Hear New Things—Try New Things

The Evolution of our Audiobook Podcast: Behind the Mic

Behind the Mic Podcast

Behind the Mic Podcast

Trying new things has never been a problem for me.  Remember, I started AudioFile in 1992 when most people had to have the word “audiobook” explained to them. The idea of an audiobook magazine continues to be a new thing—since it’s often a surprise to listeners that such a thing exists. Podcasts have been around since about 2004, and the idea has always intrigued me. Audiobooks are an audio medium; podcasts are an audio medium. This should make an ideal couple. Working this out has taken awhile. 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.

Yin and Yang: The End of Summer

Robin’s Roundup August 31

Don't Make Me Pull Over

Don't Make Me Pull Over
The Art of the Wasted Day

At this end of summer,  I’m of two minds—thinking I should have done more, and wishing I had done less. Two audiobooks seem to capture the yin yang of this idea. For a look at the travels that might have happened, Richard Ratay’s DON’T MAKE ME PULL OVER: Informal History of the Family Road Trip is a fun place to start. Jonathan Todd Ross gives me a good companion for the next road trip. For the flip side, author/narrator Patricia Hampl’s THE ART OF THE WASTED DAY reminds me that daydreaming and solitude probably did make my summer better.  Leave a comment about the yin yang of your summer. 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.

Hugo Awards Give N.K. Jemisin a Trifecta

Robin’s Roundup August 24

The Stone Sky
N.K. Jemisin
N.K. Jemisin

The 2018 Hugo Awards were this week in San Jose, California. The Hugo is a fan-vote award for science fiction and fantasy, and one of the most prestigious in the genres. Let’s look at what audiobook listeners have in store for great fantasy & sci-fi listening.

N.K. Jemisin once again took top Hugo honors, winning Best Novel for THE STONE SKY—she’s won three years in a row (the first author ever to do so!) for each title in The Broken Earth Trilogy. All three audiobooks are brilliantly read by Golden Voice narrator Robin Miles. Reviewer Emily Connelly called out this exceptional audiobook early on—her review says, “Listen and be transported to a meticulously built world that serves as a dire warning about the dangers of prejudice and power.”  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.

DOG DAYS: 14 Audiobooks for Dog Lovers

Robin’s Roundup August 17

Dog Days of Summer

Dog Days of Summer

I wanted to collect audiobooks about dogs while we’re in the “dog days of summer” . . . only to find out that the original meaning has nothing to do with dogs. The Greeks used “dog days” for the hottest days of the summer when our brightest star, Sirius (aka the “dog star”), appears in the east. Nevertheless, it’s still a good theme, and I’ve found a terrific array of listening choices for dog lovers. 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.

New Audiobooks Offer Plenty of Contrast

Robin’s Roundup August 10

The Middleman

Contrasts—dark or light-hearted, subtle or intense, Russia or North Carolina. Going through our new reviews this week, I am struck by the variety of titles and how the audiobooks are often in stark contrast. Of course, books are written on a vast variety of subjects and with radically different points of view, and this gives a grand range of options for listening and reading.

The Middleman
East of Innocence

In newly reviewed thrillers, I’ll contrast the cerebral and politically charged THE MIDDLEMAN by Olen Steinhauer with EAST OF INNOCENCE by David Thorne. Narrator Rupert Degas portrays a cast of hard-bitten characters with stunning emotional dimension in the latter. In the former, Ari Fliakos deftly takes listeners through “a snarl of idealism, cynicism, paranoia, and lies.” 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.

Support Your Indie Bookstore with Libro.fm Audiobooks

Robin’s Roundup August 3

Libro.fm

Libro.fmWe have so many summer visitors in Maine, and I often hear how much they enjoy browsing our independent bookstores. Here in Portland, Sherman’s Maine Coast Book Shops and Longfellow Books are two of my favorites, along with our newest, Print: A Bookstore. Listeners can also get digital audiobooks from these Indie stores through their partnership with Libro.fm Audiobooks.

AudioFile is working with Libro.fm to help tell more listeners about the program and support the independent bookstores we love. You don’t have to visit Maine—you can find an indie near you: Libro.fm/indies.

Here’s the AudioFile spin on Libro.fm Bestsellers—first some fiction, followed by nonfiction picks: 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.

Audiobook Narrators Come to Maine

Robin’s Roundup July 27

Lobster Bake
photo by Sean Runnette

Each summer AudioFile celebrates audiobook narrators with a Maine clambake in Boothbay, Maine. Narrators come from across the country, and sometimes we even have an international guest. But it’s not just the usual suspects—each year a different and diverse group of narrators joins us. We greet old friends and make new ones!

We always have representation from AudioFile’s Golden Voices—this year Barbara Rosenblat and Robin Miles joined us. AudioFile Earphones Award winners and Audie Award winners also are well represented. And it’s a true delight just to get to put voices and faces together. 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.

Portraits of Nelson Mandela in 8 Audiobooks

Robin’s Roundup July 20

Nelson Mandela

"Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, Gauteng" from The Good News, 13 May 2008

This week marks the centenary of the birth of Nelson Mandela. With celebrations and tributes happening around the world, I wanted to share 8 audiobooks that offer unique portraits of the South African leader. In the audio medium we can not only hear Mandela’s voice in speeches and interviews, but also experience his memoirs and other writing. 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.

Find the Heart of America with Audiobooks

Robin’s Roundup July 13

Our Towns
Endpapers from OUR TOWNS by James and Deborah Fallows

Two audiobooks we reviewed this week made me think about what a great variety of communities and lifestyles we have across the country. Several recent audiobooks have brought to mind small towns. The cross-country journeys of authors James and Deborah Fallows to small communities across the U.S. are the topic of OUR TOWNS: A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America. Reading about the audiobook, I was curious what the authors learned, and about the places they explored, like Erie, Pennsylvania, or Fresno, California. James Fallows wrote an article for The Atlantic, “The Reinvention of America,” just as the book and audiobook were released. 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.

Beat the Heat! 8 Icy Audiobook Listens

Robin’s Roundup July 6

Ice
Elementals: Ice Wolves

Ok, I’ll admit it—just looking at the covers of these “icy” audiobooks is helping me cool off! Even if air conditioning is keeping you cool, we all have to venture out into the recent hot weather. Here’s a bit of audiobook listening to beat the heat.

Anna Kavan’s ICE features an ice apocalypse and plummeting temperatures—a good start to cool me down. But before you grab it, it’s worth looking into this 1967 science fiction/fantasy/dystopian classic. Jonathan Lethem wrote recently about the work in The New York Times. In this new audio release, Nigel Patterson engages with a passionate performance. ELEMENTALS: ICE WOLVES is a fantasy for the younger set—good for middle grade listeners and family listening. 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.