5 Questions with Narrator Robin Miles

5 Questions with Robin Miles

5 Questions with Robin Miles

I couldn’t be more excited to welcome narrator Robin Miles into the Take 5 spotlight this month. I’ve been a fan of hers almost since her debut, and I especially loved her work on N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy. One of Robin’s talents is her ability to fade into the background so that her performance immerses you in the story seamlessly.

The audiobooks I picked to feature Robin’s skills as a solo narrator include one of my personal favorites, a classic, and three recent novels. It just so happens that all five were awarded Earphone Awards from our reviewers. Read more…

Candace Levy
Candace is a full-time freelance book editor as well as a book reviewer and journalist. When she’s not working, you'll inevitably find her listening to an audiobook while cooking, walking, making lace, or taking photographs. She was honored to be the 2016 Audio Publishers Association's Audiobook Blogger of the Year.

5 Audiobooks for the New Year and a More Fulfilling 2020

5 Audiobooks for the New Year

5 Audiobooks for the New Year

Happy New Year and welcome to the 2020s. As much as I like the holiday season, I love the promise of a new year and fresh beginnings even more. I don’t make resolutions, but I like to take the time to think about how I can make changes to better embrace the possibilities of the next 12 months.

In what has become a bit of a tradition here at Take 5, my first blog post of the year focuses on getting help with meeting our personal goals. Today I recommend five audiobooks that guide us on our journey to create a more fulfilling and calmer life in the year to come. Read more…

Candace Levy
Candace is a full-time freelance book editor as well as a book reviewer and journalist. When she’s not working, you'll inevitably find her listening to an audiobook while cooking, walking, making lace, or taking photographs. She was honored to be the 2016 Audio Publishers Association's Audiobook Blogger of the Year.

Unwind with an Audiobook

Lighter Listens for a Busy Season

Unwind with an Audiobook

Unwind with an Audiobook

Are you all ready for the holidays? No matter which December holiday you celebrate, and even if you don’t celebrate any of them, this is the time of year for festive parties, shopping, baking, school vacation, and days off work. Phew! Makes me tired just thinking about it.

You might be able to guess one of my favorite de-stressing tricks. Yep, listening to a light (or brief) audiobook. As much as I like literary fiction and various kinds of nonfiction, those audiobooks are rarely on my December listening list.

I’m craving fun, light stories to take my mind off my miles-long seasonal to-do list. Today’s Take 5 roundup includes audiobooks from a variety of genres, and all are perfect for holiday listening. Preheat your oven, turn on an audiobook, and let’s get baking and listening! Read more…

Candace Levy
Candace is a full-time freelance book editor as well as a book reviewer and journalist. When she’s not working, you'll inevitably find her listening to an audiobook while cooking, walking, making lace, or taking photographs. She was honored to be the 2016 Audio Publishers Association's Audiobook Blogger of the Year.

Best Biography & History Audiobooks of 2019

2019 Best Audiobooks Biography and History

2019 Best Audiobooks Biography and History

I say this every year, but it’s true: One of my favorite things about December is the best-of book lists, especially the best in audiobooks. I love adding to my wish list and getting great ideas for gift giving.

I also keep my eye (ear?) out for good audiobooks to listen to with family. An audiobook can take the sting out of traveling, cooking, and house cleaning, and it makes a quiet night at home in front of the fire extra special.

Today I’m happy to share with you AudioFile’s Best Biography & History Audiobooks for 2019. We picked the following titles not only for their excellence in research and style but also because of the narrators’ exceptional performances, which leave listeners wanting more. Read more…

Candace Levy
Candace is a full-time freelance book editor as well as a book reviewer and journalist. When she’s not working, you'll inevitably find her listening to an audiobook while cooking, walking, making lace, or taking photographs. She was honored to be the 2016 Audio Publishers Association's Audiobook Blogger of the Year.

5 Questions with Narrator Michael Kramer

5 Questions with Michael Kramer

5 Questions with Michael Kramer

Most of you will associate today’s Take 5 guest narrator with audiobooks set in imaginary worlds. To me, Michael Kramer’s name is especially linked to Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series; in fact, he’s narrated all of the books in that very popular series in collaboration with Kate Reading. Tens of thousands of fantasy fans have welcomed Michael into their lives via speakers, headphones, and earbuds as they listened to 14 audiobooks and well more than 400 hours of action, adventure, war, and politics set in an ancient world.

If you’re a fantasy fan, you may be surprised to learn that Michael is equally skilled at performing history, memoir, literary fiction, thrillers, children’s stories, science fiction, and more. The audiobooks I’m recommending today do indeed include fantasy—such as an exciting new production of a recently released Robert Jordan book—but I also feature a modern classic, a thriller, and history. I encourage you to get to know Michael’s work on stories set in the real world as well as fantastic ones. Read more…

Candace Levy
Candace is a full-time freelance book editor as well as a book reviewer and journalist. When she’s not working, you'll inevitably find her listening to an audiobook while cooking, walking, making lace, or taking photographs. She was honored to be the 2016 Audio Publishers Association's Audiobook Blogger of the Year.

5 Young Adult Audiobooks for Teens AND Adults

Teen Audiobook Roundup

Teen Audiobook Roundup

Despite a reputation for being angsty, featuring love triangles, and always being set in a make-believe world, much of today’s young adult fiction focuses on the here and now. So before I get to today’s roundup, let me address some common YA myths and highlight the strengths of the genre. Read more…

Candace Levy
Candace is a full-time freelance book editor as well as a book reviewer and journalist. When she’s not working, you'll inevitably find her listening to an audiobook while cooking, walking, making lace, or taking photographs. She was honored to be the 2016 Audio Publishers Association's Audiobook Blogger of the Year.

5 Questions with Narrator Robert Petkoff

5 Questions With Robert Petkoff

5 Questions With Robert Petkoff

Say hello to today’s featured audiobook narrator, Robert Petkoff, who has performed some of my all-time favorite listens, one of which I feature here. He has an impressive roster of audiobooks that spans a wide range of genres from contemporary culture to romance to literary fiction to children’s titles. His work shines, no matter the subject.

When listening to nonfiction, I appreciate Robert’s thoughtful performances, which help me connect to important and complex topics like politics and mental health. I’m also a fan of the way Robert can create a deep emotional atmosphere when performing literary fiction. He avoids melodrama and is a master at portraying characters in a way that lets us come to our own conclusions about the characters’ choices and behavior.

The following recommended audiobooks give you a taste of Robert’s diverse skills. Read more…

Candace Levy
Candace is a full-time freelance book editor as well as a book reviewer and journalist. When she’s not working, you'll inevitably find her listening to an audiobook while cooking, walking, making lace, or taking photographs. She was honored to be the 2016 Audio Publishers Association's Audiobook Blogger of the Year.

5 Audiobooks to Help You Find Your Inner Italian

5 Audiobooks To Find Your Inner Italian

5 Audiobooks To Find Your Inner Italian

Who doesn’t like to celebrate a wacky holiday, especially when it involves food? October may be all about pumpkin lattes to some of you, but the rest of us happily turn our focus to pasta. Why? October is National Pasta Month. Not that you needed an excuse to eat tortellini or macaroni, gluten-free noodles, or even zoodles, but isn’t it nice to know you have one?

Today’s Take 5 helps you find your inner Italian. Push play on one of the following recommended audiobooks, and then put a big pot of water on to boil and mix up your favorite sauce. Buon appetito and happy listening. Read more…

Candace Levy
Candace is a full-time freelance book editor as well as a book reviewer and journalist. When she’s not working, you'll inevitably find her listening to an audiobook while cooking, walking, making lace, or taking photographs. She was honored to be the 2016 Audio Publishers Association's Audiobook Blogger of the Year.

5 Questions with Narrator Nancy Wu

5 Questions With Nancy Wu

5 Questions With Nancy Wu

I’ve been listening to Nancy Wu’s audiobook performances since the very beginnings of her career as a narrator. Many of you may be most familiar with her work on audiobooks with Asian themes, settings, or characters. Nancy’s performances always engage, whether she’s narrating fiction, thrillers, contemporary culture, or young adult audiobooks.

Nancy’s impeccable sense of timing keeps me glued to whatever audiobook she’s performing. I know she’ll keep the dialogue flowing and the action zooming along. What’s more, she can deliver comedy as easily as she can build suspense, making me laugh out loud (#EmbarrassingPublicListenerMoment) or keep me glued to my earbuds for just one more scene.

Of course, I also appreciate Nancy’s thoughtful and believable characterizations, which never stray to stereotypes, even when she’s performing dialogue from individuals whose first language is not English.

So which of Nancy Wu’s audiobooks do I recommend? Here are five titles to get you started. Read more…

Candace Levy
Candace is a full-time freelance book editor as well as a book reviewer and journalist. When she’s not working, you'll inevitably find her listening to an audiobook while cooking, walking, making lace, or taking photographs. She was honored to be the 2016 Audio Publishers Association's Audiobook Blogger of the Year.

5 Audiobooks about California Wine

Raise a Glass for California Wine Month

California Wine Month

California Wine Month

Did you know that September is California Wine Month? If you’re lucky enough to live in California or have vacation time, you’ll be able to participate in special festivals, tastings, and tours hosted by the state’s vintners and growers. Late summer into early fall is also harvest time, so there’s lots of activity in the vineyards and wineries, and local restaurants and towns will be celebrating all things wine.

Can’t hop on a plane to California? Neither can I, but we can still participate in the celebrations wherever we live. My plan is to listen to a good audiobook set in the California wine world. I may, however, have to pour a glass of Napa Valley Cab to enhance the mood. Cheers and enjoy! Read more…

Candace Levy
Candace is a full-time freelance book editor as well as a book reviewer and journalist. When she’s not working, you'll inevitably find her listening to an audiobook while cooking, walking, making lace, or taking photographs. She was honored to be the 2016 Audio Publishers Association's Audiobook Blogger of the Year.