In Conversation with Golden Voice Narrator Julia Whelan

Robin’s Roundup June 12

All About Julia Whelan Golden Voice Narrator

All About Julia Whelan Golden Voice Narrator

Newly honored Golden Voice narrator Julia Whelan is known to listeners of all ages for her performances in a broad range of subjects. For listeners of young adult audiobooks, Julia is a favorite for GIRL IN PIECES by Kathleen Glasgow, I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN by Jandy Nelson, and PLUS ONE  by Elizabeth Fama. Lovers of fantasy might know her for Nora Roberts’s Chronicle of One trilogy, or Laurie Forest’s The Black Witch Chronicles. Julia also stands out for her recordings of literary fiction like FLIGHTS by Olga Tokarczuk and MY YEAR OF REST AND RELAXATION by Ottessa Moshfegh. And let’s pile on the wonderful romance titles Julia has brought to listeners—more Nora Roberts, and BEACH READ by Emily Henry. My personal favorite in recent months is Julia’s wonderful performance of THE GIVER OF STARS by Jojo Moyes. 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.

Meet Our New Golden Voice Narrators

Robin’s Roundup June 5

AudioFile's 2020 Golden Voices

AudioFile's 2020 Golden Voices

We are delighted to kick off June as Audiobook Month by honoring five new Golden Voice narrators—JD JacksonJulia WhelanArthur MoreyEmily Woo Zeller, and Ramón de Ocampo. Golden Voice is the highest accolade AudioFile gives to narrators. The award celebrates an artist’s iconic role in the field of narration and honors those who have made significant contributions to the audiobook art form.

On AudioFile’s podcast, blog, and social media, we are celebrating the new Golden Voice narrators . . . . as well as many of your other Golden Voice favorites, including Scott Brick, Jim Dale, Dion Graham, George Guidall, Bahni Turpin, January LaVoy—you can see them all here. Listen or read the interviews in these features, but really the award is all about their performances! We have put together suggestions for essential listening for each of the 2020 Golden Voices. 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.

New Audiobooks for Listening Now

Robin’s Roundup May 1

Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois

Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois

While we are hunkered down—staying home, trying to get work done, helping kids have productive learning days, and staying healthy—some days seem interminable and others somehow busier than usual. Many of us have more listening time, though some without a commute to work may be finding themselves with less. Some of us have discovered how nice it is to just listen to a story at home at the end of a day. AudioFile reviewers are busier than ever, and new reviews are streaming out. Earlier this week, I was a guest on the program Reset on Chicago public radio station WBEZ. I prepared a list of recommended titles and thought I’d share some of the highlights here. 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.

Now’s the Time for Listening!

Robin’s Roundup April 3

Robin's Virtual Storytime

We’ve got listening time! A silver lining of these turbulent weeks may be that many of us have more time to listen to audiobooks. All of us at AudioFile are working remotely with our reviewers and editors to keep the recommendations and reviews coming. But we’re mostly home with no commuting time or family visits and are getting creative with our listening time. I made a setup with my phone (see the photo above) so that I can read to my grandson and he can see the pages of the story as we go. No worries that I’ll consider going into narration—I’d rather be on the listening end. Also above, Sharon Allen, a new Portland-based AudioFile team member, has a listening companion—Natchez—as she takes a break outside. Emily’s daughter Juniper has been listening a lot. She’s tuned in here to GOODNIGHT STORIES FOR REBEL GIRLS as she colors. Jenn has new knitting projects in the works during her listening time.

How are you making use of your stay-at-home time? If you’re reading this post, you already know that we have thousands—literally 48,000—of audiobooks reviews at the AudioFile site. So you should be OK for recommendations, and we continue to publish on our regular schedule of 50 new reviews per week, and three free e-newsletters a month packed with our picks. And we’re offering the digital edition of our new April/May issue of AudioFile magazine free to everyone! 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.

Celebrating the 2020 Audie Awards

2020 Audie Awards table 17
2020 Audie Awards table 17
Celebrating the Audie Awards with Table 17!

The 2020 Audie Awards Gala last week in NYC was a glittery celebration of the APA’s annual awards given in 24 categories. Mo Rocca, “CBS Sunday Morning” correspondent, author, and host of the Mobituaries podcast, emceed the sold-out event of publishers, authors, and audiobook narrators. Emily & I were surrounded by talent at Table 17 (above). 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 & ALA Awards

Robin’s Roundup Jan 31

Hey Kiddo Narrators
Hey Kiddo Narrators
Narrators Zoe Krosoczka, Jaiden Meltzer, and Jarrett J. Krosoczka

We’re in the midst of winter award season with the Golden Globes, Grammys, and Oscars getting a lot of focus. But in our AudioFile world, the American Library Association youth media awards—just announced January 27—and the upcoming Audie Awards—finalist announcements coming next Monday, February 3—are holding our attention. The 2020 Odyssey Award for the best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults went to HEY, KIDDO: How I Lost My Mother, Found My Father, and Dealt with Family Addiction, the graphic memoir by Jarrett J. Krosoczka, performed by an ensemble of actors. Our Q&A with Krosoczka gives a real behind the scenes look at the production, and we have a Behind the Mic podcast episode about the audiobook as well. 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.

The Detours of Historical Fiction Audiobooks

Robin’s Roundup January 17

Pack Horse Librarian
Pack Horse Librarian
Pack Horse Librarian , Kentucky Digital Library

In three recent audiobooks of historic fiction, I found myself lured off to research real-life events and details in these stories. Each detour made the audiobooks even richer. I was immediately entranced by the Packhorse Librarians project, the focus of Jojo Moyes’s GIVER OF STARS. Between 1935 and 1943, this WPA initiative delivered thousands of library books, recipes, and other reading material to the hills and hollers of eastern Kentucky. In Moyes’s audiobook, narrator Julia Whelan helps us follow the “book women” of Baileyville, Kentucky. In the first scene, one of the librarians, Margery, riding her mule with a saddlebag of books, is accosted on a remote track. Yes, the project was real, and yes, the librarians often rode mules—this Smithsonian Magazine article is full of details. Are you hooked yet? Learning about the library project and thinking about the stamina and dedication the librarians made the fictional GIVER OF STARS story even more interesting. 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.

Conversations with Narrators of the 2019 Best Audiobooks

Robin’s Roundup December 6

2019 Best Audiobooks Behind the Mic

2019 Best Audiobooks Behind the Mic

Would you like to ask Jason Culp, Frankie Corzo, or Rupert Degas what was most memorable about recording one of the 2019 best audiobooks? We did just that for special episodes of AudioFile’s podcast, “Behind the Mic with AudioFile Magazine.” While we are in the midst of releasing the Best Audiobooks lists, we like to bring you focused conversations with narrators specifically about their celebrated performances. After starting the week off with a conversation about how we make the choices for the audiobooks that make their way to the Best lists, our host Jo Reed turned the podcast over to Michele Cobb and me for episodes with the narrators. 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.

8 Audiobooks about Inspiring Lives of Service

Robin’s Roundup November 8

Audiobooks About Service

Audiobooks About Service

Each month, AudioFile editors Jennifer Dowell, Emily Connelly, Francisca Goldsmith, and I decide on topics which we can explore with both new titles and older audiobooks mined from our AudioFile archives. We feature them on our social media and in articles here on the blog. We try to find a twist on holiday themes—which we can all agree get a little repetitive—and look at whether there’s any fun to be had with holidays like Pi/Pie Day. One that we chose this month is “service” as we think about veterans and humanitarians alike, like Chef José Andrés (above) and his service to Puerto Rico, which he recounts in WE FED AN ISLAND. 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.

Audiobook Casting: Beyond the Single Voice

Robin’s Roundup October 25

Audiobook Casting Puss in Boots
Audiobook Casting Puss in Boots
PUSS IN BOOTS cast in action!

Audiobook publishers have been trying out new ideas in casting voices for several years. Some recent new releases showcase the creative ways producers are taking audiobooks beyond the single voice. A new full-cast production that pulls out all the stops—and in addition, wows listeners with original music and songs—is PUSS IN BOOTS. It’s headlined by none other that the marvelous Jim Dale, with nearly a dozen other narrators making the most of the reimagined, fractured fairy tale. PUSS has the same creative team as SPIN: The Rumpelstiltskin Musical, which was a 2019 Audie Finalist. 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.