5 Questions with Simon Vance

Plus 5 Audiobooks from a King of Audiobooks

Simon Vance

Simon VanceIs there genre or style today’s Take 5 narrator can’t handle? If there is, I haven’t discovered it. Veteran narrator Simon Vance is one of the kings of audiobook performers and a favorite of thousands of listeners (me included).

Simon’s voice has been my companion for many hours over the years, helping me navigate fantasy worlds as well as the very real past and contemporary culture. I’m sure you agree: If you see his name is on an audiobook cover, you know the performance will be fabulous. 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.

Cozying up with a Cozy

Chilly Weather is Perfect for Cozy Mysteries

Wintery Listens

Wintery ListensBaby, it’s cold outside (for some of us). Time to cozy up with some cozies. The definition of “cozy”( or in the UK, “cosy”) seems to be very elastic. Agatha Christie, with her Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot series, is often cited as the originator of this mystery sub-genre. Listeners might enjoy the 2017 Audible Original full-cast recording of MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS. For those who have taken on the #ListeningChallenge2019, this would be a perfect way to breeze through Challenge #1: Listen to an audiobook performed by a full cast. 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).

Five Questions with Cassandra Campbell

From World Travel to Zsa Zsa Gabor, the Life of a Narrator

Cassandra Campbell

Cassandra CampbellI would recognize the voice of today’s Take 5 guest anywhere, because Cassandra Campbell has been my virtual companion many, many times over the years. Have you ever noticed how some narrators are tapped for all the audiobooks you love to listen to? Cassandra and I seem to have that kind of relationship.

I count on Cassandra’s calm, soothing voice to envelop the emotional heart of an audiobook, connecting me to the story no matter the intended audience or genre, including middle-grade fantasy (THE GLASS SENTENCE) and literary short stories (YOU KNOW WHEN THE MEN ARE GONE).

The audiobooks I feature here demonstrate the range of Cassandra’s solo work. I tried to limit my choices to books published this year, but I couldn’t resist sneaking in a couple of older titles. 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.

10 Road Trip Audiobooks the Whole Family Will Enjoy

Pack Up Audiobooks for Your Long Rides

10 Road Trip Audiobooks

10 Road Trip Audiobooks

If a road trip is in your Thanksgiving plans, pack some audiobooks to keep everyone entertained in the car. Choosing from a mix of classic favorites and new titles, I picked these because they are extra-special on audio and have wide appeal for kids and adults. My favorite thing about listening to audiobooks with kids in the car is the priceless connection that can come from experiencing a good story together. I hope that listening to one or more of these audiobooks will become a treasured memory from your Thanksgiving trip. Safe travels and happy listening! 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.

A Season to be Thankful—And Yes, That Includes Audiobooks

Which Audiobooks Are You Thankful For?

Wrecked

The Punishment She DeservesI know I’m dating myself, but I got hooked on audiobooks when I put cassette tapes into my “Walkman” and had to turn them over after 30 minutes to listen to the other side. I am a grateful witness to the evolution of audiobooks in the digital age that allows me to listen to Elizabeth George’s THE PUNISHMENT SHE DESERVES—and just to have narrator Simon Vance’s voice in my head for 22.75 hours—without having to pause to switch over a single cassette. 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).

Staying Healthy in Our Time

Have You Gotten Your Flu Shot Yet?

Influenza Pandemic Mortality in 1918 1919

Influenza Pandemic Mortality in 1918 1919Did you know that the flu pandemic of a century ago killed more worldwide than World War I did? At a time when Americans are being urged to get annual flu shots and are making decisions about health insurance enrollment, audiobooks can help us learn about the history of the flu—and help us to better appreciate those working to forestall another pandemic.

Read more…

Francisca Goldsmith
Francisca Goldsmith has worked with teens, collections, and administering branch services in public, school, and academic libraries in the U.S. and Canada. Connecting communities to information and supporting new Americans in learning both language and culture are her passions. To those ends, she’s worked with audiobooks and listeners for the past 20 years.

4 Comfort Audiobooks That Make Everything Better

Have Cold, Will Listen

The Perfect Lover

The Perfect LoverI’ve been under the weather with a very bad cold, and there hasn’t been much that’s made me happy, with the exception of Simon Prebble’s narration of THE PERFECT LOVER by Stephanie Laurens. Whenever the misery gets especially miserable, I hit play and sink into his all-encompassing storytelling. THE PERFECT LOVER is one of Laurens’s early “Cynster” novels, recently recorded by Prebble, and it makes ideal comfort listening. The main character, Simon (okay, yes, two Simons), arrives at a Regency house party and is immediately intrigued by a longtime acquaintance, Portia. Prebble’s aloof yet dominant voice for Cynster embodies aristocratic arrogance without a smidge of overacting. (Important aside — I would really like that voice for the emergency alert system on the radio . . . and my GPS . . . and my voicemail.) 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!

Halloween Staff Picks

Audiobooks to Send Shivers Up Your Spine

Halloween Audiobooks

Halloween Audiobooks

Happy Halloween! In honor of this holiday that’s all about candy and scaring each other with creepy stories, we’re sharing frightening audiobooks to get you in the Halloween mood. Listen as you get your house ready for the trick-or-treaters knocking on your door, or enjoy in your easy chair with a nice cup of hot cider after indulging in all of that candy yourself. Read more…

We're the editorial team at AudioFile Magazine!

Bestsellers From Libro.fm Audiobooks

Robin’s Roundup October 26

Lethal White

Libro.fm
How can audiobook listeners help nurture independent bookstores? The next time you visit your favorite indie bookstore, look to see if they are Libro.fm Audiobooks partners. You can do this by asking the bookseller while browsing in the store, or just check out Libro.fm’s website to find a Libro.fm partner near you at Libro.fm/indies. AudioFile wants more listeners to know about the program because getting your downloadable audiobooks from Libro.fm supports your local bookstore.

Here’s the AudioFile spin on Libro.fm Bestsellers, including titles we’re talking about on AudioFile’s new podcast, Behind the Mic with AudioFile Magazine. 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.

Getting into the Spirit of the Halloween Spirits

Horror and Thriller Audiobooks for the Creepiest Season

The Outsider

Yes! Halloween, my favorite holiday. It’s autumn, and the leaves are showing off their inner beauty before the winter turns everything brown, white, and gray. There are the decorations and the costumes. Best of all, there’s the candy. (Oops, did I say that out loud?)

The OutsiderBut let’s face it—this is a holiday filled with horror. Audiobooks are particularly well suited to this genre—the tension, the anxiety, the fear when well narrated make for a totally gripping listen. Plus, you can always fast forward past the really scary parts. For those inclined, there is no better purveyor of horror than the master, Stephen King. For a frequent flyer like myself, I find even the review of FLIGHT OR FRIGHT too scary. This audiobook is a collection of 17 short stories of air travel horror written and read by King and others. Personally, I find just getting through security and all the challenges of flying today horrible enough. King, in addition, has given thrill seekers THE OUTSIDER, read by Earphones Award winner Will Patton. This book begins as a police procedural before it creeps into the seriously creepy. 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).