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.

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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: 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.

Solve: Elections

For a little diversion before Election Day: 8 election thrillers—the fictional kind

If the 2016 election has created more than enough mystery for you, think about indulging in some audiobook mysteries about elections. Ross Thomas is one of my favorite writers whose mysteries often have a thick topping of satire spread over the dirty tricks and gamesmanship. THE PORKCHOPPERS narrated by Brian Hopsopple and The SEERSUCKER WHIPSAW narrated by R.C. Bray are Ross Thomas titles to get you started.

THE PORKCHOPPERS

Who better to take charge of an election than Tom Clancy? The legendary Jack Ryan is performed by Lou Diamond Phillips in LOCKED ON.

LOCKED ON

Thriller writer Richard North Patterson has an election in his sights in both THE RACE narrated by Michael Boatman and ECLIPSE read by Peter Francis James.

The Race

Some of these election mysteries I just have to include because of their titles. What about these odds—the first female sheriff of Arizona! Listen how it comes out in TOMBSTONE COURAGE, one of J.A. Jance’s Joanna Brady mysteries nicely narrated by Hillary Huber. CAPITOL CONSPIRACY by William Bernhardt, read by Stephen Hoye, gets an AudioFile Earphones Award.

Capitol Conspiracy

And if listeners want more, Janet Rudolf, in her blog Mystery Fanfare, posted a terrific list of “Presidential Crime Fiction” in November 2012. I see many others available as audiobooks!

Be sure to vote!

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.

September: Listen to Learn

AudioFile is Listening to Learn this month with personal growth, business, and inspirational titles that give us advice and help us improve

We listen and learn in pretty much every month of the year, but this September AudioFile is focusing our recommendations and posts on the personal growth, business, and inspirational titles that give us useful, accessible advice and help us learn.

September always seems like a great month for optimism, and many of the audiobook titles we love reflect the possibilities of personal change and new ideas and perspectives. Here are some AudioFile staff favorites:

From Editor-in-Chief, Robin Whitten: SMALL IS THE NEW BIG by Seth Godin

I’m a big fan of Seth Godin and usually listen to most of his titles. A title that inspired me —10 years ago—to keep plugging away with the magazine is SMALL IS THE NEW BIG.

Small Is The New Big

From Contributing Editor, Priscilla Grant:  QUIET by Susan Cain & YEAR OF YES  by Shonda Rhimes

Are you an introvert? I found inspiration and insight in these two very different listens: Kathe Mazur’s skillful reading of Susan Cain’s QUIET, and Shonda Rimes’s lively telling of her own YEAR OF YES. My conclusion: Love your shy self…and get out there and dance!

Year Of Yes

From Associate Editor, Leslie Dillon: THE ART OF PEOPLE by Dave Kerpen

Dave is approachable, entertaining, and informative in this. I laughed out loud as I listened to it on a flight and even tweeted him about it. He tweeted back, proving his points; truly a new HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE.

The Art Of People

From AudioFile Reviewer, Miriam Kahn:  THE INVISIBLE EMPLOYEE by Adrian Gostick & Chester Elton

I listened to and reviewed THE INVISIBLE EMPLOYEE  years ago, but it stays with me today. The magic words are “Please” and “Thank You.” That’s all it takes, along with positive feedback. I truly learned that the phrase “no news is good news” is the worst way to manage and work with others.

The Invisible Employee

From Publisher, Michele Cobb: EAT THAT FROG by Brian Tracy

As someone who loves to do the “frog” tasks first, I always liked this one.

Eat That Frog

From AudioFile Reviewer, Lance Eaton: SMALL BIG: Small Changes That Spark Big Influence by Steve J. Martin, Noah Goldstein & Robert Cialdini

The authors provide great ideas on how to ethically incite change in people, and they ground their ideas in a variety of research.

The Small Big

From Contributing Editor, Francisca Goldsmith: ON WRITING by Stephen King & HOW TO BAKE PI by Eugenia Cheng

These are two learning audios I hold in esteem.

How To Bake Pi

In addition to a month-long focus on recommendations, we’ll be launching Self: Choices for Mind, Body, and Soul here on the blog. Contributing Editor Thomas Walken’s “Learning By Ear” column has been a mainstay in our print editions for years, and now it will be available to our blog readers as well. Stay tuned tomorrow for “Making Space to Have a Life.”

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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.