Behind the Mic: Hidden Figures

AudioFile finds narrator Robin Miles Behind the Mic in Harlem as she tells us about her appreciation of Margot Lee Shetterly’s HIDDEN FIGURES: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race.

“A shout-out to Margot Lee Shetterly–thank you for validating my inner math geek!”—Narrator Robin Miles

Hidden Figures

Margot Lee Shetterly, read by Robin Miles
Harper Audio

The trailer for the upcoming movie increased our interest, and probably yours, in the story of a cadre of African-American women who helped provide NASA with raw computing power. Robin Miles does the audiobook full justice. Listen to a sound clip and read our full audiobook review here!

Robin Miles
Photo by Jordan Matter

Visit Goodreads for Robin’s recent guest narrator appearance!

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Tease: Career Advice in Romance Audiobooks

For many of us, audiobooks make the journey to and from our jobs seem a little less stressful. But there’s no shortage of career development information to be found in romance audiobooks. This month you’ll be treated to a panoply of career choices embedded in some entertaining audiobooks. In $10,000,000 MARRIAGE PROPOSAL, Sarah Mollo-Christensen gets inside the heads of three successful career women who decide to compete to be a rich man’s wife.

$10,000,000 Marriage Proposal$10,000,000 MARRIAGE PROPOSAL
by James Patterson & Hilary Liftin, read by Sarah Mollo-Christensen
Hachette Audio/Blackstone Audio

Jim Frangione makes the history of sculpting carousel horses seem like the sexiest thing ever in his performance of DARK CAROUSEL. Narrator Shari Peele had me humming “signed, sealed, delivered” with the Post Office love affair in Zuri Day’s PACKING HEAT.

Packing HeatPACKING HEAT: A Blue-Collar Lover Novel
by Zuri Day, read by Shari Peele
Recorded Books

Lorna Bennett outlines the benefits of piracy in Lynsay Sands’s LADY PIRATE. Vanessa Johansson describes small-town police work in RaeAnne Thayne’s RIVERBEND ROAD.

by Lynsay Sands, read by Lorna Bennett
Harper Audio/Blackstone Audio

So whether you’re considering a career change or just want to take your mind off your own career, these romance audiobooks provide a peek at some intriguing ways to support yourself.

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Solve: Strand Originals

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The Mulholland Books Strand Original Series is a smorgasbord of tasty audiobook shorts for mystery and crime lovers. With variations in length, subgenre, and narration style, there’s sure to be something for everyone in this collection. Some of the shorter stories, like Linwood Barclay’s JACKET MAN (17 minutes), are perfect for quick trips or listening opportunities that are too brief to engage in a novel.

Jacket Man
Linwood Barclay, read by Kevin Stillwell
Hachette Audio

They’re also great for those new to audiobooks, who are just learning to listen. The suspense is gripping and the duration is succinct enough to keep from taxing budding attention spans. Whether listeners favor traditional mysteries, like Colin Dexter’s THE OTHER HALF (16 minutes), or plots that dabble in the paranormal, such as Michael and Matthew Palmer’s THE DEAL (23 minutes), this collection will accommodate them.

Even time periods run the gamut in this series—from the nineteenth century (Philip Kerr’s THE POCKET HANDKERCHIEF – 36 minutes) to the distant future (Faye Kellerman’s THE VOICELESS– 19 minutes). Each audiobook is strongly narrated by a single reader and is well produced. Individually or combined—the stories that make up this series are sure to entertain!—Jen Forbus

This post has been edited from its original longer form in the print issue of AudioFile Magazine, October/November 2016.

Self: Opening up to Possibilities

The personal growth sector of the audiobook catalog is alive and well. I started reviewing self-help tapes (yes, tapes) in the 1990s and am blown away at how sophisticated and varied today’s audios have become. A lot of today’s offerings are written by experts such as psychologists, social scientists, and behavioral science journalists, along with a variety of public speaking luminaries. Each with its own mix of insights, inspiration, and advice, these audios are gaining popularity with people who are fascinated with the human condition, fascinated with the possibility that their lives could be better.

by Robert Cialdini, read by John Bedford Lloyd
Simon & Schuster Audio

INVISIBLE INFLUENCE and PRE-SUASION are good examples of how a behavioral scientist can put together an enlightening audio lesson on what makes people tick. These authors teach effective living with evidence-based suggestions for improving the way we think, make decisions, and impact our worlds.

Pathways to PossibilityPATHWAYS TO POSSIBILITY
written and narrated by Rosamund Stone Zander
Penguin Audio/Books On Tape

I’ve also learned to be more open to the softer messages embodied in an audio like PATHWAYS TO POSSIBILITIES, Rosamund Stone Zander’s touching meditation on how to step out of our isolated comfort zone and explore the joy of connecting with others. Her message alone is powerful enough, but what opened my heart as well as my brain was how the author’s kind voice was an ever-present messenger for her humanitarian worldview.

Bon courage!

Want to make be sure your next audiobook choice is evidence-based?
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This post has been edited from its original longer form in the print issue of AudioFile Magazine, October/November 2016.

Behind the Mic: Grace

AudioFile goes Behind the Mic with Lisa Renee Pitts who tells us what it was like to record GRACE, Natashia Deón’s searing novel.

“My job was to stay true to the intentions of each character.”—Lisa Renee Pitts

by Natashia Deón, read by Lisa Renee Pitts
Blackstone Audio
Earphones Award Winner

The advance reviews of GRACE caught our attention, and paired with the powerful talent of Lisa Renee Pitts, we knew this would be an astonishing and affecting listening experience. Listen to a sound clip and read the full review here!

Lisa Renee Pitts

Listen to more of Lisa’s audiobooks here!

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