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Best of hoopla: Audiobooks

hoopla image - man in a short suit listening to an audiobook in the park

If you like to listen to audio books, try Metropolitan Library System’s hoopla Digital, where there is never any waiting for the book you choose. You can download 6 items per month, ending on the last day of the month and resetting on the first of each month. All you need is your library card number, and a web browser, smart phone, or tablet, and you can keep them for 3 weeks. I downloaded them using the hoopla app on my android phone. If you don’t have a particular title or author in mind, try browsing some of the fun categories such as “happier family road trips,” “best of hoopla 2017,” or “celebrity readers.”

My choices for this month:

 

Molly’s Game book cover

Molly’s Game by Molly Bloom read by Cassandra Campbell

I chose this memoir/biography because the movie by the same name starring Jessica Chastain is currently showing, and because it is read by Cassandra Campbell, who has been called the “Meryl Steep of audio books.” It is also available through Overdrive, but at the time of this writing there was a waiting list. Not so with Hoopla! I was not disappointed in my choice. Molly Bloom grew up in Colorado in a family of overachievers on the ski slopes and in school. She was a member of US ski team and was ranked 3rd overall in North America in 1998, not many years after she had been told she should never ski again. After acceptance into Harvard Law School, she took a little detour out to LA, and ended up running one of the highest stake poker games in the country. This coming-of-age story tells how she won, and lost her place at the table, and of everything she learned about poker, love, and life in the process.

Winter Street book cover

Winter Street by Elin Hilderbrand read by Erin Bennett

I kept seeing this series in print form check out over and over again in the library, so I thought I would try it on Hoopla audio. Winter Street is the first in the Winter Trilogy by Hilderbrand and is read by another popular reader, Erin Bennett. If you are looking for a heart-warming holiday story, this is a good choice for you.

The Leavers book cover

The Leavers byLisa Ko read by Emily Woo Zeller

I chose The Leavers because it was a National Book Award finalist this year, and I always try to read at least couple of literary award winners or nominees every year. If you are looking to up your game a little by checking out some new literary authors, try The Leavers. This powerful debut is the winner of the 2016 PEN/Bellwether Prize for fiction, awarded by Barbara Kingsolver for a novel that addresses issues of social justice. Lisa Ko said in an interview that she was inspired to write the novel after reading real-life stories of undocumented immigrant women whose U.S.-born children were taken away from them and adopted by white American families, while the women were deported or jailed. Some of the women who were deported wanted to take their children with them back to their countries of origin, but U.S. courts said no, the kids were better off staying in America, in their adoptive families. Ko, the daughter of immigrants herself, was particularly interested in the questions the stories raised about class and cultural assimilation, and about family, identity, and survival. In The Leavers, 11-year-old Deming Guo is abandoned by his immigrant mother, then adopted by a white family, and given a new name. The story is told by both Deming (Daniel) and later by his mother, Polly.

Wishful Drinking book cover

Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher read by Carrie Fisher

Now I was down to my last choice for the month. I decided to browse through the “read by celebrities” category, and my eyes alit on Carrie Fisher. With the recent release of her last Star Wars movie, I thought it fitting to listen to the late actor’s memoir in her own voice. In Wishful Drinking, Carrie Fisher “reveals what it was really like to grow up a product of "Hollywood in-breeding," come of age on the set of a little movie called Star Wars, and become a cultural icon and bestselling action figure at the age of nineteen.” Happy listening!

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