When I meet people for the first time and tell them about AudioFile, they often ask, “Do you listen to all the books yourself?” What a thought! I don’t even want to calculate how many hours that might be—considering we clock in at almost 2,200 audiobook reviews published in 2017. The listening hours are spread among the ~85 AudioFile reviewers. Bless them all . . . for the many hours of work and listening pleasure, but also for the harder work of forming cogent, succinct reviews to enlighten all of us about each listening experience.
A family listening choice about courage, fate, and friendship
AudioFile magazine goes Behind the Mic with Ramon de Ocampo to learn about his narration of HELLO, UNIVERSE by Erin Entrada Kelly. A wonderful coming of age story with keen perceptions on courage, fate, and friendship.
“I remember in the recording booth how swept up I was and pulled into this really honest and original coming of age story.”—Narrator Ramon de Ocampo
Christian Baskous talking about recording Richard Ford’s BETWEEN THEM; Mark Bramhall on Ron Chernow’s GRANT biography; Jonathan Yen giving us a wonderful teaser to explore A MIND AT PLAY and discover the man who is called the father of the information age, Claude Shannon; and Rob Shapiro talking about recording THE WORLD REMADE, a timely look at America in World War I.
Narrator Brittany Pressley shares her thoughts on Carolyn Brown’s characters
This week’s Behind the Mic shares insights from narrator Brittany Pressley. She pulls open the recording studio door for us and shares her thoughts regarding the small town Texas characters she voiced. And I think the author Carolyn Brown has something equally insightful to share. As she says on her website, “I know the voices are not real but they have such great ideas.” And that pretty much sums up the entire audiobook industry for you. A novel may start out in the realm of fiction—not real, as Brown says—but add one great narrator and stir, and the voices become real, they are still talking to you, and you can’t bear to stop listening. Let’s hear what narrator Brittany Pressley has to say about Carolyn Brown’s THE STRAWBERRY HEARTS DINER.
“The strongest relationships in the books are really the friendships amongst the women. She writes really strong, witty, independent, feisty, great female characters from a wide range of ages, and I love that.”—Narrator Brittany Pressley
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!
Plus a special video of narrator JD Jackson on the award-winner BLUEBIRD, BLUEBIRD
Our fine editors at AudioFile Magazine have hemmed and hawed and pulled some hair (mostly their own) to come to a consensus on the Best Audiobooks of 2017! If you haven’t had a chance to check out the complete lists—they’re broken down into genre categories—you can do so here.
I’m especially excited to see Attica Locke’s BLUEBIRD, BLUEBIRD on the list. I mentioned Locke’s newest, narrated by JD Jackson, in my celebration of crime fighters post back in October, and I’m excited to share this fun Behind the Mic video from JD Jackson. He says BLUEBIRD, BLUEBIRD read like a “brown liquor blues song.” Maybe he should be reviewing for us!
“This is an amazing mystery and suspense novel, but it’s so much more than that. It’s about regret, it’s about honor, it’s about redemption, and it’s about racial tension that has festered in this small town.”—Narrator JD Jackson
Please enjoy the video and be sure to check out AudioFile Magazine’s Best Audiobooks of 2017. There’s so much good listening in these lists. You can start stockpiling for the cold winter months coming our way. Happy Listening!
A freelance book and audiobook reviewer, I have also written numerous interviews of authors and narrators. Story entrances me and if I'm not reading for myself I love having a story told to me. In addition, I'm an avid photographer, where stories are in the images!
“Throughout the story you see a really honest look at what it might feel like to be a teenager navigating mental illness. I wish this book had been around for me when I was a young person.”—Narrator Kate Rudd
Cozy up for a variety of brilliant listening from our Fantasy & Nonfiction lists
We continue to celebrate the Best Audiobooks of the year, and we appreciate all the shares & retweets from our narrator and publisher friends & audiophile partners—thank you, and keep spreading the word!
My Roundup today looks at our Sci-Fi, Fantasy & Horror list and also the Nonfiction & Culture list. My immediate take is all the contrast! Will the same reader who settles in for a comforting listen with THE LITTLE BOOK OF HYGGE also choose to contemplate the intangible menace of GWENDY’S BUTTON BOX? Who knows, but I do love the variety of our choices.