by Melody Dworak on April 7th, 2017
I already love audiobooks (I’m an aural-o-gist!), so I didn’t think twice about whether to binge-listen to the S-Town Podcast or not. I split the seven-“chapter” (episode) podcast into two days of listening while editing image files at work and baking a lasagna at home. Now I’m scouring Facebook, Twitter, and even Reddit for any extra morsel of commentary, any images of the characters or the setting, to satisfy that emptiness completing the podcast listening left.
As my own personal auralogist, I decided to come up with a “listen-alike” list inspired by the thematic elements of S-Town. Here’s that bibliographic homage to the show.
Read the rest of this entry »
by Anne Mangano on October 19th, 2016
On Wednesday, November 9th, the Iowa City Public Library will upgrade its OverDrive website, which supports the library’s eBook and digital audiobook collections. The new site will make finding, browsing, and borrowing eBooks and eAudio faster and easier. You now have the option of exploring the new site before the official launch by clicking on the red bar at the bottom of the current OverDrive website.
Read the rest of this entry »
by Heidi Lauritzen on June 30th, 2016
Faced with seven hours of driving in one day, I headed for our collection of nonfiction books on disc and selected a title that has been on my pending list for a while: Not My Father’s Son, by Alan Cumming. The print book and the audio version were both published in late 2014, to positive reviews. I enjoyed it very much, although parts of his story are difficult to listen to (or read, I’m sure).
Cumming weaves together two main story lines in the book. Read the rest of this entry »
by Melody Dworak on May 24th, 2016
I was excited when I checked OverDrive this month and saw new audiobooks in the Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne. I have listened to all of the urban fantasy audiobooks we have on OverDrive, so I was thrilled when I saw these books from a series I enjoyed show up when I was browsing the app.
Last week I burned through Shattered, book 7, and I’m currently listening to Staked, book 8. The series follows the adventures and blunders of 2,000-year-old druid Atticus O’Sullivan as he goes on different quests and fights epic battles. It takes place in modern times, and the author often entertains us with the story-within-a-story tactic. O’Sullivan is 2,000 years old, after all. He has tons of stories to tell. Read the rest of this entry »
by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on April 25th, 2016
I purchased a new smartphone recently. It took two days to figure out what I wanted, another to psych myself up to enter the store and less than 24 hours to fall in love with my purchase.
My old phone was nearly four years old. It had 16GB of storage. I spent a lot of time deleting photos in order to take one. I had the bare minimum of apps, too. My new phone has 64 GB. I’ve yet to receive the dreaded Storage Almost Full message. Even better, I finally had enough room download the OverDrive app and listen to my first audiobook ever: Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple.
I’m a little late to the party with this title – and with the Library’s eMedia services in general. I highly recommend both.
The book is about Bernadette Fox, a quirky and elusive woman who was once the darling of the architect world, but left it all behind – but for what? The story tries to uncover the mystery through e-mails (some by Bernadette, others by woman who love to talk about her), news articles and other documents, but not before Bernadette disappears, leaving her 15-year-old daughter, Bee, to make sense of it all. Narrator Kathleen Wilhoite does a great job of distinguishing her voice to help listeners keep the colorful cast of characters sorted out, though there were times I had to remind myself Bee is 15; not 12.
If you haven’t visited the Library’s eMedia page, you should. Your Library Card is the ticket to free digital content for adults and children, with audio and digital books, online magazines – even local music through the Local Music Project. Upgrades to all delivery systems have made the process of downloading the materials even easier.
It used to be that ICPL’s eMedia services were available to patrons who live in Iowa City, Hills, University Heights, Lone Tree, or rural Johnson County, while Coralville residents could use it if that had a valid Coralville Public Library card. However, since July 1, ICPL, Coralville and North Liberty Community Library have offered combined eBook and digital audiobook collections through OverDrive. We call this service Digital Johnson County. As someone who works in Iowa City but lives in North Liberty, this service has been a wonderful addition to my reading options.
by Shawna Riggins on November 20th, 2015
You might have noticed our latest display on the first floor that states “Be Thankful for Books” which without a doubt, I am, but I am also thankful for all the other resources made available by Iowa City Public Library. Recently, I have caught myself taking our local library for granted, which has taught me to appreciate the services that ICPL is able to provide to our community and to definitely take advantage of them!
During a recent trip home to visit my mom, we had to rearrange our weekend plans to ensure that we could make it to her local Library before they closed on Saturday since they are closed every Sunday. Thankfully, ICPL’s hours are pretty comprehensive, and their website can fill in most gaps when the library is closed. I have done research using library databases, renewed and reserved books, downloaded ebooks and magazines, and downloaded music all while the library was closed.
Read the rest of this entry »
by Melody Dworak on October 30th, 2015
Okay, I’m using the term “read” here liberally as I’m really listening to her audiobooks. But the sentiment is the same: after a long aversion to mainstream romance and mystery, what do Janet Evanovich’s stories have for me?
Caving in to one of OverDrive’s auto-generated recommendation that I should try out Wicked Business, I listened to a sample of the book and discovered a familiar voice. Lorelei King, talented performer of my beloved Mercy Thompson series, reads Evanovich’s Wicked books too. I have really enjoyed King’s tender interpretation of the Mercy Thompson books–she has whisked me up in wistfulness before–so I was tickled to find that her voice narrates more stories in our collection. (You never think to search by reader, do you?) Read the rest of this entry »
by Heidi Lauritzen on May 15th, 2015
The Testament of Mary by Colm Toibin is a fictionalized account of Mary, mother of Jesus, in her old age. This well-reviewed novella was published in 2012 and shortlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize. I did not read it at the time, but recently checked out the audio version read by Meryl Streep. It is a fantastic reading, and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys listening to books on disc.
Toibin’s novella has Mary being coaxed by the disciples to share the story of her son’s rise in popularity and power, and then his crucifixion. The disciples have a larger message they want to impart to the world and facts that do not fit that message are conveniently ignored; Mary’s memories are those of a mother who has no agenda other than to raise and love her son. The clash between the two purposes creates impatience in the disciples and anger in Mary.
Meryl Streep brilliantly expresses the confusion, anger and grief Mary feels as she watches the sacrifice of her son’s life and the manipulation of the story in the years that followed. Streep delivers Mary’s short and clipped sentences, and bits of sarcasm directed at the disciples, in a way that is fitting to a woman who has little time left to tell her side of the story to an unsympathetic audience. Streep captures the weariness of the old Mary, still trying to make sense of what happened.
This story is not the Mary in popularly-known Christian theology. But if you are open to a different interpretation of her, Meryl Streep brings to life an intelligent, strong, flawed and believable Mary whose grief at the loss of her son is inconsolable.
by Morgan Reeves on September 30th, 2014
I listen to very few books on disc. I am generally just not able to immerse myself in the audio version of a book as well as I can in the print version. I end up listening to the same passage multiple times because I zoned out or got busy doing something else. If that sounds like you, try listening to anything written and narrated by Neil Gaiman. So far I have listened to three of his audiobooks; The Graveyard Book, Fortunately the Milk, and Odd and the Frost Giants. In the telling of all three stories Gaiman is engaging and brings each character to life with a distinct and unique voice. As the author, he of course has special insight into how characters are supposed to sound, but his range of believable voices is impressive. Gaiman can imitate the confused innocence of a child and in the next breath reply in the piercing tones of a talking eagle. In addition to Gaiman’s performance, the stories themselves are always imaginative and full of life. I imagine they would be riveting in any format, not just audio.
The Graveyard Book follows the story of young Nobody Owens, or Bod for short. His entire family was murdered when he was just a toddler. He would have been killed too, if not for wandering into a graveyard and being adopted by the resident ghosts. He grows up under the tutelage of his two ghost parents and his guardian Silas, who may or may not be a vampire. As a child given the freedom of the graveyard Bod learns lessons both practical, moving through shadows, and personal, how to do what is right even when it is hard. At times scary, this is great coming of age story for grades 3rd-6th.
Odd and the Frost Giants introduces Odd, a perpetually grinning Norse boy with a bit of bad luck. His leg has been crippled, his father died in a Viking raid, and winter has gone on much too long. In an attempt to get away from it all, he retreats to his father’s old woodcutter’s hut in the woods. While out walking he befriends a bear, a fox, and an eagle, who quickly reveal they are the gods Thor, Loki and Odin. They have been trapped in animal bodies by a Frost Giant who has taken over Asgard and is the cause of the long winter. With his usual good humor Odd decides he has nothing to lose by attempting to defeat the Frost Giant, returning the gods to their true forms, and ending winter. Nothing too scary here, good fantasy adventure for grades 1st-5th.
Fortunately the Milk is a shorter story about the extraordinary adventure a father endured in order to bring his children some milk for their breakfast. Dinosaur scientists, volcanic sacrifices, time travel, pirates, aliens, and even ponies are all a part of this very funny book. An amusing tale that can be enjoyed by the whole family, particularly grades 1st-5th.