Let's Discuss

Written by Francisca Goldsmith on Thursday, April 4, 2019


Our weekly audiobook pairs typically share themes while contrasting in treatments by the authors of those themes and providing different narration styles. That makes each pair a good choice for discussion groups! If you plan to include programming or class time to such discussions, we have some tips to help you get listeners engaged in taking that next step from personal experience of an audiobook into talking about listening’s effects.


Week 1’s pair offers the opportunity to compare and contrast an author-narrated listening experience with a performance by a professional actor.  Obviously, both have lots to recommend to the listening experience. You might want to start a discussion focusing on how reading something you’ve created and something someone has else has developed differ. Then move into comparing and contrasting how these two deliveries might affect listeners’ connections to the stories. Week 12 also offers an author-read audiobook with a partner that is performed by a professional narrator.

We’re offering three audio-dramas throughout the season and each one includes sounds beyond the performers’ voices.  How do your listeners evaluate the productions of OTHELLO (Week 2), SPILL (Week 4), and AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE (Week 7)? Which of the three seems most like theater experiences they've had with staged productions they can see?

What about the extras that are included within many of the audiobooks? Does the interview at the end of SPILL or the one at the beginning of TEAR DOWN THIS WALL (Week 5) alter how listeners respond to the literary piece to which it’s attached?

Do you have listeners in your group who love full cast performances of narative works? How about those who prefer single narrator productions? Weeks 3, 9, and 13 offer pairs in which these two styles are both presented.

When you suggest or lead an audiobook discussion, remember to focus as much on performance aspects as you do on the content the author provides. Help the members of your discussion group to articulate what works (and what doesn’t) to make the listening engaging.

If you’re scheduling a discussion during SYNC, share your pictures with us! We’d love to see how you use SYNC in groups.

Category : Literacy

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