30 Days of Golden Voice Narrators

Robin’s Roundup June 7

George Guidall, Barbara Rosenblat, Scott Brick

30 Days of Golden Voices

AudioFile is aligning the stars this June. If you’re reading this, you’ve probably been seeing that we’re going all out this month to celebrate the narrators who have been honored with our lifetime achievement award, Golden Voice. We kicked off the celebration with a party—of course—and AudioFile editors welcomed Golden Voice narrators at NYC’s John Marshall Media studios. We were dazzled by so many audiobook stars that night, but our five new Golden Voice narrators—January LaVoy, Edoardo Ballerini, Bahni Turpin, Johnny Heller, and Suzanne Toren—got special love. They even “signed in” by autographing our Stars of the Audiobook Universe poster. 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.

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.

Suzy Jackson on Brandon Sanderson’s Skyward

A high-octane adventure with a fierce female protagonist

Narrator Suzy Jackson is an exceptional match for this high-stakes, battle-driven space opera—the first installment in a new YA series from author Brandon Sanderson. Suzy inhabits the brave, strong, fierce female protagonist in SKYWARD, and while she was recording, Suzy was captivated by the layers of world-building in Sanderson’s high-octane futuristic narrative of hope, sacrifice, and courage.

“The adventure of it was so exciting that I would come home every night after recording and tell my two young boys what had happened.”—Narrator Suzy Jackson

Read more…

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The 2019 Audies Gala: Through the Eyes of a Mystery fan

Even Better Than the Oscars

Tan France Hosts the 2019 Audie Awards

Tan France Hosts the 2019 Audie AwardsI find myself frequently trying to explain what “The Audies” are to  non-audiophiles. I say they are the Oscars for audiobooks. What I should say is that the Audies are even better than the Oscars. After all, for this year’s ceremonies, we had a fine host in Tan France (“Queer Eye” fashion expert). The Oscars could learn a few things from the Audie ceremonies—such as, the only acceptance speeches are by the winners of the Best Female Narrator, Best Male Narrator, and Audiobook of the Year categories. All other award winners are announced and stand at their seats and get cheered. So, the ceremonies begin and end on time! Oh, and the best part this year was that while the awards were being announced, the audience (including me) got to munch on delicious mini pastries and assorted desserts. 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).

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.

Sci-Fi Is About More Than the Future — 6 Terrific Audiobooks

Thank You, Buck Rogers and Wilma Deering

Artemis

ArtemisI listened to Andy Weir’s ARTEMIS, just nominated for an Audie Award in Science Fiction, because long ago, my dyslexic brother-with-a-PhD learned to read with the help of comic books about Buck Rogers and the 25th Century. (Make that with the inspiration of Buck’s backpack transporter and sidekick Wilma’s conical breasts.) My brother fell in love with science fiction, and guided by him, I did, too. Hence my delight in Rosario Dawson’s Earphones Award-winning performance of a rule-breaking woman in a moon colony. Plus all that realistic-sounding science that Weir throws in. I love that stuff.

Speaking of the science part of sci-fi, including robots (always include robots), I finished Martha Wells’s final fantastic Murderbot Diaries novella, EXIT STRATEGY, two nights ago. The wonderful Kevin R. Free has aced all four books about an honorable, thinking-person’s cyborg in a far future when space colonies are as big as planets and corporations battle for control of everything. It had me explaining every plot point to my non-sci-fi-fan husband, and actually, he was fine with that. We love our hero Murderbot. 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.

2019 Audies Romance Finalists

There’s a lot to love

Audie Award Finalist 2019

Audie Award Finalist 2019Okay, yes, I generally get excited about the romance audiobooks we recommend in our Tuesday blog posts. When it comes to the titles we choose to feature, I generally follow my mother’s rule of thumb — if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. So you know that I have warm, fuzzy feelings about pretty much everything that we bring to your attention. That being said, I hope no one thinks I am in any way exaggerating, when I say . . . WOW. The 2019 Audie Award finalists in Romance really stand out. This is such a consistently wonderful group of audiobooks. All the performances are stellar, the underlying works meaningful and realistic, and the productions different and yet equally compelling. I want everyone reading to know that whichever one wins, the others are 100% equal winners in my ears (see what I did there?). If I were you, I’d, you know, skip work for a week, download them all, and go on an epic listening journey that covers the romance genre from corner to corner. Without further ado, let’s meet the six finalists. 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!

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.

Everybody’s Talkin’ in These Full-Cast Productions

6 Engaging Full-Cast Audiobooks

Carmalita
Carmalita
Aurelia’s mother on stage

When I say that I come from a family of spoken word enthusiasts, it’s not just that we talk a lot. It’s that when I was born, my mother was a theater actress and my father a lighting designer. And, as I’ve mentioned before, my father was raised in a traveling marionette theater. So, declaiming in full sentences and the general trying-on of plot lines and personalities were big in our house. That’s why I’m delighted that AudioFile’s 2019 Listening Challenge includes Listen to an audiobook performed by a full cast. But why stop at one? Here are some of my favorites, most of them Earphones Award winners, starting with a trip around the galaxy with Arthur Dent. 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.

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.