Hello, It’s Flavia!— An Interview with Alan Bradley and Jayne Entwistle

Robin’s Roundup February 15

Alan Bradley and Jayne Entwistle

Alan Bradley and Jayne Entwistle

Flavia de Luce always makes me smile. Alan Bradley’s 11-year-old sleuth has just solved her tenth mystery, THE GOLDEN TRESSES OF THE DEAD. Flavia lives in the village of  Bishop’s Lacy, in 1950s England. She’s passionate about poisons—although she’s almost as interested in old churchyards and the fascinating chemistry of decay. 

Jayne Entwistle inhabits the irrepressible and intrepid Flavia in all ten of the audiobooks. For listeners she IS Flavia, with all of her bright-voiced curiosity and charming cleverness. Jayne has garnered lovely reviews and Earphones Awards and is a brilliant example of how a narrator can fully inhabit not just a single character but an entire series. This great author and narrator duo had never actually spoken until AudioFile brought them together on the Behind the Mic 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 Award Finalists Announced

Robin’s Roundup February 8

The Audie Award medals

The Audie Award medalsThe 2019 Audie Awards are joining awards season early this year with Audie nominations announced this week and winners to be announced March 4 at the New York Gala. QUEER EYE fashion expert Tan France will host the New York City event, presiding over the makeover of timing and format. The 2019 panel of more than 208 judges, including Ron Charles, Book Critic for The Washington Post; Lisa Lucas, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation; and Linda Holmes, Host of NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour, have designated Audie Finalists in 24 categories. Listen to samples of all the Finalists 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.

Love for the ALA Media Awards

Robin’s Roundup February 1

Sadie

Odyssey Award SealFor more than 80 years, the awards given by the American Library Association have set a high bar in children’s literature. The Caldecott and Newbery medals are the best known among the multiple awards that honor excellence in books, video, and audiobooks for children and young adults—collectively the Youth Media Awards. Of course, our favorite is the Odyssey Award, given to the best audiobook for this essential audience of listeners. This year the Odyssey Award goes to SADIE. AudioFile reviewer Sharon Grover said in her review, “Courtney Summers’s powerful story of love, neglect, abuse, and revenge is narrated with irresistible urgency by Rebecca Soler and Dan Bittner, along with an ensemble of supporting narrators.” Sharon’s praise and Earphones Award were prophetic—and no wonder, as Sharon was one of the founding librarians who helped establish the award in 2008. 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.

Déjà Vu All Over Again

Robin’s Roundup January 25

surreal enigmatic picture on canvas

This humorous redundancy, credited to Yogi Berra, always tickles me. Looking over the new audiobook reviews of the last couple of weeks, I do get the feeling we’re heard some of the titles before. In some cases there are new recordings that replace older ones, or new versions with a different performance approach. And some of that feeling of recollection is with new memoirs from people who continue to write more chapters about their lives. 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.

View From the Mountain

Martin Luther King, Jr. — Greater than the icon with a dream

Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr.

Twenty years ago, in February 1999, AudioFile published the review of THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. along with a feature by Maja Thomas, then the director of production of Time Warner AudioBooks.

February 1999

When I was growing up, I loved to explore the attics of the Victorian houses we lived in. They always contained something interesting and unexpected—a sheaf of impassioned letters, an old baby’s pram with rusted springs, a steamer truck, empty, but still smelling of its exotic voyages.

As director of production for Time Warner AudioBooks, I again felt this thrilling sensation of discovery when I had the privilege of putting together the audio version of THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., from rare historic recordings. 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.

Listening to Martin Luther King, Jr.: Audiobooks That Illuminate His Legacy

Robin’s Roundup January 18

President Lyndon B. Johnson and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. meet at the White House, 1966
President Lyndon B. Johnson and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. meet at the White House, 1966
President Lyndon B. Johnson and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., meet at the White House, 1966

Audiobooks create a immersive and affecting way to understand and celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. His accomplishments will continue to resonate for generations, but the short period when he was active with the Civil Rights Movement from 1955 until April 4, 1968, was a mere 13 years. There is much to explore among these audiobooks, and many opportunities to be inspired by Dr. King, “A prophet of justice, a leader of tremendous will, a moral and spiritual defender of good.” (“View From the Mountain” by Maja Thomas, AudioFile, February 1999.) 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 Earphones Awards for Your Earphones

Robin’s Roundup December 28

Juliet Stevenson

Juliet Stevenson
Joel Froomkin
Derek Perkins by Huw Jones

Talking about the Best Audiobooks of the Year can’t really be called a distraction, but for the last month we have given top priority to talking about these great titles. If somehow you missed checking the list—it’s still here. Meanwhile, new reviews keep rolling in—almost 50 reviews each week. SO many good audiobooks! Here are some recent Earphones Award winners that especially caught our attention. 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.

A Feast of Listening for the Holidays

Robin’s Roundup December 21

Twain's Feast

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…

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.

How Long Do the Best Audiobooks Last?

Robin’s Roundup December 14

Robin at Podcast Studio
Robin Whitten
Robin at the HarperAudio studios last week recording an episode of Harper Presents.

One of the criteria we think about when picking the Best Audiobooks of the Year is to choose titles that we can continue to recommend as great listening year after year. I can look back to our Best of 2013 and see the first Cormoran Strike title by Robert Galbraith, THE CUCKOO’S CALLING—the fourth, LETHAL WHITE, is on this year’s list. Graham Greene’s THE END OF THE AFFAIR, read by Colin Firth, won nearly every audiobook award, and can still be recommended without reservation. Billy Crystal’s STILL FOOLIN’ ‘EM is a terrific author memoir, old or new. We hope the 50 titles in this year’s list enjoy the same longevity! 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.

Podcasting the Best Audiobooks

Robin’s Roundup December 7

HarperPresents Recording

HarperPresents Recording

We’re in the thick of celebrating the 2018 Best Audiobooks and finding new ways to get the word out. In addition to our own podcasts, this week I was a guest at the HarperAudio studios in New York to record a podcast episode of Harper Presents. See above—I’m chatting with host Andrew Kaberline and engineer Nathan Rosborough. Also, I was delighted to be Roxanne Cody’s guest on the Just the Right Book! podcast. Roxanne is a real pioneer and leader in book podcasts, and she’s the founder of RJ Julia Booksellers and JustTheRightBook.com. We have both been talking books/audiobooks for more than 25 years! For followers of Overdrive’s Professional Book Nerds podcast, I also got a chance to talk about our process for selecting the daily choices for Behind the Mic.

In case you missed any of this week’s BEST lists or the narrator interviews with January LaVoy and Fiona Hardingham—here you go.

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.