Outdoor Listens for the Great Indoors(wo)man on hoopla!

After an unusually cooped-up spring, the longed-for season of the great outdoors is here! If the balmy weather is stirring up long dormant wanderlust, the Abbot Public Library is here to help you with your “itchy feet”! You’ll find a library-curated, one-stop adventure guide on hoopla.

If you’d really prefer just to ponder the wonders of nature from the comfort of an easy chair placed squarely in front of your AC, you can pop on your headphones, close your eyes, and tune in to a series of three NPR Soundtrek audiobooks. Adventures will help you shake off the dog-day doldrums with “whitewater rafting on the Hudson River, mountain climbing in the Himalayas, kayaking in Alaska, air boarding in Oregon’s Cascade mountains, or bungee jumping in Australia”–take your pick, or try them all! Get up close and personal with the world’s feathered folk in Birds, which interweaves colorful stories from ornithological experts with sample bird calls. Or listen in on a plethora of creatures in their natural habitats as they communicate and go about their daily lives in Animals.

For the armchair philosophers out there, take a dive into Izaak Walton’s classic, 17th-century The Compleat Angler. Far from just a fishing handbook, this delightful text brings to vivid life the joys to be found at the riverside, from baiting the hook to cooking the catch (yes, there’s a recipe involved!)–as well as the glory of British landscapes.

If you really do want to get out there but just don’t quite know how to do it (and are too embarrassed to ask your outdoorsy friends), you can get expert advice and learn vital basic skills from the comfort of your earbuds. First stop: How to Survive Your First Trip in the Wild: Backpacking for Beginners. From the basics of tent set-up to the nitty-gritty of what–and what not–to pack, seasoned outdoorsman Paul Magnanti has the answers. 

Worried that your kids aren’t getting outside enough but unable to commit to a full-on camping trip? Angela J. Hanscome’s Balanced and Barefoot: How Unrestricted Outdoor Play Makes for Strong, Confident, and Capable Children can be your playbook for creatively and intuitively improving that connection to nature on a daily basis. Get your own nature fix in a low-key fashion with a similar offering for adults who feel trapped in a concrete jungle–Sue Belfrage’s Down to the River and Up To the Trees: Discover the Hidden Nature on Your Doorstep.

So whether your idea of an escape into nature’s paradise is literal or virtual, you’ll find plenty on this audio bookshelf to aid you in your quest! 

If you’re new to hoopla, have a look at the FAQs page. If you need a library card, you can get started here.

*Quoted material from publisher description via hoopla.

For more about nature, find out how to go on a backyard safari and connect with nature during difficult times.


Get Your Vacation Fix with the NPR Road Trip Audio Series!

Ready for a break yet? If you’re feeling restless, consider taking a few statewide drives while listening to some seriously good travel stories. Or if that isn’t an option, you might do the same while lounging in the backyard sunshine. About a decade ago, when the economic downturn wreaked havoc on many vacation budgets, NPR produced a series of story collections in a Road Trips series narrated by beloved All Things Considered host Noah Adams. Within these anthologies, “each story focuses on real locations, real people, and real history in the thought-provoking, imaginative and entertaining way you’ve come to expect from NPR.”* You can find the series on hoopla, now available through the Abbot Public Library for free with your Marblehead card!

Roaming over the vast expanse of the U. S. and beyond, the entries in this series are loosely grouped by theme. Roadside Attractions presents an array of wacky, Guinness-Record-worthy oddities, the sort that provoke gasps of “why would anyone have ever thought of doing that?” Even so, there’s something endearingly niche and nostalgic about a “thirteen-foot Styrofoam scale model of Stonehenge.”* You’ll smell the popcorn as Fairs and Festivals holds up a fun-house mirror to the nation, giving listeners a glimpse of fairground culture in both urban and rural settings–where “people of all stripes and sizes meet to gawk at cows, ponder seed art, get hypnotized, compete in husband-calling contests, and eat virtually anything on a stick.”*

Anyone who has ever taken to the open road with their nearest and dearest can imagine the range of mishap-laden tales offered in Family Vacations. With titles like “Who Needs a Fancy Cruise If You’ve Got Inner Tubes?” by Tom Goldman, you can’t go wrong. National Park Adventures won’t fail to entertain, either, and you can even broaden your horizons–passport-free–by accompanying NPR correspondents around the world in Postcards from Around the Globe.

If you feel like binge-listening over 21 days and want to save on your monthly borrows, you might want to check out the entire NPR Road Trips Collection, which presents all five of the above titles in six hours. Whatever takes your fancy, you can know that your choices are always available–no holds, no waits!

If you’re new to hoopla, have a look at our FAQs page and easily hop on. If you don’t currently have a library card, get started here.

Happy trails to you!

*Quoted material from the publisher via hoopladigital.com.