Libro.fm March Audiobook Bestsellers

Robin’s Roundup March 15

Libro.fm

Libro.fmIndependent 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.

Julia WhelanStarting 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.

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.

Audie Awards 2019: Audiobook of the Year & More Great Listening

Robin’s Roundup March 8

Host Tan France by Max Flatow
Host Tan France at the Audie Awards Gala

In the pink glow of stage lighting, the 2019 Audie Awards Gala, hosted by Tan France, Queer Eye fashion expert, dazzled a capacity crowd. The AudioFile editorial team—Jennifer Dowell, Emily Connelly, Francisca Goldsmith, Jo Reed, and me, along with numerous AudioFile reviewers, met and chatted with guests LeVar Burton, Euan Morton, Elizabeth Acevedo, and the dozens of narrators we write about every day. The 24th annual Audie Awards selected the best audiobooks in 24 categories, including Audiobook of the Year. This year the prestigious award went to Tomi Adeyemi’s CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE, narrated by Bahni Turpin and published by Macmillan Audio. 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.

Thank you, Toni Morrison—Celebrating Black Women Authors

Robin’s Roundup March 1

Toni Morrison by Michael Lionstar

Toni Morrison by Michael LionstarEarlier this month, author Toni Morrison turned 88. On her birthday, a new collection of her essays and speeches, THE SOURCE OF SELF-REGARD, was published. Twenty years ago I was privileged to interview Ms. Morrison for an AudioFile profile. I was terrified—not having a lot of interview experience and talking with such a literary icon had me worried. Of course, Ms. Morrison had done hundreds of interviews and taught at Princeton for many years, so she was gracious and put me at ease. “Toni Morrison sets the gold standard for a writer narrating her own work,” said our reviewer Beth Gutcheon in her review of the 2012 novel HOME. She does indeed, and listeners are blessed be able to listen to the author read SULA, BELOVED, PARADISE, and others. Even her acceptance speech of the 1996 National Book Award for THE DANCING MIND is a treat. 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.

Pride in Maine Audiobooks . . . Susan Conley, Stephen King, Richard Blanco, and More

Robin’s Roundup February 22

Lawn at Tidesong

Lawn at TidesongMaine. Beautiful. Cold, this time of year. Glorious in the summer. Maine is my home, and AudioFile’s, and home to generations of extraordinary writers. Every time we review a new audiobook by a Maine author, I feel a bit of hometown pride. Susan Conley’s ELSEY COME HOME is featured this week with a spectacular, Earphones Award review for Cassandra Campbell’s narration. Susan lives in Portland and is the founder of The Telling Room, a creative writing lab for young writers ages 6 to 18—a favorite project that inspires storytelling, both written and spoken. In November 2015, The Telling Room’s Young Writers & Leaders program was presented with a National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award by the White House for A SEASON FOR BUILDING HOUSES, a collection of stories that open a window onto today’s immigrant and refugee experience. The audiobook of CALL ME AMERICAN, written by Somali refugee and Portland resident Abdi Nor Iftin, was published last summer. Narrator Prentice Onayemi brings his remarkable life to listeners.  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.

Hello, It’s Flavia!— An Interview with Alan Bradley and Jayne Entwistle

Robin’s Roundup February 15

Alan Bradley and Jayne Entwistle

Alan Bradley and Jayne Entwistle

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. 

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.

Audie Award Finalists Announced

Robin’s Roundup February 8

The Audie Award medals

The Audie Award medalsThe 2019 Audie Awards are joining awards season early this year with Audie nominations announced this week and winners to be announced March 4 at the New York Gala. QUEER EYE fashion expert Tan France will host the New York City event, presiding over the makeover of timing and format. The 2019 panel of more than 208 judges, including Ron Charles, Book Critic for The Washington Post; Lisa Lucas, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation; and Linda Holmes, Host of NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour, have designated Audie Finalists in 24 categories. Listen to samples of all the Finalists here. 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.

Love for the ALA Media Awards

Robin’s Roundup February 1

Sadie

Odyssey Award SealFor more than 80 years, the awards given by the American Library Association have set a high bar in children’s literature. The Caldecott and Newbery medals are the best known among the multiple awards that honor excellence in books, video, and audiobooks for children and young adults—collectively the Youth Media Awards. Of course, our favorite is the Odyssey Award, given to the best audiobook for this essential audience of listeners. This year the Odyssey Award goes to SADIE. AudioFile reviewer Sharon Grover said in her review, “Courtney Summers’s powerful story of love, neglect, abuse, and revenge is narrated with irresistible urgency by Rebecca Soler and Dan Bittner, along with an ensemble of supporting narrators.” Sharon’s praise and Earphones Award were prophetic—and no wonder, as Sharon was one of the founding librarians who helped establish the award in 2008. 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.

Déjà Vu All Over Again

Robin’s Roundup January 25

surreal enigmatic picture on canvas

This humorous redundancy, credited to Yogi Berra, always tickles me. Looking over the new audiobook reviews of the last couple of weeks, I do get the feeling we’re heard some of the titles before. In some cases there are new recordings that replace older ones, or new versions with a different performance approach. And some of that feeling of recollection is with new memoirs from people who continue to write more chapters about their lives. 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.

View From the Mountain

Martin Luther King, Jr. — Greater than the icon with a dream

Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr.

Twenty years ago, in February 1999, AudioFile published the review of THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. along with a feature by Maja Thomas, then the director of production of Time Warner AudioBooks.

February 1999

When I was growing up, I loved to explore the attics of the Victorian houses we lived in. They always contained something interesting and unexpected—a sheaf of impassioned letters, an old baby’s pram with rusted springs, a steamer truck, empty, but still smelling of its exotic voyages.

As director of production for Time Warner AudioBooks, I again felt this thrilling sensation of discovery when I had the privilege of putting together the audio version of THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., from rare historic recordings. 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.

Listening to Martin Luther King, Jr.: Audiobooks That Illuminate His Legacy

Robin’s Roundup January 18

President Lyndon B. Johnson and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. meet at the White House, 1966
President Lyndon B. Johnson and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. meet at the White House, 1966
President Lyndon B. Johnson and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., meet at the White House, 1966

Audiobooks create a immersive and affecting way to understand and celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. His accomplishments will continue to resonate for generations, but the short period when he was active with the Civil Rights Movement from 1955 until April 4, 1968, was a mere 13 years. There is much to explore among these audiobooks, and many opportunities to be inspired by Dr. King, “A prophet of justice, a leader of tremendous will, a moral and spiritual defender of good.” (“View From the Mountain” by Maja Thomas, AudioFile, February 1999.) 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.