6 Full-Cast Audiobooks for Kids

Jesus Del Orden as Jordan

A good book read by a talented narrator is a beautiful thing, but a good book performed by a full cast of talented narrators can bring a whole new dimension to the listening experience. Here are a few examples where the full cast really elevates 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 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.

Audiobooks to Help You Survive Parenthood

Learning By Ear

Small Animals

Small AnimalsHow does anyone learn to be a parent? We not only can’t be told ahead of time how to do it, but we resist advice once we become parents and find out how hard it is. Many learning audiobooks say that part of the difficulty in the U.S. is a parenting culture that is too doctrinaire and unforgiving. Kim Brooks, the author of SMALL ANIMALS, describes how she was dragged into the legal system by a common parental mistake. She argues that too many parents have to defend their choices against the judgments of other parents and a growing number of institutional scrutinizers. Read more…

Tom Walken has spent most of his professional life in clinical psychology, primarily as a psychotherapist and now as a management consultant. Reviewing audio programs for more than two decades has exposed him to some great thinkers and helped him become more effective in his work. But the biggest gift has been how listening helps him grow personally, look at himself with calmer eyes, and connect with others with a kinder heart.

It’s Official — YA Rocks (In 6 Audiobooks)

Why I’m drawn to YA writing

Bahni Turpin for Audiobook of the Year
Bahni Turpin for Audiobook of the Year
Narrator Bahni Turpin

We adults who love YA titles used to be hesitant to reveal our passion, lest other adults recoil in literary-fiction-horror. But no longer. Bahni Turpin’s amazing performance of CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE, a YA fantasy by Tomi Adeyemi, took the top prize — Best Audiobook — at the 2019 Audie Awards. AudioFile had already given Turpin an Earphones Award for her riveting rendition of the fierce tale about three teenagers who must return magic to an African kingdom from which it has been stolen. Do not miss Turpin’s singing of Yoruba incantations. 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.

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.

Love for the ALA Media Awards

Robin’s Roundup February 1

Sadie

Odyssey Award SealFor more than 80 years, the awards given by the American Library Association have set a high bar in children’s literature. The Caldecott and Newbery medals are the best known among the multiple awards that honor excellence in books, video, and audiobooks for children and young adults—collectively the Youth Media Awards. Of course, our favorite is the Odyssey Award, given to the best audiobook for this essential audience of listeners. This year the Odyssey Award goes to SADIE. AudioFile reviewer Sharon Grover said in her review, “Courtney Summers’s powerful story of love, neglect, abuse, and revenge is narrated with irresistible urgency by Rebecca Soler and Dan Bittner, along with an ensemble of supporting narrators.” Sharon’s praise and Earphones Award were prophetic—and no wonder, as Sharon was one of the founding librarians who helped establish the award in 2008. 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.

True Crime: Stranger Than Fiction

And At Least As Engaging

The Old Man and the GunIn my last Solve blog, I explored how post-9/11 thrillers capitalize on the fears and reality of our new normal, thus incorporating real-life events into fiction. Now, inspired by the opportunity to review THE OLD MAN AND THE GUN by David Grann and read by Mark Deakins, I feel like I am taking a step further away from fiction and into true crime audiobooks. This audiobook collects three of New Yorker staff writer David Grann’s true-crime articles, each about very different crimes and the characters who perpetrate them. Narrator Deakins provides a straightforward narration that’s easy to listen to, which feels like the right approach for Grann’s journalistic style. Although Grann personally interviews the criminals and their victims, friends, and family, he himself always remains outside of the story. All three stories are great listens. 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).

Support Your Indie Bookstore with Libro.fm Audiobooks

Robin’s Roundup August 3

Libro.fm

Libro.fmWe have so many summer visitors in Maine, and I often hear how much they enjoy browsing our independent bookstores. Here in Portland, Sherman’s Maine Coast Book Shops and Longfellow Books are two of my favorites, along with our newest, Print: A Bookstore. Listeners can also get digital audiobooks from these Indie stores through their partnership with Libro.fm Audiobooks.

AudioFile is working with Libro.fm to help tell more listeners about the program and support the independent bookstores we love. You don’t have to visit Maine—you can find an indie near you: Libro.fm/indies.

Here’s the AudioFile spin on Libro.fm Bestsellers—first some fiction, followed by nonfiction picks: 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.

Ripped from the Headlines: I’ll Be Gone in the Dark

Behind the Mic with Gabra Zackman

I'll Be Gone In The Dark

With the breaking news that the police in California have arrested a suspect in the cases detailed by Michelle McNamara in I’LL BE GONE IN THE DARK, the book is suddenly even more relevant. It’s a terrifying account of the “Golden State Killer,” published posthumously, and the audiobook is narrated with Gabra Zackman’s calm and objective voice. Gabra shares with AudioFile what it was like narrating this true crime story.

“I do think that Michelle speaks in this book like she’s speaking from beyond the grave, guiding us to perhaps solve these unsolved crimes.”—Narrator Gabra Zackman

Read more…

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