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Tease: Family–Friendly Romance

CinderYou’re going on a long car trip, and you insist that equal listening time is assigned to your favorite genre, romance. One problem. Your kids will be in the car, and many romances these days contain enough detail to give away the show (Ahem!). So, just in time for summer, we’re happy to present a list of family-friendly romances that will spare your blushes.

A quick caveat — this list contains recommendations from a bunch of different listeners. In our exuberance to recommend favorites, we may not have perfect recall. If there’s a scene or two not appropriate for 10-12 year olds, just fast forward and forgive us! (more…)

Solve: Crime Fighters and Their Pets

David Rosenfelt - OutfoxedPeople who know me well or who follow any of my social media feeds know I am an animal lover. And that often carries over into my love of mysteries. I’m a sucker for a crime fighter with a pet sidekick, confidant, or just plain best friend. The genre is full of good ones, isn’t it?

Dogs are certainly popular. There are the strong silent types like Walt Longmire’s “Dog,” Scott James’s K9 partner Maggie, or Andy Carpenter’s Golden Retriever Tara. You can find big dogs—Tess Monahan’s Esskay and Miata—or small dogs—Simon and Deborah St. James’s Peach—and every size in between.

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Behind the Mic: Anything is Possible

AudioFile goes Behind the Mic with narrator Kimberly Farr to talk about Elizabeth Strout’s ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. This collection of stories comes from the world of Lucy Barton, the title character of the celebrated MY NAME IS LUCY BARTON.

“These stories pull you in and take you on a complicated, fascinating, emotionally-charged journey through the recesses of the human soul.”—Narrator Kimberly Farr

Anything Is Possible

ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE
by Elizabeth Strout,
read by Kimberly Farr
Random House Audio/
Books on Tape
AudioFile Earphones Award

Through a series of linked stories, Strout revisits the small-town world she introduced in MY NAME IS LUCY BARTON. The citizens, now older but not necessarily wiser, face life’s uncertainties as best they can. Kimberly Farr successfully mines the essence of each flawed character, giving hope and pain equal billing. This is an audiobook to get lost in.
Listen to a sound clip and read AudioFile’s full review here.

Explore more audiobook titles narrated by Kimberly Farr here.

Behind the Mic: Dirty

AudioFile goes Behind the Mic hear from narrator Andi Arndt about recording the Audie Award-winning title DIRTY by Kylie Scott. Andi has recorded eleven audiobooks with Kylie, and says she “feels like we’re like peanut butter and jelly – I love narrating for her!” Listen for Andi’s take on Kylie’s smart, relatable characters and their escapades.

“No matter what script comes in from her, I always know I’m going to have smart characters that I can relate to.”—Narrator Andi Arndt

 

Dirty

DIRTY: Dive Bar, Book 1
by Kylie Scott, read by Andi Arndt
Macmillan Audio
AudioFile Earphones Award

Andi narrates this story of a rebound romance between Lydia, who is left at the altar, and Vaughan, a guitarist taking a break and bartending, using distinct voices that match their genders and personalities well. Andi says the beginning of DIRTY was one of her favorites—we suggest you may want to listen with a dirty martini (or your favorite beverage of choice) in hand.

Find your next audio romance on our website!

 

Solve: Standalone Mysteries

Camino Island

The mystery genre is full of outstanding series. Devotees wait patiently, pre-order the next audiobook, and rush to grab new installments on their release dates. But the genre also includes a solid selection of great standalones. Some authors make pretty much their entire careers out of standalones, simply ready to bid the characters adieu at the end of a single book. The stories have been told, and it’s time to move on. Other authors sprinkle standalones throughout their oeuvres; this is a great way to discover those authors if you’re reluctant to jump into a series mid-way. Some authors, like Robert Crais, write standalones and become attached to the characters so they pull them into their regular series after the standalone. Of course, in the case of Carol Starkey (DEMOLITION ANGEL), she may have just demanded to join Elvis Cole and Joe Pike.

As someone with an extra-healthy appreciation for the genre, I have favorites in both realms. Alafair Burke’s THE EX, read by Xe Sands, and Michael Koryta’s THE RIDGE, read by Robert Petkoff, are two I often recommend when people ask. But for myself, I like to keep an eye on what our AudioFile reviewers are enjoying so I can increase my own list of titles to listen to. You can never have too many audiobooks, right? One that’s high on that list right now is John Grisham’s newest release, CAMINO ISLAND. Narrator January LaVoy earned an Earphones Award for her reading of this one. Since I’m a fan of both LaVoy and Grisham, it’s definitely on my list for summer listening. How about you? What good standalone mystery on your list are you looking forward to?

Hunting for more mystery audiobooks? Start here!