The Thrill of Knowing Stuff (in Five Audiobooks)

Inspiration! Enlightenment! Entertainment!

Brief Answers to the Big Questions

Brief Answers to the Big QuestionsThis time of year, I want to be inspired and enlightened about things that matter while also being entertained. I seek hope about the future, even if that hope is tethered to a “what must happen to save the world” to-do list. Yes, watching the Great British Baking Show and listening again to Henning Mankell’s AN EVENT IN AUTUMN (read by the marvelous Simon Vance) have been satisfying diversions. But now I’m looking for empowerment, energy, and the happiness that comes from knowing stuff.

You too? Well, here are five audiobooks to get us started, beginning with Stephen Hawking’s BRIEF ANSWERS TO THE BIG QUESTIONS. Hawking’s “parting gift to humanity,” according to NPR, this short audiobook offers an eloquent and moving consideration of all that science has given us and the challenges left to face. Ben Whishaw’s gentle clear voice stands in eloquently for Hawking, making the science easy to understand and the human lessons significant. This will be one to play more than once and treasure forever. 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.

Warming Up to Winter with Nordic Noir

E Quint on Lundegatan

E Quint on LundegatanAs I look up into the gray skies of Brooklyn and know that the winter sun, which has barely shown its face for days, will be disappearing behind the skyscrapers of Manhattan in an instant, I feel an affinity with the bleak and coffee-filled settings of Nordic Noir.

Many of us were introduced to the genre by Stieg Larsson’s THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATOO and David Largercrantz’s follow-ups, the latest one being THE GIRL WHO TAKES AN EYE FOR AN EYE, all narrated by the award-winning Simon Vance. Having listened to all of the audiobooks numerous times, I am really looking forward to the next one, THE GIRL WHO LIVED TWICE, which is scheduled for release in August 2019. I actually went super fangirl on a recent trip to Stockholm and searched for Lisbeth Salander. At least I found the street where she grew up—Lundegarten. Ironically, I got to experience Sweden during the heat of summer with beautiful blue skies when the sun never sets. 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).

Romance Is About Family

Narrators Justine Eyre, Rosalyn Landor, and Tanya Eby remind us of the joys of home

Family by the fireWe’re wrapping up our 2018 romance audiobook journey with titles about family. More than likely, you’ve spent some part of the last week with some portion of your family. And, more than likely, you have mixed feelings about that! You’re thrilled to see them, you love their kids, but then you remember, they never show up on time for dinner and they don’t make the gravy/mashed potatoes/green bean casserole the way mom/grandma/Aunt Mary used to. Family is this inescapable gift of stress and aggravation that you wouldn’t trade for anything. So, in the spirit of surviving your time with family in the best way possible, enjoy some romances that feature family dynamics. Love your family and love ALL your 2018 listening. 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!

A Feast of Listening for the Holidays

Robin’s Roundup December 21

Twain's Feast

One of my favorite times to listen is while I’m cooking, and during the holidays I’m spending more time with my sleeves rolled up. This is when I wish I had a voice-controlled speaker like Amazon Echo or Google Home. Pushing pause when your hands are gummy always presents a problem!

Any audiobook choice will do, but if  you’re in the mood to hear about food while you are preparing food, here are some possible choices.

Twain's Feast
A Chef's Christmas

Nick Offerman hosts a lively audio program based on food writer Andrew Beahrs’ book TWAIN’S FEAST. It’s much more than a straight narrative with Offerman reading from Twain’s letters and comments, and an actual eight-course meal is prepared with chef Tyler Anderson. If you haven’t fully planned your menus—this program may give you some ideas!  Hearing Anthony Bourdain read his short story, A CHEF’S CHRISTMAS is a bit bittersweet, but we’re reminded of the late chef/writer/television personality’s ability as a storyteller. It’s great to hear Bourdain and may even lead you to his 2010 memoir MEDIUM RAW. 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.

AudioFile’s Best Audiobooks of 2018

The listening list you don’t want to miss!

AudioFile's Best Audiobooks 2018

Best Audiobooks of 2018

We’re excited to share AudioFile Magazine’s 2018 Best Audiobooks — our picks of the 50 best audiobooks of the year in 9 categories. Browse our media-rich E-Zine (PDF) to check out the full list and watch videos, listen to sound clips, and read our reviews.

And try our new podcast as a great way to hear about our Best of 2018. On special episodes of Behind the Mic with AudioFile Magazine, we discuss one subject category each day and have exclusive interviews with some of the 2018 Best narrators, including Michael Crouch tomorrow for his narration of OLIVER LOVING.

Below is a sampling of our picks — view the E-Zine to see the full list! Read more…

We're the editorial team at AudioFile Magazine!

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!

A Foxhole to Audiobooks on the World War I Centenary

Robin’s Roundup November 9

Remembrance Audiobooks

Each week I often “go down the rabbit hole” in pursuit of audiobooks for this blog post. Perhaps this week it’s a “foxhole,” as my topic is the World War I Centenary—the Great War Forum even has a discussion of when and where the term foxhole originated. We’ve collected a varied group of audiobooks about WWI. Solve editor Ellen Quint just posted Reflecting on Remembrance Day through WWI Mysteries, and Aurelia Scott’s post My Grandfather’s War offers a good group of fiction and nonfiction audiobooks. Aurelia includes THE WORLD REMADE: America in World War I by G.J. Meyer. Narrator Rob Shapiro made a compelling video for us noting how relevant Meyer’s history remains.

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 Audiobooks About Flying

Celebrating National Aviation Month

Celebrating National Aviation Month

Celebrating National Aviation MonthCan you guess which holiday I look forward to celebrating when I turn my calendar to November? Two hints: It doesn’t involve American flags or turkey dinners. Instead, I turn my thoughts to the sky and feel so lucky to live in a time of easy air travel (never mind those TSA lines).

Why? Because November is National Aviation History Month. According to the U.S. Government Printing Office, this month “is dedicated to exploring, recognizing and celebrating America’s great contributions and achievements in the development of aviation. Aviation history refers to the history of development of mechanical flight—from the earliest attempts in kites and gliders to powered heavier-than-air, supersonic and space flights.”

For whatever reason, I love to fly and have been in all kinds of aircraft, including hot-air balloons, Cessna four-seaters, helicopters, and gigantic commercial jets. I’ll be forever sad I never flew in a Concorde, but I’m looking forward to whatever advances in air travel the future holds. 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.

Reflecting on Remembrance Day through WWI Mysteries

Ian Rutledge, Bess Crawford, and Maisie Dobbs

The Gate Keeper

The Gate KeeperNovember 11, 2018, marks the 100th anniversary of the formal end of WWI, observed on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Several years ago, while visiting Salisbury, England, on November 11, I personally experienced that moment when everything and everyone comes to a complete stop at 11 am to observe two minutes of silence to honor those who lost their lives fighting for their country.

To honor the 100th anniversary, I would like to call attention to several mystery series that are set during WWI and its aftermath. 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).

6 Tales of Coming to America

This Land Is Your Land, This Land Is My Land

Call Me American

Meet my great great grandfather Reese, who emigrated from Wales to Wisconsin in the 1860s and married Matilda, whose family originated in Saarland. And my husband Bob’s great grandfather Jacob, who emigrated from Bavaria to Ohio around the same time. He married Maria, whose family originated in Hesse. 

These men are the most recent immigrants in our respective families. They arrived with nothing but fortitude and enthusiasm and became Americans. I think of them as two precious scraps in America’s wondrous crazy-quilt. In gratitude to all newcomers from wherever they originate, I’m recommending six tales of immigration that foster admiration and appreciation. 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.