New for You: E-Audio Series Entries, RBG, and Sedaris on Overdrive/Libby

As 2020 winds down and the light fades earlier each day, we at the Abbot Public Library are searching for some good, solid reading fare to see us through the long evenings. There’s nothing like the comfort of familiar storylines continued and the company of characters we know and love (or love to hate). We’re also craving the words of cultural icons like the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg and David Sedaris, both of whom saw us through many decades before we were plunged into the present reality. If you’re feeling the same, then the newest round of digital audiobooks on Overdrive/Libby should be just the ticket!

If the grandeur of historical epic is what you’re in the mood for at present, then you’ll be pleased to know that you can now listen to Ken Follett’s new prequel to the wildly popular Pillars of the Earth, which was published thirty years ago. Follett is past master at spinning tales of derring-do from the pre-Norman Conquest era in Britain. He certainly doesn’t disappoint in The Evening and the Morning, a book “rich with ambition and rivalry, death and birth, love and hate, that will end where The Pillars of the Earth begins.”*

Ann Cleeves lands us in a thoroughly modern England with her latest Vera Stanhope novel, The Darkest Evening. The irascible and complicated Detective Inspector not only finds yet another mystery on a snowy night in Northumberland but is confronted with new knowledge about her family’s past. With an atmospheric blizzard and an old country house as major plot elements, this offering is certainly one to curl up with by the fire.

There’s also the opportunity to hear more from a hero and icon lost this year, in her own voice. Jeffrey Rosen, head of the National Constitution Center, offers us an intimate series of recorded tête-à-têtes in Conversations with RBG. With observations on her own life and on Supreme Court matters, the audiobook will make you feel that this fiercely intelligent woman is in the room with you, and that she has not been and will not be silenced.

And who couldn’t do with a bit of sardonic comic relief in the form of David Sedaris’s latest? He’s compiled his funniest stories from the past three decades and added a new one in The Best of Me. You’ll also get a new interview with the writer.

So that’s your long autumnal evenings sorted! You may also want to check out the newly-added thriller One by One from Ruth Ware and The Searcher by Tana French for further bestselling listens.

If you are new to Overdrive/Libby, please have a look at our FAQ section for pointers. And if you don’t yet have a library card, you can get started here.

*Description from the publisher.

Enchanting Eccentrics Part 1: Listen with hoopla and Overdrive/Libby

Why are we drawn to fictional misfits? Is it because they are more courageous than we are, seemingly unafraid of being themselves? Or is it because they act out our own hidden insecurities and find love and acceptance anyway–giving us hope? Or perhaps we just love rooting for the underdog, the not-so-perfect, the slightly off-kilter. Whatever the reason, if you’d like a bit of quirky charm in your life, you’re in for a treat with digital audiobooks from hoopla and Overdrive/Libby.

You’ll find plenty of idiosyncratic appeal amongst the selections in our newly-curated audio collection on hoopla: 2020 APL Enchanting Eccentrics (Audio). If you were a fan of the 2002-2009 TV series Monk, then you’ll be happy to find that Lee Goldberg–who has recently collaborated with the likes of Janet Evanovich–wrote a series of novels starring the obsessive-compulsive detective. Some of the eight audiobooks available in this collection were adapted into episodes, while others find Mr. Monk facing new adventures on the streets of San Francisco, always with a long-suffering, hand-wipe-toting assistant in tow.

You’ll also find four novels by Phaedra Patrick, a British author who has made something of a name for herself with gently humorous tales starring hapless, lonely men of a certain age who gradually open themselves up to the possibilities of joy, friendship, and love. Benedict Stone, Arthur Pepper, and Mitchell Fisher will capture your empathy and imagination as you join them on their quests. If you’d like a book along the same lines but with an eccentric female protagonist, you’ll not be disappointed by Patrick’s departure from her usual approach in The Library of Lost and Found. You’ll be charmed by seaside librarian Martha Storm, an imaginative, socially awkward introvert with a passion for assisting others while chronically neglecting her own deep-seated needs. Ruth Hogan (another British author of a similar ilk) and Jonas Jonasson (author of The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared) are sure to entrance you, as well.

Enchanting eccentrics abound on Overdrive/Libby as well. Similar in tone and characterization to Phaedra Patrick’s books, Rachel Joyce’s The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry–read by excellent British character actor Jim Broadbent (who has lent his talent to films as diverse as Iron Lady and the animated Paddington movies)–sends an aging, henpecked husband on an unexpected journey of self-discovery and emotional awakening. And we mustn’t forget Fredrik Backman’s crusty curmudgeons, both male and female; even if you’ve already read and loved A Man Called Ove, don’t despair! Try My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry and Britt-Marie Was Here for yet more comic tales of delightful loners who find connection and hope on their own terms.

Tune in again for film and TV suggestions in the same vein. In the meantime, here’s to lovable eccentrics everywhere!