Self-Learning the Audiobook Way

Self-learning the audiobook way

Self-learning the audiobook way

In a social-distancing world, students from kindergarten to college are trying their hand at homeschooling and self-learning to finish out the school year. Thus for today’s Take 5 roundup, I recommend nonfiction audiobooks that can be used as a basis for home study, particularly for listeners from young teens on up.

All of the following audiobooks can be used as a foundation for building a study unit or for starting a conversation with your students about the topic at hand. 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 Tavia Gilbert

5 Questions with Tavia Gilbert

5 Questions with Tavia Gilbert

Help me give a big welcome to award-winning narrator Tavia Gilbert, my guest for today’s Take 5 post. Like many of you, I’m a big fan of Tavia’s work, and I especially appreciate her characterizations and the way she can draw me into a story. I can always count on Tavia to enhance the excitement of action scenes while also finding the emotional heart of the characters, no matter the genre.

Before I introduce you to some of Tavia’s more recent solo performances, I can’t help but mention two don’t-miss multi-cast audiobooks that feature her voice. If you’re looking for something to listen to with your family, then you simply must pick the latest audio edition of CHARLOTTE’S WEB, with its all-star cast. You’ll love the way Tavia voices the barnyard geese. For some needed escapist listening, give THE BOOK CHARMER a try. In this sweet, small-town story, Tavia highlights a young woman’s blossoming from guarded loner into loving aunt and friend. 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 in honor of the International Day of Happiness

Audiobooks for International Day of Happiness

Audiobooks for International Day of Happiness

According to the United Nations and the founder of the International Day of Happiness, “happiness and well-being [are] universal goals and aspirations in the lives of human beings around the world.” Key aspects to the goal of universal happiness include a thriving planet, the eradication of poverty, tolerance of others, and giving back to the communities we live in.

Each March 20th, the International Day of Happiness, the UN picks a theme for the year that embodies their “holistic approach to development.” The theme (and hashtag) for 2020 is Happiness for All Forever. If you’re wondering how you can get involved and to learn more, be sure to visit the program’s official website.

I plan to celebrate by getting inspired to do more for myself and others. As you can already guess, one of my go-to methods for discovering ideas is to listen to an audiobook. Here are some the titles I have marked for getting into the spirit of the International Day of Happiness. 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 Steve West

Steve West

Steve West

Today’s Take 5 narrator is a man whose pleasant, clear voice invites listeners to come closer and enter the captivating world of whatever audiobook he’s performing. Whether he’s narrating fantasy, mystery, or history, Steve West highlights the characters’ personalities, creating believable portraits of the young and old and of the heroes and villains.

I can’t remember which Steve West audiobook was my first, but from that initial listen right up to today, I have been impressed with his attention to the flow and tempo of a story. Steve has a knack for holding back a beat when we need a moment to absorb a plot point, and he is equally adept at pushing us forward when the action is compelling. 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 New Multicast Audiobooks We’re Loving

5 New Multicast Audiobooks

5 New Multicast Audiobooks

Let’s talk about audiobooks performed by more than one narrator. You may ask, what kinds of audiobooks call for multiple voice actors? The first that come to my mind are audio editions of plays, which usually require a full cast of performers. The second are novels that have been turned into audiodramas, such as E.B. White’s CHARLOTTE’S WEB.

Collections of short stories are a natural for multiple performers, and of course, fiction told from multiple viewpoints is another great choice for two or more narrators. Nonfiction can also benefit from a collaborative effort; THE ONLY PLANE IN THE SKY by Garret M. Graff is a particularly powerful example.

Today’s Take 5 celebrates some recent audiobooks that feature multiple narrators. As always, I recommend audiobooks from a variety of genres—I’m sure you’ll find at least one audiobook that fits your own listening style. 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 Robin Miles

5 Questions with Robin Miles

5 Questions with Robin Miles

I couldn’t be more excited to welcome narrator Robin Miles into the Take 5 spotlight this month. I’ve been a fan of hers almost since her debut, and I especially loved her work on N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy. One of Robin’s talents is her ability to fade into the background so that her performance immerses you in the story seamlessly.

The audiobooks I picked to feature Robin’s skills as a solo narrator include one of my personal favorites, a classic, and three recent novels. It just so happens that all five were awarded Earphone Awards from our reviewers. 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 for the New Year and a More Fulfilling 2020

5 Audiobooks for the New Year

5 Audiobooks for the New Year

Happy New Year and welcome to the 2020s. As much as I like the holiday season, I love the promise of a new year and fresh beginnings even more. I don’t make resolutions, but I like to take the time to think about how I can make changes to better embrace the possibilities of the next 12 months.

In what has become a bit of a tradition here at Take 5, my first blog post of the year focuses on getting help with meeting our personal goals. Today I recommend five audiobooks that guide us on our journey to create a more fulfilling and calmer life in the year to come. 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.

Unwind with an Audiobook

Lighter Listens for a Busy Season

Unwind with an Audiobook

Unwind with an Audiobook

Are you all ready for the holidays? No matter which December holiday you celebrate, and even if you don’t celebrate any of them, this is the time of year for festive parties, shopping, baking, school vacation, and days off work. Phew! Makes me tired just thinking about it.

You might be able to guess one of my favorite de-stressing tricks. Yep, listening to a light (or brief) audiobook. As much as I like literary fiction and various kinds of nonfiction, those audiobooks are rarely on my December listening list.

I’m craving fun, light stories to take my mind off my miles-long seasonal to-do list. Today’s Take 5 roundup includes audiobooks from a variety of genres, and all are perfect for holiday listening. Preheat your oven, turn on an audiobook, and let’s get baking and listening! 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.

Best Biography & History Audiobooks of 2019

2019 Best Audiobooks Biography and History

2019 Best Audiobooks Biography and History

I say this every year, but it’s true: One of my favorite things about December is the best-of book lists, especially the best in audiobooks. I love adding to my wish list and getting great ideas for gift giving.

I also keep my eye (ear?) out for good audiobooks to listen to with family. An audiobook can take the sting out of traveling, cooking, and house cleaning, and it makes a quiet night at home in front of the fire extra special.

Today I’m happy to share with you AudioFile’s Best Biography & History Audiobooks for 2019. We picked the following titles not only for their excellence in research and style but also because of the narrators’ exceptional performances, which leave listeners wanting more. 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 Michael Kramer

5 Questions with Michael Kramer

5 Questions with Michael Kramer

Most of you will associate today’s Take 5 guest narrator with audiobooks set in imaginary worlds. To me, Michael Kramer’s name is especially linked to Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series; in fact, he’s narrated all of the books in that very popular series in collaboration with Kate Reading. Tens of thousands of fantasy fans have welcomed Michael into their lives via speakers, headphones, and earbuds as they listened to 14 audiobooks and well more than 400 hours of action, adventure, war, and politics set in an ancient world.

If you’re a fantasy fan, you may be surprised to learn that Michael is equally skilled at performing history, memoir, literary fiction, thrillers, children’s stories, science fiction, and more. The audiobooks I’m recommending today do indeed include fantasy—such as an exciting new production of a recently released Robert Jordan book—but I also feature a modern classic, a thriller, and history. I encourage you to get to know Michael’s work on stories set in the real world as well as fantastic ones. 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.