6 Stellar Story Collections for Busy Listeners

The Whole Story in Twenty Minutes or Less

A Medicine for Melancholy

A Medicine for MelancholyWhen life is going full tilt — the kids back to school, those two and a half deliverables due by the end of September, and the realization that you haven’t done a thing about your sister’s birthday, which is tomorrow — that’s when you need a great, short audiobook. Or an audiobook full of great shorts. I recommend the following 6 new story collections. They will divert, inform, and entertain you. Whether you listen while commuting or sorting the laundry at midnight, they will bring you calm and give you a sense of control, however fleeting. Read more…

Author and audiobook fanatic, Aurelia often falls asleep at night with earbuds still attached. She can also be found at www.aureliacscott.com.

7 Stories of Kindness in the Neighborhood

Thank you, Mr. Rogers

Ollie

I wish Ollie, my family’s handmade marionette, could have met Mr. Rogers. That was my first thought as I settled happily into LeVar Burton’s Earphones Award-winning performance of THE GOOD NEIGHBOR, the biography of Rogers by Maxwell King, published on Tuesday. Ollie, carved and clothed by my grandparents, was once part of their traveling marionette theater. But after years of entertaining children up and down the west coast with classic fairy tales, all the marionettes except Ollie were lost in a fire. I know that Mr. Rogers could have helped Ollie and the people who loved — and still love — him to cope with the loss. By the way, that’s me with my parents and Ollie in the picture. Read more…

Author and audiobook fanatic, Aurelia often falls asleep at night with earbuds still attached. She can also be found at www.aureliacscott.com.

6 Audiobooks That Will Get You Out of Town

Where I Wanted to Go This Summer But Didn’t

Kayaking by Katahdin

Kayaking by Katahdin

Last month I kayaked within sight of Mount Katahdin. I also drove a mile into Canada, for which I needed a passport, which implies foreign travel. However, I took my most far-flung journeys this summer by audiobook. Herewith, six new favorites, so that in these last few weeks of the season, you, too, can travel far without actually packing a bag. Read more…

Author and audiobook fanatic, Aurelia often falls asleep at night with earbuds still attached. She can also be found at www.aureliacscott.com.

7 Great Summer Listens

Grab Your Sunscreen and Your Earphones

7 Great Summer Listens

7 Great Summer Listens

As far as I’m concerned, summer vacation-reading is about finding a comfortable spot and succumbing to guilt-free total immersion. I prefer a hammock, beach chair, or quiet back stoop. I’m agnostic about genre, but it’s got to leave me fully satiated and sighing with satisfaction. With three more weeks of August listening left, I want to recommend five of the summer’s best new titles and two classics guaranteed to carry you away, even if it’s just to a rickety lounger in the backyard. Don’t forget the sunscreen. Read more…

Author and audiobook fanatic, Aurelia often falls asleep at night with earbuds still attached. She can also be found at www.aureliacscott.com.

Other People’s Families are Simpler, Aren’t They?

Aurelia Recommends 4 Witty Audiobooks About Family Togetherness

My Ex-Life

I love my family, in all its born-into, married-into, blended, extended exuberance. Yet it’s around now in the summer family-togetherness season—generally while navigating a gluten-free, paleo, plant-based meal—that I want to shout, Enough already! Trusting that you might feel the same, I recommend comforting yourself with the following audiobooks about family life in its entire messy embrace.

My Ex-Life

Stephen McCauley’s new novel MY EX-LIFE, engagingly read by George Newbern, introduces us to David, who is gay; his ex-wife; and their college-bound child. When his ex-wife needs advice about her upcoming divorce, she turns to David. It’s very funny, totally real, and, for me, recognizable. When my married-into family gathers at public events, we choose to sit together. Wives, husbands, ex-wives, ex-husbands, never-married-now-separated, stepmothers and stepfathers galore, and kids. After all, who else knows us as well as we know each other? Read more…

Author and audiobook fanatic, Aurelia often falls asleep at night with earbuds still attached. She can also be found at www.aureliacscott.com.

6 Thrilling Encounters with Dinosaurs

Enjoy a Summer of Jurassic Love

The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs

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 DinosaursTHE 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…

Author and audiobook fanatic, Aurelia often falls asleep at night with earbuds still attached. She can also be found at www.aureliacscott.com.

7 (and more) Great Audiobooks About the Civil War

Aurelia Recommends Listens That’ll Bridge the Mason-Dixon Line

The Red Badge of Courage

The Red Badge of CourageJuly 1st is the anniversary of the start of the Civil War Battle of Gettysburg. On my first visit to the battlefield, which is one of the country’s top summer travel sites, I got lost in the woods near Little Round Top. Though I soon found the path, my panicked stomach-flop brought to mind terrified Henry Fleming in Stephen Crane’s THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE, that archetypal novel about fear and heroism in the midst of a maelstrom. If you, like I, read it in school eons ago, it’s worth revisiting as we approach the anniversary of the decisive battle, and of a war whose wounds persist. Of all the versions, I recommend the re-release of Frank Muller’s performance. His reading is as marvelous as the war was devastating. Read more…

Author and audiobook fanatic, Aurelia often falls asleep at night with earbuds still attached. She can also be found at www.aureliacscott.com.

Run Like a Duck

Aurelia Recommends 4 Audiobooks to Get You Moving

Aurelia listening on the PromNow that it’s all but officially summer,  joggers are loping along our city streets. My own running skills are best described by telling you that in 7th grade, I was panting on the far side of the field when our coach Mrs. Potter shouted, “Aurelia, stop running like a duck. You look ridiculous.” Now I walk instead of gasping for breath, and I enjoy other people’s athleticism in audiobooks about running, such as the Tarahumara profiled in Christopher McDougall’s BORN TO RUN: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen. His quest to understand running took him to people who can trot effortlessly for hours in Mexico’s Copper Canyon mountains. Listening to Fred Sanders’s warm rendition of this perennial bestseller, I reveled in McDougall’s wild adventure, started eating chia seeds, and even started to embrace my duck steps and jog occasionally mid-walk. Read more…

Author and audiobook fanatic, Aurelia often falls asleep at night with earbuds still attached. She can also be found at www.aureliacscott.com.

They Do What!?

The Secret Lives of Four Audie Award Nominees

Lorelei King

If I said that a much lauded, respected, and beloved narrator was once put to work cleaning toilets in an Athens youth hostel, would you guess it was Lorelei King, John Lee, Davina Porter, or Scott Brick?

SpellmongerOn the eve of the Audie Awards, I thought I’d share some unexpected facts about four of this year’s nominees. Particulars that their normal bio might not reveal. So, back to the youth hostel’s toilets. What if I add that the aforementioned narrator also likes to “contemplate a historic marker in my hometown that memorializes the place where plastic was invented”? Before you do an Internet search, I’ll hint that this person previously won an Audie Award for THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO, which required over forty hours of narration, and is the voice of Philip Kerr’s iconic Bernie Gunther suspense series, of which the latest is GREEKS BEARING GIFTS.

Yes, it’s true. Golden voiced John Lee, nominated this year for SPELLMONGER, Book 1 of Terry Mancour’s fantasy series, knows the backside of a Greek youth hostel. Let’s just hope he also got to see the Parthenon. Lee also once worked the night shift at a razor-blade factory, which he says makes him feel lucky for every moment in the recording booth. Read more…

Author and audiobook fanatic, Aurelia often falls asleep at night with earbuds still attached. She can also be found at www.aureliacscott.com.

Let’s Flip Jane on Her Head

Six Austen-Inspired Audiobooks and One Perfume

Jane Austen photograph

See the yellowed pages in my copy of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE?  That’s to prove that I am a true Janeite.

Bona fides established, let me tell you about the literary mashup PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES, by Seth Grahame-Smith, in which the basic P&P plot line and tone are intercut with zombies roaming the 19th-century English countryside. Yes, Jane and zombies are ridiculous, but I listened during one of those complicated family summers, and its occasionally gruesome silliness was a magic diversion.  Author Steve Hockensmith has written two subsequent mashups of the mashup, which are also crazy funny: PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES: DAWN OF THE DREADFULS and PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES: DREADFULLY EVER AFTER. Most importantly for us, all three were narrated by the amazing Katy Kellgren, who won an Earphones Award for the second volume.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Longbourn
Read more…

Author and audiobook fanatic, Aurelia often falls asleep at night with earbuds still attached. She can also be found at www.aureliacscott.com.