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Happy Birthday

Make a Wish! Great Listens for Grown-Up Birthdays

Happy Birthday

The remarkable coincidence that this blog entry is posting on my birthday encourages me to share that on the first birthday I remember, I hid under a table at the Wharf Theater in Monterey, California, while the actors serenaded me. I was five and had never before had a room full of strangers sing my praises. Now it happens all the time.

Or not, which brings me to David Sedaris. Birthdays need laughter, and his newest painfully comic essay collection, CALYPSO, is about aging. He thinks about it while recalling his family’s never-less-than-dramatic beach vacations. Sedaris reads in his famous tongue-in-cheek manner and with a vivid ability to dramatize a range of characters. Listen for the mirth and cherish the honesty. Read more…

Historical Romances

6 New Historical Romances

Historical Romances

Last month on Twitter, romance author Tessa Dare wrote, “We’re all six degrees from Austen, and the 5th degree is Heyer, and the 4th degree is Woodiwiss, and that only leaves 3 degrees to mess around with. Our family tree is a VC Andrews novel.” For romance lovers, this is a hilarious inside joke about the authors everyone has read and how inevitable plot similarities are. And it’s true that there’s not always much variety in setting and plot when it comes to historical romance. Case in point: Here are six historical romance audios we’re recommending to you, and ALL of them are set in the British Isles in probably the 18th and 19th centuries. Acknowledging that we do seem to love our British dukes a little (okay, a lot) more than is healthy, there is something extraordinary in a group of authors and narrators who are working within a narrow, often-traveled slice of history and yet who still create tales worth hearing.  Read more…

Gregg Clunis by Jovan Qeleshi

Taking the Leap

Gregg Clunis by Jovan Qeleshi
Author/narrator Gregg Clunis

People wanting to change their lives usually go through six stages before they succeed, says personal growth blogger and podcaster Gregg Clunis in his audiobook, TINY LEAPS, BIG CHANGES. With his sincere, resonant voice and determined pacing, his reading of this stimulating audiobook gives it instant credibility—authority you recognize right away when you hear it. His thinking on this subject, intuitive and accessible, contributes to the audiobook’s power: He says people need a jolt of unpleasantness to kick-start change—a wake-up call like a betrayal by someone you trusted, a demeaning interaction with a boss, or a bad decision that has come home to roost. But for most of us, the alarm bell is not enough. The sting of bad news fades quickly because we tend to resist change and fall back into familiar routines. But once we have learned to “stay with” our unhappiness, he suggests that we spend time looking at alternative directions and focus on one, connect with it fully, and then get into a daily routine that moves us in that direction. Read more…

Christopher Gebauer

Christopher Gebauer on The Unteachables

Christopher Gebauer and a full cast bring the unruly classroom of THE UNTEACHABLES to life. Christopher gives voice to high-energy Mateo, one of the students in this “Self-Contained Special Eighth-Grade Class.” In this video, he shares how much he enjoyed recording as part of an ensemble cast, and what that brings to a project.

“I love multi-cast projects, working with other narrators. It reminds me of the radio plays I grew up listening to.”—Narrator Christopher Gebauer

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Alan Bradley and Jayne Entwistle

Hello, It’s Flavia!— An Interview with Alan Bradley and Jayne Entwistle

Alan Bradley and Jayne Entwistle

Flavia de Luce always makes me smile. Alan Bradley’s 11-year-old sleuth has just solved her tenth mystery, THE GOLDEN TRESSES OF THE DEAD. Flavia lives in the village of  Bishop’s Lacy, in 1950s England. She’s passionate about poisons—although she’s almost as interested in old churchyards and the fascinating chemistry of decay. 

Jayne Entwistle inhabits the irrepressible and intrepid Flavia in all ten of the audiobooks. For listeners she IS Flavia, with all of her bright-voiced curiosity and charming cleverness. Jayne has garnered lovely reviews and Earphones Awards and is a brilliant example of how a narrator can fully inhabit not just a single character but an entire series. This great author and narrator duo had never actually spoken until AudioFile brought them together on the Behind the Mic podcast. 

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