Listening on a Summer Day

Robin’s Roundup July 19

Juniper Listening

Summer is full of activities for many of us—summer work schedules, family trips and get togethers, travels and adventures, projects that require good weather. For me, summer is prime listening time. I do more traveling, so I have more audiobook time in the car, and I also love to keep a story going while I cook or garden. (My wireless headphones have made garden-time listening so much more satisfying because I don’t get tangled up with headset cords!) A lazy hammock for reading just never seems to materialize, but my summer pace does offer plenty of listening opportunities. Kate Atkinson and Jason Isaacs just introduced me to Jackson Brodie in the new BIG SKY. I also love to have a listening partner. Whether it’s a young companion like my grandson (his current favorite remains TROMBONE SHORTY), or sharing a retelling of Greek myths with husband, Rob (we recently enjoyed listening to GREEK MYTHOLOGY EXPLAINED). Read more…

Robin Whitten
Robin is the Founder & Editor of AudioFile Magazine. The AudioFile Blog is her newest project to offer new voices and recommendations for audiobooks.

Essential Listening: Golden Voice Narrators

Robin’s Roundup June 21

Stars of the Audiobook Universe

Stars of the Audiobook UniverseCelebrating Audiobook Month in June has given us such a great opportunity to give special attention to the narrator luminaries of the audiobook world. Here at AudioFile, each day in June is dedicated to one of our Golden Voices. Starting with Derek Jacobi on June 1 up to today—”John Lee Day”—we’ve posted “essential listens” for each narrator on our Twitter stream, and on weekdays in June, we’ve devoted each podcast episode of Behind the Mic to a single narrator. Today, host Jo Reed and I chat about narrator John Lee and his skilled handling of British mysteries and unique style. Yesterday, we talked about Robin Miles and her amazing skills with different dialects. Read more…

Robin Whitten
Robin is the Founder & Editor of AudioFile Magazine. The AudioFile Blog is her newest project to offer new voices and recommendations for audiobooks.

30 Days of Golden Voice Narrators

Robin’s Roundup June 7

George Guidall, Barbara Rosenblat, Scott Brick

30 Days of Golden Voices

AudioFile is aligning the stars this June. If you’re reading this, you’ve probably been seeing that we’re going all out this month to celebrate the narrators who have been honored with our lifetime achievement award, Golden Voice. We kicked off the celebration with a party—of course—and AudioFile editors welcomed Golden Voice narrators at NYC’s John Marshall Media studios. We were dazzled by so many audiobook stars that night, but our five new Golden Voice narrators—January LaVoy, Edoardo Ballerini, Bahni Turpin, Johnny Heller, and Suzanne Toren—got special love. They even “signed in” by autographing our Stars of the Audiobook Universe poster. Read more…

Robin Whitten
Robin is the Founder & Editor of AudioFile Magazine. The AudioFile Blog is her newest project to offer new voices and recommendations for audiobooks.

Authentic Voices: 8 Audiobook Memoirs

Robin’s Roundup May 24

Audiobok Memoirs

Audiobok Memoirs

Audiobook listeners are fortunate in a number of ways. The recent stream of memoirs AudioFile has reviewed makes me think of a specific benefit of listening: hearing the authentic voices of the authors. Starting off with a memoir by a person you admire or want to know more about—Michelle Obama, Trevor Noah, Tina Fey—is a great “first listen” if you’re new to audiobooks. It’s also a way to savor the special intimacy and authenticity an author-read life story brings. In audiobook memoirs we get to hear a unique combination of voice and text. Let’s look at some recent audiobook memoirs AudioFile recommends. Read more…

Robin Whitten
Robin is the Founder & Editor of AudioFile Magazine. The AudioFile Blog is her newest project to offer new voices and recommendations for audiobooks.

Mothers & Others: Recent Audiobook Biography and History

Robin’s Roundup May 10

The Moment Of Lift

With events and awards taking the limelight for the last few months, I haven’t had a chance to simply highlight some of the most interesting audiobooks we’ve recently reviewed. A classic “Robin picks a quirky group of audiobooks” roundup follows.

The Matriarch
America's Jewish Women
The Moment Of Lift

Mother’s Day approaches this weekend, so “mothers” seems like a good theme to start with. Three recent Earphones Award-winning audiobooks give us some different ways of thinking about one iconic mother, Former First Lady Barbara Bush—THE MATRIARCH—and the many Jewish mothers who are portrayed in AMERICA’S JEWISH WOMEN. My third choice in the group is Melinda Gates’s new memoir THE MOMENT OF LIFT, not just because this audiobook inspires, but also particularly because of her views on service and giving back—see the video below. That’s certainly a purpose wholly shared by Mrs. Bush as well as by 19th-century philanthropist Rebecca Gratz, who is profiled in AMERICA’S JEWISH WOMEN. Read more…

Robin Whitten
Robin is the Founder & Editor of AudioFile Magazine. The AudioFile Blog is her newest project to offer new voices and recommendations for audiobooks.

SYNC Audiobooks for Teens Celebrates its 10th Season

Robin’s Roundup April 26

SYNC Audiobooks for Teens

SYNC Free Audiobooks for Teens

We opened SYNC: Audiobooks for Teens’s 10th season this week! The lineup of teen titles this year seems like the best ever, including everything from Shakespeare’s OTHELLO to BECOMING KAREEM by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The diversity of titles clearly reflects the interests of teen listeners. This is confirmed by our many colleagues in the school media and library fields who help promote the program and get the word out to their teens. Read more…

Robin Whitten
Robin is the Founder & Editor of AudioFile Magazine. The AudioFile Blog is her newest project to offer new voices and recommendations for audiobooks.

Poets & Audiobooks: The Interestingness of Connections

Robin’s Roundup April 12

How To Love A Country

How To Love A CountryOne of the things I like best about doing my blog posts is the places I go. For the audiobooks I write about here, I follow a wide variety of breadcrumbs and chase bits of information to amplify the story of the audiobook with details about authors or the topics. This type of research—a bit of web surfing, a rabbit hole to check out, or the discovery of an archival tidbit—is a great pleasure. Today I’m looking at Richard Blanco, Maria Popova, and Leonard Cohen.

Richard Blanco is one of our most influential poets and storytellers. While he lives in Maine, he writes about the world, including his Cuban-American heritage, and invites conversation with all Americans. He was President Obama’s inaugural poet performing his poem, “One Today.” He has published six collections of poetry. The newly released collection HOW TO LOVE A COUNTRY  is a great listening experience. Jennifer Dowell writes in our review, “With a quiet but driving intensity, Richard Blanco delivers poems that speak to our times.”  Watch Richard working in the studio recording the collection—this gives a glimpse at what the full collection offers. Read more…

Robin Whitten
Robin is the Founder & Editor of AudioFile Magazine. The AudioFile Blog is her newest project to offer new voices and recommendations for audiobooks.

Audiobooks for Carolina Low Country: The Prince of Tides and Crawdads

Robin’s Roundup March 22

Marsh

If I mention THE PRINCE OF TIDES, do you think of Barbra Streisand, or do you think of the audiobook by Pat Conroy and narrated by the iconic Frank Muller? If you’ve been listening to audiobooks for a while, Frank’s THE PRINCE OF TIDES may be right there in your lifetime “best” list. It is in mine—and I’ve just been in tides territory—Dewees Island, South Carolina. It is also crawdads country, so to get ready for my trip I also listened to Cassandra Campbell narrate Delia Owens’s WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING. Read more…

Robin Whitten
Robin is the Founder & Editor of AudioFile Magazine. The AudioFile Blog is her newest project to offer new voices and recommendations for audiobooks.

Libro.fm March Audiobook Bestsellers

Robin’s Roundup March 15

Libro.fm

Libro.fmIndependent bookstores have a special place in my heart.  When I travel, finding a local bookstore gem is an extra treat. These days I mostly pack ebooks and audiobooks on my phone, but there’s still a great way to support your local bookseller: Libro.fm Audiobooks. Looking at the new Libro Indies Bestseller list, I see a lot to recommend. We have great reviews, of course, and our special AudioFile media extras—podcasts and narrator videos to really draw you into these audiobooks.

Julia WhelanStarting with nonfiction: EDUCATED by Tara Westover and narrated by Julia Whelan continues to get a lot of attention. Julia just won two 2019 Audie Awards with her performance—Best Female Narrator and Best Autobiography/ Memoir. We have a terrific interview with Julia just published on our podcast.

Read more…

Robin Whitten
Robin is the Founder & Editor of AudioFile Magazine. The AudioFile Blog is her newest project to offer new voices and recommendations for audiobooks.

Audie Awards 2019: Audiobook of the Year & More Great Listening

Robin’s Roundup March 8

Host Tan France by Max Flatow
Host Tan France at the Audie Awards Gala

In the pink glow of stage lighting, the 2019 Audie Awards Gala, hosted by Tan France, Queer Eye fashion expert, dazzled a capacity crowd. The AudioFile editorial team—Jennifer Dowell, Emily Connelly, Francisca Goldsmith, Jo Reed, and me, along with numerous AudioFile reviewers, met and chatted with guests LeVar Burton, Euan Morton, Elizabeth Acevedo, and the dozens of narrators we write about every day. The 24th annual Audie Awards selected the best audiobooks in 24 categories, including Audiobook of the Year. This year the prestigious award went to Tomi Adeyemi’s CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE, narrated by Bahni Turpin and published by Macmillan Audio. Read more…

Robin Whitten
Robin is the Founder & Editor of AudioFile Magazine. The AudioFile Blog is her newest project to offer new voices and recommendations for audiobooks.