Self-Learning the Audiobook Way

Self-learning the audiobook way

Self-learning the audiobook way

In a social-distancing world, students from kindergarten to college are trying their hand at homeschooling and self-learning to finish out the school year. Thus for today’s Take 5 roundup, I recommend nonfiction audiobooks that can be used as a basis for home study, particularly for listeners from young teens on up.

All of the following audiobooks can be used as a foundation for building a study unit or for starting a conversation with your students about the topic at hand. 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.

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).

Celebrating the 2020 Audie Awards

2020 Audie Awards table 17
2020 Audie Awards table 17
Celebrating the Audie Awards with Table 17!

The 2020 Audie Awards Gala last week in NYC was a glittery celebration of the APA’s annual awards given in 24 categories. Mo Rocca, “CBS Sunday Morning” correspondent, author, and host of the Mobituaries podcast, emceed the sold-out event of publishers, authors, and audiobook narrators. Emily & I were surrounded by talent at Table 17 (above). 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.

2020 Audies Gala Highlights from One Super Fan

Audies 2020 Photo Credit Max Flatow
Audies 2020 Photo Credit Max Flatow
Photo by Max Flatow

The Audies Gala dazzled—the gowns, the world of audiobook stars, the excitement, the energy! All this turned me into a super gawking fan girl. 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).

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).

2019 Best Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Audiobooks

2019 Best Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Horror Audiobooks

2019 Best Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Horror Audiobooks

It’s a special pleasure to share AudioFile’s list of the best science fiction, fantasy, and horror audiobooks of 2019. Wildly different from each other — the list includes magical storybooks and possessed trucks — they all take listeners on unique and fantastic voyages (“Fantastic voyages” being my homage to the first sci-fi movie I ever saw, that iconic 1966 film that featured miniaturized scientists battling white blood cells from inside a body). 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.

Audiobook Casting: Beyond the Single Voice

Robin’s Roundup October 25

Audiobook Casting Puss in Boots
Audiobook Casting Puss in Boots
PUSS IN BOOTS cast in action!

Audiobook publishers have been trying out new ideas in casting voices for several years. Some recent new releases showcase the creative ways producers are taking audiobooks beyond the single voice. A new full-cast production that pulls out all the stops—and in addition, wows listeners with original music and songs—is PUSS IN BOOTS. It’s headlined by none other that the marvelous Jim Dale, with nearly a dozen other narrators making the most of the reimagined, fractured fairy tale. PUSS has the same creative team as SPIN: The Rumpelstiltskin Musical, which was a 2019 Audie Finalist. 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.

Talking with George Guidall

This Golden Voice narrator has recorded more than 1,700 audiobooks

Podcast Interview with George Guidall

Podcast Interview with George Guidall

Join host Jo Reed as she speaks with one of the greats in the world of audiobooks, George Guidall. Hear what drew him to the world of audiobooks, highlights from his impressive career, and what he’s loved about narrating the series that listeners adore. George and I met near the very beginning of AudioFile in the 1990s. We honored George as one of the very first Golden Voices, and he has won multiple accolades including many AudioFile Earphones Awards, Audie Awards, and the Audio Publishers Association Special Achievement award.

Don’t wait! Listen to our interview with George on our podcast, Behind the Mic with AudioFile Magazine.

“A painter uses colors and a palette to draw a certain scene. A narrator does the same thing, only his brush is his voice, and his palette is his emotional palette.”—Narrator George Guidall

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.

The Art of the Matter: Audiobook Mysteries Where Art Takes Center Stage

Audiobook Mysteries Where Art Takes Center Stage

Audiobook Mysteries Where Art Takes Center Stage

While the reviews of the recently released film version of The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt have been mixed, the audiobook, narrated by David Pittu, was an AudioFile Best of 2013 in Fiction. Taking on the challenge of keeping listeners engaged through all 32 hours of THE GOLDFINCH, Pittu tells story of a boy whose life gets turned around when a bomb goes off in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, leaving him without a family but with a precious painting. The power of that possession is a central theme, and it made me realize how many audiobooks are based on art, the world of artists, art forgers, and the businesses that surround them. 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).

Gained in Translation: 6 Translated Mysteries from Around the World

Rio Ipanema beach

Rio Ipanema beach

From Barcelona to Singapore to Rio, I have been privileged to see wonderful sites and to hear many voices from around the world. To experience another culture, through words, foods, and relationships, opens one’s eyes and one’s heart. What strikes me about my recent visits to Europe and Asia is the extent to which English has become the common vehicle for communicating. I am so grateful that English is my native language, since it’s not an easy language to learn. I also feel fortunate that there is a long list of mystery audiobooks from around the world that have been translated into English.

And in case you were not aware, August is Women in Translation Month (#WITMonth). Google it to find out more!

Below, I provide a mini-sample of the smorgasbord of offerings in world mysteries. 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).