5 Questions with Narrator Susan Ericksen

5 Questions with Susan Ericksen

5 Questions with Susan Ericksen

Today’s guest narrator is the voice of two of my favorite mystery series, both of which I highlight today. Though Susan Ericksen is a beloved narrator of mystery and suspense, her audiobook repertoire is, in fact, wide ranging and includes romance, history, personal essays, biography, classics, literary fiction, and fantasy.

Along with thousands of other listeners around the world, I’m impressed with Susan’s ability to smoothly transition between fictional plot lines, carrying us, for example, from the steamy bedroom of a couple in love to a gritty crime scene without a hitch. When performing nonfiction audiobooks, Susan delivers that perfect level of expressiveness: one that keeps us engaged but doesn’t distract from the voice of the author, whether we’re listening to memoir, history, or current affairs.

The following audiobooks (and series) exemplify Susan’s array of talents and why we listening fans have stayed true to her through series and across genres. 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.

The Detours of Historical Fiction Audiobooks

Robin’s Roundup January 17

Pack Horse Librarian
Pack Horse Librarian
Pack Horse Librarian , Kentucky Digital Library

In three recent audiobooks of historic fiction, I found myself lured off to research real-life events and details in these stories. Each detour made the audiobooks even richer. I was immediately entranced by the Packhorse Librarians project, the focus of Jojo Moyes’s GIVER OF STARS. Between 1935 and 1943, this WPA initiative delivered thousands of library books, recipes, and other reading material to the hills and hollers of eastern Kentucky. In Moyes’s audiobook, narrator Julia Whelan helps us follow the “book women” of Baileyville, Kentucky. In the first scene, one of the librarians, Margery, riding her mule with a saddlebag of books, is accosted on a remote track. Yes, the project was real, and yes, the librarians often rode mules—this Smithsonian Magazine article is full of details. Are you hooked yet? Learning about the library project and thinking about the stamina and dedication the librarians made the fictional GIVER OF STARS story even more interesting. 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 Narrator Robin Miles

5 Questions with Robin Miles

5 Questions with Robin Miles

I couldn’t be more excited to welcome narrator Robin Miles into the Take 5 spotlight this month. I’ve been a fan of hers almost since her debut, and I especially loved her work on N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy. One of Robin’s talents is her ability to fade into the background so that her performance immerses you in the story seamlessly.

The audiobooks I picked to feature Robin’s skills as a solo narrator include one of my personal favorites, a classic, and three recent novels. It just so happens that all five were awarded Earphone Awards from our reviewers. 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 Biography & History Audiobooks of 2019

2019 Best Audiobooks Biography and History

2019 Best Audiobooks Biography and History

I say this every year, but it’s true: One of my favorite things about December is the best-of book lists, especially the best in audiobooks. I love adding to my wish list and getting great ideas for gift giving.

I also keep my eye (ear?) out for good audiobooks to listen to with family. An audiobook can take the sting out of traveling, cooking, and house cleaning, and it makes a quiet night at home in front of the fire extra special.

Today I’m happy to share with you AudioFile’s Best Biography & History Audiobooks for 2019. We picked the following titles not only for their excellence in research and style but also because of the narrators’ exceptional performances, which leave listeners wanting more. 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.

8 Audiobooks about Inspiring Lives of Service

Robin’s Roundup November 8

Audiobooks About Service

Audiobooks About Service

Each month, AudioFile editors Jennifer Dowell, Emily Connelly, Francisca Goldsmith, and I decide on topics which we can explore with both new titles and older audiobooks mined from our AudioFile archives. We feature them on our social media and in articles here on the blog. We try to find a twist on holiday themes—which we can all agree get a little repetitive—and look at whether there’s any fun to be had with holidays like Pi/Pie Day. One that we chose this month is “service” as we think about veterans and humanitarians alike, like Chef José Andrés (above) and his service to Puerto Rico, which he recounts in WE FED AN ISLAND. 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.

Remembering Cokie Roberts

Cokie Roberts
Cokie Roberts

Pioneering reporter, commentator, and author Cokie Roberts was astute, witty, wise, and kind. When she died last month of breast cancer, a disease that is all too personal for many of us, it was as if we had lost a friend as well as a mentor. What we haven’t lost is her writing, which is deeply knowledgable and engaging. Nor, blessedly, have we lost the clear warm timbre of her voice, so familiar to generations of NPR listeners, because Cokie Roberts read her own audiobooks.

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.

The Art of the Matter: Audiobook Mysteries Where Art Takes Center Stage

Audiobook Mysteries Where Art Takes Center Stage

Audiobook Mysteries Where Art Takes Center Stage

While the reviews of the recently released film version of The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt have been mixed, the audiobook, narrated by David Pittu, was an AudioFile Best of 2013 in Fiction. Taking on the challenge of keeping listeners engaged through all 32 hours of THE GOLDFINCH, Pittu tells story of a boy whose life gets turned around when a bomb goes off in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, leaving him without a family but with a precious painting. The power of that possession is a central theme, and it made me realize how many audiobooks are based on art, the world of artists, art forgers, and the businesses that surround them. 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).

Nonfiction vs. Fiction: Audiobook Faceoff

Dig into the facts or delight in the dialogue?

Nonfiction Vs Fiction

Nonfiction Vs Fiction

What’s your favorite way to learn about people, places, and events? I’m a fairly eclectic listener, and I pick fiction, historical fiction, and nonfiction in equal measure. However, if I become interested in a subject, I’ll cross genres to gain new perspectives and a better appreciation of history and the world around me.

Today’s Take 5 presents three fiction–nonfiction pairings, so whether you’re a just-the-facts audiobook lover or like your history inhabited with fictional characters and imagined dialogue, I’ve got you covered. 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.

Mothers & Others: Recent Audiobook Biography and History

Robin’s Roundup May 10

The Moment Of Lift

With events and awards taking the limelight for the last few months, I haven’t had a chance to simply highlight some of the most interesting audiobooks we’ve recently reviewed. A classic “Robin picks a quirky group of audiobooks” roundup follows.

The Matriarch
America's Jewish Women
The Moment Of Lift

Mother’s Day approaches this weekend, so “mothers” seems like a good theme to start with. Three recent Earphones Award-winning audiobooks give us some different ways of thinking about one iconic mother, Former First Lady Barbara Bush—THE MATRIARCH—and the many Jewish mothers who are portrayed in AMERICA’S JEWISH WOMEN. My third choice in the group is Melinda Gates’s new memoir THE MOMENT OF LIFT, not just because this audiobook inspires, but also particularly because of her views on service and giving back—see the video below. That’s certainly a purpose wholly shared by Mrs. Bush as well as by 19th-century philanthropist Rebecca Gratz, who is profiled in AMERICA’S JEWISH WOMEN. 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.

Audiobooks that Celebrate Age and Aging

Partying Until the End

Climb the stairs

Climb the stairsNow that I’m no longer young, I climb every flight of stairs I can find, memorize whichever numeral strings present themselves, and recite the alphabet backwards for fun. I don’t drink the extra glass of wine or eat the third donut anymore. But here’s the thing about aging—if I did want that donut, I’d eat it guiltlessly, even if you disapproved.

As 92-year-old Jan Morris makes clear in her splendid new memoir, IN MY MIND’S EYE, despite the insult of stiffer joints and occasional lapsing memory, age has compensations, including the right to do as you wish without guilt. I totally believed narrator Jennifer M. Dixon, who dons an excellent facsimile of Morris’s pleasant British voice, and reads with an appreciation that increased my own enjoyment. Sixty-six years ago, the author accompanied Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay to Everest. For the past 47 years, Jan Morris has delighted readers with celebrated history and travel books. Now unable to voyage to the far reaches of the globe, she has produced a “thought diary” from her desk at home in Wales. Its sharp, kind, funny entries are a gift for listeners of many ages. 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.