Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Travel through Time and Place with Overdrive Audiobooks

Planning any travel this summer?  Going somewhere that involves a long drive or ride?  Try an e-audiobook!  Even if you're planning a stay-cation, you can travel to other times and places through historical fiction e-audiobooks.  Here are just some of the titles available as e-audiobooks in our Overdrive collection:

Curses and Smoke by Vicky Alvear Shecter, read by Marisol Ramirez and Zach Villa - Subtitled "A Novel of Pompeii," this novel is set in A.D. 79, the year the eruption of Mount Vesuvius destroyed the city.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, read by Zach Appelman - This book won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the 2015 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction.  The lives of a 12-year-old blind French girl living in Paris when the German occupation of World War II begins in 1940, and a 14-year-old German boy living in an orphanage in the coal-mining town of Zollverein, intersect in four years later, in August 1944, during the Allied bombing of the walled city of Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast.

The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman; read by Gloria Reuben, Tina Benko, and Santino Fontana - This is a fictionalized account of the life of the mother of the Impressionist painter Camille Pissarro, set on the Caribbean island of St. Thomas and in Paris in the early and mid-1800s.  It's a little bit of a fictionalized biography of the early life of the artist as well.

Twain & Stanley Enter Paradise by Oscar Hijuelos, read by James Langton, Polly Lee, Henry Leyva, and Robert Petkoff - The real, nearly-lifelong friendship between American author Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain) and British explorer Henry Morton Stanley is the basis for this historical fiction novel, set in the period between 1860 and 1910 along the Mississippi River, in Cuba, and in England.
The Gilded Hour by Sara Donati, read by Cassandra Campbell - Set in 1883 in New York City, this book focuses on two female doctors, cousins Anna and Sophie Savard, and the challenges they face practicing medicine in that place and time.  A murder and a police investigation also play into the story.

The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende, read by Joanna Gleason - Jewish refugee Alma Mendel Belasco and Japanese gardener's son Ichimei "Ichi" Fukuda are the main characters in this story set in San Francisco covering the years 1939 to 2013, which touches on topics like racial prejudice, aging issues, and death with dignity.

The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant, read by Linda Lavin -  Born in 1900 in the United States to Jewish immigrant parents, Addie Baum tells her life story to her granddaughter in 1985, concentrating on the years 1915 to 1931 in and around Boston.  Life in the immigrant tenements, the effects of World War I, and the changes it brought about in the 1920s, especially for women, are all part of the tale.

Sashenka by Simon Montefiore, read by Anne Flosnik - Set in three time periods in twentieth century Russia - 1916, 1939, and 1994 - the title character becomes a Bolshevik and later part of the Communist elite.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, read by David Pittu - Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2014 and two 2014 Audie Awards, this book is actually set in more modern times, but moves between Amsterdam, New York City, and Las Vegas, and involves the fictional theft of a real painting called "The Goldfinch" from 1654 by Carel Fabritius (1622–1654), a Dutch artist.


Listening to e-audiobooks is easy!  The OverDrive app lets you download and listen to the MP3 format of the audiobook.  It is available for iOS, Android, Chromebook, Windows 8 & 10, and Kindle Fire HD.  I have one of the latter, and I download the books, hook up an aux cable from the Kindle to my car, and listen to audiobooks on my car's speakers while I commute.  OverDrive Listen is a streaming audiobook player that works on computers, tablets, and mobile devices with compatible web browsers.  You'll need an active Internet connection to use it.

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