In Conversation with Golden Voice Narrator Julia Whelan

Robin’s Roundup June 12

All About Julia Whelan Golden Voice Narrator

All About Julia Whelan Golden Voice Narrator

Newly honored Golden Voice narrator Julia Whelan is known to listeners of all ages for her performances in a broad range of subjects. For listeners of young adult audiobooks, Julia is a favorite for GIRL IN PIECES by Kathleen Glasgow, I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN by Jandy Nelson, and PLUS ONE  by Elizabeth Fama. Lovers of fantasy might know her for Nora Roberts’s Chronicle of One trilogy, or Laurie Forest’s The Black Witch Chronicles. Julia also stands out for her recordings of literary fiction like FLIGHTS by Olga Tokarczuk and MY YEAR OF REST AND RELAXATION by Ottessa Moshfegh. And let’s pile on the wonderful romance titles Julia has brought to listeners—more Nora Roberts, and BEACH READ by Emily Henry. My personal favorite in recent months is Julia’s wonderful performance of THE GIVER OF STARS by Jojo Moyes. Read more…

Robin is the Founder & Editor of AudioFile Magazine. The AudioFile Blog is her newest project to offer new voices and recommendations for audiobooks.

Meet Our New Golden Voice Narrators

Robin’s Roundup June 5

AudioFile's 2020 Golden Voices

AudioFile's 2020 Golden Voices

We are delighted to kick off June as Audiobook Month by honoring five new Golden Voice narrators—JD JacksonJulia WhelanArthur MoreyEmily Woo Zeller, and Ramón de Ocampo. Golden Voice is the highest accolade AudioFile gives to narrators. The award celebrates an artist’s iconic role in the field of narration and honors those who have made significant contributions to the audiobook art form.

On AudioFile’s podcast, blog, and social media, we are celebrating the new Golden Voice narrators . . . . as well as many of your other Golden Voice favorites, including Scott Brick, Jim Dale, Dion Graham, George Guidall, Bahni Turpin, January LaVoy—you can see them all here. Listen or read the interviews in these features, but really the award is all about their performances! We have put together suggestions for essential listening for each of the 2020 Golden Voices. Read more…

Robin is the Founder & Editor of AudioFile Magazine. The AudioFile Blog is her newest project to offer new voices and recommendations for audiobooks.

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 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.

Julia Whelan: Actor, Writer, and Audie Award-Winning Narrator

Our Podcast Interview with the Best Female Narrator

Julia Whelan

Julia WhelanNarrator Julia Whelan brought home the 2019 Audie Awards for Best Female Narrator and Autobiography/Memoir for her narration of Tara Westover’s EDUCATED, a memoir that has spent over a year on the New York Times bestseller list. Julia’s moving acceptance speech for Best Female Narrator had the Audies audience enthralled.

In our interview with Julia, she reflects on narrating this intense memoir of Westover’s childhood spent in a traditionalist and isolationist family. She also talks about narrating another blockbuster of a very different stripe: Gillian Flynn’s GONE GIRL. Plus, Julia shares insights into the work that goes into narrating an audiobook, her transition from acting to college to audiobook narration, her love of reading, and the challenges of narrating her own book, MY OXFORD YEAR. Listen to their fascinating conversation now!

“As an actor, you always want to play the sociopath. They’re just so much fun.”—Narrator Julia Whelan

For many more audiobooks narrated by Julia Whelan, browse her extensive audiography.

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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 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…

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 Audiobooks

Robin’s Roundup August 3

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 Audiobooks.

AudioFile is working with 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:

Here’s the AudioFile spin on Bestsellers—first some fiction, followed by nonfiction picks: Read more…

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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