Category Archives: Audiobooks

Free Zora Neale Hurston Audiobook

Zora Neale Hurston was born today, in 1891, in Notasulga, Alabama. In honor of her birth, one of her most famous book Their Eyes Were Watching God is available FREE to the first 10,000 downloaders. The offer is being made through by the publisher of the ebook.

Zora Neale Hurston

It’s hard to imagine a time when Hurston wasn’t the well known author she is today, topping many school reading lists. But when she died in 1960 she was broke and living in a state welfare home. She was buried in an unmarked grave until 1973 when some scholars did the research and went back and marked her grave.

The University of Florida has the collection of what remains of Zora Neale Hurston’s writings. It’s an amazing few shelves of paper as all of her papers were thrown in the fire after the order to burn her writings when she died. A friend of hers wound up saving them from the flames.

So grab your free copy of the audiobook today, while they’re still giving them out and think about all the stars that had to align to make this possible. Famed stage actress and civil rights voice Ruby Dee narrates this audiobook. I have not heard her yet, but Dee, who died in 2014, no doubt brings some real life awareness and urgency to the story. I’ve seen clips of Dee in the stage version of A Raisin in the Sun and can see just what a great fit she’d be as narrator.

Also, that cover for this copy of Their Eyes Were Watching God is pretty dang cool!

Hoopla Adds eBooks and Comics

I just noticed last night that the Hoopla app/service I use (thanks Hoover Library!) has expanded its offerings. Movies, music and TV shows have been readily available for download since day one. But now we have access to eBooks and comics as well.

* please note I have not tried to read or view comics in the Hoopla app. I am simply comparing catalogs and services at this point. eBook readers and comic apps are hard and I do not know yet if Hoopla has a good one.

I am always interested in finding new things to read and am pretty excited at seeing what the eBooks section will offer.


So far it does seem to be a little different than what’s over on OverDrive which the library supports as well (thanks again, Hoover Library, you guys rock!). There seems to be a difference in publishers. Many of what is on Hoopla (while not big names) are not titles that I have access to on OverDrive. I only spot checked five books so far, but this seems to be the case. And I’m glad for it. The less overlap the better.

Hoopla eBooks so far as I can see seems stronger in the cooking, self-help, and Christian categories. Though there are lots of romance, kids, and some fiction as well. But OverDrive shares these strengths and is currently a little stronger in the mainstream categories.

I’m not a comic book/graphic novel reader. I wish I was because I hear such great things, but I just can’t get into the groove. It’s not a snob thing, they’re just too slow for me (maybe another post on this thinking soon?)


Noticably absent are Marvel comics. I have no idea if they’ll come on board or not. They’re all Disney-owned and working with Amazon, who knows. But DC Comics is testing the waters here. There are about 30 comics presented in the “Featured” area. Most of these are “digest issues” so each book contains 4-15 comics in there. Which is handy if you’re trying to catch up on a series or something.

What they’re lacking in Marvel characters they make up for with. . .  a Bill & Melinda Gates comic? a Kate Middleton comic? I even saw an Amy Winehouse comic book.


So the stock and quality is all over the map with Hoopla’s comic book offerings. No doubt it’ll get better.

I assume Hoopla is the same everywhere, but maybe it is dependent on each library’s contract. How it works here is that we’re allowed 10 downloads a month. That allotment can be made up of any mix of movies, music, TV, audiobooks, and now eBooks and comics.

Let me just say – libraries are awesome. I hope you live someplace with access to something like the JCLC system. To use Hoopla just load the app on your device and log-in with your library card number. You will instantly be able to access any content/services that your local library supports.

Do you use Hoopla?

Nine Free Audiobooks at B&N store

Barnes & Noble opened their Audiobook store this weekend. As a promo they are offering nine titles as free MP3 downloads. I noticed that each title is listed at a penny a piece, but when I clicked through, the total was zero dollars at the checkout stage.  You do still have to enter a valid credit card to get your free audiobook, though.

These nine title will be available until 3 a.m. on May 16th.