5 Questions with Narrator Mark Deakins

Mark Deakins

Mark DeakinsHelp me welcome narrator Mark Deakins to today’s Take 5 interview. My personal journey with Mark’s work started with the dystopian young adult series Maze Runner and then quickly veered off onto other paths, especially literary fiction, nonfiction, and thrillers.

I depend on Mark to honor a fiction author’s style while adding an under-layer of drama, whether that means careful pacing to pump up an action scene or a change in pitch or tone to highlight a character’s emotional reactions. He gives his nonfiction performances a conversational, natural feel, which makes history and biography more accessible, erasing any hint of classroom lecture. 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.

Travel the World with These 5 Light Audiobook Mysteries

Light Mysteries For Hot Days

Light Mysteries For Hot Days

Summer is here with a vengeance, and that puts everyone in a vacation or lazy weekend frame of mind. The higher the thermometer climbs, the more readily I turn to light, fun listening. For me, nothing’s better than a good cozy mystery to take my mind off the heat or to keep me company when traveling, both in reality and from my armchair.

Today’s audiobook recommendations take you around the world and introduce you a diverse group of women, all of whom have a knack for getting involved in murder or other criminal investigations. As with all cozies, the following auidobooks tend to focus more on the characters and the puzzle than they do on the gory details of the crime.

Crank up the A/C, turn on the fans, and pour your favorite ice-cold drink. Then get ready to try to figure out who the villain is before the audiobook ends. 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 Narrator Kirsten Potter

Kirsten Potter

Kirsten PotterSay hello to Kirsten Potter, a narrator I count on to enhance the mood of whatever audiobook I’m listening to, from fun romance to creepy thriller to serious science. I always appreciate her well-thought-out characterizations and attention to the pacing of the story.

Kirsten has performed dozens of standalone audiobooks over her career and has also been tapped for returning roles. For example, she is the voice for Dianne Duvall’s very popular Immortal Guardians series; these paranormal, action-packed romances have garnered her many loyal fans.

If you’re looking for something a little tamer, don’t worry. Kirsten has performed young adult fiction, classics, thrillers, literary fiction, and a variety of nonfiction. Let’s take a closer look at some of her work. 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 Audiobooks Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing

Buzz Aldrin and the U.S. Flag on the Moon

Buzz Aldrin and the U.S. Flag on the MoonWhether you remember that almost unbelievable July day 50 years ago when the United States successfully landed a man on the moon—and even aired the landing on television—or you’ve grown up with that feat as part of history, it’s hard to deny that humankind’s view of our solar system and space in general was unquestionably and forever altered when astronaut Neil Armstrong took his “one giant leap.”

This golden anniversary year is about all things moon landing and is a great time to learn more about the people and the missions that made the 1960s such an exciting decade for space travel and NASA research. In today’s Take 5 round-up, you’ll be re-inspired and impressed by President Kennedy’s challenge to put a man on the moon, you’ll meet some of the astronauts who walked the lunar surface, and you’ll get a sense of the history of the U.S. space program.

One audiobook featured here is geared specifically for younger readers. It focuses on the all-important Apollo 8 mission, which put a manned space craft in orbit around the moon, opening the door for the Apollo 11 landing. 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 Golden Voice Narrator Gerard Doyle

Gerard Doyle

Gerard DoyleThis June has been an exciting month here at AudioFile Magazine as we continue to celebrate Audiobook Month and honor our Golden Voice narrators. If you haven’t already, take a moment to catch up on the blog posts, listen to our podcast, and follow us on Twitter so that you don’t miss a single moment of this month’s celebration.

I’m thrilled to introduce you to the talented Gerard Doyle in today’s Take 5 post. Did you know that Gerard was an immediate narrator star? He won an Earphones Award for his very first audiobook, A STAR CALLED HENRY. Since then, he’s given voice to dragons and wizards, detectives and killers, and many everyday people, both fictional and real. 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 Audiobooks by Golden Voice Narrator Bahni Turpin

Bahni Turpin and Johnny Heller
Bahni Turpin and Johnny Heller
Bahni Turpin (l) and Johnny Heller

I love June: not only does it bring us the first days of summer but it’s also officially Audiobook Month. This year, June is extra special because here at AudioFile, we’re celebrating the narrators whom we’ve honored as Golden Voices, a lifetime achievement award given to voice actors who have demonstrated excellence in the art of transporting stories from the printed page to headphones and car speakers for grateful listeners like me.

Today I’m happy to feature one of the newest AudioFile Golden Voices: Bahni Turpin. Bahni has narrated more than 200 audiobooks, spanning the entire range of genres from sweet children’s stories to intense thrillers to thought-provoking nonfiction. 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 Gabra Zackman

Gabra Zackman at the Audies

Gabra Zackman at the AudiesI’ve been listening to today’s guest narrator, Gabra Zackman, for almost 15 years, ever since I discovered her work via a young adult fantasy series. I was immediately impressed with her ability to create distinct accents for the imaginary worlds featured in those audiobooks. Over the years, I’ve come to especially appreciate Gabra’s ability to pick up on the author’s style and intent, whether it’s casual and light or action-packed and dramatic.

Gabra’s résumé covers the full range of genres, from fantasy to science and from short stories to sagas. When picking titles to highlight Gabra’s solo performances, I couldn’t help but be drawn to nonfiction. Some of my very favorite true stories were narrated by Gabra, and I’m including two of them here. Fiction fans, don’t fret—I’m recommending some Gabra-read audiobooks for you, too. 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 Audiobooks to Perk Up Your Spring

Wash the windows, dig in the dirt, and listen to audiobooks!

Spring Flowers

Spring FlowersI don’t know about your part of the world, but here in central Pennsylvania we’re finally enjoying some lovely spring weather, which is made all the nicer as the fruit trees come into blossom. These days I’m all about shaking off the indoor stuffiness and getting ready to open the windows and spend time outside.

The changing season also means I need to schedule some spring cleaning days, both indoors and out. You know the chores: cleaning windows, sweeping off the deck, weeding the garden, and planting the annuals. Whoa! I’m tired just thinking about it. Here’s where I’m grateful to be an audiobook listener. Nothing perks up my spring cleaning mood faster than getting lost in a good story. I can trim the hedges at the same time as I’m trying to solve a mystery or wondering whether the hero of the story will find true love. 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.

Q&A with Narrator Joy Osmanski

A talent for depicting contemporary families

Joy Osmanski

Joy OsmanskiI still remember the audiobook that led to my discovery of today’s Take 5 featured narrator, and since that first listening experience, I’ve sought out Joy Osmanski’s work on everything from young adult romance to thought-provoking nonfiction. Joy is a strong and versatile solo narrator, and she’s equally adept when working with others on multi-narrator audiobook projects.

Joy’s performances always spark up an audiobook. I can count on her to highlight the characters’ emotional journeys, and her thoughtful pacing amps up the action in a science fiction story or builds up the tension for a thriller.

I chose audiobooks about contemporary families to feature Joy’s talent because I think these kinds of stories have broad appeal. If, however, you’re a die-hard historical fiction fan or like to listen to nonfiction, I can recommend WILD SWANS (an Earphones Award-winning history of three generations of a Chinese family) and JANESVILLE (a gripping look at the town of Janesville, Wisconsin, after GM shut down its plant there in 2008) both narrated by Joy. 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 Novels in Verse: Audiobooks for National Poetry Month

Discover the Power of Young Adult and Children’s Audiobooks

Elizabeth Acevedo by Max Flatow Photography
Elizabeth Acevedo by Max Flatow Photography
Author Elizabeth Acevedo

Did you know that April is National Poetry Month? That makes this month the perfect time to push your audiobook envelope and add some variety to your listening.

Although your first inclination might be to listen to a poetry collection (try Richard Blanco’s HOW TO LOVE A COUNTRY), I have another suggestion. One of my personal favorite ways to enjoy poetry is to listen to novels in verse. For today’s Take 5 recommendations, I’ve concentrated on audiobooks that are appropriate for teens but that deal with issues that listeners of all ages can relate to, such as self-image, the #MeToo movement, racial profiling, immigration, family, and finding one’s path.

By the way, today’s picks can also serve double duty for Children’s Book Week, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, starting on April 29. Listen to these audiobooks for the poetry, to discover the power of children’s stories, and to learn something about yourself and the world we live in. 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.