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Snowman Smile

5 Surprising Audiobooks to Make You Smile

Snowman SmileAs we count down the remaining days of December, I wish all of you a new year filled with unexpected moments of delight—the smile of a passing stranger; a tune that sends you shuffle-dancing down the supermarket aisle; learning that your favorite barista loves the same François Truffaut films you do; discovering the most amazing book at the library.

Take Susan Orlean’s THE LIBRARY BOOK, which I loved so much that I listened to it and then checked it out of the library and read it all over again. Ever since I was empowered by my own borrower’s card at age seven, libraries have been a source of intrigue, joy, solace, drama, and education. Orlean’s captivating nonfiction audiobook offers all that and more. Read by Orlean herself in an Earphones Award-winning performance, it is an investigation into who set the devastating 1986 Los Angeles Library fire, a look at the library’s occasionally wacky history, and a celebration of libraries (and library patrons) all their excess and weirdness. It’s not that I recognized myself in any of those oddball patrons. Oh no. Read more…

Romance Is About Family

Family by the fireWe’re wrapping up our 2018 romance audiobook journey with titles about family. More than likely, you’ve spent some part of the last week with some portion of your family. And, more than likely, you have mixed feelings about that! You’re thrilled to see them, you love their kids, but then you remember, they never show up on time for dinner and they don’t make the gravy/mashed potatoes/green bean casserole the way mom/grandma/Aunt Mary used to. Family is this inescapable gift of stress and aggravation that you wouldn’t trade for anything. So, in the spirit of surviving your time with family in the best way possible, enjoy some romances that feature family dynamics. Love your family and love ALL your 2018 listening. Read more…

FIONA HARDINGHAM by Luke Fontana

Fiona Hardingham on THE LONG-LOST HOME

FIONA HARDINGHAM by Luke Fontana
Fiona Hardingham by Luke Fontana

Fiona Hardingham narrates THE LONG-LOST HOME, the final audiobook in Maryrose Wood’s The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series, with exuberance, charm, and impeccable timing. As our guest on AudioFile’s podcast, she discusses the special preparation she put into this audiobook, one of our 2018 Best Audiobooks for Children & Family Listening.

And for more on The Incorrigible Children, check out our special bonus interview with author Maryrose Wood .

“It’s very action-packed and full of heart.”—Narrator Fiona Hardingham

Read more…

Twain's Feast

A Feast of Listening for the Holidays

One of my favorite times to listen is while I’m cooking, and during the holidays I’m spending more time with my sleeves rolled up. This is when I wish I had a voice-controlled speaker like Amazon Echo or Google Home. Pushing pause when your hands are gummy always presents a problem!

Any audiobook choice will do, but if  you’re in the mood to hear about food while you are preparing food, here are some possible choices.

Twain's Feast
A Chef's Christmas

Nick Offerman hosts a lively audio program based on food writer Andrew Beahrs’ book TWAIN’S FEAST. It’s much more than a straight narrative with Offerman reading from Twain’s letters and comments, and an actual eight-course meal is prepared with chef Tyler Anderson. If you haven’t fully planned your menus—this program may give you some ideas!  Hearing Anthony Bourdain read his short story, A CHEF’S CHRISTMAS is a bit bittersweet, but we’re reminded of the late chef/writer/television personality’s ability as a storyteller. It’s great to hear Bourdain and may even lead you to his 2010 memoir MEDIUM RAW. Read more…

Cozy Christmas Mysteries

Cozy Christmas Mysteries

Cozy Christmas Mysteries

Don’t panic, but Christmas is less than a week away! If you celebrate Hanukah, then you’re already cruising and looking forward to the new year, but if you celebrate Kwanzaa, Christmas, or the winter solstice, then you’re probably deep into last-minute prep.

For most of us, pre-holiday activities include baking and cooking, cleaning, decorating, shopping, wrapping, and—I hope—relaxing in the evening with some cookies and a warm (or warming) drink. Are you looking for something that will make all of those chores more fun and will put you in a holiday mood? One of my secrets is listening to holiday-themed cozy mystery audiobooks. Read more…