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5 Audiobooks for the New School Year

5 Audiobooks for the New School Year

I love novels that feature schools; public school, boarding school, parochial school, or college—I read them all. Because fall fills me with fond memories of a new school year and all the promises of a fresh start, I’m often drawn to these kinds of stories in September.

I especially like novels in which the school itself (or a particular classroom) is a prominent aspect of the story, and the audiobooks featured in today’s Take 5 meet that criterion. Each one is tightly linked to a specific school or teacher and transported me back to my school days. Well, maybe not my school days, but you know what I mean.

Sharpen your pencils and shine your apples; it’s time to head off to class and make new friends. Read more…

Blue Lights

Post-9/11 Thrillers

Blue LightsTuesday morning 9/11/2001: I had just come up from the subway next to the World Trade Center plaza. A small crowd had formed and were all looking up and pointing. I followed their gaze to up to flames and smoke and what looked like debris pouring out of the upper floors of the North Tower. The walk to my office in the World Financial Center would take me directly through that plaza. In a state of confusion, I decided I would skip the office and just go home. I turned to walk toward the Brooklyn Bridge when suddenly a huge explosion shook the ground. Everyone started screaming and running. The second plane had just hit the South Tower.

Getting back to the safety of my apartment, I watched from my tenth-floor window with utter disbelief as the South Tower disappeared into a cloud, followed shortly after by the North Tower. Lives, buildings, everything gone. Read more…

LeVar Burton

LeVar Burton Interview on Behind the Mic

LeVar BurtonYou know actor LeVar Burton from “Reading Rainbow,” “Roots,” “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” and more. He’s also an audiobook narrator, and he hosts a podcast narrating short stories called “LeVar Burton Reads.” In a bonus episode of our new podcast, Behind the Mic with AudioFile Magazine, Jo Reed speaks with LeVar about what it was like to narrate the biography of one of his heroes, Fred Rogers.  Listen in to their conversation, below.

“I wanted to be the voice of Fred’s biography because I felt like it would be a way for me to honor him.”—Narrator LeVar Burton

Read more…

Behind the Mic Podcast

Hear New Things—Try New Things

Behind the Mic Podcast

Trying new things has never been a problem for me.  Remember, I started AudioFile in 1992 when most people had to have the word “audiobook” explained to them. The idea of an audiobook magazine continues to be a new thing—since it’s often a surprise to listeners that such a thing exists. Podcasts have been around since about 2004, and the idea has always intrigued me. Audiobooks are an audio medium; podcasts are an audio medium. This should make an ideal couple. Working this out has taken awhile. Read more…

Ollie

7 Stories of Kindness in the Neighborhood

I wish Ollie, my family’s handmade marionette, could have met Mr. Rogers. That was my first thought as I settled happily into LeVar Burton’s Earphones Award-winning performance of THE GOOD NEIGHBOR, the biography of Rogers by Maxwell King, published on Tuesday. Ollie, carved and clothed by my grandparents, was once part of their traveling marionette theater. But after years of entertaining children up and down the west coast with classic fairy tales, all the marionettes except Ollie were lost in a fire. I know that Mr. Rogers could have helped Ollie and the people who loved — and still love — him to cope with the loss. By the way, that’s me with my parents and Ollie in the picture. Read more…