Robin’s Roundup: July 28 New Audiobook Reviews

New Swedish noir from Anders de la Motte and a curious gem performed by Derek Jacobi

The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 1/4 Years Old
A couple of the audiobooks in this week’s new reviews have European provenance. THE SECRET DIARY OF HENDRIK GROEN:  83 1/4 Years Old  by Hendrik Groen is a Dutch bestseller published in 2014. The brilliant Derek Jacobi performs pseudonymous author Groen’s diary as a listener’s delight, delivering the emotional beats and subtle layers of humor.

For listeners who relish Swedish noir mystery, Anders de La Motte may be an author to check out. MEMORANDOM follows his successful GAME trilogy. Narrator Peter Noble does a great job leading listeners into an intriguing thriller that reflects the clear authenticity of de la Motte’s law enforcement background.

Being in the midst of summer, I would think we’d be seeing more baseball audiobooks. THE PRIDE OF THE YANKEES sounds like a real nostalgia piece, and will take many listeners back to 1942 with the story of Lou Gehrig and the making of the Gary Cooper movie. The season is long, so more choices for baseball  may come along.

We do seem to be in love with book covers with dogs . . .and COLLARED is no exception. Of course, it’s not just the cover—David Rosenfelt’s Andy Carpenter series is owned by narrator Grover Gardner. An Earphones Award here, but definitely not the duo’s first. I love this comment from AudioFile reviewer Brian Price: “Gardner’s wonderful combination of the rhythms of Sam Spade and the irreverent tones of Mark Twain make this diverting whodunit a listening treasure.” That’s my listening for this week.

What’s in your headphones?

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.

Robin’s Roundup: July 21 New Audiobook Reviews

A little laughter, a little love, new thriller pairings & another set for McEnroe

I Need a Lifeguard Everywhere but the Pool
I Need a Lifeguard Everywhere but the Pool

This week two new audiobooks that caught my eye, and ear, are filled with humor, warmth, and family dynamics. Mother and daughter author duo, Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella, are pretty irresistible in their latest essay collection I NEED A LIFEGUARD EVERYWHERE BUT THE POOL. Smile from the title on in. Another writer who keeps me in stitches is Adrianna Trigiani. Her new audiobook KISS CARLO looks like a winner. With Edoardo Ballerini as the narrator, how could this sojourn with a postwar Italian-American family not be a delicious listen? (The story does include culinary specialties!)

When I talk about author-read memoirs, I always reserve the right to dispute whether the author IS actually the best narrator. In the case of John McEnroe’s BUT SERIOUSLY it seems like this just had to be the author. McEnroe gives the full-on assault of voice and personality. It’ll be love it or leave it, for sure.

The mash-up of MATCHUP sounds really intriguing to me. Lee Child edited a collection of short stories in which A-List thriller writers pair up their series’ protagonists: Lee Child and Kathy Reichs match Jack Reacher and Temperance Brennan; Lisa Scottoline and Nelson DeMille pair their Benny Rosato and John Corey. Add in talented narrators and, what a gang!

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.

Robin’s Roundup: July 14 New Audiobook Reviews

A Few Takes on Bad Behavior

In the week when I had eyes on the G-20 meeting of world leaders, I should have listened to BEHAVE, Stanford professor Robert Sapolsky’s audiobook on the science of human behavior—the good and bad. Narrator Michael Goldstrom gets top marks for getting listeners through this dense and fascinating topic. (And you have to love Sapolsky’s author photo from a 2007 Stanford News article.)

Talk about bad behavior—Bonnie Parker of Bonnie & Clyde gets a splendid backstory from Jenni Walsh in BECOMING BONNIE. Susan Bennett gets Earphones for her performance. And Henry VIII ranks right up there in bad behavior . . . something to think about while listening to ANNE BOLEYN: A KING’S OBSESSION by historian Alison Weir. Narrator Rosalyn Landor delivers both pitch-perfect characters and Tudor atmosphere.

An interesting audiobook of debut fiction that caught my eye was Alexandra Fuller’s QUIET UNTIL THE THAW. Fuller, known for her memoirs of pre-apartheid Africa (DON’T LET’S GO TO THE DOGS TONIGHT), tells an intense story of two Lakota Oglala Sioux cousins. Listen to Fuller’s recent interview on NPR for more insights into the research and story behind this novel.

Look for more highlights in next week’s Robin’s RoundUp!

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.

Robin’s Roundup: July 7 New Audiobook Reviews

A snapshot of audiobooks worth your listening time from reviews published this week

Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue

It’s hard to stay up with the 40 new audiobook reviews we publish each week, so here are a handful of titles that caught my eye, and ear!

Caitlyn Jenner’s memoir THE SECRETS OF MY LIFE gives listeners a glimpse into a life that has been fully in the spotlight, but offers listeners aspects we can find relatable.

Two young adult titles have appeal beyond the so-called target audience. THE GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO VICE AND VIRTUE, Mackenzi Lee’s romp of a grand tour, is perfect for audio, “an absolute delight of a listen.” A detail of Cath Crowley’s WORDS IN DEEP BLUE won my heart—a used bookstore where notes are passed inside the pages of favorite books. Two new narrators give an Earphones Award-worthy performance.

My nod to the most intriguing title this week goes to ASTROPHYSICS FOR PEOPLE IN A HURRY. Neil deGrasse Tyson, StarTalk Radio host and director of the Hayden Planetarium, really does have a knack of making even the densest of topics interesting—and audio is the perfect medium to make them accessible.

Our weekly newsletters give you more audiobook recommendations from the AudioFile Editors with news, and previews—all free! Sign up HERE.

 

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.

Behind the Mic: Drunken Fireworks

Try a dose of Stephen King’s fireworks laced with Maine humor from Tim Sample

AudioFile goes Behind the Mic with narrator Tim Sample. Here in Maine, we know Tim for his special brand of Maine humor. If you want to see what I mean, watch what Tim has to say about Stephen King and narrating his short story, DRUNKEN FIREWORKS.

“Steve King has a fine sense of the nuance of Maine dialect, Maine language, and Maine people. Ayuh, very fine.”—Narrator Tim Sample

Drunken Fireworks

 

DRUNKEN FIREWORKS
Stephen King, read by Tim Sample
Simon & Schuster Audio

 

 

 

 

Combining Stephen King’s masterful storytelling with humor, bizarre characters, and fireworks, narrator Tim Sample unfurls the story. Enjoy Tim’s keen sense of timing and style in this great confluence of Maine storytellers. Listen to a soundclip and read AudioFile’s full review HERE.

Tim Sample also narrates one of the stories in King’s THE BAZAAR OF BAD DREAMS as part of a standout ensemble cast.

Explore nearly 100 audiobooks by Stephen King, including a new recording of the original novella, THE MIST.

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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.

Behind the Mic: Anything is Possible

Elizabeth Strout’s new collection of stories explores secrets both wonderful and terrible

AudioFile goes Behind the Mic with narrator Kimberly Farr to talk about Elizabeth Strout’s ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. This collection of stories comes from the world of Lucy Barton, the title character of the celebrated MY NAME IS LUCY BARTON.

“These stories pull you in and take you on a complicated, fascinating, emotionally-charged journey through the recesses of the human soul.”—Narrator Kimberly Farr

Anything Is Possible

ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE
by Elizabeth Strout,
read by Kimberly Farr
Random House Audio/
Books on Tape
AudioFile Earphones Award

Through a series of linked stories, Strout revisits the small-town world she introduced in MY NAME IS LUCY BARTON. The citizens, now older but not necessarily wiser, face life’s uncertainties as best they can. Kimberly Farr successfully mines the essence of each flawed character, giving hope and pain equal billing. This is an audiobook to get lost in.
Listen to a sound clip and read AudioFile’s full review here.

Explore more audiobook titles narrated by Kimberly Farr here.

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.

Behind the Mic: Between Them

Richard Ford’s new memoir illuminates some origins of his storytelling

AudioFile goes Behind the Mic to talk with Christian Baskous about his narration of Richard Ford’s narrative memoir, BETWEEN THEM. Chris tells us about his unique preparations for recording the audiobook.

 “Ford bears witness to his parents’ lives . . . their son is a master writer with formidable craft who has preserved their memory.”—Narrator Chris Baskous

Between Them

BETWEEN THEM: Remembering My Parents
by Richard Ford
read by Christian Baskous
Harper Audio
AudioFile Earphones Award

Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Richard Ford’s remembrance of growing up in the 1950s is insightful, enlightening, and emotionally evocative. The memoir offers some insight into the origins of Ford’s storytelling and of Frank Bascombe, protagonist of Ford’s celebrated THE SPORTSWRITER, INDEPENDENCE DAY, THE LAY OF THE LAND, and LET ME BE FRANK WITH YOU.
Listen to a sound clip and read AudioFile’s full review of BETWEEN THEM here.

Discover more audiobooks by Richard Ford, or you might enjoy AudioFile’s interview, “Talking with Richard Ford.” Find more narrations by Christian Baskous here.

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.

Behind the Mic: Ramon de Ocampo

Create a conversation about welcoming immigrants and refugees. The “new” kid. Oh yes, we’ve all been there.

AudioFile goes Behind the Mic to talk with Ramon de Ocampo about recording Anne Sibley O’Brien’s inspiring children’s audiobook, I’M NEW HERE. Part of an ensemble cast of voices, Ramon encourages us to explore this read-along and learn about welcoming immigrants and refugees.

“We’ve all been there—we’ve all been the new kid at school. And we probably will be again.” —Narrator Ramon de Ocampo

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.

Outspoken Women

Gloria Steinem, Tina Fey, Brené Brown, Malala Yousafzai, Amanda Palmer, Janis Ian . . .these women speak out — in their audiobooks.

Celebrating Women’s History

This March we celebrate audiobooks about the women who inspire us—women who lead, who inspire, who change the world. Since we’re in the world of sound, let’s hear from these six Outspoken Women through their audiobooks.

SOCIETY’S CHILD
by Janis Ian, read by Janis Ian
Audible Inc/Brilliance Audio

Grammy Award winner Janis Ian shares her journey as an American singer-songwriter who first entered the music scene in the mid-1960s. Read AudioFile’s full review here.

I AM MALALA
by Malala Yousafzai, read by Archie Panjabi
Hachette Audio
Earphones Award Winner

Narrator Archie Panjabi is an excellent choice to deliver this memoir of the Pakistani girl who stood up to the Taliban. Read AudioFile’s full review here.

BOSSYPANTS
by Tina Fey, read by Tina Fey
Hachette Audio
Earphones Award Winner

Part personal story, part comedy, and part career advice, Tina Fey’s memoir  is full of her signature smart and self-deprecating humor. Read AudioFile’s full review here.

RISING STRONG
by Brené Brown, read by Brené Brown
Random House Audio/Books on Tape

Highly personal stories and Brené Brown’s gut-wrenching honesty contribute to the intensity and work well to illustrate her step-by-step formula for rising above shame and hurt. Read AudioFile’s full review here.

MY LIFE ON THE ROAD
by Gloria Steinem, read by Debra Winger, Gloria Steinem
Random House Audio/ Books on Tape

Gloria Steinem recounts the struggles and joys she found in her literal and metaphorical journeys as a feminist leader and journalist. Read AudioFile’s full review here.

THE ART OF ASKING
by Amanda Palmer, read by Amanda Palmer
Hachette Audio
Earphones Award Winner

Amanda Palmer’s resonant yet intimate reading is captivating—but in a way that keeps listeners wondering whether it’s her wisdom about emotional connections or her outspoken self-promotion that makes this audio so powerful. Read AudioFile’s full review here.

This is just a sample of audiobooks by and about inspiring women. Explore many more in AudioFile’s biography & memoir reviews.

Leave us a comment with YOUR favorite audiobook by or about an outspoken woman.

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: Martin Luther King, Jr. speeches and sermons

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day—a collectable and essential program for listeners

Martin Luther King Jr.
MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.: THE ESSENTIAL BOX SET
by Martin Luther King, Jr., Clayborne Carson, Kris Shepard, Peter Holloran [Eds.],
read by Martin Luther King, Jr., Keith David, Jay Gregory, et al.
Hachette Audio
AudioFile Earphones Award

Many of us listen to digital audiobooks for our on-the-go lives, but this CD set should be on every listener’s shelf. Originally released as A CALL TO CONSCIENCE and A KNOCK AT MIDNIGHT, the speeches and recordings are introduced by ministers, activists, and world leaders, providing historical context and balance to the live sound recordings of Dr. King. The box set is more than the disks with photos, quotes and liner notes. Hear a sound clip and read our full review here.

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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.