A Feast of Listening for the Holidays

Robin’s Roundup December 21

Twain's Feast

One of my favorite times to listen is while I’m cooking, and during the holidays I’m spending more time with my sleeves rolled up. This is when I wish I had a voice-controlled speaker like Amazon Echo or Google Home. Pushing pause when your hands are gummy always presents a problem!

Any audiobook choice will do, but if  you’re in the mood to hear about food while you are preparing food, here are some possible choices.

Twain's Feast
A Chef's Christmas

Nick Offerman hosts a lively audio program based on food writer Andrew Beahrs’ book TWAIN’S FEAST. It’s much more than a straight narrative with Offerman reading from Twain’s letters and comments, and an actual eight-course meal is prepared with chef Tyler Anderson. If you haven’t fully planned your menus—this program may give you some ideas!  Hearing Anthony Bourdain read his short story, A CHEF’S CHRISTMAS is a bit bittersweet, but we’re reminded of the late chef/writer/television personality’s ability as a storyteller. It’s great to hear Bourdain and may even lead you to his 2010 memoir MEDIUM RAW. 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 5 Best Histories and Biographies of 2018

Finding Hope for Today in What Once Was

2018 Best Biography & History Audiobooks

2018 Best Biography & History AudiobooksIt turns out that “May you live in interesting times” was probably not an ancient Chinese curse, but I mutter it to myself anyway, because, hey, are these interesting times or what?  In between muttering, I have turned to AudioFile’s selection of the best histories and biographies of the year. They offer perspective, inspiration, and occasional comfort. I figure that folks have already lived what’s described in the books, so today has got to be manageable. 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.

Best Children & Family Listening Audiobooks of 2018

Jacqueline Woodson, Rebel Girls, and More

2018 Best Children & Family Listening Audiobooks

2018 Best Children & Family Listening AudiobooksAudioFile’s 2018 Best Audiobooks list is out, and I am so excited to be talking about the Children’s category. I always love reading everyone’s “Best Of” lists at this time of year because 1) I love to see my favorites get some love, and 2) it introduces me to gems that I missed over the year. I hope this list does both for you as well. And I’m curious, what would be on your Best Children’s Audiobooks of 2018? Please leave a comment below to share your family’s favorites this year so I can discover even more gems! 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.

5 Best Young Adult Audiobooks 2018

2018 Best Young Adult Audiobooks

2018 Best Young Adult AudiobooksWelcome to December and the winter holiday season. One of my favorite things about the end of the year is reading all the best-of lists, especially those that focus on audiobooks. I love adding to my wish list and discovering great books I might have missed.

Get ready to find your next outstanding listen: Today’s Take 5 post is all about AudioFile’s Best Young Adult audiobooks for 2018. All the titles that made our list deserve the spotlight not only for their great stories but also for the fantastic narrators whose performances made the audiobooks unforgettable.

Here, I give you a hint of what each audiobook is all about, but don’t forget to click through to our full reviews. To see all the winners in all the categories, check out AudioFile’s 2018 Best Audiobooks E-Zine.

Now for this year’s best audiobooks for young adults: 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.

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).

Holiday Romance is in the Air

4 New Holiday Audiobooks

A Very Merry Romance

A Very Merry RomanceApplaud my restraint. I have waited until November to post holiday audiobook reviews. Just ask my coworkers—it was June when I announced the schedule for a certain “Countdown to Christmas” holiday movie festival that I plan my weekends around. So for my fellow Christmas-philes, these audiobooks should add to your festive spirit.

A VERY MERRY ROMANCE
by Brenda Jackson, read by Ron Butler
Harlequin Audio
AudioFile Earphones Award

Narrator Ron Butler doesn’t take sides as he presents the romantic journey of Marilyn Bannister and Jonathan Madaris. A Houston principal, Jonathan can’t date his new teacher, so he secretly transfers her to begin his courtship. Butler embodies the suave confidence Jonathan uses to attract Marilyn’s attention and overcome her misgivings while subtly differentiating Marilyn’s dialogue. The holiday warmth comes near the end of the recording, so this is a good warm-up to the holiday season.    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!

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!

Five Questions with Cassandra Campbell

From World Travel to Zsa Zsa Gabor, the Life of a Narrator

Cassandra Campbell

Cassandra CampbellI would recognize the voice of today’s Take 5 guest anywhere, because Cassandra Campbell has been my virtual companion many, many times over the years. Have you ever noticed how some narrators are tapped for all the audiobooks you love to listen to? Cassandra and I seem to have that kind of relationship.

I count on Cassandra’s calm, soothing voice to envelop the emotional heart of an audiobook, connecting me to the story no matter the intended audience or genre, including middle-grade fantasy (THE GLASS SENTENCE) and literary short stories (YOU KNOW WHEN THE MEN ARE GONE).

The audiobooks I feature here demonstrate the range of Cassandra’s solo work. I tried to limit my choices to books published this year, but I couldn’t resist sneaking in a couple of older titles. 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.

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).

Maryrose Wood Brings The Incorrigibles Home for the Holidays

Robin’s Roundup November 16

Maryrose Wood

Maryrose WoodSpending time with The Incorrigibles might be the perfect prelude to upcoming family gatherings. If you anticipate the same old jokes from Uncle Otto, and you dread meeting your Cousin Alice’s curious new companion, take an audio dose of The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place to make it all seem manageable.

Mayhem may ensue, but it will definitely be entertaining for all ages. Maryrose Wood’s celebrated series unfolds in six volumes around a plucky governess, Miss Penelope Lumley, and her three charges—who were originally raised by wolves. THE LONG-LOST HOME wraps up the series with a brilliant performance by Fiona Hardingham. The previous audiobooks were narrated flawlessly by Katherine Kellgren. Maryrose is our guest this week on a bonus episode of our podcast, Behind the Mic with AudioFile Magazine, so listen to the author tell us more about the very special relationship she’s had with both narrators.

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.