5 Questions with Simon Vance

Plus 5 Audiobooks from a King of Audiobooks

Simon Vance

Simon VanceIs there genre or style today’s Take 5 narrator can’t handle? If there is, I haven’t discovered it. Veteran narrator Simon Vance is one of the kings of audiobook performers and a favorite of thousands of listeners (me included).

Simon’s voice has been my companion for many hours over the years, helping me navigate fantasy worlds as well as the very real past and contemporary culture. I’m sure you agree: If you see his name is on an audiobook cover, you know the performance will be fabulous. 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.

Warming Up to Winter with Nordic Noir

E Quint on Lundegatan

E Quint on LundegatanAs I look up into the gray skies of Brooklyn and know that the winter sun, which has barely shown its face for days, will be disappearing behind the skyscrapers of Manhattan in an instant, I feel an affinity with the bleak and coffee-filled settings of Nordic Noir.

Many of us were introduced to the genre by Stieg Larsson’s THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATOO and David Largercrantz’s follow-ups, the latest one being THE GIRL WHO TAKES AN EYE FOR AN EYE, all narrated by the award-winning Simon Vance. Having listened to all of the audiobooks numerous times, I am really looking forward to the next one, THE GIRL WHO LIVED TWICE, which is scheduled for release in August 2019. I actually went super fangirl on a recent trip to Stockholm and searched for Lisbeth Salander. At least I found the street where she grew up—Lundegarten. Ironically, I got to experience Sweden during the heat of summer with beautiful blue skies when the sun never sets. 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).

Off to the City of Angels and the Devil in a Blue Dress

Leaving the gray skies for sunny L.A.

The Big Sleep

The Big SleepYes, this blog is being posted the week before Christmas, but I’m going to let my fellow bloggers call out the holiday, as Caitlin Augusta does in her Countdown to the Holidays post. I am not being a grinch, it’s just that I’m taking a break from the gray skies and holiday-decked-out New York City and flying off to sunny Los Angeles. Come join me through audiobooks.

Perhaps because Los Angeles is associated with Hollywood, glitter, glamour, big dreams, celebrities, and sun, it’s also known for the dark side that seethes just beneath the surface—the perfect setting for noir classics as well as some of the top mystery/thriller series.

Let’s start with the original hardboiled detective novels—Raymond Chandler’s Phillip Marlowe series. Sadly, the audio versions narrated by actor Elliot Gould, including THE BIG SLEEP, are out of print and might be hard to find (check your library!), but listeners can enjoy the BBC’s Full Cast Radio Drama. Audiobooks are well-suited for Chandler’s quick-paced writing and snappy dialogue. When asked if Marlowe was his alter ego, Chandler responded: “Yes, I’m exactly like the characters in my books. I do a great deal of research, especially in the apartments of tall blondes.” 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).

How Long Do the Best Audiobooks Last?

Robin’s Roundup December 14

Robin at Podcast Studio
Robin Whitten
Robin at the HarperAudio studios last week recording an episode of Harper Presents.

One of the criteria we think about when picking the Best Audiobooks of the Year is to choose titles that we can continue to recommend as great listening year after year. I can look back to our Best of 2013 and see the first Cormoran Strike title by Robert Galbraith, THE CUCKOO’S CALLING—the fourth, LETHAL WHITE, is on this year’s list. Graham Greene’s THE END OF THE AFFAIR, read by Colin Firth, won nearly every audiobook award, and can still be recommended without reservation. Billy Crystal’s STILL FOOLIN’ ‘EM is a terrific author memoir, old or new. We hope the 50 titles in this year’s list enjoy the same longevity! 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.

Best Mystery Audiobooks of 2018

6 Must-Listen Titles for Mystery Lovers

Best Mystery Audiobooks 2018Congratulations to the authors and narrators of the 2018 Best Audiobooks in the Mystery category. The competition is tough—AudioFile’s editors start with 2000 audiobooks in 9 categories that eventually get sorted down to 50 honorees (including the 6 in the Mystery category listed below).

What do all of these audiobooks have in common—what makes them rise to the top? They are all masterfully written by talented authors and read for us by narrators who manage to convincingly convey multiple characters while leaving room for our imaginations. Robin Whitten puts it so beautifully in the podcast about the Best Mystery Audiobooks, saying that the best narrators disappear into the story, becoming the voice that provides all the details while also inhabiting all of the characters. 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).

The 5 Best Memoirs of 2018

Inspiring Peeps to Hang Out With

Becoming

BecomingIn my next life, I will be mathematically gifted, a natural athlete, pale with copper hair or mocha with corkscrew curls, able to carry a tune and tell a joke without ruining the punchline, and unafraid of roller-coasters. Until then, I’m spending time with folks who inspire me in this life, finding them in AudioFile’s picks for the five best memoirs of 2018. (Check out all of our 2018 Best Audiobooks in our media-rich E-Zine.)

Let’s begin with Michelle Obama, whose new memoir, BECOMING, lifts the spirits as it heartens. As I listened to her Earphones Award-winning performance, I admired her more than ever and felt I’d gained a new best friend. This is an audiobook that I’ll keep coming back to in order to savor Obama’s embracing voice and thoughtful, fierce, funny reminiscences about real life, both grand and humble.

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.

AudioFile’s Best Audiobooks of 2018

The listening list you don’t want to miss!

AudioFile's Best Audiobooks 2018

Best Audiobooks of 2018

We’re excited to share AudioFile Magazine’s 2018 Best Audiobooks — our picks of the 50 best audiobooks of the year in 9 categories. Browse our media-rich E-Zine (PDF) to check out the full list and watch videos, listen to sound clips, and read our reviews.

And try our new podcast as a great way to hear about our Best of 2018. On special episodes of Behind the Mic with AudioFile Magazine, we discuss one subject category each day and have exclusive interviews with some of the 2018 Best narrators, including Michael Crouch tomorrow for his narration of OLIVER LOVING.

Below is a sampling of our picks — view the E-Zine to see the full list! Read more…

We're the editorial team at AudioFile Magazine!

10 Road Trip Audiobooks the Whole Family Will Enjoy

Pack Up Audiobooks for Your Long Rides

10 Road Trip Audiobooks

10 Road Trip Audiobooks

If a road trip is in your Thanksgiving plans, pack some audiobooks to keep everyone entertained in the car. Choosing from a mix of classic favorites and new titles, I picked these because they are extra-special on audio and have wide appeal for kids and adults. My favorite thing about listening to audiobooks with kids in the car is the priceless connection that can come from experiencing a good story together. I hope that listening to one or more of these audiobooks will become a treasured memory from your Thanksgiving trip. Safe travels and happy listening! 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.

A Season to be Thankful—And Yes, That Includes Audiobooks

Which Audiobooks Are You Thankful For?

Wrecked

The Punishment She DeservesI know I’m dating myself, but I got hooked on audiobooks when I put cassette tapes into my “Walkman” and had to turn them over after 30 minutes to listen to the other side. I am a grateful witness to the evolution of audiobooks in the digital age that allows me to listen to Elizabeth George’s THE PUNISHMENT SHE DESERVES—and just to have narrator Simon Vance’s voice in my head for 22.75 hours—without having to pause to switch over a single cassette. 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).

Staying Healthy in Our Time

Have You Gotten Your Flu Shot Yet?

Influenza Pandemic Mortality in 1918 1919

Influenza Pandemic Mortality in 1918 1919Did you know that the flu pandemic of a century ago killed more worldwide than World War I did? At a time when Americans are being urged to get annual flu shots and are making decisions about health insurance enrollment, audiobooks can help us learn about the history of the flu—and help us to better appreciate those working to forestall another pandemic.

Read more…

Francisca Goldsmith
Francisca Goldsmith has worked with teens, collections, and administering branch services in public, school, and academic libraries in the U.S. and Canada. Connecting communities to information and supporting new Americans in learning both language and culture are her passions. To those ends, she’s worked with audiobooks and listeners for the past 20 years.