Between the Wars: Audiobooks in Honor of Remembrance Day

Highclere in the rain
Highclere in the rain
Ellen Quint’s visit to Highclere Castle

Confession time—I am a Downton Abbey addict. And in fact, I made a trip to Highclere Castle (where Downton is filmed) to walk the rooms and grounds and soak in the atmosphere. I even took it one step further with a trip to Bampton (the setting for the outdoor scenes). This is a quiet little village near Oxford that has built a small tourist industry around Downton. You can imagine my thrill as I got to stand in the church where Lady Mary got married twice. (Please don’t judge me.)

The release of the Downton movie brings the Crawley family up to 1927, almost ten years since the end of WWI, which officially ended on November 11, 1918.  This period between the wars was a dramatic time of trying to recover from painful losses and find a path to a future, which unfortunately planted the seeds for the next great war. Many mystery series take place during this time and then continue into the WWII years. It seems appropriate to focus on them in preparation for Remembrance Day/Veteran’s Day on November 11. 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).

5 Audiobooks about California Wine

Raise a Glass for California Wine Month

California Wine Month

California Wine Month

Did you know that September is California Wine Month? If you’re lucky enough to live in California or have vacation time, you’ll be able to participate in special festivals, tastings, and tours hosted by the state’s vintners and growers. Late summer into early fall is also harvest time, so there’s lots of activity in the vineyards and wineries, and local restaurants and towns will be celebrating all things wine.

Can’t hop on a plane to California? Neither can I, but we can still participate in the celebrations wherever we live. My plan is to listen to a good audiobook set in the California wine world. I may, however, have to pour a glass of Napa Valley Cab to enhance the mood. Cheers and enjoy! 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.

Hot Summer Listens: 5 New Romances for Rising Temperatures

Hot Summer Listens

Hot Summer Listens

Summer is here, and it has officially hit “boiling hot” on the New England temperature scale. Are there other places in the world that are hotter? Probably, but I’m a New Englander, so I’m allowed to complain.

So what better time for hot new romances?! Listening doesn’t require actual moving (no pages to turn!), and it’s a great activity for indoors or beachside. Enjoy, and stay cool! 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!

Escape into Other Worlds with Science Fiction & Fantasy Listening

5 Audiobook Worlds to Explore

Milky Way

Milky Way

A company named Deep Space Industries is working on a plan to harvest minerals from asteroids. Not immediately, but as soon as they can configure “high performance propulsion systems, deep space buses and precision control systems.” Once they’ve done it, the asteroid mining subplot in Martha Wells’s marvelous MURDERBOT series (read by Kevin R. Free) won’t be fictional science anymore. Rocket trips aren’t for me, but a deep-space bus? That I could do. Today’s Audio Adventures leave today behind. 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.

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.