5 Questions with Narrator Tavia Gilbert

5 Questions with Tavia Gilbert

5 Questions with Tavia Gilbert

Help me give a big welcome to award-winning narrator Tavia Gilbert, my guest for today’s Take 5 post. Like many of you, I’m a big fan of Tavia’s work, and I especially appreciate her characterizations and the way she can draw me into a story. I can always count on Tavia to enhance the excitement of action scenes while also finding the emotional heart of the characters, no matter the genre.

Before I introduce you to some of Tavia’s more recent solo performances, I can’t help but mention two don’t-miss multi-cast audiobooks that feature her voice. If you’re looking for something to listen to with your family, then you simply must pick the latest audio edition of CHARLOTTE’S WEB, with its all-star cast. You’ll love the way Tavia voices the barnyard geese. For some needed escapist listening, give THE BOOK CHARMER a try. In this sweet, small-town story, Tavia highlights a young woman’s blossoming from guarded loner into loving aunt and friend. 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.

Celebrating the 2020 Audie Awards

2020 Audie Awards table 17
2020 Audie Awards table 17
Celebrating the Audie Awards with Table 17!

The 2020 Audie Awards Gala last week in NYC was a glittery celebration of the APA’s annual awards given in 24 categories. Mo Rocca, “CBS Sunday Morning” correspondent, author, and host of the Mobituaries podcast, emceed the sold-out event of publishers, authors, and audiobook narrators. Emily & I were surrounded by talent at Table 17 (above). 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 to Screen: Listen Before You See These 2020 Book-Based Movies for Kids and Teens

Book-based movies for kids

Book-based movies for kids

With movies and series based on classic children’s and young adult books like Little Women, His Dark Materials, Looking for Alaska, and Green Eggs and Ham currently in theaters and on streaming services, there are plenty of book-based movies for kids and teens, but even more are coming in 2020. Everyone knows the book is always better than the movie, so I like to listen before watching to see how the movie compares with the pictures I form in my head while listening to the audiobook.  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 New Multicast Audiobooks We’re Loving

5 New Multicast Audiobooks

5 New Multicast Audiobooks

Let’s talk about audiobooks performed by more than one narrator. You may ask, what kinds of audiobooks call for multiple voice actors? The first that come to my mind are audio editions of plays, which usually require a full cast of performers. The second are novels that have been turned into audiodramas, such as E.B. White’s CHARLOTTE’S WEB.

Collections of short stories are a natural for multiple performers, and of course, fiction told from multiple viewpoints is another great choice for two or more narrators. Nonfiction can also benefit from a collaborative effort; THE ONLY PLANE IN THE SKY by Garret M. Graff is a particularly powerful example.

Today’s Take 5 celebrates some recent audiobooks that feature multiple narrators. As always, I recommend audiobooks from a variety of genres—I’m sure you’ll find at least one audiobook that fits your own listening style. 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.

2019 Best Children & Teen Audiobooks

2019 Best Children and Teen Listening

2019 Best Children and Teen Listening

Of all the audiobooks I have listened to this year (almost 100!), the ones on AudioFile’s 2019 Best Audiobooks list definitely rise to the top. In the Children’s and YA categories, there is something for every listener from age 4 through adult. They are all beautifully written, and the performances make each story a joy to listen to. To echo Elizabeth Acevedo in her interview with AudioFile, these audiobooks make me feel “like these are my homies talking to me in my ear and telling me these amazing tales.” 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.

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.

7 Audiobooks for Summer Vacation!

Summer Reading for Kids and Families

Kids Audiobooks for Summer Vacation

Kids Audiobooks for Summer VacationI have always said that the best thing about summer vacation is the unlimited time to get lost in books, and these audiobooks will help kids do just that. They are wonderful, immersive stories, perfect for family listening in the car on a long trip, a chapter a night before bed, or a rainy day with nothing to do. P.S. If your child struggles with summer reading assignments, I recommend grabbing the audiobook and listening together as a family. It’s not cheating, and your child will have the added advantage of being able to talk to you about the book. Win-win! 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.

7 Kids’ Audiobooks About Autism

Family Listens for Autism Awareness Month

A Boy Called Bat

A Boy Called BatAs the step-parent of an autistic boy, I understand firsthand the challenges—and joys—of living with someone on the autism spectrum, and I often worry that neurotypical people will not recognize his kind heart and amazing mind. These audiobooks show autism from many different perspectives and offer opportunities for families to listen together and learn about understanding and accepting the neurodiversity of all people. 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.

Julia Whelan: Actor, Writer, and Audie Award-Winning Narrator

Our Podcast Interview with the Best Female Narrator

Julia Whelan

Julia WhelanNarrator Julia Whelan brought home the 2019 Audie Awards for Best Female Narrator and Autobiography/Memoir for her narration of Tara Westover’s EDUCATED, a memoir that has spent over a year on the New York Times bestseller list. Julia’s moving acceptance speech for Best Female Narrator had the Audies audience enthralled.

In our interview with Julia, she reflects on narrating this intense memoir of Westover’s childhood spent in a traditionalist and isolationist family. She also talks about narrating another blockbuster of a very different stripe: Gillian Flynn’s GONE GIRL. Plus, Julia shares insights into the work that goes into narrating an audiobook, her transition from acting to college to audiobook narration, her love of reading, and the challenges of narrating her own book, MY OXFORD YEAR. Listen to their fascinating conversation now!

“As an actor, you always want to play the sociopath. They’re just so much fun.”—Narrator Julia Whelan

For many more audiobooks narrated by Julia Whelan, browse her extensive audiography.

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6 Stellar Story Collections for Busy Listeners

The Whole Story in Twenty Minutes or Less

A Medicine for Melancholy

A Medicine for MelancholyWhen life is going full tilt — the kids back to school, those two and a half deliverables due by the end of September, and the realization that you haven’t done a thing about your sister’s birthday, which is tomorrow — that’s when you need a great, short audiobook. Or an audiobook full of great shorts. I recommend the following 6 new story collections. They will divert, inform, and entertain you. Whether you listen while commuting or sorting the laundry at midnight, they will bring you calm and give you a sense of control, however fleeting. 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.