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Self: Romantic Partnerships

Many listeners are grateful to be  part of a long-term romantic partnership. We have so many listening choices on ways to look at love: from stand-up comic Aziz Ansari’s look at romantic love, MODERN ROMANCE,  or Ann Patchett’s THIS IS THE STORY OF A HAPPY MARRIAGE, to the how-to-be-a-grown-up-in-your-marriage primer, SCREAMFREE MARRIAGE, and film director Dana Adam Shapiro’s insights and advice in YOU CAN BE RIGHT (OR YOU CAN BE MARRIED). The authors themselves present many of these audiobooks, joined by talented narrators who reflect the different styles of the authors. Listen for love!

MODERN ROMANCE
by Aziz Ansari, Eric Klinenberg, read by Aziz Ansari
Penguin Audio
AudioFile Earphones Award, 2017 Audies Finalist

THIS IS THE STORY OF A HAPPY MARRIAGE
by Ann Patchett, read by Ann Patchett
Harper Audio
AudioFile Earphones Award

SCREAMFREE MARRIAGE
by Hal Edward Runkel, Jenny Runkel, read by Hal Edward Runkel
Random House Audio/ Books on Tape
AudioFile Earphones Award

THE THREE MARRIAGES
by David Whyte, read by David Whyte
Brilliance Audio
AudioFile Earphones Award

MARRIED AND STILL LOVING IT
by Gary Chapman, Harold Myra, read by Peter Berkrot
Oasis Audio

YOU CAN BE RIGHT (OR YOU CAN BE MARRIED)
by Dana Adam Shapiro, read by Daniel Maté
Post Hypnotic Press

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Behind the Mic: Blood for Blood

We’re tempted by the emotional roller coaster of this teen title, BLOOD FOR BLOODAudioFile goes Behind the Mic with narrator Christa Lewis to hear more about the sequel to WOLF BY WOLF by Ryan Graudin.

“I had no idea how gripping a young adult book could be.”—Narrator Christa Lewis

Blood for Blood

BLOOD FOR BLOOD
Ryan Graudin, read by Christa Lewis
Hachette Audio
Earphones Award Winner

The dramatic intensity of Graudin’s story is matched by Christa’s performance. Suspense, intrigue, and plot twists are all part of the game with this terrific alt-history audiobook. Read AudioFile’s full review and listen to a sound clip here.

Check all the latest new reviews of teen/ young adult audiobooks here.

/ / Narrator Videos

Tease: Audie Award Romance Finalists

The Audio Publishers Association (APA) celebrates “the best of the best” in the audiobook industry with the coveted Audie Award.  Below are the Romance Finalists for the 2017 Audie Awards.

The Obsession

THE OBSESSION
by Nora Roberts, read by Shannon McManus
Brilliance Audio
AudioFile Earphones Award

Glitterland
GLITTERLAND
by Alexis Hall, read by Nicholas Boulton
Hedgehog Productions
AudioFile Earphones Award

Duke of Sin
DUKE OF SIN
by Elizabeth Hoyt, read by Ashford McNab
Hachette Audio

First Star I See Tonight
FIRST STAR I SEE TONIGHT

by Susan Elizabeth Phillips, read by Nicole Poole
Harper Audio

Dirty
DIRTY
by Kylie Scott, read by Andi Arndt
Macmillan Audio
AudioFile Earphones Award

2017-audies-finalist

Listen to sound clips and read reviews of  all the 2017 Audie Awards Finalists in 26 categories HERE.

 

Solve: Audiobook Round-up for Black History Month

February is Black History Month in the United States. A time to celebrate the achievements and contributions of Black Americans. In recognition of the men and women who have played a central role in U.S. history—as well as the country’s future—I’ve put together a round-up of mystery and thriller audiobooks that have African-American themes, protagonists, and/or authors.

Recent research indicates that when we read fiction, we’re able to identify with the characters, regardless of our similarities or differences, and ultimately improve our capacity for empathy. So take a look at today’s list and find a dynamic character to slip into with your next audiobook.

Underground Airlines
UNDERGROUND AIRLINES

by Ben H. Winters, read by William DeMerritt
Hachette Audio
AudioFile Earphones Award

Ben H. Winters’s alternate history about a United States that never experienced Abraham Lincoln as its president, never had a Civil War, and never completely abolished slavery is brilliantly narrated by William DeMeritt. DeMeritt’s efforts on this audiobook are being recognized with a 2017 Audie nomination for best male narrator.

Darktown

DARKTOWN
by Thomas Mullen, read by André Holland
Simon & Schuster Audio

While Winters looked at a hypothetical world if history had been different, Thomas Mullen fictionalizes actual American history with the first black officers to serve on the Atlanta, Georgia, police force. André Holland also turns in an Audie-nomination-worthy performance for this powerful audiobook.

IQ

IQ
by Joe Ide, read by Sulllivan Jones
Hachette Audio
AudioFile Earphones Award

Joe Ide delves into the world of a young, genius black man who takes on a Sherlock Holmes-type role in a tough Los Angeles neighborhood. Sullivan Jones gives voice to the myriad facets of this fascinating new character in crime fiction. Another 2017 Audie nominee, IQ is an all-around winner.

Charcoal Joe

CHARCOAL JOE
by Walter Mosley, read by Michael Boatman
Random House Audio/Books on Tape
AudioFile Earphones Award

A list recognizing African-American crime fiction would never be complete without Walter Mosely and his beloved investigator, Easy Rawlins. Longtime series narrator Michael Boatman brings this newest installment to life as Easy works to clear a black man accused of murdering a white man in 1960s Los Angeles. His efforts earned him a place on AudioFile’s Best Audiobooks of 2016 list.

pleasantville

PLEASANTVILLE
by Attica Locke, read by JD Jackson
Harper Audio/ Blackstone Audio

JD Jackson narrates Attica Locke’s second audiobook featuring her Houston lawyer protagonist, Jay Porter. PLEASANTVILLE delves into the issues confronting race in politics as Porter takes on a high-profile murder case. Locke was awarded the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction for PLEASANTVILLE.

This is just the tip of the iceberg in African-American crime fiction. Help us continue this list by sharing some of your favorites in the comments.

Browse more audiobook titles by authors WALTER MOSLEY, THOMAS MULLEN, BEN WINTERS, and ATTICA LOCKE

 

In the Studio: The Hero with A Thousand Faces

Three narrators: John Lee, Arthur Morey & Susan Denaker were cast to record Joseph Campbell’s iconic work, THE HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES.

john-lee
John Lee in the recording booth during the Joseph Campbell project.

“A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.” —Joseph Campbell

The Hero with a Thousand Faces
The Hero with a Thousand Faces

by Joseph Campbell, Read by John Lee, Arthur Morey, Susan Denaker
Brilliance Audio

AudioFile spoke with director Tony Hudz about recording THE HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES.

AF: What do you think a new generation might gain from being introduced to The Hero with a Thousand Faces?

TH: I hope they gain a new perspective on our history–not just of the Americas, but of humanity as a whole–a sense of the unity of humanity across cultures and societies. Chinese, Indian, African, American, European–look at this, guys! Look at all these wonderful stories we have in common!

AF: Did you have any connection to the book prior to your selection as director?

TH: There were two linkages. I first made Mr. Campbell’s acquaintance when I read Hero as part of one of my university classes. I was blown away. I watched this incredible dance of humanity spin before my eyes, and it was an awakening for me. Many years later, I directed an abridged version of the work–I wanted more, but at the time it was the best I could do. It was a wonderful experience, nonetheless. And then the third time, this time, was my personal charm. This time, I got to tell the whole magnificent story.

AF: Why three narrators?

TH: I think the three-voice structure was a brilliant way of helping listeners–as opposed to readers–keep track of what’s going on. Readers can always flip back a page and check out the story flow. Listeners can’t. So how do you keep things clear? In this case, you put Mr. Campbell’s narrative in one voice; then there are literal and psychological excursions that depart from the narrative, and those you give to a discreet voice to set them apart; finally, there are a number of first-person female narratives in the text, and/or text that I believe is more effectively expressed through a woman’s voice. I think the totality of those voices helps the book in its audio incarnation.

AF: What was your greatest challenge during the recording?

TH: First, identifying which text was to be read by which readers. I went back and forth on many sections of the book to apportion it to “the best” narrator. In the end, this whole process ultimately worked best when I stopped trying to figure out the book and let it tell me what to do. Linked to this, I had a four-page recording log to keep myself honest and make sure I actually recorded every word. The book was about a 250-piece jigsaw puzzle by the time I was done, and I had to be very careful not to lose a piece. Second, the work’s pronunciations. Many of which were ancient and/or arcane, and/or nearly impossible to track down. But I think that ultimately we got them all right. I thank my lucky stars for three really, really smart readers who already knew many of the words and allusions and could back up my homework. Related to this, consistency of pronunciation was also a challenge. Keeping hundreds of names straight through 400+ pages was often a daunting task.

AF: Anything else you’d like to share?

TH: I’ve always thought that four of the greatest words in the English language are: “Tell me a story.” And what I do, my vocation, my avocation, as it has been for so many years, is tell stories in the grand sweeping context of this wonderful, amazing thing we call The Oral Tradition. I consider myself incredibly fortunate to do what I do–and what I did here was to tell one of the grandest stories of all: us. And I told it by directing one of the greatest books ever written about us: THE HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES. And reading the story are three of my favorite talents–Arthur Morey, John Lee, and Susan Denaker–with whom, cumulatively, I’ve probably recorded a hundred books over the years. How could it possibly get any better than that?

Narrator John Lee was AudioFile’s guest on GoodReads on Wed. & Thurs, Feb 15 & 16. Follow the conversation with John about his audiobooks in this discussion.