Wednesday, May 11, 2016

FREE! AUDIO! BOOKS! (Did I Mention Free?)

I had 39 items checked out from my school library. Books with titles like Adulterous Alliances: Home, State, and History in Early Modern European Drama and Painting, and The Antitheatrical Prejudice, and Agent of Change: Print Culture Studies after Elizabeth L. Eisenstein. Real page turners, let me tell you what. These hefty tomes have slowly been collecting in neat stacks on my bedroom floor, desk, and bedside table throughout the semester, and today was the day! The blessed and glorious day when they all got returned! The sign that all my papers are turned in and the semester is finally over!

But let me tell you, it's a lot easier to check books out three or four at a time, than it is to return 39 in one go. I had to take my stroller, sans baby, loaded up to the brim in order to get them all back without multiple trips. I'm sure I was quite the comical sight pushing that conveyance across campus.

Anyway, that was a tangent. The real point of this post is that SUMMER IS HERE! And that means it's time for another season of FREE AUDIO BOOKS courtesy of audiobooksync.com. Those of you who've followed my blog for a while know that I make this public service announcement every May, because I love this service so much. I mean, free audio books! What's not to love?

Brief rundown for those of you new to the service: every week all summer long (starting this week!) Sync posts two new audio books that are available for a free download, but only for that week. At the end of the week those two books disappear and two new books pop up for the next week. It's a great service, but you have to watch your calendar closely and make sure you remember to download the ones you want the week they are available (I've had a few incidents of tragic forgetfulness in summers past).

As far as the books available, it's a mixed bag. Some are new releases, some are super popular, some are classics, some I've never heard of before. In years past, they've paired one YA book with a Classic book on a similar theme, but they've seemed to abandon that model this year (some weeks may have been themed, but it felt more random to me). I never download all the books, but there are usually about five gems every summer that I keep my eye out for. This summer the list seemed particularly unfamiliar to me, so I had to do a bit of research and scouting of reviews, but here are the titles I'll be keeping my eye on:

Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dimitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad - M.T Anderson (available July 7)

Okay, this sounds incredibly fascinating. It could be horrible, because the little I know of the siege of Leningrad means this book is not headed for happy or rosy places, but this has fabulous reviews, and I always enjoy interesting and well-written nonfiction, so I'm excited for this one.

On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta (available July 14)

I know next to nothing about this one, and the synopsis doesn't enlighten me much (some sort of YA futuristic dystopia? I can't really tell), but the reviews are fabulous, it's won all sorts of awards, and my gut instinct tells me I might like it, so I'm keeping an eye out for it.

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (available July 21)

This one I have heard about. It might even be on my to-read list? Reviews are mixed, I get the feeling this is not a happy story (that title...), but Achebe is being touted as one of Africa's most brilliant contemporary authors and I'm definitely interested in giving him a try.

Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War by Steve Sheinkin (available August 4)

I've never heard of Daniel Ellsberg and can't say I've ever been super interested in the Vietnam War, but I absolutely loved Bomb! (also by Sheinkin) and I can't wait to get my hands on another book by him. His nonfiction story-telling ability is amazing.

Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone (available May 26)

Again, another YA book that I know next to nothing about, but it has very strong reviews, and the premise of a girl with OCD hits close to home (OCD affects several of my close family members). I'm interested to see how the author handles this disease.

Okay, there were several more I could've added to this list. Bone Gap is available in August, which I read last month, and there are plenty of other interesting titles. I strongly suggest looking through the list yourselves, doing some research, and marking your calendars so you don't miss out on the opportunity to score some great free audio books this summer.


  1. I was going to ask you if you recommended any this summer. I didn't recognize any of the titles! But now that you point it out, I did read "Things Fall Apart" in high school. I don't really remember the story, but I have a clear image in my head of the stack of note cards I wrote out for the book. I think I liked it?

    1. What a ringing endorsement for "Things Fall Apart" :) Well, if it's required high school reading, there must be some merit to it, right?