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Note to Shelf: June Edition

June is Audiobook Month, so let’s celebrate by listening to books from your favorite authors and narrators. You can check out audiobooks at the Library or borrow e-Audiobooks through our website. We've compiled our favorite audiobooks to inspire you.

Happy summer and happy listening!

Jill

"If you liked The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro, you will love The Last Painting of Sara De Vos. Dominic Smith, an Australian author, interweaves three timelines to convey the suspenseful story of a painting from the Dutch Golden Age and its impact on three lives over the centuries. This intriguing tale encompasses the history of the only known surviving work of a female Dutch artist and its replica as the picture travels from Amsterdam to New York and on to Australia.

As I developed some empathy for the art curator (AKA forger), I was left to wonder whether art forgery should in itself be considered a form of art. This intriguing story is filled with characters that stay with you long after the last chapter has been heard. Add this captivating audiobook to your summer to-do list!"

Abby

"I recently listened to an audiobook that had been at the top of my list for a while—Born A Crime, written and narrated by Trevor Noah. My only regret is not having listened to it sooner! I know Trevor as the host of The Daily Show, but hearing him tell the story of his upbringing under an inhumane form of government in apartheid-era South Africa with a stirring note of humor, added a new facet to my perspective of him.

While the story is about Trevor, it is also a tribute to his mother, Patricia, who raised him with a firm hand (when she could catch him!). When Patricia fell in love with a white man, the laws forbidding the intermingling of races did not thwart them from having a child. Patricia continued to defy the laws in different ways, and she, along with other women in her family, helped shape the energetic, curious, and naughty (his word) Trevor into the man he is today. Listening to him share his childhood exploits makes you both anxious and grateful he made it to adulthood.

Another fascinating part of his story revolves around his gift for languages and his belief in their unifying power. It is a wonderful biography, rich in detail, and full of heart."

Barbara M.

"It’s been a long time since I first read The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, so when I saw it mentioned in a magazine article, I decided to revisit it this time as an audiobook. The tale was inspired by a school friend of Morrison’s who always wanted blue eyes.

It is the story of a little black/African-American girl, Pecola Breedlove, who was mocked for her dark skin and curly hair. Pecola had a difficult, abusive childhood and felt herself an outcast. She prayed for blue eyes thinking that they would make her lovable and acceptable.

This is a heart wrenchingly sad book that can be hard to listen to, but remains as worthwhile and relevant as when it was first published in 1965. Perhaps the best thing about the audiobook is that it is read by the author who reads the story with all the nuances of her poetic language."

Jeanne

"The Shortest Way Home by Pete Buttigieg is one of the best audiobooks I have listened to this year. Buttigieg, the second-term mayor of South Bend, Indiana, chronicles his rise in politics as he portrays the revitalization of his city of about 100,000 diverse residents. He is a very smart guy (Rhodes Scholar), an accomplished musician (concert pianist), and he served in the armed forces (U.S. Naval officer in Afghanistan).

Besides all that, he narrates his story with feeling. He talks about his city with shrewd analysis but also compassion, from the now-defunct Studebaker plant to the rising use of technology in planning and government, and the redevelopment of South Bend’s most underserved residents.

I found him to be smart, engaging, and worth listening to. His ideas about development reach beyond dollars and cents to humanity."

Anna

"Celebrate Pride Month and Audiobook Month by listening to Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, an amazing book about two Mexican-American teens.

It’s the summer of 1987 and two loner boys with nothing in common begin a friendship that will leave them forever changed. This poetic novel honestly examines the hardships and beauty of first love, strained families, and friendship.

Although this novel is categorized as Young Adult, the prose and pacing of the novel will resonant for readers of all ages. Audiobook bonus: It’s narrated by the glorious Lin-Manuel Miranda, a true fan of the book."

Baily

"In We're Not From Here by Geoff Rodky, we meet Lan, a young human living on Mars. Earth has been destroyed and now humans have to find a new place to live. Luckily, planet Choom has agreed to let the humans relocate, but they arrive to horrible news. The aliens living on Choom have changed their minds, citing the fact that humans may be too dangerous for their peaceful planet! Lan’s family is allowed on Choom as a test, but can they convince the aliens they should be allowed stay?

What happens next is a humorous adventure involving aliens that look like giant insects, new friends, and strange new foods. This is a great read or listen for fans of The Tapper Twins or science fiction in general!"

View more July new releases

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