5 Questions with Golden Voice Narrator Emily Woo Zeller

5 Questions with Emily Woo Zeller Golden Voice Narrator

5 Questions with Emily Woo Zeller Golden Voice Narrator

June is a great month to be an audiobook fan. As you probably know, this is Audiobook Month, so it’s the perfect time to celebrate and honor AudioFile’s newest class of Golden Voice narrators. This lifetime achievement award is given in recognition of excellence in audiobook performance.

Among this year’s honorees is the versatile Emily Woo Zeller, a narrator known for her careful pacing and thoughtful characterizations. I’m always impressed with her ability to convey different perspectives, attitudes, and state of mind and to subtly tweak those features as the characters in an audiobook undergo change. Emily has skillfully taken us from ancient battlefields (THE MAGNOLIA SWORD) to futuristic America (A BEGINNING AT THE END) and from contemporary fraternities (THE RED WORD) to our own messy closets (THE LIFE-CHANGING MAGIC OF TIDYING UP), all without missing a beat.

To highlight Emily’s Golden Voice performances, I’ve picked 5 AudioFile Earphones Award–winning audiobooks to suit a variety of listeners. 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.

Narrator Natalie Naudus on the Captivating Fantasy Night Spinner

Natalie Naudus

In the video below, narrator Natalie Naudus shares why she was so riveted by Addie Thorley’s NIGHT SPINNER, a retelling of The Hunchback of Notre Dame with a flawed and complex heroine and a magical twist.

“When I got the manuscript for this book, I couldn’t put it down—I pulled an all-nighter prepping it.”—Narrator Natalie Naudus

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Finding Sparks of Light and Laughter: Funny Mystery Audiobooks to the Rescue

Finding Sparks of Light and Laughter

Finding Sparks of Light and Laughter

I’m reporting from the U.S. epicenter of the pandemic, New York City—Brooklyn, to be exact. I feel like I am in a terrifying Stephen King novel with no end. The streets are eerily deserted and spookily quiet. I have a view of the Brooklyn Bridge out my window—the walkway, always packed with tourists and commuters, is empty. And my hands are sore from washing them to protect me and everyone from this invisible enemy.

Yet I am grateful. I wake up every morning expressing my thanks for making it through another day unscathed. And I send wishes of strength for those who have been directly touched.

And with all of the mounds of advice out there for how to retain your equanimity under these circumstances, I want to offer up one additional strategy: listening to audiobooks, and particularly listening to those that will take you out of your world and actually make you laugh. 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).

Here’s to You, Girlfriend: 5 Audiobooks for Women’s History Month

Here's to You, Girlfriend

Here's to You, Girlfriend

Women make history in large and small ways every month of every year, including Women’s History Month in March. The third month of the year is also when I celebrate the memory of my mother. Dramatic, kind, brave, with a flair for rule-breaking and attentive listening, she was always proud of being accepted as a white woman at a Black Panther rally where she got to shake hands with Angela Davis. In that spirit, here’s to all the cool women in your life, the ones who look like you and the ones who don’t. 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.

5 Questions with Narrator Steve West

Steve West

Steve West

Today’s Take 5 narrator is a man whose pleasant, clear voice invites listeners to come closer and enter the captivating world of whatever audiobook he’s performing. Whether he’s narrating fantasy, mystery, or history, Steve West highlights the characters’ personalities, creating believable portraits of the young and old and of the heroes and villains.

I can’t remember which Steve West audiobook was my first, but from that initial listen right up to today, I have been impressed with his attention to the flow and tempo of a story. Steve has a knack for holding back a beat when we need a moment to absorb a plot point, and he is equally adept at pushing us forward when the action is compelling. 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.

Audiobook to Screen: Listen Before You See These 2020 Book-Based Movies for Kids and Teens

Book-based movies for kids

Book-based movies for kids

With movies and series based on classic children’s and young adult books like Little Women, His Dark Materials, Looking for Alaska, and Green Eggs and Ham currently in theaters and on streaming services, there are plenty of book-based movies for kids and teens, but even more are coming in 2020. Everyone knows the book is always better than the movie, so I like to listen before watching to see how the movie compares with the pictures I form in my head while listening to the audiobook.  Read more…

Sonja Cole
As a former middle school librarian and author of Booktalking Around the World: Great Global Reads for Ages 9-14, Sonja’s mission is to get kids excited about books.

5 New Multicast Audiobooks We’re Loving

5 New Multicast Audiobooks

5 New Multicast Audiobooks

Let’s talk about audiobooks performed by more than one narrator. You may ask, what kinds of audiobooks call for multiple voice actors? The first that come to my mind are audio editions of plays, which usually require a full cast of performers. The second are novels that have been turned into audiodramas, such as E.B. White’s CHARLOTTE’S WEB.

Collections of short stories are a natural for multiple performers, and of course, fiction told from multiple viewpoints is another great choice for two or more narrators. Nonfiction can also benefit from a collaborative effort; THE ONLY PLANE IN THE SKY by Garret M. Graff is a particularly powerful example.

Today’s Take 5 celebrates some recent audiobooks that feature multiple narrators. As always, I recommend audiobooks from a variety of genres—I’m sure you’ll find at least one audiobook that fits your own listening style. 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.

4 Audiobooks For Inspiration and Comfort

4 Audiobooks for Inspiration and Comfort

4 Audiobooks for Inspiration and Comfort

So, how is your new year going so far? While I hope it’s going brilliantly, I’ve found that many of us spend January in need of a boost, nudge, hug, or serious talking-to. That’s what these audiobooks offer. Listen to one or all, and by February, you’ll be raring to go.

Finding MeaningI wish I’d had David Kessler’s FINDING MEANING after my mother’s death on Christmas Eve, 2005. That January and for months afterward, I felt alternately numb and frantic, and despite our loving relationship, guilty about everything I’d ever said or not said to her. I needed Kessler’s blend of sincerity, patience, and good sense. They are a balm to the bereft. I trust you’re not mourning a death or job loss, divorce or even a broken leg. If you are, Kessler will help you through it. 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.

The Wisdom of Moles and Rabbits on Audio

The Wisdom of Moles and Rabbits

The Wisdom of Moles and Rabbits

This time of year puts me in a nostalgic mood to spend time with furry creatures that star in the sort of books that are loved by both adults and children. Rabbits, for instance. When the British publisher Rex Collings agreed to publish Richard Adams’s WATERSHIP DOWN, he wrote a colleague, “I’ve just taken on a novel about rabbits, one of them with extra-sensory perception. Do you think I’m mad?” Farsighted is a better description. The 1972 classic about a band of anthropomorphized rabbits on a quest for a new home has been republished and adapted repeatedly since publication, most recently in a terrific audiobook read by Peter Capaldi. That male rabbits get starring roles despite the matriarchal nature of real rabbit society is mostly forgivable because the story’s drama is enhanced by Capaldi’s rich voice and insightful pacing. The Scottish-born actor also starred as the twelfth Doctor in BBC’s epic Doctor Who series, which turns out to have been excellent preparation for creating an abundance of character voices for the brave group. 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.

Hooray for Hollywood: Audiobooks on Screens Both Big and Small

Hooray for Hollywood

Hooray for Hollywood

Finding myself in sunny Hollywood this week before the holidays brings to mind the opening verse of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas:

The sun is shining, the grass is green
The orange and palm trees sway
There’s never been such a day
In Beverly Hills, L.A.
But it’s December the twenty-fourth
And I am longing to be up North

You know the rest.

Being here in Hollywood also puts me in mind of the many ways we now have to enjoy and engage with mysteries and thrillers, from books to audiobooks to movies and series on the big and small screen. With books, you are required to imagine it all. Audiobooks provide a voice, an accent, a personality through tone and tempo, but leave room for you to fill in the rest. Once a character and a story are brought to the screen, the work is done for you. I always find it intriguing to match the voice of the audiobook with the full-blown person that comes to life onscreen. Sometimes there is a match, and sometimes there’s a disconnect. 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).