Off to the City of Angels and the Devil in a Blue Dress

Leaving the gray skies for sunny L.A.

The Big Sleep

The Big SleepYes, this blog is being posted the week before Christmas, but I’m going to let my fellow bloggers call out the holiday, as Caitlin Augusta does in her Countdown to the Holidays post. I am not being a grinch, it’s just that I’m taking a break from the gray skies and holiday-decked-out New York City and flying off to sunny Los Angeles. Come join me through audiobooks.

Perhaps because Los Angeles is associated with Hollywood, glitter, glamour, big dreams, celebrities, and sun, it’s also known for the dark side that seethes just beneath the surface—the perfect setting for noir classics as well as some of the top mystery/thriller series.

Let’s start with the original hardboiled detective novels—Raymond Chandler’s Phillip Marlowe series. Sadly, the audio versions narrated by actor Elliot Gould, including THE BIG SLEEP, are out of print and might be hard to find (check your library!), but listeners can enjoy the BBC’s Full Cast Radio Drama. Audiobooks are well-suited for Chandler’s quick-paced writing and snappy dialogue. When asked if Marlowe was his alter ego, Chandler responded: “Yes, I’m exactly like the characters in my books. I do a great deal of research, especially in the apartments of tall blondes.” Read more…

Ellen Quint
A mystery writer, audiobook reviewer and Audies judge. Ellen is currently the program chair of Sisters in Crime-NY and has published two crime short stories: Crossing the Line (Family Matters); Taking the Brooklyn Bridge Back (Where Crime Never Sleeps).

How Long Do the Best Audiobooks Last?

Robin’s Roundup December 14

Robin at Podcast Studio
Robin Whitten
Robin at the HarperAudio studios last week recording an episode of Harper Presents.

One of the criteria we think about when picking the Best Audiobooks of the Year is to choose titles that we can continue to recommend as great listening year after year. I can look back to our Best of 2013 and see the first Cormoran Strike title by Robert Galbraith, THE CUCKOO’S CALLING—the fourth, LETHAL WHITE, is on this year’s list. Graham Greene’s THE END OF THE AFFAIR, read by Colin Firth, won nearly every audiobook award, and can still be recommended without reservation. Billy Crystal’s STILL FOOLIN’ ‘EM is a terrific author memoir, old or new. We hope the 50 titles in this year’s list enjoy the same longevity! 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.

4 Comfort Audiobooks That Make Everything Better

Have Cold, Will Listen

The Perfect Lover

The Perfect LoverI’ve been under the weather with a very bad cold, and there hasn’t been much that’s made me happy, with the exception of Simon Prebble’s narration of THE PERFECT LOVER by Stephanie Laurens. Whenever the misery gets especially miserable, I hit play and sink into his all-encompassing storytelling. THE PERFECT LOVER is one of Laurens’s early “Cynster” novels, recently recorded by Prebble, and it makes ideal comfort listening. The main character, Simon (okay, yes, two Simons), arrives at a Regency house party and is immediately intrigued by a longtime acquaintance, Portia. Prebble’s aloof yet dominant voice for Cynster embodies aristocratic arrogance without a smidge of overacting. (Important aside — I would really like that voice for the emergency alert system on the radio . . . and my GPS . . . and my voicemail.) Read more…

Caitlin is a librarian from Connecticut who enjoys great narrators and happy endings. She has been reviewing audiobooks for Audiofile Magazine since 2006, and she has had the privilege of judging numerous Audie Award categories since 2009. Her favorite authors are Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, and whatever she's listening to right now!

Great American Listening

Robin’s Roundup November 2

Great American Listening

Great American ListeningPBS has just concluded a national survey and an eight-part series that explored and celebrated the power of reading, told through the prism of America’s 100 best-loved novels: THE GREAT AMERICAN READ. The final results just released put TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD definitively on top, with four finalists: the Outlander series, the Harry Potter series, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, and the Lord of the Rings series. What strikes me with these favorites is that many of them offer spectacular 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.

What is an Audiobook Bonus?

Robin’s Roundup for October 12

Elevation

As I prepared our “bonus” podcast episode for this week—Michael Imperioli’s interview with Behind the Mic host, Jo Reed—I delighted in the unexpected tidbits and behind the scenes chat that Michael offered: on the SOPRANOS set; working with Martin Scorsese; his friendship with Lou Reed. Michael’s insights and comments are the bonus to the bonus! Get the episode here. . . if you are not already hearing our daily podcasts.

There are actually loads of bonuses to audiobooks, and listeners have different points of view on what constitutes a bonus. Here are some of the elements of recent audiobooks that give them extra oomph. 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.

6 Stellar Story Collections for Busy Listeners

The Whole Story in Twenty Minutes or Less

A Medicine for Melancholy

A Medicine for MelancholyWhen life is going full tilt — the kids back to school, those two and a half deliverables due by the end of September, and the realization that you haven’t done a thing about your sister’s birthday, which is tomorrow — that’s when you need a great, short audiobook. Or an audiobook full of great shorts. I recommend the following 6 new story collections. They will divert, inform, and entertain you. Whether you listen while commuting or sorting the laundry at midnight, they will bring you calm and give you a sense of control, however fleeting. Read more…

Author and audiobook fanatic, Aurelia often falls asleep at night with earbuds still attached. She can also be found at www.aureliacscott.com.

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.

7 Audiobooks to Knit To

Knit Two, Purl Two, Press Play

Jenn's Knitting and Listening

Jenn's Knitting and Listening

Knitting and audiobooks go hand in hand – or rather, hand in ear. Your hands may be occupied working on your latest project, but unless you’re doing something really complicated that requires your full concentration, your ears and brain are free to listen. Personally, I’m almost always listening to an audiobook while I knit. Of course, we knitters and other crafters who are audiobook fans listen to any and all genres, from literary fiction to thrillers to young adult. But what if you want to dive deep into the world of fiber arts while you listen? Read more…

We're the editorial team at AudioFile Magazine!

Listen Loud, Listen Proud

LGBTQIA Fiction & Nonfiction for Adults

Sally Ride Lego

Sally Ride LegoHappy Pride Month! I struggled with limiting my selection to a handful of engaging, immersive, and energizing LGBTQIA audiobooks for this post. More and more stories featuring characters with a range of sexual and gender identities are being released as audiobook productions. It’s a great time for listeners, however you identify. It’s still difficult to find these books in online audiobook store catalogs, though. If you’re unfamiliar with the names of queer publishers or want to browse self-published authors with audio productions, it’s harder still. I’ve included a small sample of memoir and biography, historical fiction, and contemporary romance that were reviewed for AudioFile. Read more…

Julie Thompson
Julie Thompson is a Washington State-based librarian. When she’s not immersed in audiobooks or reviewing for her blog, she can be found cheering on the Seattle Storm basketball team, catching up on her favorite television shows, and hanging out with her family.

7 Audiobooks for Summer Listening

AudioFile’s Staff Picks for June

Summer Listening in Maine

Today marks the official first day of summer — what better day to share our summer audiobook listening recommendations? AudioFile happens to be located in Maine, aka Vacationland (that’s our beautiful coastline above), so we know how to do summer! Our staff picks include fiction, nonfiction, and family audiobook recommendations for all of your road trips, camp-outs, evening strolls, and long weekends. Read more…

We're the editorial team at AudioFile Magazine!