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.

Warm up with Romantic Comedies

New favorites from narrators we love

Warm Up ListensThese days, if you live in the East (or Midwest or Mid-Atlantic or Northwest), you can’t look at a short-sleeved shirt without a faint feeling of nausea. We escaped the last snowstorm when cold air sat on top of us and pushed the snow out to sea but we’re due to get a couple more and they say, the polar vortex is breaking up through the end of February. (Translation: Snow. Lots of snow.) In my personal opinion, one of the things that makes bitter cold more bearable is connecting with friends and having a great time. You know that friend who always erases your bad mood and makes you laugh out loud? You get their call, email, or text, and suddenly you’re smiling? Well, welcome to the audiobook version of that with these humorous rom-coms! Insta-friendship coming right up with these fun, flirty titles. 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!

The Thrill of Knowing Stuff (in Five Audiobooks)

Inspiration! Enlightenment! Entertainment!

Brief Answers to the Big Questions

Brief Answers to the Big QuestionsThis time of year, I want to be inspired and enlightened about things that matter while also being entertained. I seek hope about the future, even if that hope is tethered to a “what must happen to save the world” to-do list. Yes, watching the Great British Baking Show and listening again to Henning Mankell’s AN EVENT IN AUTUMN (read by the marvelous Simon Vance) have been satisfying diversions. But now I’m looking for empowerment, energy, and the happiness that comes from knowing stuff.

You too? Well, here are five audiobooks to get us started, beginning with Stephen Hawking’s BRIEF ANSWERS TO THE BIG QUESTIONS. Hawking’s “parting gift to humanity,” according to NPR, this short audiobook offers an eloquent and moving consideration of all that science has given us and the challenges left to face. Ben Whishaw’s gentle clear voice stands in eloquently for Hawking, making the science easy to understand and the human lessons significant. This will be one to play more than once and treasure forever. 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.

5 Surprising Audiobooks to Make You Smile

Discover delightful end-of-the-year listens

Snowman Smile

Snowman SmileAs we count down the remaining days of December, I wish all of you a new year filled with unexpected moments of delight—the smile of a passing stranger; a tune that sends you shuffle-dancing down the supermarket aisle; learning that your favorite barista loves the same François Truffaut films you do; discovering the most amazing book at the library.

Take Susan Orlean’s THE LIBRARY BOOK, which I loved so much that I listened to it and then checked it out of the library and read it all over again. Ever since I was empowered by my own borrower’s card at age seven, libraries have been a source of intrigue, joy, solace, drama, and education. Orlean’s captivating nonfiction audiobook offers all that and more. Read by Orlean herself in an Earphones Award-winning performance, it is an investigation into who set the devastating 1986 Los Angeles Library fire, a look at the library’s occasionally wacky history, and a celebration of libraries (and library patrons) all their excess and weirdness. It’s not that I recognized myself in any of those oddball patrons. Oh no. 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.

How Long Do the Best Audiobooks Last?

Robin’s Roundup December 14

Robin at Podcast Studio
Robin Whitten
Robin at the HarperAudio studios last week recording an episode of Harper Presents.

One of the criteria we think about when picking the Best Audiobooks of the Year is to choose titles that we can continue to recommend as great listening year after year. I can look back to our Best of 2013 and see the first Cormoran Strike title by Robert Galbraith, THE CUCKOO’S CALLING—the fourth, LETHAL WHITE, is on this year’s list. Graham Greene’s THE END OF THE AFFAIR, read by Colin Firth, won nearly every audiobook award, and can still be recommended without reservation. Billy Crystal’s STILL FOOLIN’ ‘EM is a terrific author memoir, old or new. We hope the 50 titles in this year’s list enjoy the same longevity! 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.

Best Romance Audiobooks of 2018

Plus a Bonus Narrator Video with Saskia Maarleveld

2018 Best Romance Audiobooks

2018 Best Romance AudiobooksAudioFile is excited to share the Best Romance Audiobooks of 2018! Explore the list below, and watch our video with Saskia Maarleveld video on narrating IT HAPPENED IN THE HIGHLANDS, which will make you even more excited to dive into this mysterious historical romance. Narrator Brittany Pressley also joined us for an interview on AudioFile’s Behind the Mic podcast — she earned a spot on the list for her narration of THE SOMETIMES SISTERS by Carolyn Brown. Listen to the episodes below for insights into why we chose these to be the best of the year.

Read more…

We're the editorial team at AudioFile Magazine!

5 Best Young Adult Audiobooks 2018

2018 Best Young Adult Audiobooks

2018 Best Young Adult AudiobooksWelcome to December and the winter holiday season. One of my favorite things about the end of the year is reading all the best-of lists, especially those that focus on audiobooks. I love adding to my wish list and discovering great books I might have missed.

Get ready to find your next outstanding listen: Today’s Take 5 post is all about AudioFile’s Best Young Adult audiobooks for 2018. All the titles that made our list deserve the spotlight not only for their great stories but also for the fantastic narrators whose performances made the audiobooks unforgettable.

Here, I give you a hint of what each audiobook is all about, but don’t forget to click through to our full reviews. To see all the winners in all the categories, check out AudioFile’s 2018 Best Audiobooks E-Zine.

Now for this year’s best audiobooks for young adults: 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 Mystery Audiobooks of 2018

6 Must-Listen Titles for Mystery Lovers

Best Mystery Audiobooks 2018Congratulations to the authors and narrators of the 2018 Best Audiobooks in the Mystery category. The competition is tough—AudioFile’s editors start with 2000 audiobooks in 9 categories that eventually get sorted down to 50 honorees (including the 6 in the Mystery category listed below).

What do all of these audiobooks have in common—what makes them rise to the top? They are all masterfully written by talented authors and read for us by narrators who manage to convincingly convey multiple characters while leaving room for our imaginations. Robin Whitten puts it so beautifully in the podcast about the Best Mystery Audiobooks, saying that the best narrators disappear into the story, becoming the voice that provides all the details while also inhabiting all of the characters. 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).

Michael Crouch on OLIVER LOVING

AudioFile’s Best Fiction Audiobooks of 2018

Michael Crouch by Dennis J Photography
Michael Crouch by Dennis J Photography
Michael Crouch by Dennis J Photography

Michael Crouch’s narration earned him a spot on AudioFile’s 2018 Best Fiction Audiobooks list. OLIVER LOVING is a brilliant, propulsive novel about a life-changing moment in a family, the traumas and secrets that test us, and the stories that hold us together. Listen to our interview below to get a special peek inside the work that went into recording this moving audiobook.

“One of my most important jobs is to tap into the emotional energy of the text. With this book, it’s just there, and it didn’t take much effort to tap into that.” —Narrator Michael Crouch

Read more…

We're the editorial team at AudioFile Magazine!

Fun with Podcasting—with 2018 Best Audiobooks Episodes

Robin’s Roundup November 30

Robin at the mic

After 26 years of reviewing audiobooks, who knew that recommending audiobooks in a podcast would be so much fun! When we started Behind the Mic in September, we had so much to learn—and still do. And as we begin start to settle in, I’m finding it so rewarding to “book talk” our recommendations.

In revealing the 50 Best Audiobooks of 2018 this week, we changed up the format of the Behind the Mic podcasts a bit. Michele Cobb, AudioFile’s publisher, and I are doing episodes on each subject group in the Best 2018, and we’re also chatting with some of the narrators honored for these 2018 accolades. I could keep on writing about them, but really, just click below and listen! 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.