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© audiolino, Der Audio Verlag, Der Hörverlag, Oetinger Media GmbH

Endless videoconferences and screentime while working from home right now mean people’s eyes are overstrained. So these audiobook tips may come along just in time for Christmas and beyond.

By Marit Borcherding

In the dark, cold winter months, our life’s range narrows and we tend to stay in our warm rooms. This often makes us long all the more for an exciting change of scenery and pleasant experiences in the great outdoors.

on the road and out of doors

Germany’s most famous forester Peter Wohlleben has a diverting antidote to winter’s restraints for children ages 6 and up. In the audiobook by Wohlleben, Kommst du mit nach draußen?, narrator Stephan Benson asks them to join him for a journey of discovery that begins right outside their own doors. It’s about mice and moles, flowers in the asphalt and vegetables in the garden. “Background noises mimic the urban atmosphere, making this exciting audible experience.” The German Academy for Juvenile Literature chose it as audiobook of the month of August 2021.

In the next audiobook, the journey doesn’t stop at the garden gate or the city limits. In Die Ausreißer (The Runaways) by Ulf Stark, a grandfather in hospital and his grandson conspire to run away to a rocky island. It was there that the boy’s mortally ill grandfather once spent happy days and hours with his grandmother. The sentimental journey is told from the point of view of the grandson Gottfried, voiced by Jens Wawrczeck. The actor and dubbing artist has won many awards for his reading skills. And the audiobook (for children ages 8 and up) about a last adventure and a fond farewell also won a prize: First place in hr2’s juvenile audiobooks of the month of June 2021.

BERLIN

If there’s one city in Germany that people near and far have always pined for, it’s the capital Berlin. And the city’s colourful history has led many authors to make it the setting for their novels and stories.

For example, there’s Andreas Izquierdo, whose three main characters Carl, Isi and Artur move to Berlin in Revolution der Träume (Revolution of Dreams). In November 1918, right after the end of the First World War, the three friends face turbulent circumstances there; revolutionary acts, shootings and riots are the order of the day. But there’s also the UFA dream factory and its promise of exciting careers at the newly founded film studio. Readers looking for a rousing historical novel in a vibrant setting will get their money’s worth with this audiobook read in full by the renowned actor and dubbing artist Uve Teschner.

In Kairos by Jenny Erpenbeck, coincidence leads a young woman, nineteen-year-old Katharina, and Hans, a married man in his mid-fifties, to meet in East Berlin in the late 1980s. They remain deeply connected to each other – from the collapse of the East German regime, reunification after 1989 and beyond. It is a story of love and hate, of truth, lies and hope in a city whose rapid transformation began in those years of the turnaround. The author herself reads her novel in its entirety.

Where on earth is Kolomoro? Jennifer wants to scatter her grandfather’s ashes in the mysterious-sounding place where he had a garden plot. But how can she if no one knows how to get there, not even the sat nav? Jennifer activates her school mates Katja, Zeck, Fridi, Polina and Mustafa, and together they set off on a fast-paced road trip through the German capital. Will their mission be a success? In any case, in Mission Kolomoro oder: Opa in der Plastiktüte (Mission Kolomoro, or: Grandpa in the Plastic Bag), they have an adventure that only strengthens their friendship. The very amusing story for children aged 9 and up, read by the multi-award-winning narrator Stefan Kaminski, not only received the Kirsten Boie Award, but was also ranked number 1 in hr2’s juvenile audiobooks of the month of October 2021.

Logo Rosinenpicker © Goethe-Institut / Illustration: Tobias Schrank Julia Blesken: Mission Kolomoro oder: Opa in der Plastiktüte (Speaker: Stefan Kaminski)
Hamburg: Oetinger Media GmbH, 2021. 4 CDs (260 Min.)
ISBN: 978-3-8373-1201-0

Jenny Erpenbeck: Kairos (Read by the author)
München: Der Hörverlag, 2021. 1 CD (ca. 12 Std. 13 Min.)
ISBN: 978-3-8445-4352-0

Andreas Izquierdo: Revolution der Träume (Speaker: Uve Teschner)
Berlin: Der Audio Verlag, 2021. 2 CDs (15 Std. 19 Min.)
ISBN: 978-3-7424-2039-8

Ulf Stark: Die Ausreißer (Speaker: Jens Wawrczeck)
Hamburg: audiolino, 2021. 2 CDs (ca. 110 Min.)
ISBN: 978-3-86737-372-2

Peter Wohlleben: Kommst du mit nach draußen? Eine kleine Entdeckungsreise durch Garten und Stadt (Speaker: Stephan Benson )
Hamburg: Oetinger Media GmbH, 2021.  2 CDs (180 Min.)
ISBN: 978-3-8373-1179-2Text

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