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The A List

Audiobook Mysteries That Are All About Mom

The A ListMothers and crime fiction—it doesn’t exactly bring to mind the Hallmark version of Mother’s Day. Yet mystery authors find mothers to be a great source of motivation for their murder plots. I was struck by this while listening to J.A. Jance’s THE A LIST, narrated by Karen Ziemba. This audiobook features women who, desperate to become pregnant, use the services of a corrupt fertility doctor and end up paying the price of giving birth to children with serious genetic diseases. When the doctor is finally brought to justice, his mother uses her extensive financial resources to exact revenge against those whom she feels unjustly put her son behind bars. Earphones Award winner Ziemba masterfully performs all of the mothers, running the full gamut of “motherly” emotions from nurturer to protector to the extreme of “willing to kill for,” all in desperation to save their children. Read more…

Illegal Audiobook Cast Recording

Transforming a Graphic Novel Into an Audiobook

IllegalAudioFile spoke with Dreamscape Media publisher Tammy Faxel and Deyan Audio’s Khai Dattoli and Bryan Lincoln about adapting and producing Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin’s graphic novel ILLEGAL for audio.

AudioFile: What was it about ILLEGAL that made you interested in adapting it as an audiobook? Why is it an important title for young listeners?

Tammy Faxel: It was a powerful and moving graphic novel that uniquely told the difficult story faced by so many immigrants. This is such a huge issue in the world right, now and I felt an audiobook would help children understand the real plight that so many are facing every day–that an audiobook of this amazing novel would reach children in a way that would make the issue more relatable and real-life through the multi-voice narration. Read more…

Trans Flag

Sharing Our Whole Truth: Audiobooks that Explore Gender Identity

Trans FlagAt lunch one day when he was four years old, my nephew asked when he would turn into a girl. After a microsecond of silence, his father replied that unless he thought that he should be a girl, he would stay a boy. “Oh,” said my nephew, clearly surprised. “But I thought everyone becomes a girl for awhile, even if you start as a boy. Are you sure?”  His father was sure. My nephew considered for moment, then through a bite of his grilled cheese sandwich, announced, “Oh well then, if it doesn’t just happen, I guess I’ll stay a boy.”

I love that a little boy could believe that the natural order of life was that everyone spends time as a girl. And I cherish his freedom to ask the question; to talk about variation and difference. What a fine thing it is to be able to be our true selves. How life-affirming to be able to embrace our sexuality, and the gender identities for ourselves that we know are right. Today’s Audio Adventures celebrate that opportunity. Read more…

Wedding photo

First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage: 4 New Wedding-Themed Audio Romances

Wedding photo

Wedding romances exist under a particular set of rules that make them even more carefully crafted than your usual happily-ever-after romance. Not only do we (usually) know in advance that the characters have a stable, defined future ahead of them, but now we know that they are going to end up married—or are already married! Making this type of story fresh and appealing involves a lot of creativity from the author as well as a compelling narration. We already know the ending, so the author and narrator need to seduce us, shock us, crack us up, or simply tell us a story we can’t resist hearing. You have to bring your A game to make a wedding romance stand out.

On the other hand, many romance readers are suckers for the dress selection, the inevitable fights among members of the bridal party, and the misty-eyed promises of forever that give wedding romances a hushed respect, even from the most hardened pragmatists. Let’s get the show on the road with four new wedding themed (if sometimes unconventional!) audiobooks.

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Kids with a microscope

Listen & Learn: Kids’ Audiobooks that Highlight STEM Skills

Kids with a microscope

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. But STEM thinking goes beyond facts to explore innovation, problem-solving, creativity, persistence, divergent thinking, and assimilation of new ideas. The audiobooks in this list show characters facing real-world problems and using STEM thinking to develop solutions through trial and error. Most importantly, they celebrate the joy of figuring things out and illustrate that failure is often an important step to success. Read more…