Audio books for families:  Enjoy great storytelling together at home and on car trips
Listening to audio books is a wonderful way for families to enjoy classical and contemporary stories together – at home, and on car trips.  To be sure your kids will enjoy the books, let them help you pick which ones they want to listen to.    As you choose, consider three things – subject, length of the book and its narrator (who may be a celebrity your youngster knows from TV or films).

The popularity of audio books has skyrocketed in recent years, as evidenced by the fact that our collection of books on CD is greatly used and much appreciated by our patrons.  Now a recent article in The New York Times suggests that we may love audio books because they take us back to our childhood when our parents, grandparents and other caregivers read out loud to us.

There also is an historical context to our enjoyment of the spoken word.  As T.M. Luhrmann, a professor of anthropology at Stanford University, wrote in The Times: “For most of human history, literature has been spoken out loud.  The Iliad and the Odyssey were sung…. Even after narratives were written down, they were more often heard than read.”

Upon reflection, today’s audio books may be another example of the old adage, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Activities calendars available
To be sure you don’t miss any of the free activities available to you and your families at your library, we encourage you to pick up a copy of the events calendar each month.  There are three versions – kids, tweens/teens and adults.

Save the date for book fair
Mark your calendars for August 12-13 for the Friends of the Library annual book sale at the Centerpoint Church.  We hope you’ll take this opportunity to join the Friends, either at the library or at the door on Friday evening, when you’ll get the opportunity to purchases books, CDs and DVDs at greatly discounted prices ahead of the public on Saturday.  Individual membership is $15, family membership is $25 and lifetime membership is $100 per person.

Lifelong Learning tonight
This evening (Thursday, May 5) marks the fourth of the library’s free six-week spring Lifelong Leaning Lecture series.  Stacy Boone will speak on “The Anatomy of a Personal Challenge” and show you how you can create your own roadmap for success.  All lectures take place on Thursday evenings at 5:30 p.m. and last about an hour, followed by time for questions.  Pick up a brochure at the library for the full schedule, and watch for information on future talks in this column.  The lectures are free and no registration is necessary.

Free book club for adults
Our adult book club meets the second Tuesday of each month from 2-3 p.m. to discuss alternating fiction and nonfiction titles.  On May 10 we will discuss “Dead Run: The Murder of a Lawman and the Greatest Manhunt in Modern History” by Dan Schultz.  If you need a copy, please let us know.  No registration required.

All-ages gaming tomorrow
Tomorrow (Friday, May 6) from 2-3:15 p.m., enjoy video gaming on the Wii and X-box 360 Kinect with your friends and family.

Duct tape crafts
Teens and tweens and invited to join us on Wednesday, May 11 from 4-5 p.m. for duct tape crafts.

Spanish class informational meeting
Thursday, May 12 from 4:30-5 p.m., learn more about the Spanish class taught by Jean Broderick that will start two weeks later, on May 26, and run for six weeks.

Free tech sessions
Meg Wempe is available for the highly popular Tech Tuesdays and Thursdays sessions 10-noon Tuesdays and 3-4:45 p.m. Thursdays.  Drop in with your technology questions.  A more formal session requiring advance registration is Android 101 on Wednesday, May 11 from noon-2 p.m. when you will learn the basics of your Android operating system device.

Free teen gaming
Teen gaming happens Tuesdays from 4 – 5:30 p.m. for teen gaming fans in the 7th-12th grades.  Enjoy X-box 360 Kinect, Wii and snacks.

Teen advisory board
Today (Thursday, May 5) the teen advisory board meets from 4-5 p.m.  Bring your fun and innovative ideas to help us plan teen programs you will enjoy.

Free preschool storytime
Every Wednesday from 10-11 a.m., preschoolers and their families are invited to enjoy an hour of stories, music and a craft to develop early literacy skills.  Recommended for three- to five-year-olds.

Free baby and toddler storytimes
Stories, songs and fingerplays for you and your little ones on Saturdays.  Note split sessions:  Baby time from 9:05 to 9:25 for 0 to 12 months.  Toddlers from 9:30 – 10 a.m.  for 12-36 months.  If you have multiple little ones, please come to whatever storytime is most convenient for you and your family.

Free downloadable films
For your viewing pleasure, we have purchased IndieFlix, a streaming movie service that gives you unlimited access to more than 7,500 award-winning and popular independent shorts, feature films and documentaries from more than 50 countries – on your device, PC or Mac, with no apps needed.  Access IndieFlix through the Downloadable Content icon on the library’s website.  Use “Quick Pick,” the discovery tool that lets you sample movies like you would music.

Memoirs and biographies
“If My Heart Could Talk” by Dodie Osteen is a story of family, faith and miracles.  “Where the Light Gets In” by Kimberly Williams-Paisley tells of her and her mother’s experience with dementia.   “Good for the Money” by AIG CEO Bob Benmosche explains why and how he paid back AIG’s taxpayer bailout money.  “Rise of the Rocket Girls” by Nathalia Holt is the story of the brilliant women who made space travel possible.  “Left of Boom” by Douglas Laux is a memoir of a CIA man whose unusual undercover tactics in Afghanistan resulted in unprecedented successes.  “Kill ‘em and Leave” by James McBride explores the life of musician James Brown.  “Lab Girl” by Hope Jahren tells of the life of a scientist.

Other nonfiction
“Life Reimagined” by Barbara Bradley Hagerty looks at new research that is redrawing the future for people in their 40s, 50s and 60s.  “Nothing Ever Dies” by Viet Thann Nguyen explores the longterm effects for the U.S. and Vietnam of the war there.  “Vitamin N” (N is for nature) by Richard Louv suggests 500 ways to connect with the natural world right now.  “One Wild Bird at a Time” by Bernd Heinrich describes day-to-day observations of individual wild birds.  “Good to be Grand” by Cheryl Harbour helps you make the most of your grandchild’s first year. “Door to Door” by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Edward Humes explores the changes comes to our transportation systems to meet our demands for instant delivery.

Mysteries, thrillers and suspense
“The Obsession” by Nora Roberts follows the life of a little girl who learns of her father’s dreadful crimes.  “Arab Jazz” by Karim Miske begins with a murder in Paris.  “Most Wanted” by Lisa Scottoline describes the horror of a couple who learns the sperm donor of their baby is a murderer.  “Overwatch” by Matthew Betley begins when a man impulsively answers a dead man’s ringing phone.

 Large print
“Thunder over the Superstitions” by Peter Brandvold is a Gideon Hawk western.  “Ride Away” by Cotton Smith is a Corrigan Brothers western.  “Dead Man’s Road” is also a western, set in Colorado’s silver mine territory.  “As Time Goes By’ by Mary Higgins Clark and “No One Knows” by J.T. Ellison are mysteries.  “Blood Orange” by Susan Wittig Albert is a China Bayles mystery

Story CDs
“The Steel Kiss” by Jeffery Deaver is a Lincoln Rhyme mystery.  “The Gangster” by Cliver Cusller and Justin Scott is an Isaac Bell adventure.  “Midnight Sun” by Jo Nesbo tells of a man hiding above the Arctic Circle from an Oslo drug lord.  “Far from True” by Linwood Barclay is the second book in the Promise Falls trilogy.  “What We Find” by Robyn Carr is a Thunder Point novel set in Colorado.

Thanks to our donors
For books and materials this week, we thank Barbara Redd, Karyn Smith and several anonymous donors.  We also are grateful to Joan Mieritz for donating a one-year subscription to YES! magazine.

Quotable Quote
“Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain – and most fools do.” – Benjamin Franklin.

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