Ever since Jurassic Park was released in June 1993, the summer has belonged to dinosaurs. I mean, you or a close family member have already seen this summer’s blockbuster, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, right? So tell me, what does “brontosaurus” mean? Give yourself a gold star if you answered, “Thunder Lizard.” If you blanked, no worries. I’ve collected six titles that’ll inform and thrill your dino-loving outer adult and inner child.
THE RISE AND FALL OF THE DINOSAURS by Steve Brusatte, read by Patrick Lawlor, is a captivating and informative “new history of a lost world.” Brusatte’s a youthful paleontologist with a taste for international adventure, and he leads a fun and occasionally dangerous tour from Chinese deserts to the American badlands, acquainting us with creatures that become more astounding the more we learn. By the way, did you know that before dinosaurs, the earth was dominated by pelycosaurs, archosaurs, and therapsids — aka ginormous meat-eating reptiles? I know, I know, this stuff is so cool. Read more…
Courtship. In this age of dating apps, texting, and Twitter, the ways we maneuver the initial phase of a relationship are unique to our modern (and confusing) culture. Do you find yourself multitasking even when you’re around your loved ones? Can you get through a dinner date without taking out your smartphone at some point? (Be honest!) Do you Google all of your potential partners? Have you ever rethought a relationship with someone because of what you saw on their Facebook or Instagram account? All of this is to say that technology is often miraculous and wonderful—it keeps us connected to each other in many ways. On the other hand, technology may distract us from meaningful moments that move us from courtship to a relationship. Let’s bring romance back! These audiobooks stand out for delicious, delightful courtships that are even more romantic and more memorable when dedicated narrators share it with us up close and out loud.
THE KISS QUOTIENT
by Helen Hoang
read by Carly Robins
What’s Stella to do when her family flat-out tells her they want grandchildren and encourages her to use Tinder to get them some? Hire a sexy consultant. This sizzling #ownvoices novel features a character with Asperger’s. Read more…
AudioFile is Behind the Mic in this video with narrator Chris Andrew Ciulla as he shares what it was like recording CENSUS by Jesse Ball. Ball’s high-concept blending of memoir and fable comes across in Ciulla’s storytelling.
“It’s a story about a father and son and their relationship and one last journey they have together.”—Narrator Chris Andrew Ciulla
Ok, I’ll admit it—just looking at the covers of these “icy” audiobooks is helping me cool off! Even if air conditioning is keeping you cool, we all have to venture out into the recent hot weather. Here’s a bit of audiobook listening to beat the heat.
Anna Kavan’s ICE features an ice apocalypse and plummeting temperatures—a good start to cool me down. But before you grab it, it’s worth looking into this 1967 science fiction/fantasy/dystopian classic. Jonathan Lethem wrote recently about the work in The New York Times. In this new audio release, Nigel Patterson engages with a passionate performance. ELEMENTALS: ICE WOLVES is a fantasy for the younger set—good for middle grade listeners and family listening. Read more…
School’s out for summer, and the kids are ready for fun. Road trips or plane rides, two weeks at the beach house, or three months of staycation; whatever your plans are, they’ll all go better with a family audiobook or two.
This month’s Take 5 roundup is your family listening lifesaver. These audiobooks will make the travel go faster and will brighten up a rainy, indoor afternoon. They might even keep your young listeners happy when you send them out to weed the garden or organize the garage. We can always hope, right?
As you might imagine, it wasn’t easy to limit my recommendations to just five good stories, so I picked titles based on several criteria. First, all of the audiobooks featured here are under 4.5 hours, which means they can be listened to in a single car ride or while doing a family activity, like working on a jigsaw puzzle. Read more…