Home

Behind the Mic: Idaho

AudioFile goes Behind the Mic to talk with narrator Justine Eyre about a beautiful new novel. As Justine tells us, Emily Ruskovich’s IDAHO “flirts with poetry as she describes the bold western landscape, the slippery images of remembrances, and the tiniest natural details.”

“The poetry of the writing was an absolute gift to me as a narrator.”—Justine Eyre

Idaho

IDAHO
by Emily Ruskovich, read by Justine Eyre
Random House Audio/Books on Tape
AudioFile Earphones Award

When we saw this review from contributing editor S.J. Henschel, we knew we had to speak to Justine about her experience with this audiobook. We love bringing the really great under-the-radar sort of audiobook to your attention. To listen to a sound clip from IDAHO and find AudioFile’s full review, here’s the spot.

Find more great new fiction titles to listen to over on our website!

Self: Writers on Writing for Writers

If you’ve been aching to write a novel, poem, memoir, or perhaps a thriller about killing off your least favorite relative – aren’t we all? – now’s a good time to rush out for the newest book by Colum McCann, author of LET THE GREAT WORLD SPIN. His LETTERS TO A YOUNG WRITER is full of lovely advice to readers and writers of all ages and ambitions, and it’s read by the master himself. His narration lends a personable voice to his warm words of advice for budding writers, and he reads and writes with humility, charm, and earnest good intention.

Letters to a Young Writer

LETTERS TO A YOUNG WRITER: Some Practical and Philosophical Advice
By Colum McCann, Read by Colum McCann
Random House Audio

While we’re on the topic of writers who’ve written about writing, the eighty percent of Americans who’d love to publish something – anything! – have even more listening possibilities. McCann is one of many authors who’ve offered pithy advice, and better yet, narrated the resulting audiobook. Here are a few of our favorites.

ON WRITING: A Memoir of the Craft
By Stephen King, Read by Stephen King
Simon & Schuster Audio
With this indispensable book, the king of bestsellers intended to put down his thoughts on writing. After explaining what’s important (including good grammar), the celebrated author says to get down to the business – as he has for the last forty-odd years.

WRITING DOWN THE BONES
By Natalie Goldberg, Read by Natalie Goldberg
Sounds True
From the first moments of this classic work on writing and life, listeners know they are hearing something wonderful. Everything is read in what Goldberg calls her “New York Jewish voice” and is suffused with her quirky, delightful sense of humor. Learn more about Goldberg’s experience recording WRITING DOWN THE BONES in our interview with her!
And we don’t want to forget the audio program of one of Natalie’s workshops, THE ART OF WRITING MEMOIR.

WORD BY WORD
By Anne Lamott, Read by Anne Lamott
Writer’s AudioShop
If you’re a writer, you need this audiobook. The sound of Lamott’s voice will cheer you on in your darkest hours. As our reviewer put it, “she’s the real thing–a successful writer–and she shares invaluable nuggets of wisdom about writing and the writing life.”

Looking to sample some of the best writing these authors have to offer? Come to our site for more reviews of titles by McCann, King, Goldberg, and Lamott!

Tease: Love Your Lists

I’ve had lists on the brain lately. The faster life spins, the more I treat my to-do list as a lifeline. And the publishing industry is all about lists. Each year, I wait impatiently for the Audies finalist lists in the Romance and Erotica categories for must-listen titles and noteworthy narrators. 

Perhaps most importantly, a bunch of us at AudioFile had an insider discussion on lists and listicles and why they are addictive clickbait. For confused readers, a listicle is an article created in list format. How many times have you seen an irresistible tagline like 100 Swoon-Worthy Romances (in this case, from NPR) and been compelled to pore over the list items and count the titles you know, deciding if the list is flawed or if your score adequately represents your commitment to the genre? I’m going to resist the urge to title this post “Three romance audiobooks that will change your life,”  but hey, you never know . . .

INTO THE FIRE
Night Prince, Book 4
by Jeaniene Frost, Read by Tavia Gilbert
Harper Audio
I’ve been wanting to spotlight a Tavia Gilbert narration for some time—lucky for you, it’s a paranormal with tons of action and humor by the incomparable Jeaniene Frost. Don’t miss this series!

POWER GAME
Ghostwalkers, Book 13
by Christine Feehan, Read by Jim Frangione
Recorded Books
At the risk of being redundant, I cannot recommend this narrator/author duo highly enough. Feehan loves her alpha males, and Frangione holds nothing back as he brings their power plays to life.

OFF BASE
Out of Uniform, Book 1
by Annabeth Albert, Read by Tyler Stevens
Harlequin Audio
Narrator Tyler Stevens was new to me, and this is a great introduction to his work. Going from sensitive to strong, he hits all the right notes as hot Navy Seal Zack finally gives in to his attraction to his flirtatious roommate, Pike.

More new romance reviews can be found on our website here!

Solve: The mystery of the missing cozies

Precious and GraceRecently I’ve had a couple of different reasons to try to find recommendations for softer crime audiobooks, and I’ve discovered it rather challenging. Are you a cozy or traditional mystery fan who has a difficult time finding the books you want on audio? Is the audio publishing industry missing an untapped well here? I decided to do a little digging, this time making note of my findings.

A friend has an elderly mother she wants to ply with audiobooks. Her mother’s vision is too bad to read print books now. She told me her mother would like mysteries but they needed to be on the “nicer side.” In other words, no graphic violence or sex, easy on the language— basically your cozy subgenre.

Silver Lies

My usual reaction is to recommend Louise Penny’s Three Pines series, Chris Grabenstein’s John Ceepak series, or Craig Johnson’s Walt Longmire series. These aren’t cozies; they’re traditional mysteries, but they are on the softer side. That bit me in the butt the last time I did it because while they are tamer when it comes to sex and violence, the language is still an issue. Recommendation: fail. Back to the drawing board.

A hot series now in the mystery community is Catriona McPherson’s Dandy Gilver historicals, but I couldn’t find any sign of those on audiobook. David Handler’s Berger & Mitry series is one I’ve wanted to read for some time, but hoped to find the audios so I could listen instead. I can’t find any of that series on audio either. (You can, however, get his older Stewart Hoag series on audiobook.) Rochelle Staab? No. Gabriella Herkert? Not her either. No Rosemary Harris, Meredith Cole, Jeff Cohen, or Cathy Pickens. (Note, you can find Jeff Cohen writing as E.J. Copperman.)

A Murder of MagpiesI found some incomplete series like Stephanie Barron’s Jane Austen mysteries, Bill Crider’s Sheriff Dan Rhodes mysteries, and Sue Ann Jaffarian’s Odelia Grey mysteries. But it’s frustrating to get caught up in a series only to find books missing.

So what recommendations have I come up with so far? If you like a good P.I., how about checking out Alexander McCall Smith’s The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency? Lisette Lecat performs the entire series. Is western more your speed? Steve Hockensmith’s Holmes on the Range series, narrated by William Dufris, is great fun. I would like to see Hockensmith’s new Tarot Mystery series narrated, though. Looking for something more historical? How about Ann Parker’s Silver Rush series, read by Kristen Potter? In the more paranormal realm, maybe try Juliet Blackwell’s Witchcraft Mysteries or Haunted Home Renovation series. Both are performed by Xe Sands.
And I’m hoping you all can help us compile a good list of amateur sleuths in the comments, but one I personally enjoy is Judith Flanders’s Sam Clair.

World's Greatest Sleuth

Now it’s your turn. What’s your favorite cozy mystery on audiobook? And what’s one you’d love to see become available on audio that currently isn’t – or maybe it’s only available on good old cassette tape. Have you run into any of those? Let us know!

 

 

Behind the Mic: Hoodoo

AudioFile went Behind the Mic to talk with narrator Ron Butler about the ‘magic’ of his performance of HOODOO by Ronald L. Smith. Magic indeed, you’ll come under Ron’s spell to seek out this audiobook.

“Hoodoo, the 12-year-old boy has so much heart—a huge heart—the heart of a poet.”—Narrator Ron Butler

HoodooHOODOO
by Ronald L. Smith, read by Ron Butler
Dreamscape
AudioFile Earphones Award
2016 Coretta Scott King Award

We loved the way the author weaves together the 1930’s small-town Alabama, Hoodoo’s magical family and the spooky Southern Gothic atmosphere. Narrator Ron Butler pulls in listeners immersing them in this great family listen. Listen to a sound clip and read AudioFile’s full review here.

HOODOO is featured in our 20 Exceptional Audiobooks to Kickstart Your Family Listening, and is part of AudioFile’s comprehensive Kids & Teens Listening lists.