It’s no secret that behind every great audiobook, there’s a fabulous narrator. AudioFile takes you behind the scenes and into the homes—and recording booths—of some of our favorite narrators to hear their takes on the audiobooks they’re recording. Find new narrator videos each Saturday, and discover your next great listen!
A story of young men discovering their true selves
In Bill Konigsberg’s latest novel for teens, THE MUSIC OF WHAT HAPPENS, Max and Jordan meet by chance when Jordan and his mom are trying, and failing, to get their family food truck business going again. But Max needs a job, so he and Jordan spend their summer vacation working to to make the business a success—in hotter-than-hot Arizona. In the video below, Anthony Rey Perez, who performs from Max’s point of view, shares why this story of identity and authenticity appealed to him.
“What drew me to this story were the layers of in between. I love how the character I read, and all of the characters, aren’t the stereotypical idea of social normative, whether it be based on their culture or sexual identity.”—Narrator Anthony Rey Perez
A high-octane adventure with a fierce female protagonist
Narrator Suzy Jackson is an exceptional match for this high-stakes, battle-driven space opera—the first installment in a new YA series from author Brandon Sanderson. Suzy inhabits the brave, strong, fierce female protagonist in SKYWARD, and while she was recording, Suzy was captivated by the layers of world-building in Sanderson’s high-octane futuristic narrative of hope, sacrifice, and courage.
“The adventure of it was so exciting that I would come home every night after recording and tell my two young boys what had happened.”—Narrator Suzy Jackson
In MOTHER COUNTRY, Kathleen Gati narrates the story of Nadia, a Ukrainian woman who is struggling to make her way in the U.S. and to bring her daughter to this country. Her quest is punctuated by flashbacks—deftly negotiated by Gati—that detail what brought Nadia herself to New York.
“The lengths she goes to to express her love for her daughter . . . I think you’ll love this book.”—Narrator Kathleen Gati
Independent bookstores have a special place in my heart. When I travel, finding a local bookstore gem is an extra treat. These days I mostly pack ebooks and audiobooks on my phone, but there’s still a great way to support your local bookseller: Libro.fm Audiobooks. Looking at the new Libro Indies Bestseller list, I see a lot to recommend. We have great reviews, of course, and our special AudioFile media extras—podcasts and narrator videos to really draw you into these audiobooks.
Starting with nonfiction: EDUCATED by Tara Westover and narrated by Julia Whelan continues to get a lot of attention. Julia just won two 2019 Audie Awards with her performance—Best Female Narrator and Best Autobiography/ Memoir. We have a terrific interview with Julia just published on our podcast.
For fans of history, culture, and poetry, this will be a title that lingers on the playlist to return to time and again. Author Ha Jin explores the life of eighth-century Chinese poet Li Bai in THE BANISHED IMMORTAL, and narrator David Shih’s gentle, compassionate delivery keeps listeners engaged. Journey back in time with Shih to discover the life and work of poet Li Bai.
“Li Bai led a truly remarkable life, and I think this book really does a beautiful job of telling his life story against the backdrop of his poems.”—Narrator David Shih
Christopher Gebauer and a full cast bring the unruly classroom of THE UNTEACHABLES to life. Christopher gives voice to high-energy Mateo, one of the students in this “Self-Contained Special Eighth-Grade Class.” In this video, he shares how much he enjoyed recording as part of an ensemble cast, and what that brings to a project.
“I love multi-cast projects, working with other narrators. It reminds me of the radio plays I grew up listening to.”—Narrator Christopher Gebauer
Corey Allen narrates Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah’s moving collection of short stories, FRIDAY BLACK. The themes of these stories include the power divide, minimum-wage work, racism, education, and the consequences of ethical decisions, and Corey shares why it’s a collection well worth your listening time.
“What Nana manages to capture in this series of tales of young black people navigating a constantly moving, constantly shifting American landscape is incredible.”—Narrator Corey Allen
After a private plane crashes into a mountainside in Colorado, Allison awakens to find the pilot dead and her instincts on high alert. Then she runs. In FREEFALL, narrator Karissa Vacker, as Allison, commands our attention from her first words. Karissa tells us more—but not too much more—about this compulsively listenable audiobook.
“My heart was pounding the whole time—this book will keep you on your toes!”—Narrator Karissa Vacker
Adenrele Ojo loved experiencing Josephine Baker’s life through narrating Sherry Jones’s historical fiction about the groundbreaking entertainer, civil rights champion, and possible spy. She says JOSEPHINE BAKER’S LAST DANCE is a “definite ride” and an enthralling listen. Hear more about this riveting audiobook from Adenrele herself.
“If you think you know about Josephine Baker, I’m here to tell you there is so, so, SO much more to learn.”—Narrator Adenrele Ojo