Welcome to Audio File, a podcast dedicated to providing audiobook recommendations from Camrose Public Library’s collection. In our second episode, we recommend five titles with a winter theme in honor of the upcoming holiday season. Thanks for listening!
Hello everyone and welcome to Audio File, a Camrose Public Library podcast series. On this podcast, we recommend audiobooks that are truly music to the ears and available right here at CPL. Today’s episode will focus on five titles with a wintery-theme in honor of the upcoming holiday season. Let’s get to it!
Our first pick is the quintessential holiday tale of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. This Christmas classic, written in time for the 1843 holiday season, sold out its initial printing of 6,000 copies in one day. It remains Dickens' most widely read and best-loved work, guaranteed to warm and uplift with the simplicity of its message and the depth of its honest truths.
It's Christmas Eve and miserly Ebenezer Scrooge is in a foul temper, good cheer and joyful spending turn his very insides to vinegar. But before Scrooge sees the dawn break on yet another miserable Christmas morning, he will have come face-to-face with a parade of startling apparitions, and most disconcerting of all, himself.
What can I say that hasn’t already been said about this work? Between the original text and the radio, television, and film adaptations, A Christmas Carol is arguably one of the most well-known stories related to Christmas. It’s short, a novella rather than a novel, so the tale is easy to revisit and enjoy.
Frank Muller is the narrator of the 2010 Recorded Books production of a Christmas Carol and his veteran skill makes for a fantastic experience. There are numerous audio version of this tale, and many are worth a listen, but Muller in particular uses his stage and television acting skills to bring the words to life. And, at just under three hours, this audiobook is just the right length to keep you company during the holiday cooking or baking. If you’re looking for a short, comfortable staple of the season to help usher in the yuletide spirit, try A Christmas Carol.
Our second pick is the Adult Romance 25 Days 'Til Christmas by Poppy Alexander. Kate Potter used to love Christmas. A few years ago, she would have been wrapping her presents in September and baking mince pies on Halloween, counting down the days and hours to Christmas. But that was before Kate's husband left for the army and never came home. Now she can hardly stand December at all.
Kate can't deny she's lonely, yet she doesn't think she's ready for romance. She knows that her son, Jack, needs a Christmas to remember—just like Kate needs a miracle to help her finally move forward with her life. So she's determined if there isn't a miracle on its way, she'll just have to make her own.
As Kate's advent countdown to the best Christmas ever begins, she soon realizes that even with the best-laid plans, you can't plan for the unexpected. For when the path of the loneliest woman in town crosses with that of the loneliest man, these two destined hearts might find a way to save the holiday for both of them.
This heart-warming holiday story is told from two perspectives, that of Daniel and Kate. Both points of view are equally entertaining and make for a great love story. The 2019 Harper Audio production of 25 Days ‘Til Christmas is read by Helen Keely. Keely’s speaking voice is a pleasure to listen to and this is in part thanks to her accent. Keely has an accent known as Estuary English, according to her Spotlight profile, which refers to an area along the River Thames and its estuary, including London. Her skill also shines through here thanks to her time on the stage, in television, and of course her ample experience with audiobooks. If you’re looking for a snow-sprinkled romance to curl up with, try 25 Days ‘Til Christmas.
Our third pick is the Adult Thriller The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld. A haunting, richly atmospheric, and deeply suspenseful novel about an investigator who must use her unique insights to find a missing little girl.
Three years ago, Madison Culver disappeared when her family was choosing a Christmas tree in Oregon's Skookum National Forest. She would be eight-years-old now—if she has survived. Desperate to find their beloved daughter, certain someone took her, the Culvers turn to Naomi, a private investigator with an uncanny talent for locating the lost and missing. Known to the police and a select group of parents as "the Child Finder," Naomi is their last hope.
Naomi's methodical search takes her deep into the icy, mysterious forest in the Pacific Northwest, and into her own fragmented past. She understands children like Madison because once upon a time, she was a lost girl, too.
Told in the alternating voices of Naomi and a deeply imaginative child, The Child Finder is a literary listen about redemption, the line between reality and memories and dreams, and the human capacity to survive.
The holidays aren’t all gingerbread and good cheer. Sometimes, we’re in the mood for something darker. This thriller brings the cold atmosphere of winter and desperation for when you need a break after hearing All I Want for Christmas one too many times. The 2017 Harper Audio production of The Child Finder has Alyssa Bresnahan behind the mic who does a spectacular job of conveying the solemn, and at times bleak, tone of the story. The shift between perspectives is clarified by Bresnahan’s delivery so the listener isn’t in doubt as to whose point of view they’re in. If you’re looking for an intense and wintry mystery, try The Child Finder.
Our fourth pick is the Adult Fiction Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher. From #1 New York Times bestselling author Rosamunde Pilcher, Winter Solstice is the story of five unforgettable characters, lonely and haunted strangers who find love and loyalty as a reborn family of friends during the Christmas holidays.
Elfrida Phipps, once of London's stage, moved to the English village of Dibton in hopes of making a new life for herself. Gradually she settled into the comfortable familiarity of village life—shopkeepers knowing her tastes, neighbors calling her by name—still she finds herself lonely. Oscar Blundell gave up his life as a musician in order to marry Gloria. They have a beautiful daughter, Francesca, and it is only because of their little girl that Oscar views his sacrificed career as worthwhile.
Carrie returns from Australia at the end of an ill-fated affair with a married man to find her mother and aunt sharing a home and squabbling endlessly. With Christmas approaching, Carrie agrees to look after her aunt's awkward and quiet teenage daughter, Lucy, so that her mother might enjoy a romantic fling in America.
Sam Howard is trying to pull his life back together after his wife has left him for another. He is without home and without roots, all he has is his job. Business takes him to northern Scotland, where he falls in love with the lush, craggy landscape and set his sights on a house. It is the strange rippling effects of a tragedy that will bring these five characters together in a large, neglected estate house near the Scottish fishing town of Creagan.
The 2018 Macmillan Audio production of Winter Solstice is read by Jilly Bond, a narrator who is downright legendary. Bond has narrated over 300 audiobooks and has won four AudioFile magazine Earphones Awards. She also regularly appears on stage, including performances at the National Theatre, the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, The Lowry Theatre, and in the Edinburgh and London Fringe Festivals. Bond’s warm tones perfectly compliment the tender nature of the narrative and will have you enthralled right away. If you’re looking for a story with a romantic theme rather than pure romance to give you the warm fuzzies, try Winter Solstice.
Our last pick is the Young Adult romance 10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston. Sophie wants one thing for Christmas—a little freedom from her overprotective parents. So when they decide to spend Christmas in South Louisiana with her very pregnant older sister, Sophie is looking forward to some much needed private (read: make-out) time with her long-term boyfriend, Griffin. Except it turns out that Griffin wants a little freedom from their relationship. Cue devastation.
Heartbroken, Sophie flees to her grandparents' house, where the rest of her boisterous extended family is gathered for the holiday. That's when her nonna devises a (not so) brilliant plan: Over the next ten days, Sophie will be set up on ten different blind dates by different family members. Like her sweet cousin Sara, who sets her up with a hot guy at an exclusive underground party. Or her crazy aunt Patrice, who signs Sophie up for a lead role in a living nativity. With a boy who barely reaches her shoulder. And a screaming baby. When Griffin turns up unexpectedly and begs for a second chance, Sophie feels more confused than ever. Because maybe, just maybe, she's started to have feelings for someone else... Someone who is definitely not available. This is going to be the worst Christmas break ever... or is it?
This comforting and funny romance is a reminder of just how loveably bizarre our own families can be. The 2019 Recorded Books production of 10 Blind Dates has Sophie Amoss as the narrator. Amoss has a gentle tone that pairs well with the main character and she has a good sense of where to emphasize the text and where to provide a neutral delivery to make for a solid overall performance. If you’re looking for an amusing, young adult romp that takes place around the holidays, try 10 Blind Dates.
That’s it for this episode of Audio File. All the audiobooks discussed here are available at
Camrose Public Library in either audio CD or downloadable audio format. Thanks very much for listening and remember to stay curious.