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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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surreal enigmatic picture on canvas

Déjà Vu All Over Again

This humorous redundancy, credited to Yogi Berra, always tickles me. Looking over the new audiobook reviews of the last couple of weeks, I do get the feeling we’re heard some of the titles before. In some cases there are new recordings that replace older ones, or new versions with a different performance approach. And some of that feeling of recollection is with new memoirs from people who continue to write more chapters about their lives. Read more…

Carmalita

Everybody’s Talkin’ in These Full-Cast Productions

Carmalita
Aurelia’s mother on stage

When I say that I come from a family of spoken word enthusiasts, it’s not just that we talk a lot. It’s that when I was born, my mother was a theater actress and my father a lighting designer. And, as I’ve mentioned before, my father was raised in a traveling marionette theater. So, declaiming in full sentences and the general trying-on of plot lines and personalities were big in our house. That’s why I’m delighted that AudioFile’s 2019 Listening Challenge includes Listen to an audiobook performed by a full cast. But why stop at one? Here are some of my favorites, most of them Earphones Award winners, starting with a trip around the galaxy with Arthur Dent. Read more…

Snowy mittens

8 Wintry Kids’ Listens

Snowy mittens

Where I live in New Jersey, kids go to sleep on winter nights hoping to wake up to a SNOW DAY— a snowy world of no school. Whether you love the snow, hate it, or live in a climate that never sees it, I have picked a bunch of cozy winter listens for your kids to snuggle down with this month and embrace the joys of winter.

Bear Snores On

BEAR SNORES ON
by Karma Wilson, read by Karma Wilson
Weston Woods Studios, Ages 4-6
 

As Bear hibernates through the winter, Mouse and an ever increasing group of friends take advantage of the comforts in Bear’s cave by cooking a feast under his sleeping nose. This reading by the author allows young listeners to appreciate the rhyme and beat of the story, and to soak in the humor of the midwinter merriment. Read more…

Warm up with Romantic Comedies

Warm Up ListensThese days, if you live in the East (or Midwest or Mid-Atlantic or Northwest), you can’t look at a short-sleeved shirt without a faint feeling of nausea. We escaped the last snowstorm when cold air sat on top of us and pushed the snow out to sea but we’re due to get a couple more and they say, the polar vortex is breaking up through the end of February. (Translation: Snow. Lots of snow.) In my personal opinion, one of the things that makes bitter cold more bearable is connecting with friends and having a great time. You know that friend who always erases your bad mood and makes you laugh out loud? You get their call, email, or text, and suddenly you’re smiling? Well, welcome to the audiobook version of that with these humorous rom-coms! Insta-friendship coming right up with these fun, flirty titles. Read more…