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Take 5 with Candace: Audiobooks for the Winter Solstice

In the Kingdom of IceTomorrow is the first day of winter and the promise of cold weather ahead for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere. But there’s no need to fret: Remember that the solstice also marks the point when the days start to get longer.

Here’s some more good news: Winter is the perfect time to indulge in your favorite indoor hobby, whether that’s baking, knitting, woodcarving, painting, or crafting. And while you’re enjoying your creative endeavors, you can pretend you’re out in the elements by listening to a good audiobook.

Grab a cup of hot chocolate, settle in by the fireplace, and get ready to experience winter the easy way.

Even armchair travelers may feel the chill after listening to IN THE KINGDOM OF ICE by Hampton Sides, about an 1879 expedition to find the North Pole. Narrator Arthur Morey “maintains our rapt attention” as he places the explorers’ emotional and physical challenges front and center. This audiobook is history and true-life adventure at their best.

Speed KingsUnlike many of us, winter sports fans welcome the cold and snow. SPEED KINGS by Andy Bull is a reminder that the public’s love affair with Olympic medalists has had a long history. Eric Meyers narrates this story of the 1932 U.S. bobsledding team, creating “maximum suspense” as listeners learn about the young athletes who were once known as “the fastest men in the world.”

After a fun family day of playing in the snow, warm up to Cherry Jones’s performance of THE LONG WINTER by Laura Ingalls Wilder. After learning about how the Ingalls family struggled to survive heavy Midwest blizzards more than 100 years ago, you and the kids will be grateful for modern conveniences. This audiobook is made special by Paul Woodiel’s fiddle music, which helps listeners imagine what life was like on the frontier.

What’s a celebration of the solstice without a nod to one of the classic winter tales: Stephen King’s THE SHINING, set in the frozen Rockies. Turn on all the lights because narrator Campbell Scott’s spot-on delivery of this shiveringly delicious horror story wrings out “every drop of terror” as young Danny tries to survive a haunted resort and his deranged father.

Looking for a little lighter fare? Load Maggie Stiefvater’s SHIVER, the first installment of a young adult paranormal trilogy, onto your favorite listening device. Narrators Jenna Lamia and David Ledoux tap into their inner teenagers, bringing warmth to the developing relationship between Grace and her werewolf boyfriend, Sam, who meet during a Minnesota winter.

What wintery audiobooks are you turning to as the weather gets colder?

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