Tag Archives: audiobook

Amy’s Audiobook Roundup: New Nonfiction

Who reads nonfiction for fun? I do! Well, I often listen to nonfiction for fun, but either way, the results are the same – a head chock full of useless facts. Here are some of our newest and weirdest titles, for your listening pleasure.

The Poisoner’s Handbook by Deborah Blum – It’s really the history of the early days of the New York City medical examiner’s office, but each chapter also teaches you about a specific poison.

The Girls of Murder City by Douglas Perry – Maurine Watkins, intrepid girl reporter and author of the play-turned-musical-turned-movie Chicago, learned that a pretty girl most certainly can get away with murder.

Blind Descent by James Tabor – Only the very brave (or foolhardy) participate in supercave exploration, which is a combination of mountain climbing, scuba diving, and camping – in complete darkness.

Share and enjoy!

– Amy

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New Poetry Audio: The Academy of American Poets Audio Archive

I am happy to say that the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh  has acquired, with the generous funding of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Academy of American Poets Audio Archive on compact disc for the International Poetry Collection housed at the Main branch.   All items circulate for 3 weeks and this collection, coming as it does from one of our most esteemed poetry organizations, is an outstanding representation of contemporary poetry performance.

There are 39 volumes in the collection, including one three disc sampler set, which gives a good general overview.

– Don

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Historic, Mystery, Science Fiction

If you enjoy a good audio book now and then but just don’t feel like sorting through the 1,600 (really!) or so titles that we have in stock at any given time, check out our display of historic, mystery, and science fiction titles. Each of the books on these shelves is lovingly hand chosen by yours truly, using an exactingly scientific process and a roll of cheerfully colored stickers. And here’s how I do it.

            

Historic – To me, historic fiction is written in the present but set in the past, where the book’s time period is almost as important to the story as the plot and the characters. For example, although Suite Francaise is set during WWII it’s not historic, because that’s when it was written (it’s just a book that no one bothered to translate right away). But these books have made it into my historic fiction section.

  • Heyday by Kurt Andersen – America, gold rush, blah blah blah. It’s really really long and I couldn’t finish it. Definitely historic, though.
  • The Teahouse Fire by Ellis Avery – You get two fires in this book, which is about an American orphan in Kyoto in the mid 1800s.
  • The Good German by Joseph Kanon – Don’t misplace your mistress, especially in Berlin, especially in 1945.

Mystery – The easiest way to find a mystery is to look for dead people, or if you’re me, look for the word “mystery” on the CD case. Those who write mysteries tend to keep writing mysteries, so if you find yourself fancying a particular detective you’ll often have many titles to choose from.

  • Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie – Highlight the text between the brackets for a spoiler. (Everyone did it.)
  • Holmes on the Range by Steve Hockensmith – You could argue that this one’s a western (due to the blatant use of cowboys) but it does say mystery right on the cover. So there you go (plus, I don’t have western stickers).
  • Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear – Okay, this one does border on historic since it’s set in the years after WWI. The main character is a charming female private investigator and former army nurse with a tragic love life, intriguing scar, and a sporty little car. What else could you want?

Science Fiction – If there are robots, spaceships, strange planets, hot green alien babes, stuff like that – you’ve got science fiction. Stay away from dragons, though, as that puts you into fantasy territory and I don’t have any fantasy stickers either.

  • I, Robot by Isaac Asimov – I will lose a little librarian street cred here by freely admitting that I’ve never read the book, but I’ve seen the movie.
  • Dune by Frank Herbert – Okay, I’m really bad at science fiction. You’ve got me. But Scott likes Dune. So you can go talk to him about it, right?
  • Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan – This one sort of veers into mystery territory, since the main character’s a UN investigator. But he’s also doing his detecting in a) the 25th century, and b) a replacement body. That covers the sci-fi requirements nicely.

And there you have it, the three genres that I’ve managed to label. I’m still campaigning for more stickers (Vampire Porn and Manly Adventure come to mind), but that may take a while. Until that glorious stickery day, you can always ask a librarian.

– Amy

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What’s a Digital Bookmobile?

DBM rendering 3d small

The Digital Bookmobile is much larger in person.

According to OverDrive (and they should know), it’s a “high-tech update of the traditional bookmobile that has served communities for decades…equipped with broadband Internet-connected PCs, high-definition monitors, premium sound systems, and a variety of portable media players. Interactive computer stations give visitors an opportunity to search the digital media collection, use supported mobile devices, and download and enjoy audiobooks and video from the library.”

Basically, it’s a huge trailer full of really cool toys. I should know, as I visited it in Cleveland last July. Admittedly, at the time I was most struck by the air conditioning, but it was the height of summer.

You can enjoy both downloadable audiobooks and climate control in the Digital Bookmobile.

You can enjoy both downloadable audiobooks and climate control in the Digital Bookmobile.

Inside the digital bookmobile there are all sorts fun things – you can explore our downloadable audio and video collections, play with different MP3 and media players (a great hands-on experience for those who still aren’t sure what to buy), watch downloadable videos in action, and talk to staff from Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and OverDrive. And not that librarians aren’t nice, but those OverDrive staffers are some of the nicest people ever – when I went to their conference in Cleveland, they gave me a frisbee. That was awesome.

But I digress. Forget my new frisbee and my obsession with air conditioning, and remember the important part: OverDrive’s Digital Bookmobile will visit CLP – Main from 11:30 – 2:30 on Monday, October 5th. We hope to see you there!

– Amy

Digital Bookmobile - New York City Skyline

New York City loves the Digital Bookmobile and you should, too!

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