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The Proposal

Fall Preview — 5 Romances Not to Miss

I love getting romance previews, and it’s double the fun on audio. Great authors, great narrators, great storylines — it’s hard to wait until publication day! Here are some intriguing audiobooks coming soon to your fall playlist.

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Drag Queen Story Hour

Banned Books Week: Our Right to Hear From Drag Queens

Drag Queen Story HourThe final week of September brings an annual call from a coalition of intellectual freedom advocates, including the American Library Association and the American Society of Journalists and Authors, to note the fragility of readers’ rights in many communities in the United States. Banned Books Week celebrates resistance through insistence on free expression as fundamental to a free society. In addition to the annual list of challenges made to specific titles around the country, this year’s celebration calls attention to an increasingly popular and much challenged children’s program held in both public libraries and bookstores: Drag Queen Story Hour. Intended to provide both entertainment—as drag performances do—and exposure to diversity, children’s departments that host Drag Queen Story Hour programs report their popularity (while also providing support for storyteller training and smooth program operation). Naysayers, on the other hand, bypass the potential for intellectual freedom and the experiences of inclusiveness without, typically, learning about what, why, and how children respond to either drag queens or story times in a group setting.

Audiobooks for both youth and adults offer ways for those who are curious to get a handle on what exactly drag queen entertainment involves. Needless to say, these audiobooks also offer anyone familiar with gender nonconformity and unthreatened by it some great listening—they’re both fun and insightful. Read more…

Lisa Flanagan

Lisa Flanagan and Naomi Novik Spin the Perfect Tale

In AudioFile’s latest narrator video, Lisa Flanagan tells us why she’s so intrigued by the shades of gray in Naomi Novik’s fairy tale retelling, SPINNING SILVER. Her insights will make you want to listen.

“In fairy tales, we are often given archetypes that easily fit into ‘good’ and ‘evil,’ and SPINNING SILVER is filled with so much more wonderfully complex characters.”—Narrator Lisa Flanagan

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Transcription

New Voices Join AudioFile’s Podcast

As we worked on creating AudioFile’s new podcast, Behind the Mic, we planned to have as many “voices” as possible to amplify our audiobook conversations. In our early weeks, listeners have heard our host Jo Reed and me as well as AudioFile Publisher Michele Cobb recommending the titles. This week, AudioFile Assistant Editor & reviewer Emily Connelly joins in with five new audiobook picks. Next week, reviewer Jonathan Smith will join us to share recent favorites. We each take a slightly different approach as we talk about the highlights and why each audiobook will be a great listen.

If you are having fun with our podcast—and finding good things to listen to— please hop over to iTunes and leave us a review or rate the show!

On the podcast this week, Emily discusses new and notable audiobooks, including some for younger listeners. Read more…

Julia Whelan

5 Questions With Julia Whelan

Julia WhelanThis month’s Take 5 spotlight is shining on Julia Whelan, an audiobook narrator extraordinaire. I’ve spent many hours listening to Julia’s voice as she performed a wide variety of fiction, and I trust her to perfectly capture the characters’ personalities and to sweep me up in their emotional journeys. I thank her for many extra-long walks or additional hours working in the garden: Her spot-on pacing and emphasis on the elements that make the plot flow (foreboding, romance, anticipation) make it hard for me to turn off my audiobook.

Julia must be one of the most hardworking narrators in the business. When I was picking examples of her work to feature today, I noticed she performed at least a half dozen audiobooks set for release this month. I immediately added four to my listening wish list, including A HEART IN THE BODY IN THE WORLD which Julia says is “timely and incredible.” Read more…