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
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…
Spending 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.
So 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!
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…
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.
Solve: In celebration of March’s International Women’s History Month
Bold, 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…
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).
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 Vancehas 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…
Wondering what we’re listening to lately? It’s a mystery.
A lot of us here at AudioFile happen to be mystery fans, so for our inaugural staff picks post, of course we had to share the thrillers that have been keeping us glued to our earbuds. We’ll be sharing more staff picks in a variety of genres in the coming months. But please do tell us—which mystery audiobooks are keeping you up listening late into the night?
This weekend I treated myself to listening to David Rintoul narrate MUNICH by Robert Harris. David has been one of my favorite British narrators over many years, though we have not heard as many of his performances in the U.S. in recent years. David simply immerses you in the story. He becomes every character like a shapeshifter—as a listener, you hardly know he’s there; it’s just the story, alive. The history surrounding the 1938 Munich Agreement is fascinating and makes an interesting companion to the recent film The Darkest Hour. — Robin Whitten, Founder & EditorRead more…
Captivating and compelling listening all around — but who will win?
As fans of mystery audiobooks, we’re looking forward to this year’s Audie Awards and are excited to share the nominees for the Mystery and Thriller/Suspense categories. If you missed any of these audiobooks, there are a still couple of months for you to listen and root for your favorites before the winners are announced on May 31. Do you think Louise Penny and Robert Bathurst will take home an Audie this year? They were nominated for A GREAT RECKONING last year, but didn’t take home the prize. What about Harlan Coben and Steven Weber, nominated for HOME? Will the winner also have an AudioFile Earphones Award, like MAGPIE MURDERS or THE CHEMIST? Listen to clips of all the nominees in the 2018 Mystery and Thriller/Suspense categories and place your bets, theoretical or otherwise. Read more…
My Roundup this week was going to center on children’s audiobooks to bring some welcome counterpoint to the weather and news of the last few weeks. Instead, I share the sad news of the death of brilliant narrator Katherine Kellgren. Her wonderful performances are known and loved by listeners. Her work was celebrated with every audiobook award—Golden Voice, Earphones, Audie Awards, Odyssey, Voice of Choice, and more. Her kindness and indomitable spirit were loved and cherished by her colleagues and friends. We will miss her greatly. However, Katy leaves us with the enduring treasure of her audiobooks.