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Staff Picks for Audio Books
A few years ago, the British Museum partnered with the BBC in a project that would tell the history of the world by examining objects from the British Museum's collection, and using each object as a jumping-off point for a weekly radio segment discussing important moments or developments in human history. Each segment was narrated by the director of the British Museum, Neil MacGregor, and featured historians, authors, and other experts who would weigh in on each object and its place in history.
Those radio segments have been collected in this audiobook. Ordinarily, I am not a big fan of audiobooks because my mind tends to wander, but each segment in this book is a manageable length, and it was possible to listen to as many or as few segments as I wanted without losing the thread of the story. By the end, I had traveled across two million years, and learned a great deal about the history of people across the entire globe.
If you're interested in seeing the objects described, check out the companion book, also called A History of the World in 100 Objects, available through our catalog from the Anchorage Public Library.
Recommended by Catherine
What happens when 50 teenage beauty contestants crash onto a desert island? A hilarious cross between Lord of the Flies and the Miss Teen USA pageant. Donít worry, thatís a good thing. The girls must decide whether to keep prepping for the pageant, even when rescue seems hopeless, or learn how to survive in the wild. Plus, there is something not quite right with the island. It might not be so deserted after all!
Available as a book, audiobook or downloadable audiobook.
Recommended by Kate
This audiobook of Niffenegger's gothic period novel is set in a very creepy London flat next to a cemetery. Features a set of American twins, ghosts and a cast of peculiar neighbors.
Recommended by Ginny
This audio version of the book by Roland Huntford is a dual biography of Robert Falcon Scott and Roald Amundsen specifically focusing on their race to the South Pole. The story is well told and despite the dual biography format it is gripping and easy to follow. Huntford takes you from Scott and Amundsenís childhoods through their inspirations and training for their expeditions and on the expeditions themselves. Anyone looking for an exciting adventure story or interested in travel and exploration should give this audio book (or the book version) a try!
Recommended by Alli
Even if you've already read it or seen it, and even if you've already read it or seen it (or both) multiple times, I still recommend that you listen to this audio version of William Shakespeare's Hamlet. Performed by an excellent cast of British stage actors, with original music and enough sound effects to give a sense of the action, this is more than an audiobook; it's a play that you hear rather than see. Hamlet is full of classic monologues and dialogues that echo throughout English literature, from "To be or not to be," to "Neither a borrower nor a lender be".
Prefer something less tragic? The Arkangel recordings of all of 38 of Shakespeare's plays include all the great comedies too, and the library has them all. Just search for 'Arkangel Shakespeare' in the catalog, or look for 822.33 in the audiobook section of any Juneau Public Library location.
Recommended by Catherine