Yesterday I spoke at the New Jersey Library Association annual conference about audiobooks with a strong sense of “place.” The talk was called “Around the World in Audiobooks.” I love to listen to books and I keep my little Sansa Clip full of books and podcasts. I have an adapter for my car so I’m always ready to listen to the next chapter. I’ve posted my handout with the complete list of titles here. Feel free to print it out and enjoy!
Book with a strong sense of place or a vivid setting are great for audio–that narrator’s voice in your ear creates a whole world that no one else can hear and it becomes a place you can escape to. It’s the best kind of armchair travel: someone else has planned the itinerary, made the packing decisions, and gone through the security scanner for you.
In preparing for the talk I wanted a diverse group of titles, so I listened to audiobooks that I normally would have bypassed. Much to my surprise I was riveted by Matterhorn (Karl Marlantes), The Brutal Telling (Louise Penny), Agincourt (Bernard Cornwell), and Shanghai Girls (Lisa See) because of the combination of compelling story and vivid, insightful narration.