In Conversation with Golden Voice Narrator Julia Whelan

Robin’s Roundup June 12

All About Julia Whelan Golden Voice Narrator

All About Julia Whelan Golden Voice Narrator

Newly honored Golden Voice narrator Julia Whelan is known to listeners of all ages for her performances in a broad range of subjects. For listeners of young adult audiobooks, Julia is a favorite for GIRL IN PIECES by Kathleen Glasgow, I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN by Jandy Nelson, and PLUS ONE  by Elizabeth Fama. Lovers of fantasy might know her for Nora Roberts’s Chronicle of One trilogy, or Laurie Forest’s The Black Witch Chronicles. Julia also stands out for her recordings of literary fiction like FLIGHTS by Olga Tokarczuk and MY YEAR OF REST AND RELAXATION by Ottessa Moshfegh. And let’s pile on the wonderful romance titles Julia has brought to listeners—more Nora Roberts, and BEACH READ by Emily Henry. My personal favorite in recent months is Julia’s wonderful performance of THE GIVER OF STARS by Jojo Moyes. 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.

Meet Our New Golden Voice Narrators

Robin’s Roundup June 5

AudioFile's 2020 Golden Voices

AudioFile's 2020 Golden Voices

We are delighted to kick off June as Audiobook Month by honoring five new Golden Voice narrators—JD JacksonJulia WhelanArthur MoreyEmily Woo Zeller, and Ramón de Ocampo. Golden Voice is the highest accolade AudioFile gives to narrators. The award celebrates an artist’s iconic role in the field of narration and honors those who have made significant contributions to the audiobook art form.

On AudioFile’s podcast, blog, and social media, we are celebrating the new Golden Voice narrators . . . . as well as many of your other Golden Voice favorites, including Scott Brick, Jim Dale, Dion Graham, George Guidall, Bahni Turpin, January LaVoy—you can see them all here. Listen or read the interviews in these features, but really the award is all about their performances! We have put together suggestions for essential listening for each of the 2020 Golden Voices. 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 Romances with Unexpected Revelations

5 Romances with Unexpected Revelations

5 Romances with Unexpected Revelations

Rewind to February 1. What did you think you’d be doing right now? Going on a vacation or attending a crowded conference? Having dinner with family and friends with more than five people in one house? Blowing out candles on a cake that people would then dare to eat without spraying it with Lysol first? Attending pub trivia on a busy weeknight shoulder to shoulder with everyone else? Turns out, life had other plans for us. The unexpected revelations of life can be upsetting, or, if we look for the silver lining, they can be fodder for excellent audiobooks! So let’s dive into romances where the characters are forced to face those curveballs, in the hopes that humor and a happily-ever-after can turn difficult situations into opportunities . . . or at the very least, a good listen. 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!

What Is This Thing Called Love? 5 Audiobooks about Relationships

What Is This Thing Called Love

What Is This Thing Called Love

When I was single, I squirmed every time I was encouraged to bring a “friend,” aka romantic partner, to social gatherings. Arriving alone often resulted in excesses of sympathy. It was as if single meant incomplete. So as we approach the veneration of a martyred 3rd century Roman priest probably named Valentinus, I’m starting my February post with HAPPY SINGLEHOOD by Elyakim Kislev. Adam Lofbomm reads the research-based celebration of single living in clear, upbeat tones that resound with enthusiasm as he shares enlightening data and engaging interviews with people living their happy — happy!  — single lives. 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 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.

Audiobook Casting: Beyond the Single Voice

Robin’s Roundup October 25

Audiobook Casting Puss in Boots
Audiobook Casting Puss in Boots
PUSS IN BOOTS cast in action!

Audiobook publishers have been trying out new ideas in casting voices for several years. Some recent new releases showcase the creative ways producers are taking audiobooks beyond the single voice. A new full-cast production that pulls out all the stops—and in addition, wows listeners with original music and songs—is PUSS IN BOOTS. It’s headlined by none other that the marvelous Jim Dale, with nearly a dozen other narrators making the most of the reimagined, fractured fairy tale. PUSS has the same creative team as SPIN: The Rumpelstiltskin Musical, which was a 2019 Audie Finalist. 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.

Go Back to School with YA Mystery Series Audiobooks

Oxford University

Oxford University

The air has that delicious crisp feel that speaks of September, and the shorter days and back-to-school vibe give me an excuse to focus on Young Adult mysteries. The listening opportunities are so rich with the genre offering many series to binge on. 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).

Thoroughly Satisfying Summer Listening

6 Audiobooks for Long Weekends and Beyond

Summer Listening

Summer Listening

Memorial Day signals the start of the summer season—gardening, picnics, barbecue grills, swatting mosquitoes, splashing in the pool, fireworks, beaches, bike rides, sunburns, baseball, mowing the lawn. And, ahh—sipping lemonade while lying in a hammock listening to an audiobook. Today’s Audio Adventures celebrate summer listening experiences to sink into with your ears. 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.

6 Tips for Listening to Audiobooks with Kids

Audiobook Listening for Kids

Audiobook Listening for KidsReading with our ears can have educational benefits at all ages, but my favorite benefit of listening to audiobooks with kids is the priceless connection of experiencing a good story together. If your family has never listened to an audiobook, getting started can feel daunting, so here are some tips to get you up and running. 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.

On the Town in Spring: These Audiobooks will Make You a City Lover

Listen and travel from New York to San Francisco to Rome and Beyond

Here Is New York

Here Is New YorkSpringtime in the city.  Blue skies, warming temperatures, birds singing. I walk out without a hat, breathe deep, and inhale the pungent scent of aged dog poop revealed by melting snow. Urban life is full of surprises. Yet I love cities in spring, and, for that matter, in summer, fall, and winter. Herewith are a few of my favorite listens in which the city is a character.

E.B. White’s classic, HERE IS NEW YORK, may have been written about the great metropolis of the 1920s, ’30s, and ’40s, but it remains a timeless, perfect love letter to an imperfect urban mistress. The audiobook begins with a cogent 1999 introduction written by White’s stepson, editor and writer Roger Angell, which brings the family reminiscences into a contemporary era. Narrator Malcolm Hillgartner reads the introduction and the all-too-brief stroll around the city in an endlessly listenable baritone that manages to be simultaneously rugged and refined.   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.