquarters: Singers (3- to 5-year-olds) Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m.; Artist (rising first- through fifth-graders) Tuesdays, 2 p.m.
East: Singers (3- to 5-year-olds), Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.; Artist (rising first- through fifth-graders) Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m.
South: Singers (3- to 5-year-olds), Mondays, 10:30 a.m.; Artist (rising first- through fifth-graders), Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m.
Teen program: Come to the Amazing Hunt. Work as a team to figure out the clues, hunt for the items and race for the finish. It will be a scavenger hunt through the library in “Amazing Race” style. Pizza and snacks will be served; weekly door prizes and raffle drawings. Teens can attend any of the programs without registration.
Headquarters, Mondays, 5:30 p.m.; South, Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m.; East, Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m.
Tuesday Night at the Movies: All movies are at 6:30 p.m. All movies are rated G, PG or PG 13; some movies are inappropriate for younger audiences. Children should be accompanied by an adult. Free popcorn and lemonade.July movies are about man’s best friend.
Tuesday, “My Dog Skip”; July 28, “Hotel for Dogs.”
Displays: Headquarters ó Irlen Method of Salisbury by Terri Cassell; South ó Rowan Doll Club by Donnie Whiteside. East ó wood artist Stephen Martin.Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second language.