Behind the Mic Podcast with AudioFile Magazine recommends the latest audiobooks. In this podcast, AudioFile editors select favorite audiobooks and uncover hidden gems. Host Josephine Reed and AudioFile editors spotlight an audiobook, complete with a sound clip, so listeners can find their next great audiobook. Listen on your favorite podcast manager, and look for special bonus episodes interviewing narrators and authors highlighted hear on the blog.
Celebrated audiobook narrators Suzanne Toren and Tavia Gilbert join us for a bonus episode to share their experiences narrating a wide range of history written by and about women. From biographies and memoirs to audiobooks that focus on a pivotal moment in women’s history—like finally getting the right to vote—Suzanne and Tavia talk about the emotional journeys they have taken with these books and the skills needed to bring them to life.
Our Podcast Interview with the Best Female Narrator
Narrator Julia Whelan brought home the 2019 Audie Awards for Best Female Narrator and Autobiography/Memoir for her narration of Tara Westover’s EDUCATED, a memoir that has spent over a year on the New York Times bestseller list. Julia’s moving acceptance speech for Best Female Narrator had the Audies audience enthralled.
In our interview with Julia, she reflects on narrating this intense memoir of Westover’s childhood spent in a traditionalist and isolationist family. She also talks about narrating another blockbuster of a very different stripe: Gillian Flynn’s GONE GIRL. Plus, Julia shares insights into the work that goes into narrating an audiobook, her transition from acting to college to audiobook narration, her love of reading, and the challenges of narrating her own book, MY OXFORD YEAR. Listen to their fascinating conversation now!
“As an actor, you always want to play the sociopath. They’re just so much fun.”—Narrator Julia Whelan
In our podcast interview with Robin Miles, we learn about her process for preparing to narrate an audiobook, why it can be worth taking risks with accents, and the humility required “to walk in someone else’s shoes and not let your foot stretch the leather.”
We first aired this interview last year and are excited to share it again with our new listeners on Behind the Mic with AudioFile Magazine.
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.
AudioFile’s podcast interview with Adriana Trigiani
Novelist Adriana Trigiani joins us to talk about her latest audiobook, TONY’S WIFE, and narrator Edoardo Ballerini’sengaging performance. In a story about the music of the last century—the Big Band music of the 1940s—two talented working class kids, Tony & Chi Chi, marry and become a successful singing act until time, temptation, and the responsibilities of home and family derail their dreams. Inspired by Adriana’s father’s record collection, the music of Henry Mancini, and the orchestras of Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman.
Adriana astutely notes what audiobook narrators bring to the party of an audiobook experience. She shares thoughts on how hearing a story differs from a text reading, and the importance of hearing stories aloud. We learn about Adriana’s career as a dramatist and playwright, and her work in films and on the stage. She explores how her rich Italian-American-Appalachian heritage informs and influences her work. Adriana and Jo talk about the importance of literacy, and Adriana shares her work on The Origin Project, an in-school writing project for students to find their voices about their Appalachian origins. Listen to the whole conversation below.
“Edoardo just brings you into that world, and it tells the story of the last century . . . though flawed people, but really loving people.”—Author Adriana Trigiani
AudioFile’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Audiobooks of 2018
Heath Miller narrated the zany sci-fi novel SPACE OPERA, one of our 2018 Best Audiobooks in Science Fiction & Fantasy. How zany? Sentient races compete for glory in a universe-wide music contest, and it’s both scathing social commentary and a hilarious send-up of music competitions (it’s been described as The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy meets the Eurovision song contest). Heath takes us inside this intergalactic spectacle—and the many, many accents it required of him—on a special 2018 Best Audiobooksepisode of our podcast, Behind the Mic.
“The tone was very familiar, so it mostly rolled off the tongue—I grew up with that kind of British humor.”—Narrator Heath Miller
AudioFile’s Best Children & Family Listening Audiobooks of 2018
Fiona Hardingham narrates THE LONG-LOST HOME, the final audiobook in Maryrose Wood’s The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series, with exuberance, charm, and impeccable timing. As our guest on AudioFile’s podcast, she discusses the special preparation she put into this audiobook, one of our 2018 Best Audiobooks for Children & Family Listening.
And for more on The Incorrigible Children, check out our special bonus interview with author Maryrose Wood .
“It’s very action-packed and full of heart.”—Narrator Fiona Hardingham
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…
Sunil Malhotra’s narration for I HAVE LOST MY WAY earned him a spot on our Best Young Adult Audiobooks of 2018 list, along with his co-narrators Michael Crouch and Nicole Lewis. Three strangers collide in Central Park, and the story is told from each of their points of view. Sunil narrates from the perspective of Harun, a closeted Muslim teen who’s desperate to win back his boyfriend. Listen to our interview as Sunil talks about how he works to find the emotional truth of the story.
“One of the great things about a story like this is that it reminds us that there are other perspectives than our own.”—Narrator Sunil Malhotra