Staff Picks for Back to School

Audiobooks for Summer into Fall

People Like Us

The last weeks of summer are slipping by, and even though we aren’t all tied to the academic calendar, there’s something about the last days of August that makes us think about getting ready to go back to school. We have audiobooks for listeners who are looking for mysterious schools, a helpful guide for young writers, and two more to appeal to listeners at this time of year.

THE SECRET HISTORY and PEOPLE LIKE US

The Secret History
People Like Us

Every year when the new school year begins, and I start hearing the early morning preseason practices on the fields by our house, I remember the excellent creepiness of THE SECRET HISTORY. Read more…

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Do I Have to Listen in Order?

4 New Romance Series Starters

The Start of Something Good

The Start of Something GoodI am, usually through every fault of my own, a person who reads series out of order. I’ve started in the middle of series by Elizabeth Peters, Marissa Meyer, Lemony Snicket, and JD Robb (all on audio, mind you), and I’ve lived to tell the tale. So, far be it from me to judge, but I do pay attention to “Book 1” reviews — that is to say, a review of the first audiobook in a new romance series. A Book 1 review gives you, the discerning listener (because you can see that I’m a hopeless cause) the chance to start from the beginning and enjoy an ongoing romance experience that makes chronological, logical sense. And, yay, here are four new ones! Three contemporaries and a historical by mostly big-name authors and well known narrators, so you can’t go wrong here. I hope you love your listening, in whatever order you choose. Read more…

Caitlin is a librarian from Connecticut who enjoys great narrators and happy endings. She has been reviewing audiobooks for Audiofile Magazine since 2006, and she has had the privilege of judging numerous Audie Award categories since 2009. Her favorite authors are Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, and whatever she's listening to right now!

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.

5 Questions with Xe Sands

Plus 5 Audiobooks from Xe!

Xe Sands

Xe SandsThis month I welcome Xe Sands to the Take 5 stage. Xe’s soft voice and emotionally deep performances have enhanced hundreds of audiobooks across many genres. She is particularly skilled at tightening the gap between author and listener while still leaving enough room to let us experience our own reactions to the story, whether it’s literary fiction, mystery, or romance.

As I picked five audiobooks to showcase Xe’s work, I couldn’t help but be biased by my own favorites, which lean heavily toward literary fiction. I should point out, though, that Xe has many devoted romance-loving fans and has earned much praise for her performances of a variety of nonfiction titles as well. 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.

9 Audiobooks for a New School Year

Calm the first-day fears with these audiobooks

Chu's First Day of School

Whether you’re headed to Kindergarten or middle school, starting a new school year can be scary no matter how old you are. This collection of audiobooks about heartwarming school friendships can help calm first-day fears and show your child that there can be a bright side to a new start, too.

Chu's First Day of School
Wemberly Worried
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.

7 Great Summer Listens

Grab Your Sunscreen and Your Earphones

7 Great Summer Listens

7 Great Summer Listens

As far as I’m concerned, summer vacation-reading is about finding a comfortable spot and succumbing to guilt-free total immersion. I prefer a hammock, beach chair, or quiet back stoop. I’m agnostic about genre, but it’s got to leave me fully satiated and sighing with satisfaction. With three more weeks of August listening left, I want to recommend five of the summer’s best new titles and two classics guaranteed to carry you away, even if it’s just to a rickety lounger in the backyard. Don’t forget the sunscreen. 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.

4 Romance Earphones Winners

Good Narration Is Always Sexy

Nicholas Boulton
Nicholas Boulton
Nicholas Boulton

How many times have you listened to a narrator, and thought, “I could listen to that person read the telephone book”? (Yes, there are still telephone books at my house . . . like old-school Yelp.)

Maybe it’s the gritty timbre of his voice. Maybe it’s her turn of phrase, or the hint of humor he manages to insouciantly toss into dialogue. Maybe it’s her sweet tone that draws you into the recording. All of which is to say —when a narrator has IT, you know.

Mary Jane Wells
Mary Jane Wells

So, here IT is — two romance AudioFile Earphones Award-winning titles — A MATCH MADE IN BED and BESOTTED WITH THE VISCOUNT. And to sweeten the pot, we’ve paired them with two more Earphones titles from these same narrators.

Imagine I’ve just handed you four delicious chocolate bars — there’s no possible way you can go wrong with any of these audiobooks. Of course, I recommend you listen to all four of them. Click through on each review below to hear a clip of the audiobook and sample them for yourself! Your audioshelf awaits — so be sure to love your listening. Read more…

Caitlin is a librarian from Connecticut who enjoys great narrators and happy endings. She has been reviewing audiobooks for Audiofile Magazine since 2006, and she has had the privilege of judging numerous Audie Award categories since 2009. Her favorite authors are Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, and whatever she's listening to right now!

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.

5 Favorite Series: Part 1

Outlander, In Death, All Souls, and more excellent series to love

Outlander

Hello, my name is Candace and I’m addicted to series. Especially on audio.

I’m not picky, either: mystery, science fiction, fantasy, historical fiction . . . if I sense author–narrator magic going on, I’m there. And I can’t stop listening.

I refuse rehab. You can’t get me to quit.

Outlander
Written In My Own Heart's Blood

One of my favorite audiobook series is Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander books read by the divine Davina Porter. The books take place in two time periods (20th century and 18th century) and in both the Old and New Worlds. The plot includes family saga, romance, and time travel, wrapped up in historical fiction. Listen to these books just for Porter’s perfect accents (especially Gaelic/Scottish) and her characterizations, but really listen because the story is so, so good. Start with OUTLANDER and get ready for about 365 hours of audiobook heaven, ending with WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART’S BLOOD. I understand there are at least two more books planned. Davina Porter had better clear her schedule. 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.

Audiobook Narrators Come to Maine

Robin’s Roundup July 27

Lobster Bake
photo by Sean Runnette

Each summer AudioFile celebrates audiobook narrators with a Maine clambake in Boothbay, Maine. Narrators come from across the country, and sometimes we even have an international guest. But it’s not just the usual suspects—each year a different and diverse group of narrators joins us. We greet old friends and make new ones!

We always have representation from AudioFile’s Golden Voices—this year Barbara Rosenblat and Robin Miles joined us. AudioFile Earphones Award winners and Audie Award winners also are well represented. And it’s a true delight just to get to put voices and faces together. 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.