The smell of books. The hushed anticipation of finding a new story to take home. An atmosphere of camaraderie and scholarship. Even if your physical library is closed, these impressions remain, and you can welcome the library into your home anytime (and from anywhere) in the form of digitally downloaded audiobooks. If you haven’t tried borrowing a digital audiobook from your local library before, there’s no time like the present! Visit your local library’s website to find out more, or check out apps like Libby and Hoopla, which allow you to access your library’s catalogue online with your library card.
Once you’ve accessed your library’s digital catalogue, you can search in all the ways you normally would for the books you love—on audio. Find audiobook resources to help you learn, listen to fascinating history, biography, and memoir, or find immersive fiction and stories for kids of all ages. To get you started, here are a few titles for children and adults that have recently garnered awards and recognition from librarians themselves.
Library Picks for Kids:
A 2020 Odyssey Honor Audiobook. The annual Odyssey Award and Honors recognize the best audiobooks produced for children and/or young adults available in English in the United States.* In the spirit of modern-day classics like Fish in a Tree and Counting by 7s, Song for a Whale is the story of a deaf girl’s connection to a whale whose song can’t be heard by his species, and the journey she takes to help him.
“With solid disability representation and a compelling, deeply emotional story that can be enjoyed in audio format by children of many ages, as well as adults, this audiobook will be a surefire hit for family reading time or car trips.”—School Library Journal
A 2020 Odyssey Honor Audiobook. Imagine being forced to move to a new planet where YOU are the alien! From the creator of the Tapper Twins, New York Times bestselling author Geoff Rodkey delivers a topical, sci-fi middle-grade novel that proves friendship and laughter can transcend even a galaxy of differences.
“This audiobook is truly brought to life by non-binary actor Martineck, whose ability to create voices for the multitude of characters (most of them aliens) is an amazing feat. They are able to give voice to all genders and species with distinct and believable narration. This thrilling and poignant story will appeal to kids on many levels.”—Booklist, starred review
A National Book Award Finalist and YALSA Amazing Audiobooks** pick. A powerful coming-of-age story about grief, guilt, and the risks a Filipino-American teenager takes to uncover the truth about his cousin’s murder.
“RamĂłn de Ocampo, who like author Ribay (After the Shot Drops, 2018), is Filipino American, is an optimal cipher, effortlessly navigating among vernacular English, Tagalog-infused accents, and native Tagalog conversations…Thoughtful and thorough, Ribay and de Ocampo meld coming-of-age drama, family dysfunction, and contemporary sociopolitical awareness into a riveting thriller with affecting results.”—Booklist, starred review
Library Picks for Adults:
A Library Reads Pick*** and New York Times bestseller. After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, NoemĂ Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. From the author of Gods of Jade and Shadow comes this â€śterrifying twist on classic gothic horrorâ€ť (Kirkus Reviews) set in glamorous 1950s Mexico.
“Frankie Corzo’s velvety voice puts listeners under her spell as she narrates this horror audiobook.”—AudioFile
A RUSA Listen List Winner.**** This electrifying audiobook is at once a keen satire of surviving racism in America and a profoundly moving family story. Maurice Carlos Ruffinâ€™s work evokes the clear vision of Ralph Ellison, the dizzying menace of Franz Kafka, and the crackling prose of Vladimir Nabokov. We Cast a Shadow fearlessly shines a light on the violence we inherit, and on the desperate things we do for the ones we love.
“Narrator Dion Graham gives an adrenaline-filled narration of a father’s obsessive drive to save his son from being marked for life.”—AudioFile
A Library Reads Pick. The hotly anticipated next installment in Jim Butcher’s #1 New York Times bestselling Dresden Files series is here. When the Supernatural nations of the world meet up to negotiate an end to ongoing hostilities, Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard, joins the White Council’s security team to make sure the talks stay civil. But can he succeed, when dark political manipulations threaten the very existence of Chicagoâ€”and all he holds dear?
â€śI’ve been waiting years for Peace Talks. This wasn’t the book I was hoping for. It’s better.â€ť—#1 New York Times bestselling author Patrick Rothfuss
*The Odyssey Award is jointly given and administered by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) and the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), divisions of ALA, and is sponsored by Booklist magazine.
**Each year, YALSAâ€™s Amazing Audiobooks Blogging Team selects and annotates an annual list of notable audio recordings significant to young adults from those released in the past two years.
***LibraryReads is a list of the top ten books published this month that librarians across the country love, along with reviews from the librarians.
****The final juried list of thirteen RUSA Listen List titles highlights extraordinary narrators and listening experiences that merit special attention by a general adult audience.
Our audiobook authors and narrators also love their local libraries. Hear their most treasured library memories on our This Is the Author National Library Week Podcast Special, Part I: Featuring Rebecca Solnit, Samantha Irby, and More and Part II: Featuring Glennon Doyle, Ali Wong, and More.