Home

Aurelia in Florida

Florida in 6 Audiobooks (plus palm trees and gators)

Ah, the joy of sun hats and short sleeves, palm trees and warm blue waters. Yes, that’s me, escaping the icy Maine weather last month for some time on Florida’s gulf coast. I prepared by listening to a fun mix of audiobooks (and by forgetting to pack my swimsuit and my husband’s sneakers).

Lauren Groff set the scene with an Earphones Award-winning narration of FLORIDA, her arresting and quirky collection of beautifully told short stories, which was a National Book Award finalist. Her light, musical voice contrasts disarmingly with the dangers that lurk in her tales, which span characters, places, and centuries. They’re captivating and dangerous, like peering close at a winking flower that’s actually the eye of a camouflaged alligator. Read more…

Host Tan France

The 2019 Audie Award-Winning Romance

Host Tan France
Audie Awards host Tan France

It’s time!

Whether you watched the 2019 Audie Awards in person on March 4 in New York City at Guastavino’s under the stunning columns and vaulted ceilings of the Queensboro Bridge arcade . . . or on your couch in your flannel PJs via Twitter, I’m sure you enjoyed that wonderful sense of anticipation that comes as the Audio Publishers Association gets together to celebrate the year’s best audiobooks. The Audies have been given annually since 1996, and the Romance award started in 2005. This year, the APA streamlined both the Audies categories and the timeline, with the result that the Audie Awards Gala arrived in March, and titles from both the Erotica and Romance genres combined under the “Romance” Audie category. Read more…

David Shih

David Shih on The Banished Immortal

For fans of history, culture, and poetry, this will be a title that lingers on the playlist to return to time and again. Author Ha Jin explores the life of eighth-century Chinese poet Li Bai in THE BANISHED IMMORTAL, and narrator David Shih’s gentle, compassionate delivery keeps listeners engaged. Journey back in time with Shih to discover the life and work of poet Li Bai.

“Li Bai led a truly remarkable life, and I think this book really does a beautiful job of telling his life story against the backdrop of his poems.”—Narrator David Shih

Read more…

Toni Morrison by Michael Lionstar

Thank you, Toni Morrison—Celebrating Black Women Authors

Toni Morrison by Michael LionstarEarlier this month, author Toni Morrison turned 88. On her birthday, a new collection of her essays and speeches, THE SOURCE OF SELF-REGARD, was published. Twenty years ago I was privileged to interview Ms. Morrison for an AudioFile profile. I was terrified—not having a lot of interview experience and talking with such a literary icon had me worried. Of course, Ms. Morrison had done hundreds of interviews and taught at Princeton for many years, so she was gracious and put me at ease. “Toni Morrison sets the gold standard for a writer narrating her own work,” said our reviewer Beth Gutcheon in her review of the 2012 novel HOME. She does indeed, and listeners are blessed be able to listen to the author read SULA, BELOVED, PARADISE, and others. Even her acceptance speech of the 1996 National Book Award for THE DANCING MIND is a treat. Read more…

Cherise Boothe

5 Questions with Cherise Boothe

Cherise BootheSay hello to today’s Take 5 guest, Cherise Boothe, who is one of the queens of collaborative audiobooks. Her voice always gives spark to multicast productions, and I’m impressed with her ability to portray characters of all ages and from different parts of the world.

You may be familiar with Cherise’s youthful voice, which allows her to bring authenticity to children’s books. She is also, however, equally at home performing contemporary culture (THE FIRE THIS TIME), literary fiction (WHATEVER HAPPENED TO INTERRACIAL LOVE?), and humor audiobooks (BLACK MAN, WHITE HOUSE).

The audiobooks I feature here underscore the range of Cherise’s solo work, starting with a children’s story and ending with a novel about life under Jim Crow. Read more…