5 Audiobooks by Golden Voice Narrator Bahni Turpin

Bahni Turpin and Johnny Heller
Bahni Turpin and Johnny Heller
Bahni Turpin (l) and Johnny Heller

I love June: not only does it bring us the first days of summer but it’s also officially Audiobook Month. This year, June is extra special because here at AudioFile, we’re celebrating the narrators whom we’ve honored as Golden Voices, a lifetime achievement award given to voice actors who have demonstrated excellence in the art of transporting stories from the printed page to headphones and car speakers for grateful listeners like me.

Today I’m happy to feature one of the newest AudioFile Golden Voices: Bahni Turpin. Bahni has narrated more than 200 audiobooks, spanning the entire range of genres from sweet children’s stories to intense thrillers to thought-provoking nonfiction. 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.

Audiobook Fan Goes Gaga for Golden Voices: Narrator January LaVoy’s Audiobook Mysteries

January LaVoy and Ellen Quint
January LaVoy and Ellen Quint
January LaVoy (l) and Ellen Quint

One of the privileges of being part of the AudioFile team is the opportunity to rub elbows on special occasions with stars of the audiobook universe. Imagine being in a New York recording studio surrounded by the people who have thrilled you with their performances again and again. That was me this week at the reception in honor of our five new Golden Voice recipients who have joined this very special class of narrators. A full cadre of Golden Voices was there to welcome their fellow narrators.

Let me focus on new Golden Voice honoree January LaVoy. You can read more about January in the latest issue of AudioFile Magazine and in her narrator profile. January has recorded more than 200 audiobooks: biographies as diverse as ELIZA HAMILTON and QUEEN BEY (about Beyoncé and Jay Z); science fiction, including VERSION CONTROL; and, of course, mysteries. January has one of those voices you would follow anywhere. As with her Golden Voices colleagues, she can make any genre come alive for the listener. That takes true talent. 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.

Sharing Our Whole Truth: Audiobooks that Explore Gender Identity

Trans Flag

Trans FlagAt lunch one day when he was four years old, my nephew asked when he would turn into a girl. After a microsecond of silence, his father replied that unless he thought that he should be a girl, he would stay a boy. “Oh,” said my nephew, clearly surprised. “But I thought everyone becomes a girl for awhile, even if you start as a boy. Are you sure?”  His father was sure. My nephew considered for moment, then through a bite of his grilled cheese sandwich, announced, “Oh well then, if it doesn’t just happen, I guess I’ll stay a boy.”

I love that a little boy could believe that the natural order of life was that everyone spends time as a girl. And I cherish his freedom to ask the question; to talk about variation and difference. What a fine thing it is to be able to be our true selves. How life-affirming to be able to embrace our sexuality, and the gender identities for ourselves that we know are right. Today’s Audio Adventures celebrate that opportunity. 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.

Mothers & Others: Recent Audiobook Biography and History

Robin’s Roundup May 10

The Moment Of Lift

With events and awards taking the limelight for the last few months, I haven’t had a chance to simply highlight some of the most interesting audiobooks we’ve recently reviewed. A classic “Robin picks a quirky group of audiobooks” roundup follows.

The Matriarch
America's Jewish Women
The Moment Of Lift

Mother’s Day approaches this weekend, so “mothers” seems like a good theme to start with. Three recent Earphones Award-winning audiobooks give us some different ways of thinking about one iconic mother, Former First Lady Barbara Bush—THE MATRIARCH—and the many Jewish mothers who are portrayed in AMERICA’S JEWISH WOMEN. My third choice in the group is Melinda Gates’s new memoir THE MOMENT OF LIFT, not just because this audiobook inspires, but also particularly because of her views on service and giving back—see the video below. That’s certainly a purpose wholly shared by Mrs. Bush as well as by 19th-century philanthropist Rebecca Gratz, who is profiled in AMERICA’S JEWISH WOMEN. 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.

Audiobooks that Celebrate Age and Aging

Partying Until the End

Climb the stairs

Climb the stairsNow that I’m no longer young, I climb every flight of stairs I can find, memorize whichever numeral strings present themselves, and recite the alphabet backwards for fun. I don’t drink the extra glass of wine or eat the third donut anymore. But here’s the thing about aging—if I did want that donut, I’d eat it guiltlessly, even if you disapproved.

As 92-year-old Jan Morris makes clear in her splendid new memoir, IN MY MIND’S EYE, despite the insult of stiffer joints and occasional lapsing memory, age has compensations, including the right to do as you wish without guilt. I totally believed narrator Jennifer M. Dixon, who dons an excellent facsimile of Morris’s pleasant British voice, and reads with an appreciation that increased my own enjoyment. Sixty-six years ago, the author accompanied Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay to Everest. For the past 47 years, Jan Morris has delighted readers with celebrated history and travel books. Now unable to voyage to the far reaches of the globe, she has produced a “thought diary” from her desk at home in Wales. Its sharp, kind, funny entries are a gift for listeners of many ages. 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.

Audio Mysteries and the Power of Houses of Worship

Ellen at Notre Dame

Ellen at Notre DameWatching the spire of Notre Dame go up in flames and finally collapse left me gasping. Like many of us who have been fortunate enough to travel to Paris, I have gazed up in awe at that beautiful cathedral. When I was a student in Paris (many years ago), I would walk around Notre Dame every morning on my way to school. On our most recent visit, I climbed the steps to the top of the towers to be face to face with the gargoyles and peer down across the rooftops of this amazing city. While feeling heartbroken over this disaster, I’ve been encouraged to see the social media response reflecting the connection that people all over the world feel to Notre Dame.

Cathedrals, synagogues, mosques, and all houses of worship are so much more than bricks and mortar. They capture beliefs, spirits, faith, hope, fears, celebrations, and grief. They can provide sanctuary and they can divide. And they also inspire. Perhaps that is why they are at the center of so many mysteries and thrillers. 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).

Audiobooks to Help You Survive Parenthood

Learning By Ear

Small Animals

Small AnimalsHow does anyone learn to be a parent? We not only can’t be told ahead of time how to do it, but we resist advice once we become parents and find out how hard it is. Many learning audiobooks say that part of the difficulty in the U.S. is a parenting culture that is too doctrinaire and unforgiving. Kim Brooks, the author of SMALL ANIMALS, describes how she was dragged into the legal system by a common parental mistake. She argues that too many parents have to defend their choices against the judgments of other parents and a growing number of institutional scrutinizers. Read more…

Tom Walken has spent most of his professional life in clinical psychology, primarily as a psychotherapist and now as a management consultant. Reviewing audio programs for more than two decades has exposed him to some great thinkers and helped him become more effective in his work. But the biggest gift has been how listening helps him grow personally, look at himself with calmer eyes, and connect with others with a kinder heart.

Poets & Audiobooks: The Interestingness of Connections

Robin’s Roundup April 12

How To Love A Country

How To Love A CountryOne of the things I like best about doing my blog posts is the places I go. For the audiobooks I write about here, I follow a wide variety of breadcrumbs and chase bits of information to amplify the story of the audiobook with details about authors or the topics. This type of research—a bit of web surfing, a rabbit hole to check out, or the discovery of an archival tidbit—is a great pleasure. Today I’m looking at Richard Blanco, Maria Popova, and Leonard Cohen.

Richard Blanco is one of our most influential poets and storytellers. While he lives in Maine, he writes about the world, including his Cuban-American heritage, and invites conversation with all Americans. He was President Obama’s inaugural poet performing his poem, “One Today.” He has published six collections of poetry. The newly released collection HOW TO LOVE A COUNTRY  is a great listening experience. Jennifer Dowell writes in our review, “With a quiet but driving intensity, Richard Blanco delivers poems that speak to our times.”  Watch Richard working in the studio recording the collection—this gives a glimpse at what the full collection offers. 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.

It’s Official — YA Rocks (In 6 Audiobooks)

Why I’m drawn to YA writing

Bahni Turpin for Audiobook of the Year
Bahni Turpin for Audiobook of the Year
Narrator Bahni Turpin

We adults who love YA titles used to be hesitant to reveal our passion, lest other adults recoil in literary-fiction-horror. But no longer. Bahni Turpin’s amazing performance of CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE, a YA fantasy by Tomi Adeyemi, took the top prize — Best Audiobook — at the 2019 Audie Awards. AudioFile had already given Turpin an Earphones Award for her riveting rendition of the fierce tale about three teenagers who must return magic to an African kingdom from which it has been stolen. Do not miss Turpin’s singing of Yoruba incantations. 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.