Wellington City Libraries

Te Matapihi Ki Te Ao Nui

Teen Blog

Reading, Wellington, and whatever else – teenblog@wcl.govt.nz

Tag: audiobooks Page 1 of 2

From Broadway to Bookshelf

We all know how it is. One minute you’re idly searching Spotify for your next musical theatre fix. The next minute it’s 3am and you’re four months deep into a dangerous obsession with Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill musical soundtrack and you can’t stop singing the alto part to “You Learn” over and over again even though you’ve been kicked out of home because no one wants to listen to that much alto. It’s fine, you tell yourself. All I need is Alanis. The world of jukebox musicals will keep me warm at night.

Dear reader, it is true that we all need Alanis. But we also need a balanced cultural diet that includes reading material and audiobooks to keep us off the streets. That’s where the library’s OverDrive collection comes into play again. Read on for a juicy selection of some of our musical theatre-related reads to keep you on the straight and narrow when all seems lost to the world of the musical soundtrack album.

Overdrive cover The Movie Musical!, Jeanine Basinger (ebook)
This book is an in-depth look at the singing, dancing, happy-making world of Hollywood musicals, beautifully illustrated in color and black-and-white—an essential text for anyone who’s ever laughed, cried, or sung along at the movies. Leading film historian Jeanine Basinger reveals, with her trademark wit and zest, the whole story of the Hollywood musical, from Fred Astaire, whom she adores, to La La Land, which she deplores. Whether analyzing a classic Gene Kelly routine, relishing a Nelson-Jeanette operetta, or touting a dynamic hip hop number (in the underrated Idlewild), Basinger is a canny and charismatic guide to the many ways that song and dance have been seen—and heard—on film. (adapted from OverDrive description)

Overdrive cover Dear Evan Hansen, Val Emmich (Audiobook)
A simple lie leads to complicated truths in this big-hearted coming-of-age story of grief, authenticity and the struggle to belong in an age of instant connectivity and profound isolation. This audiobook version of the novel based on the incredible 2015 musical by Pasek, Paul and Levenson is beautifully narrated by Ben Levi Ross (Evan Hansen, US Tour), Mike Faist (Connor Murphy, original cast), and Mallory Bechtel (Zoe Murphy, original cast) in this incredibly personal and human reading. Listen now — you won’t regret it.

Overdrive cover Writing Better Lyrics, Pat Pattison (ebook)
Have you ever fancied yourself a Broadway lyricist? This book is the book for you. This revised and updated 2nd Edition of the classic must-have guide for budding songwriters provides effective tools for everything from generating ideas, to understanding the form and function of a song, to fine-tuning lyrics.

Overdrive cover Les Misérables, Victor Hugo (ebook)
Look, I hear you. This book is long. But just listen for a moment — it wasn’t adapted into one of the most popular and enduring musicals of all time for nothing. This book has it all — love, death, revolution, defeat, victory, class struggles — and its rambling delightfully labyrinthine plot will keep you occupied for hours. If that all sounds like too much, we also have the eAudio version. Don’t say we aren’t kind to you. But be kind to yourself and pick this up while the Duke Classics edition is always available!

Now, get out there and read!

Libraries in the Time of COVID

Peeps, it’s a weird time for all of us, librarians included, as we attempt to navigate the apocalypse with nary an open library in sight from which to retrieve the objects of our solace — books. But fear not! The library, in its wisdom, has foreseen such a calamity and from the depths of its vast reserves of online material has produced a bounteous temple of all things YA — the OverDrive Teen Reading Room. All you need is a library card (click here to grab one if you haven’t already) and all the reading material you could ever need is at your fingertips from the comfort of whichever anti-viral fortress you’re currently holed up in. Check the list below for some of my faves:

Aristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the universe / Sáenz, Benjamin Alire
Guys, I don’t want to freak you out but READ THIS BOOK NOW. This is the OverDrive eAudiobook version, so you don’t even have to read words, just zone out and let Saenz’s perfectly spare, searing prose transport you. This is a gorgeous story of family, friendship, love, pain, illness, recovery, and discovery that paints in poignant, pointillistic detail the agony and anticipation of leaving childhood behind and moving somewhere new. Waste no more time, and while you’re at it read everything else Saenz has ever written. You won’t regret it.

Feed / Anderson, M. T
It may seem a little on the nose to be recommending dystopian fiction right now, but hear me out. This modern classic is absolutely worth a read — it takes a peek beneath the veil and examines human nature with a kind of clarity seldom seen in any fiction. Unsettling? Yes. Frightening? Probably. Un-put-downable? Absolutely.

An unofficial encyclopedia of strategy for Fortniters / Rich, Jason
We understand it’s not entirely impossible that there may be some people out there who are choosing to spend their isolation period not reading, but gaming. We have you nerds covered as well! The Unofficial Encyclopedia of Strategy for Fortniters is just one part of a gaming eBook collection that includes titles on Fortnite, Minecraft, Terraria, and more. Can’t go outside? Make your own outside, inside!

Finally, I wanted to do a special plug for our wonderful OverDrive LGBTIQ+ Reading Room. We’ve pulled together our favourite titles from across the rainbow spectrum and curated the ultimate collection of LGBTIQ+ reads for you to enjoy. There’s heaps to choose from across fiction and nonfiction, eBook and eAudio — biographies, romance, YA fiction, the arts, crime and mysteries, social comment and social issues, personal essays, poetry, and much much more. Feel free to send through a request if we’re missing a title you think we should have!

Even though our physical sites are closed, we’re here for you still. Follow us on social media or comment on one of these posts if you want to stay in touch. We’ll be keeping you up to date with books, websites, resources and other cool stuff and general distraction during these spooky, spooky times. Stay safe and stay indoors!

New Audiobooks

If you like listening to books rather than just reading all the time, don’t forget we’ve got collections of audiobooks, both eaudio and books on CD, with new things being added regularly.

For example, new and newish books on CD include:

Half Lost, Sally Green. We got the audiobook before the print one arrived, go figure. We’re excited to read (or listen to, even) this last instalment in the Half Bad trilogy.

Stars Above, Marissa Meyer. This is a collection of Lunar Chronicles short stories, and I have to say it’s fantastic. Some of the stories introduce our favourite characters as children, one’s a sort of happily ever after (no spoilers here, really!), and another is a really cool reworking of the Little Mermaid. We’re really keen to see what she does next (we will find out at the end of the year).

The Rest of Us Just Live Here, Patrick Ness. Here’s the blurb (because it’s quite cool and Patrick Ness-like): “What if you aren’t the Chosen One? The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death? What if you’re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again. Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life. Even if your best friend is worshipped by mountain lions.”

New and newish Overdrive eaudiobooks include:

Dead Gorgeous, Malorie Blackman. “Life is tough for Nova. Her frantic parents are obsessed by running their hotel and her older sister seems too grown-up and good-looking to spend time with her any more. Then Nova meets the gorgeous Liam and things start to look up. But Liam is having an even worse time than she is. He’s permanently stuck at the hotel and he can’t attract his brother’s attention either. At least Liam can see how hard Nova is struggling – and, in fact, she’s the only one who can see him at all! Could a new friendship between them help them both see the light at the end of the tunnel?” (Overdrive)

The Revolution of Ivy, Amy Engel. “Ivy Westfall is beyond the fence and she is alone. Abandoned by her family and separated from Bishop Lattimer, Ivy must find a way to survive on her own in a land filled with countless dangers, both human and natural. She has traded a more civilized type of cruelty-forced marriages and murder plots-for the bare-knuckled brutality required to survive outside Westfall’s borders. But there is hope beyond the fence, as well. And when Bishop reappears in Ivy’s life, she must decide if returning to Westfall to take a final stand for what she believes is right is worth losing everything she’s fought for.” (Overdrive)

This is Where the World Ends, Amy  Zhang. “Janie and Micah, Micah and Janie. That’s how it’s been ever since elementary school, when Janie Vivien moved next door. Janie says Micah is everything she is not. Where Micah is shy, Janie is outgoing. Where Micah loves music, Janie loves art. It’s the perfect friendship—as long as no one finds out about it. But then Janie goes missing and everything Micah thought he knew about his best friend is colored with doubt.” (Overdrive) This is highly recommended.

Listening to Books

If you spend all day looking at text and reading a book is the last thing you want to do, we’ve got lots of listening options instead! We have a collection of books on CD, or if you don’t do CDs there are eAudioBooks courtesy of Overdrive and Borrowbox.

So what’s popular?

in CDs:

The Fault in our Stars, John Green

The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins

Pride & Prejudice, Jane Austen (a great way to make sense of things once you’ve read the text!)

The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman

The Book Thief, Markus Zusak

in eAudio:

The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins

Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins

Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins

The Selection, Kiera Cass

Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury

Th1rteen R3asons Why, Jay Asher

Hollow City, Ransom Riggs

So borrow an audiobook very soon! If the one you want is not on the shelf/available they are free to reserve on a YA card. CDs are 4 week issue (free on a YA card) and eAudioBooks are 3 week issue (completely free).

Popular YA Authors on CD

Too busy to read? Audiobooks are a great alternative, particularly if you want to do more than one thing at a time. You can listen to many of the best and most popular YA authors on CD:

Cassandra Clare
Suzanne Collins
James Patterson
John Marsden
John Green
Veronica Roth
Louise Rennison
Philip Pullman
Markus Zusak

(plus many many more)

If you want to be more mobile, you can also get eAudiobooks from our eLibrary page using Overdrive and Borrowbox.

 

Music is my boyfriend

so claims a song by CSS (they’re pretty rad).

For some people, music is what keeps them going. It can be an essential part of coping and survival and can help people in ways even they can’t understand. It could be the melody, an intense beat or the maybe lyrics blasting through your headphones which make you think the song was written just for you. For whatever reason, music makes us feel things both good and bad. For some characters in the books below, music is what keeps them going through some especially difficult times.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsEleanor & Park, Rainbow Rowell

“Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.” (goodreads.com)

Eleanor has a pretty difficult home life, and Park enables and encourages her obsession with music. It helps her get through some pretty traumatic times and the 80s tunes Eleanor connects with relate just so to her life and surroundings. AND Rainbow Rowell herself published some playlists on her blog that inspired and represent each of the main characters, so you could listen to those while you read this amaaaazing book and truly immerse yourself in the experience! Just a suggestion. (You can find the playlists here at Rainbow Rowell’s blog)

P.S. We also have this as a book on cd!

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsNick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

“It all starts when Nick asks Norah to be his girlfriend for five minutes. He only needs five minutes to avoid his ex-girlfriend, who’s just walked in to his band’s show. With a new guy. And then, with one kiss, Nick and Norah are off on an adventure set against the backdrop of New York City—and smack in the middle of all the joy, anxiety, confusion, and excitement of a first date.” (goodreads.com)

Nick and Norah’s first connection is formed via the playlists Nick makes for his then-girlfriend Tris, who is also Norah’s friend. Tris couldn’t care less about the thought and effort put into these playlists for her, but Norah feels a connection to the person who compiled them and… well you’ll see when you read it 🙂 We also have the dvd, which is just 80c to issue using your YA library card!

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky

“Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mix tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But he can’t stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.” (goodreads.com)

We have the movie version of this too! These music books sure lend themselves well to film adaptations, huh?

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe Vinyl Princess, Yvonne Prinz

“Allie, a sixteen-year-old who is obsessed with LPs, works at the used record store on Telegraph Ave. and deals with crushes–her own and her mother’s–her increasingly popular blog and zine, and generally grows up over the course of one summer in her hometown of Berkeley, California.” (WCL catalogue)

The Vinyl Princess covers a bunch of niche areas – LP collecting, zine-making, blogging (although these are all becoming pretty ubiquitous) – so if you relate to any of these pasttimes, this may just be the book for you!

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsFat Kid Rules the World, K. L. Going

Troy Billings is seventeen, 296 pounds, friendless, utterly miserable, and about to step off a New York subway platform in front of an oncoming train. Until he meets Curt MacCrae, an emaciated, semi-homeless, high school dropout guitar genius. Soon, Curt has recruited Troy as his new drummer, even though Troy can’t play the drums. Together, Curt and Troy will change the world of punk, and Troy’s own life, forever. (edited from goodreads.com)

Fat Kid Rules The World achieves something great in the way music, and particularly the energy of drumming is described. It could so easily fall flat, but Going really captures the energy and essence of a punk drummer.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsChopsticks, Jessica Anthony & Rodrigo Corral

This one looks like it’ll all be sunshine and happiness, but don’t be fooled: “In a love story told in photographs and drawings, Glory, a brilliant piano prodigy, is drawn to Frank, an artistic new boy, and the farther she falls, the deeper she spirals into madness until the only song she is able to play is ‘Chopsticks.'” So it’s kind of a graphic novel – there’s something for everybody!

We hope you’ve enjoyed NZ Music Month 2014, maybe came to one (or more!) of our library music events and we look forward to doing it all over again next year! If there were any highlights of NZMM that you’d like to tell us about, please do so in the comments! I’ll be back to regular scheduled posting next week – who’s excited for TFIOS? 😉

Allegiant on Audiobook

If you’re keen to find out what happens in Allegiant and you don’t want to wait too long in a reserve queue, we recommend the book on CD, which has just arrived and is right now today getting labelled and library-ready thanks to the fabulous library technical services team.

We have two copies of the audiobook, which is available for four weeks and free on a young adult card! It’s narrated by Emma Galvin (the narrator for the Divergent and Insurgent audiobooks), and Aaron Stanford, who features in the TV series Nikita.

We’ve got heaps of YA titles on audiobook, some of them hot off the press: here’s the complete list.

Allegiant print copy update: we’ll have these very very shortly and we’ll get them out to you as soon as possible (once again thanks to tech services).

The new and improved Overdrive

Overdrive – the home of many of WCL’s e-audiobooks and all the e-books – has had a makeover. The new site features are explained in this news post here. Included is an introductory tutorial, hosted by a polite and competent Overdrive librarian.

Downloadable Audiobooks

As you know, the library has a growing, eclectic collection of downloadable audiobooks, courtesy of Bolinda and Overdrive. All you need is a WCL library card, the wherewithall to download, and the wherewithall to listen (and time!).

Here’s a sample of what’s available from Bolinda:

Rapture, Lauren Kate

Heaven, Alexandra Adornetto (available 28/09/2012)

City of Fallen Angels, Cassandra Clare

The Knife of Never Letting Go, Patrick Ness

Saving Francesca, Melina Marchetta

The Whale Rider, Witi Ihimaera

Here’s a list of young adult fiction titles.

Titles are available for three weeks: you can reserve them for free, and there are no overdue charges! All good news!

New Digital Audiobooks

If you like listening to books then you’ll be keen to see what’s new in the digital audiobook collection: a couple of princesses, some vampires, a high school student who can travel through spacetime to distant territories, and something for Glee fans.

The Looking Glass Wars, Frank Beddor – “Princess Alyss Heart is brutally cast out of Wonderland by her vicious Aunt Redd, who beheads Alyss’ mother (Off with her head, she cries!) and begins to rule over Wonderland with an iron fist.” (Overdrive catalogue)

Princess Ben, Catherine Gilbert Murdock – “With her parents lost to assassins, Princess Ben ends up under the thumb of the conniving Queen Sophia. Starved and miserable, locked in the castle’s highest tower, Ben stumbles upon a mysterious enchanted room. So begins her secret education in the magical arts: mastering an obstinate flying broomstick, furtively emptying the castle pantries, setting her hair on fire…” (Overdrive catalogue)

Also new to Overdrive are: The Strange Power and The Possessed, L J Smith, books one and two of the Dark Visions series, and also all eight books in the Pendragon series by D J McHale. Finally for Glee fans you can listen to the first spin-off book, Glee: The Beginning by Sophia Lowell.

You can browse the Overdrive collection: have a look at the young adult collection, and also the children’s fiction collection: start here.

What’s Overdrive? It’s a collection of digital audiobooks that’s available to you for free if you have a WCL library card. It’s easy to use: just download the Overdrive media console (kind of like an iTunes equivalent), browse for books and start downloading (each catalogue record will tell you about format and compatibility).

Page 1 of 2