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Karissa Vacker

Karissa Vacker on Jessica Barry’s Freefall

After a private plane crashes into a mountainside in Colorado, Allison awakens to find the pilot dead and her instincts on high alert. Then she runs. In FREEFALL, narrator Karissa Vacker, as Allison, commands our attention from her first words. Karissa tells us more—but not too much more—about this compulsively listenable audiobook.

“My heart was pounding the whole time—this book will keep you on your toes!”—Narrator Karissa Vacker

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Sadie

Love for the ALA Media Awards

Odyssey Award SealFor more than 80 years, the awards given by the American Library Association have set a high bar in children’s literature. The Caldecott and Newbery medals are the best known among the multiple awards that honor excellence in books, video, and audiobooks for children and young adults—collectively the Youth Media Awards. Of course, our favorite is the Odyssey Award, given to the best audiobook for this essential audience of listeners. This year the Odyssey Award goes to SADIE. AudioFile reviewer Sharon Grover said in her review, “Courtney Summers’s powerful story of love, neglect, abuse, and revenge is narrated with irresistible urgency by Rebecca Soler and Dan Bittner, along with an ensemble of supporting narrators.” Sharon’s praise and Earphones Award were prophetic—and no wonder, as Sharon was one of the founding librarians who helped establish the award in 2008. Read more…

Escape to Warmer Climes

5 Escapes to Warmer Climes

Escape to Warmer ClimesAs many of us in the northern tier of the United States hunker down for the coldest and dreariest part of winter (I’m looking at you, February), I’m grateful to be living in modern times: electric lights, central heating, and . . . audiobooks. When it’s cold outside, I like to do some armchair traveling, and this week I’m thinking about escaping to warmer climes.

Who says beach reading is only for the summer? I think it’s the perfect way to warm up any winter night. Here are five recommended audiobooks that will take you to the seaside and introduce you to some new friends. You’ll even get a little romance on the side.

Pour that coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or hot toddy, curl up on the couch in your favorite comfy clothes, and dream of summer skies. Read more…

Simon Vance at Audies 2018

Listening to Past Audie Award Winners

Simon Vance at Audies 2018
Simon Vance at the 2018 Audie Awards

This year, the 2019 Audie Award winners will be announced in early March, versus previous years when the celebration took place in May. So, for us mystery audiophiles, it seems like this is an appropriate time to take on #8 in AudioFile’s 2019 Listening Challenge and prepare for the 2019 awards by catching up on previous winners. To see the full list of winners and hear samples from 2014–2018, check out AudioFile’s special feature on past Audie Awards (and look for the list of 2019 Audies finalists on February 4!).

Let’s start with the winner of the 2015 Audie Award for Mystery, THE SILKWORM by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling), narrated by Robert Glenister. This is the second in the detective Cormoran Strike series. CAREER OF EVIL, Book 3 in this series, was the 2016 winner, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the fourth book in the series, LETHAL WHITE, wins the 2019 prize. Read more…

Adriana Trigiani author photo

Adriana Trigiani and a Sweeping Novel about the 1940s Big Band Era

Adriana Trigiani author photoNovelist Adriana Trigiani joins us to talk about her latest audiobook, TONY’S WIFE, and narrator Edoardo Ballerini’s engaging performance. In a story about the music of the last century—the Big Band music of the 1940s—two talented working class kids, Tony & Chi Chi, marry and become a successful singing act until time, temptation, and the responsibilities of home and family derail their dreams. Inspired by Adriana’s father’s record collection, the music of Henry Mancini, and the orchestras of Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman.

Adriana astutely notes what audiobook narrators bring to the party of an audiobook experience. She shares thoughts on how hearing a story differs from a text reading, and the importance of hearing stories aloud. We learn about Adriana’s career as a dramatist and playwright, and her work in films and on the stage. She explores how her rich Italian-American-Appalachian heritage informs and influences her work. Adriana and Jo talk about the importance of literacy, and Adriana shares her work on The Origin Project, an in-school writing project for students to find their voices about their Appalachian origins. Listen to the whole conversation below.

“Edoardo just brings you into that world, and it tells the story of the last century . . . though flawed people, but really loving people.”—Author Adriana Trigiani

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