Make Me Smart: These Audiobooks Educate While They Entertain

Make Me Smart

Make Me Smart

That day, about two-thirds of the way through summer vacation, when you eat the entire bin of caramel corn and allow your brain to embrace indolence? Well, that day is over. O.V.E.R. The beach towels have been put away, and the kids are back in school. It’s time for the rest of us to get smart again, too. 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.

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).

Essential Listening: Golden Voice Narrators

Robin’s Roundup June 21

Stars of the Audiobook Universe

Stars of the Audiobook UniverseCelebrating Audiobook Month in June has given us such a great opportunity to give special attention to the narrator luminaries of the audiobook world. Here at AudioFile, each day in June is dedicated to one of our Golden Voices. Starting with Derek Jacobi on June 1 up to today—”John Lee Day”—we’ve posted “essential listens” for each narrator on our Twitter stream, and on weekdays in June, we’ve devoted each podcast episode of Behind the Mic to a single narrator. Today, host Jo Reed and I chat about narrator John Lee and his skilled handling of British mysteries and unique style. Yesterday, we talked about Robin Miles and her amazing skills with different dialects. 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.

Listening to Past Audie Award Winners

Taking Up Listening Challenge #8

Simon Vance at Audies 2018
Simon Vance at Audies 2018
Simon Vance at the 2018 Audie Awards

This year, the 2019 Audie Award winners will be announced in early March, versus previous years when the celebration took place in May. So, for us mystery audiophiles, it seems like this is an appropriate time to take on #8 in AudioFile’s 2019 Listening Challenge and prepare for the 2019 awards by catching up on previous winners. To see the full list of winners and hear samples from 2014–2018, check out AudioFile’s special feature on past Audie Awards (and look for the list of 2019 Audies finalists on February 4!).

Let’s start with the winner of the 2015 Audie Award for Mystery, THE SILKWORM by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling), narrated by Robert Glenister. This is the second in the detective Cormoran Strike series. CAREER OF EVIL, Book 3 in this series, was the 2016 winner, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the fourth book in the series, LETHAL WHITE, wins the 2019 prize. 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).

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.

Hugo Awards Give N.K. Jemisin a Trifecta

Robin’s Roundup August 24

The Stone Sky
N.K. Jemisin
N.K. Jemisin

The 2018 Hugo Awards were this week in San Jose, California. The Hugo is a fan-vote award for science fiction and fantasy, and one of the most prestigious in the genres. Let’s look at what audiobook listeners have in store for great fantasy & sci-fi listening.

N.K. Jemisin once again took top Hugo honors, winning Best Novel for THE STONE SKY—she’s won three years in a row (the first author ever to do so!) for each title in The Broken Earth Trilogy. All three audiobooks are brilliantly read by Golden Voice narrator Robin Miles. Reviewer Emily Connelly called out this exceptional audiobook early on—her review says, “Listen and be transported to a meticulously built world that serves as a dire warning about the dangers of prejudice and power.”  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.

DOG DAYS: 14 Audiobooks for Dog Lovers

Robin’s Roundup August 17

Dog Days of Summer

Dog Days of Summer

I wanted to collect audiobooks about dogs while we’re in the “dog days of summer” . . . only to find out that the original meaning has nothing to do with dogs. The Greeks used “dog days” for the hottest days of the summer when our brightest star, Sirius (aka the “dog star”), appears in the east. Nevertheless, it’s still a good theme, and I’ve found a terrific array of listening choices for dog lovers. 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.

Five Questions with Grover Gardner

Sharing five excellent audiobooks and five insightful questions with a veteran narrator

Grover Gardner

Grover GardnerI don’t know why I always associate veteran narrator Grover Gardner with nonfiction, because although he does indeed narrate history, biography, and theology, he has worked on a full range of genres, everything from horror to light kids’ stories. While I’m not likely to listen to Grover’s Earphones Award–winning performance of THE STAND (I think it might be too spooky for me), I enjoy listening to his “charming voice” on much tamer audiobooks.

Grover has narrated hundreds of titles (no exaggeration), so it was just a little difficult to pick only five to show off his work. The titles featured today reflect my own tastes: These are audiobooks I recommend or that are on my personal to-be-listened-to wish list. 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.

Why you should pick these children’s audiobooks for your next family excursion

Robin’s Roundup: March 30 New Audiobook Reviews

Islandborn

How do children’s audiobooks catch my attention? Sometimes it’s a visual
pop from the cover, sometimes it’s wanting to hear a narrator I love, and sometimes it’s the Earphones Award a reviewer recommends.
The cover of Junot Díaz’s ISLANDBORN immediately grabbed me, and the Earphones-worthy performance by the author sealed it. The unlikely appearance of a Swedish children’s series from the 1940s, Pelle No-Tail, is another that made me curious. Master narrator Rupert Degas is one of my favorites, and his performance of THE ADVENTURES OF PELLE NO-TAIL sealed the deal. Rupert’s performance in THE GOLDEN COMPASS is one I hold dear, and his SKULDUGGERY PLEASANT series was a marvel.

Islandborn
The Adventures of Pelle No-Tail
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.

Robin’s Roundup: July 28 New Audiobook Reviews

New Swedish noir from Anders de la Motte and a curious gem performed by Derek Jacobi

The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 1/4 Years Old
A couple of the audiobooks in this week’s new reviews have European provenance. THE SECRET DIARY OF HENDRIK GROEN:  83 1/4 Years Old  by Hendrik Groen is a Dutch bestseller published in 2014. The brilliant Derek Jacobi performs pseudonymous author Groen’s diary as a listener’s delight, delivering the emotional beats and subtle layers of humor.

For listeners who relish Swedish noir mystery, Anders de La Motte may be an author to check out. MEMORANDOM follows his successful GAME trilogy. Narrator Peter Noble does a great job leading listeners into an intriguing thriller that reflects the clear authenticity of de la Motte’s law enforcement background.

Being in the midst of summer, I would think we’d be seeing more baseball audiobooks. THE PRIDE OF THE YANKEES sounds like a real nostalgia piece, and will take many listeners back to 1942 with the story of Lou Gehrig and the making of the Gary Cooper movie. The season is long, so more choices for baseball  may come along.

We do seem to be in love with book covers with dogs . . .and COLLARED is no exception. Of course, it’s not just the cover—David Rosenfelt’s Andy Carpenter series is owned by narrator Grover Gardner. An Earphones Award here, but definitely not the duo’s first. I love this comment from AudioFile reviewer Brian Price: “Gardner’s wonderful combination of the rhythms of Sam Spade and the irreverent tones of Mark Twain make this diverting whodunit a listening treasure.” That’s my listening for this week.

What’s in your headphones?

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.