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My Ex-Life

Other People’s Families are Simpler, Aren’t They?

I love my family, in all its born-into, married-into, blended, extended exuberance. Yet it’s around now in the summer family-togetherness season—generally while navigating a gluten-free, paleo, plant-based meal—that I want to shout, Enough already! Trusting that you might feel the same, I recommend comforting yourself with the following audiobooks about family life in its entire messy embrace.

My Ex-Life

Stephen McCauley’s new novel MY EX-LIFE, engagingly read by George Newbern, introduces us to David, who is gay; his ex-wife; and their college-bound child. When his ex-wife needs advice about her upcoming divorce, she turns to David. It’s very funny, totally real, and, for me, recognizable. When my married-into family gathers at public events, we choose to sit together. Wives, husbands, ex-wives, ex-husbands, never-married-now-separated, stepmothers and stepfathers galore, and kids. After all, who else knows us as well as we know each other? Read more…

July Staff Picks

July Audiobook Summer Staff Picks

July Staff Picks

This past weekend, narrators, producers, and the AudioFile staff gathered by the sea for a day of sunshine and perfectly cooked lobsters. One thing is for sure — we had a lot of fun talking audiobooks with a crowd of audiobook lovers!

Our summer staff picks this month include 6 audiobooks — both new and old favorites — that are compelling enough to keep you company along the journey to wherever you’re going, whether that’s driving up the coast, strolling around the block, or commuting to work. Read more…

Caitlin Augusta blueberry picking

A Summer Listening Vacation

As a librarian, I tend to avoid summer vacations. It’s a busy time at work, so I live vicariously through my patrons’ vacations, asking them where they are going and making a mental map in my head of their journeys.

Caitlin Augusta blueberry picking
Mini vacation — blueberry picking

But . . . there are all kinds of vacations. So last week I took a “vacation” from my generally ginormous AudioFile listening queue. Going “off list” is a big deal for me. It always feels like a guilty pleasure. But where to start? I still have the goal of listening to all the Elizabeth Peters Amelia Peabody titles, and I’d like to re-listen to A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES, since it features Oxford’s Bodleian Library.

Influenced by the stack I splurged on from the Audiobookstand closing-shop clearance sale (sad, very sad), I decided to go with Ilona Andrews’s CLEAN SWEEP (Innkeeper Chronicles, Book 1), narrated by Renee Raudman. Read more…

P.J. Ochlan

P.J. Ochlan on Lawn Boy

Settle back in your favorite lawn chair as AudioFile goes Behind the Mic with P.J. Ochlan, who he shares his experience narrating LAWN BOY by Jonathan Evison.

“One of the challenges here was in portraying the massive cast of characters . . . that’s something I always love to embrace, just diving in and fully committing to characters that have these big, broad personalities.”—Narrator P.J. Ochlan

Read more…

Nelson Mandela

Portraits of Nelson Mandela in 8 Audiobooks

"Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, Gauteng" from The Good News, 13 May 2008

This week marks the centenary of the birth of Nelson Mandela. With celebrations and tributes happening around the world, I wanted to share 8 audiobooks that offer unique portraits of the South African leader. In the audio medium we can not only hear Mandela’s voice in speeches and interviews, but also experience his memoirs and other writing. Read more…