SYNC Audiobooks for Teens Celebrates its 10th Season

Robin’s Roundup April 26

SYNC Audiobooks for Teens

SYNC Free Audiobooks for Teens

We opened SYNC: Audiobooks for Teens’s 10th season this week! The lineup of teen titles this year seems like the best ever, including everything from Shakespeare’s OTHELLO to BECOMING KAREEM by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The diversity of titles clearly reflects the interests of teen listeners. This is confirmed by our many colleagues in the school media and library fields who help promote the program and get the word out to their teens. 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.

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.

Everybody’s Talkin’ in These Full-Cast Productions

6 Engaging Full-Cast Audiobooks

Carmalita
Carmalita
Aurelia’s mother on stage

When I say that I come from a family of spoken word enthusiasts, it’s not just that we talk a lot. It’s that when I was born, my mother was a theater actress and my father a lighting designer. And, as I’ve mentioned before, my father was raised in a traveling marionette theater. So, declaiming in full sentences and the general trying-on of plot lines and personalities were big in our house. That’s why I’m delighted that AudioFile’s 2019 Listening Challenge includes Listen to an audiobook performed by a full cast. But why stop at one? Here are some of my favorites, most of them Earphones Award winners, starting with a trip around the galaxy with Arthur Dent. 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.

8 Wintry Kids’ Listens

Stay warm with cozy listening!

Snowy mittens

Snowy mittens

Where I live in New Jersey, kids go to sleep on winter nights hoping to wake up to a SNOW DAY— a snowy world of no school. Whether you love the snow, hate it, or live in a climate that never sees it, I have picked a bunch of cozy winter listens for your kids to snuggle down with this month and embrace the joys of winter.

Bear Snores On

BEAR SNORES ON
by Karma Wilson, read by Karma Wilson
Weston Woods Studios, Ages 4-6
 

As Bear hibernates through the winter, Mouse and an ever increasing group of friends take advantage of the comforts in Bear’s cave by cooking a feast under his sleeping nose. This reading by the author allows young listeners to appreciate the rhyme and beat of the story, and to soak in the humor of the midwinter merriment. 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.

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.

5 Audiobooks to Satisfy the Crazy Rich Asians Fix

We’ve got you covered

Crazy Rich Asians

Crazy Rich AsiansSo you fell in love with the lavish, over-the-top Cinderella story set in Singapore—portrayed in the popular movie Crazy Rich Asians and in the audiobooks of the series

If you’re looking to recreate some part of the joyful film experience, we’ve picked some superb audiobooks that just might fit the bill. They’re loosely categorized by thematic similarity so that you can easily find the perfect audiobook to suit your mood. 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!

Yin and Yang: The End of Summer

Robin’s Roundup August 31

Don't Make Me Pull Over

Don't Make Me Pull Over
The Art of the Wasted Day

At this end of summer,  I’m of two minds—thinking I should have done more, and wishing I had done less. Two audiobooks seem to capture the yin yang of this idea. For a look at the travels that might have happened, Richard Ratay’s DON’T MAKE ME PULL OVER: Informal History of the Family Road Trip is a fun place to start. Jonathan Todd Ross gives me a good companion for the next road trip. For the flip side, author/narrator Patricia Hampl’s THE ART OF THE WASTED DAY reminds me that daydreaming and solitude probably did make my summer better.  Leave a comment about the yin yang of your summer. 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.

Let’s Flip Jane on Her Head

Six Austen-Inspired Audiobooks and One Perfume

Jane Austen photograph

See the yellowed pages in my copy of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE?  That’s to prove that I am a true Janeite.

Bona fides established, let me tell you about the literary mashup PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES, by Seth Grahame-Smith, in which the basic P&P plot line and tone are intercut with zombies roaming the 19th-century English countryside. Yes, Jane and zombies are ridiculous, but I listened during one of those complicated family summers, and its occasionally gruesome silliness was a magic diversion.  Author Steve Hockensmith has written two subsequent mashups of the mashup, which are also crazy funny: PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES: DAWN OF THE DREADFULS and PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES: DREADFULLY EVER AFTER. Most importantly for us, all three were narrated by the amazing Katy Kellgren, who won an Earphones Award for the second volume.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Longbourn
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 voices of women crime solvers of the past

Solve: In celebration of March’s International Women’s History Month

To Die But Once

To Die But OnceBold, brave, fierce women—amateur sleuths, trained medical professionals, photographers, and spies are the heroines in the historical mysteries that come to mind in celebration of International Women’s History Month (March).  Well-researched, well-written, and well-narrated, these audiobooks provide listeners with an illuminating and inspiring view into the challenges facing women in recent history.

The first and second world wars seem particularly rich as the inspiration for women mystery authors writing lead women characters.  Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs series takes us on a journey from 1913 through the latest entry, TO DIE BUT ONCE, taking place in the beginning of WWII. While Maisie Dobbs, a private investigator and psychologist, unravels serious crimes, she also provides insights into the emotions of ordinary people trying to get on with their lives under the shadow of war. Earphones Award winner Orlagh Cassidy has become the voice of Maisie Dobbs and the associates who surround her. 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).

5 New Scandi-Crime Audiobooks

Robin’s Roundup: March 16 New Audiobook Reviews

The Girl Who Takes An Eye For An Eye

We are still in the chill of winter here in Maine, so these new Scandinavian suspense titles seem right in line. Audiobooks are the perfect medium for Scandi-crime for several reasons, but having the narrators do the heavy lifting with the impenetrable names is a top one for me. Even the authors I’m about to mention— Indriðason, Sigurðardóttir, Sjöwall & Wahlöö—slow me down, and we haven’t even gotten to the characters’ names yet! Simon Vance has been showered with awards for his narrations of The Millennium Trilogy, and now the continuing Lisbeth Salander saga with THE GIRL WHO TAKES AN EYE FOR AN EYE. Simon completely removes any barrier to staying within the story with his smooth delivery of every Scandinavian name. 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.