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.

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.

8 Audiobooks about Inspiring Lives of Service

Robin’s Roundup November 8

Audiobooks About Service

Audiobooks About Service

Each month, AudioFile editors Jennifer Dowell, Emily Connelly, Francisca Goldsmith, and I decide on topics which we can explore with both new titles and older audiobooks mined from our AudioFile archives. We feature them on our social media and in articles here on the blog. We try to find a twist on holiday themes—which we can all agree get a little repetitive—and look at whether there’s any fun to be had with holidays like Pi/Pie Day. One that we chose this month is “service” as we think about veterans and humanitarians alike, like Chef José Andrés (above) and his service to Puerto Rico, which he recounts in WE FED AN ISLAND. 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 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.

Aurelia’s Audio Adventures: A Shout-out to Sonnets

Listening to Poetry Just Makes Life Better

The Great Poets: Walt Whitman“Focus on something. It’ll steady your nerves,” my mother advised. That’s why I stared fixedly at Mr. Potter the Latin teacher throughout my 6th grade recitation of “Oh Captain, My Captain” by Walt Whitman. Mr. Potter smiled benignly. And when my nerves settled, the words rose, heated, as they had not when I’d practiced, surprising me into passion. In the years since, I’ve found that whether in the midst of joy or sorrow, wistfulness or contentment, poetry speaks intimately to the heart and mind. It also demands to be spoken.

White men who died long ago wrote most of the poetry I learned in school. I still turn to it because the guys, including Whitman, really could write. Naxos AudioBooks’ Great Poets series has a fine collection, including Garrick Hagon’s Earphones Award performance of Whitman’s best known poems in THE GREAT POETS: WALT WHITMAN. 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.

Aurelia’s Audio Adventures: The Stars are Out Tonight

Great actors who can also deliver great audiobook performances

The Testament of Mary

Asked to read a telephone book, Meryl Streep could find subtext even in the X’s. Hand her a novel and she’s la crème de la crème. That cannot be said about most celebrities who’ve narrated audiobooks. Unfortunately, mega stardom doesn’t guarantee a mega audiobook performance. So let’s celebrate three stage and screen superstars who also are able to deliver splendid listening.

The Testament of Mary

Streep can do serious, as evidenced by her performance of Colm Tóibín’s THE TESTAMENT OF MARY — a blazing commentary by the mother of Jesus on her son’s fate. She channels Mary, making the audiobook one for every faith or none. It’s a performance of a lifetime that I’ve pressed on many who weren’t sure and who came away convinced. Streep can also do funny, and her comedic timing is beautifully displayed in Nora Ephron’s fictionalized memoir, HEARTBURN. Both performances won Earphones Awards. Then there are her characterizations, vividly apparent in several narrations for children. For the kids in your life, or just for yourself, listen and savor THE VELVETEEN RABBIT, or three stories in an audio collection called RABBIT EARS STORIES BY BEATRIX POTTER. Rarely has Peter Rabbit sounded so inveterately tempted by Mr. MacGregor’s garden. 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.

Aurelia’s Audio Adventures: Humor Is the Best Medicine

When the going gets tough, get laughing with some well-chosen audiobooks

A Spot Of Bother

The summer before my mother died, I repainted our front porch. Neither she nor I wanted me in constant attendance. So, in between visits to her bedside, I scraped, painted, and laughed hysterically to Mark Haddon’s A SPOT OF BOTHER, given an Earphones Award-winning performance by Simon Vance. This startled passersby, but given the chance to blend my weeping with tears of laughter, I didn’t care about the spectacle I was making. The audiobook is nominally about an estranged English family arranging for a wedding. For Haddon, whose THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME found humor and profundity in a character’s coping with Asperger’s Syndrome, a family wedding (like a family death) gives rise to just about every behavior, some of it bizarre, much of it transcendent. And in my hour of need, it was transformative.

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.