Celebrating Women’s History with Narrators Tavia Gilbert and Suzanne Toren

AudioFile’s podcast interview

Suzanne Toren And Tavia Gilbert

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.

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5 Questions with Mark Bramhall

Why being pigeonholed isn’t always a bad thing

Mark Bramhall

Mark BramhallToday’s guest here at Take 5 created a problem for me, though it wasn’t anything the delightful Mark Bramhall did. The fault lies with the fact that I was forced to restrict my overview of his incredible range of work as an audiobook narrator to only five titles. What’s a fan to do? (Hint: I cheated a little!)

Mark’s rich voice and thoughtful characterizations have accompanied me through some of my favorite fiction (like EVERYBODY’S FOOL) and have increased my enjoyment of history and biography (don’t miss GRANT). His performances of thrillers keep me on the edge of my seat, and when it comes to connecting me emotionally to a novel . . . well, let’s just say I keep the tissues handy. (See how I worked additional audiobooks into this post?!)

Whatever your preferred listening genre (fantasy to politics) or target audience (children to adult), you’ll have your choice of recommended Mark Bramhall-narrated audiobooks. Here are five to get you started. Read more…

Candace Levy
Candace is a full-time freelance book editor as well as a book reviewer and journalist. When she’s not working, you'll inevitably find her listening to an audiobook while cooking, walking, making lace, or taking photographs. She was honored to be the 2016 Audio Publishers Association's Audiobook Blogger of the Year.

5 Questions with Cherise Boothe

Why patience is important in the recording booth

Cherise Boothe

Cherise BootheSay hello to today’s Take 5 guest, Cherise Boothe, who is one of the queens of collaborative audiobooks. Her voice always gives spark to multicast productions, and I’m impressed with her ability to portray characters of all ages and from different parts of the world.

You may be familiar with Cherise’s youthful voice, which allows her to bring authenticity to children’s books. She is also, however, equally at home performing contemporary culture (THE FIRE THIS TIME), literary fiction (WHATEVER HAPPENED TO INTERRACIAL LOVE?), and humor audiobooks (BLACK MAN, WHITE HOUSE).

The audiobooks I feature here underscore the range of Cherise’s solo work, starting with a children’s story and ending with a novel about life under Jim Crow. Read more…

Candace Levy
Candace is a full-time freelance book editor as well as a book reviewer and journalist. When she’s not working, you'll inevitably find her listening to an audiobook while cooking, walking, making lace, or taking photographs. She was honored to be the 2016 Audio Publishers Association's Audiobook Blogger of the Year.

5 Questions with Simon Vance

Plus 5 Audiobooks from a King of Audiobooks

Simon Vance

Simon VanceIs there genre or style today’s Take 5 narrator can’t handle? If there is, I haven’t discovered it. Veteran narrator Simon Vance is one of the kings of audiobook performers and a favorite of thousands of listeners (me included).

Simon’s voice has been my companion for many hours over the years, helping me navigate fantasy worlds as well as the very real past and contemporary culture. I’m sure you agree: If you see his name is on an audiobook cover, you know the performance will be fabulous. Read more…

Candace Levy
Candace is a full-time freelance book editor as well as a book reviewer and journalist. When she’s not working, you'll inevitably find her listening to an audiobook while cooking, walking, making lace, or taking photographs. She was honored to be the 2016 Audio Publishers Association's Audiobook Blogger of the Year.

In the Studio with I LOVE LUCY

Recreating the Magic of the TV Classic

I Love Lucy - A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Sitcom
I Love Lucy - A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Sitcom
Abigail Marks, Sarah Drew, Oscar Nuñez, Ron Bottitta

Go behind the scenes of making an audio drama as Susan Loewenberg, producing director of L.A. Theatre Works, tells us about their new production of I LOVE LUCY: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Sitcom.

AudioFile: Tell us about the casting process for I LOVE LUCY, especially for the roles of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. And once they were cast, what kind of preparation did the actors do to play these real-life characters? Read more…

We're the editorial team at AudioFile Magazine!

Five Questions with Cassandra Campbell

From World Travel to Zsa Zsa Gabor, the Life of a Narrator

Cassandra Campbell

Cassandra CampbellI would recognize the voice of today’s Take 5 guest anywhere, because Cassandra Campbell has been my virtual companion many, many times over the years. Have you ever noticed how some narrators are tapped for all the audiobooks you love to listen to? Cassandra and I seem to have that kind of relationship.

I count on Cassandra’s calm, soothing voice to envelop the emotional heart of an audiobook, connecting me to the story no matter the intended audience or genre, including middle-grade fantasy (THE GLASS SENTENCE) and literary short stories (YOU KNOW WHEN THE MEN ARE GONE).

The audiobooks I feature here demonstrate the range of Cassandra’s solo work. I tried to limit my choices to books published this year, but I couldn’t resist sneaking in a couple of older titles. Read more…

Candace Levy
Candace is a full-time freelance book editor as well as a book reviewer and journalist. When she’s not working, you'll inevitably find her listening to an audiobook while cooking, walking, making lace, or taking photographs. She was honored to be the 2016 Audio Publishers Association's Audiobook Blogger of the Year.

Take 5 with Ron Butler

5 Audiobooks and 5 Questions with a Versatile Voice Performer

Ron Butler

Ron ButlerToday’s Take 5 guest is one smooth-talking man. No matter the genre, I find myself swimming in Ron Butler’s soft voice, leaning in to catch every nuance. I’ve always admired his feel for the pace of a story, whether truth or fiction, and seeing Ron’s name on an audiobook is enough for me to add the title to my wish list.

I’ve chosen five excellent audiobooks to introduce you to the range of Ron’s solo work, but I can’t miss this opportunity to encourage you to listen to some of the award-winning multi-narrator books he has contributed to, including FRESH INK, a collection of contemporary short stories for teens celebrating diversity in literature. Read more…

Candace Levy
Candace is a full-time freelance book editor as well as a book reviewer and journalist. When she’s not working, you'll inevitably find her listening to an audiobook while cooking, walking, making lace, or taking photographs. She was honored to be the 2016 Audio Publishers Association's Audiobook Blogger of the Year.

5 Questions With Julia Whelan

Plus 5 of her best audiobooks

Julia Whelan

Julia WhelanThis month’s Take 5 spotlight is shining on Julia Whelan, an audiobook narrator extraordinaire. I’ve spent many hours listening to Julia’s voice as she performed a wide variety of fiction, and I trust her to perfectly capture the characters’ personalities and to sweep me up in their emotional journeys. I thank her for many extra-long walks or additional hours working in the garden: Her spot-on pacing and emphasis on the elements that make the plot flow (foreboding, romance, anticipation) make it hard for me to turn off my audiobook.

Julia must be one of the most hardworking narrators in the business. When I was picking examples of her work to feature today, I noticed she performed at least a half dozen audiobooks set for release this month. I immediately added four to my listening wish list, including A HEART IN THE BODY IN THE WORLD which Julia says is “timely and incredible.” Read more…

Candace Levy
Candace is a full-time freelance book editor as well as a book reviewer and journalist. When she’s not working, you'll inevitably find her listening to an audiobook while cooking, walking, making lace, or taking photographs. She was honored to be the 2016 Audio Publishers Association's Audiobook Blogger of the Year.

5 Questions with Xe Sands

Plus 5 Audiobooks from Xe!

Xe Sands

Xe SandsThis month I welcome Xe Sands to the Take 5 stage. Xe’s soft voice and emotionally deep performances have enhanced hundreds of audiobooks across many genres. She is particularly skilled at tightening the gap between author and listener while still leaving enough room to let us experience our own reactions to the story, whether it’s literary fiction, mystery, or romance.

As I picked five audiobooks to showcase Xe’s work, I couldn’t help but be biased by my own favorites, which lean heavily toward literary fiction. I should point out, though, that Xe has many devoted romance-loving fans and has earned much praise for her performances of a variety of nonfiction titles as well. Read more…

Candace Levy
Candace is a full-time freelance book editor as well as a book reviewer and journalist. When she’s not working, you'll inevitably find her listening to an audiobook while cooking, walking, making lace, or taking photographs. She was honored to be the 2016 Audio Publishers Association's Audiobook Blogger of the Year.

5 Questions With Tim Gerard Reynolds

A master of character voices—and a practitioner of Zen

Tim Gerard Reynolds

Tim Gerard Reynolds

This month’s Take 5 guest is a master when it comes to large casts of characters and complex stories. Tim Gerard Reynolds excels at creating multiple distinctive voices and infusing the dialogue with matching personality. What’s more, he carries those voices consistently from audiobook to audiobook when performing series.

I’m most familiar with Tim’s work on speculative fiction, but his résumé includes mysteries, literary fiction, nonfiction, children’s stories, and classics. Whatever the genre, we fans love the way Tim embodies our favorite heroes and villains, strengthening our connection to their worlds. Read more…

Candace Levy
Candace is a full-time freelance book editor as well as a book reviewer and journalist. When she’s not working, you'll inevitably find her listening to an audiobook while cooking, walking, making lace, or taking photographs. She was honored to be the 2016 Audio Publishers Association's Audiobook Blogger of the Year.