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Ollie

7 Stories of Kindness in the Neighborhood

I wish Ollie, my family’s handmade marionette, could have met Mr. Rogers. That was my first thought as I settled happily into LeVar Burton’s Earphones Award-winning performance of THE GOOD NEIGHBOR, the biography of Rogers by Maxwell King, published on Tuesday. Ollie, carved and clothed by my grandparents, was once part of their traveling marionette theater. But after years of entertaining children up and down the west coast with classic fairy tales, all the marionettes except Ollie were lost in a fire. I know that Mr. Rogers could have helped Ollie and the people who loved — and still love — him to cope with the loss. By the way, that’s me with my parents and Ollie in the picture. Read more…

A Duke by Default

Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous

Up In FlamesGod rest Robin Leach, who brought the show “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” (1984-1995) to television. During the show, Leach’s outsized personality narrated tours of opulent palaces and pads, the likes of which ordinary people couldn’t imagine existed. As a gentle homage, here are a few recent romance audiobooks that mix wealth, fame, and falling in love. Celebrity romances may not last, but these will! As Leach used to say, may you have “champagne wishes and caviar dreams.”  Read more…

Volcanic Sky

Whither the Weather, We’re Listening

Volcanic Sky

Multiple March snowstorms on the East Coast, a winter drought in the Midwest, and an early, eerily rampant fire season in the West were all prelude to the seemingly endless heat wave gripping us throughout the summer. What’s a body to do that’s any more cooling than tucking into some extreme weather audiobooks—and a supply of rotating beverage choices?

Black Cloud
Their Eyes Were Watching God
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Kimberly Farr

Anne Tyler Connects Listeners to the American Family

Narrator Kimberly Farr goes Behind the Mic with AudioFile to share her thoughts about recording Anne Tyler’s new novel CLOCK DANCE, which once more explores the evolution of the American family.

“If you’ve been feeling a little blue about the state of the world in general lately—have I got a book for you!”—Narrator Kimberly Farr

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Don't Make Me Pull Over

Yin and Yang: The End of Summer

Don't Make Me Pull Over
The Art of the Wasted Day

At this end of summer,  I’m of two minds—thinking I should have done more, and wishing I had done less. Two audiobooks seem to capture the yin yang of this idea. For a look at the travels that might have happened, Richard Ratay’s DON’T MAKE ME PULL OVER: Informal History of the Family Road Trip is a fun place to start. Jonathan Todd Ross gives me a good companion for the next road trip. For the flip side, author/narrator Patricia Hampl’s THE ART OF THE WASTED DAY reminds me that daydreaming and solitude probably did make my summer better.  Leave a comment about the yin yang of your summer. Read more…