5 Favorite Series: Part 1

Outlander, In Death, All Souls, and more excellent series to love

Outlander

Hello, my name is Candace and I’m addicted to series. Especially on audio.

I’m not picky, either: mystery, science fiction, fantasy, historical fiction . . . if I sense author–narrator magic going on, I’m there. And I can’t stop listening.

I refuse rehab. You can’t get me to quit.

Outlander
Written In My Own Heart's Blood

One of my favorite audiobook series is Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander books read by the divine Davina Porter. The books take place in two time periods (20th century and 18th century) and in both the Old and New Worlds. The plot includes family saga, romance, and time travel, wrapped up in historical fiction. Listen to these books just for Porter’s perfect accents (especially Gaelic/Scottish) and her characterizations, but really listen because the story is so, so good. Start with OUTLANDER and get ready for about 365 hours of audiobook heaven, ending with WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART’S BLOOD. I understand there are at least two more books planned. Davina Porter had better clear her schedule. 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 Narrators Come to Maine

Robin’s Roundup July 27

Lobster Bake
photo by Sean Runnette

Each summer AudioFile celebrates audiobook narrators with a Maine clambake in Boothbay, Maine. Narrators come from across the country, and sometimes we even have an international guest. But it’s not just the usual suspects—each year a different and diverse group of narrators joins us. We greet old friends and make new ones!

We always have representation from AudioFile’s Golden Voices—this year Barbara Rosenblat and Robin Miles joined us. AudioFile Earphones Award winners and Audie Award winners also are well represented. And it’s a true delight just to get to put voices and faces together. 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 Questions With Tim Gerard Reynolds

A master of character voices—and a practitioner of Zen

Tim Gerard Reynolds

Tim Gerard Reynolds

This month’s Take 5 guest is a master when it comes to large casts of characters and complex stories. Tim Gerard Reynolds excels at creating multiple distinctive voices and infusing the dialogue with matching personality. What’s more, he carries those voices consistently from audiobook to audiobook when performing series.

I’m most familiar with Tim’s work on speculative fiction, but his résumé includes mysteries, literary fiction, nonfiction, children’s stories, and classics. Whatever the genre, we fans love the way Tim embodies our favorite heroes and villains, strengthening our connection to their worlds. 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.

5 Family Listening Favorites

Audiobooks for Your Summer Family Vacations and Staycations

Audiobooks for Summer Family Time

School’s out for summer, and the kids are ready for fun. Road trips or plane rides, two weeks at the beach house, or three months of staycation; whatever your plans are, they’ll all go better with a family audiobook or two.

This month’s Take 5 roundup is your family listening lifesaver. These audiobooks will make the travel go faster and will brighten up a rainy, indoor afternoon. They might even keep your young listeners happy when you send them out to weed the garden or organize the garage. We can always hope, right?

As you might imagine, it wasn’t easy to limit my recommendations to just five good stories, so I picked titles based on several criteria. First, all of the audiobooks featured here are under 4.5 hours, which means they can be listened to in a single car ride or while doing a family activity, like working on a jigsaw puzzle. 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.

Listen Loud, Listen Proud

LGBTQIA Fiction & Nonfiction for Adults

Sally Ride Lego

Sally Ride LegoHappy Pride Month! I struggled with limiting my selection to a handful of engaging, immersive, and energizing LGBTQIA audiobooks for this post. More and more stories featuring characters with a range of sexual and gender identities are being released as audiobook productions. It’s a great time for listeners, however you identify. It’s still difficult to find these books in online audiobook store catalogs, though. If you’re unfamiliar with the names of queer publishers or want to browse self-published authors with audio productions, it’s harder still. I’ve included a small sample of memoir and biography, historical fiction, and contemporary romance that were reviewed for AudioFile. Read more…

Julie Thompson
Julie Thompson is a Washington State-based librarian. When she’s not immersed in audiobooks or reviewing for her blog, she can be found cheering on the Seattle Storm basketball team, catching up on her favorite television shows, and hanging out with her family.

To Kill a Mockingbird: Beloved in Audio

Robin’s Roundup June 22: Harper Lee and Time for Conscience

Atticus Finch: The Biography

To Kill a Mockingbird
Go Set A Watchman

This week we reviewed ATTICUS FINCH, a new biography of Harper Lee’s father (and how he informed the character of Atticus Finch) by Alabama historian Joseph Crespino. It reminds me that listeners adore Lee’s classic TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD as an audiobook. If you have not listened to Sissy Spacek’s narration, summer may be the perfect time to add this audiobook to your playlist. Listening to the story can renew appreciation of the brilliant novel while also immersing you in the storytelling experience. 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 Questions With Khristine Hvam

5 Audiobooks and 5 Questions with One Skilled Narrator

Khristine Hvam

Khristine HvamPlease welcome Khristine Hvam to the Take 5 stage. When I tune in to one of Khristine’s audiobook performances, I’m always impressed with her skill at helping me forge a strong emotional bond with the characters. From fantasies to literary fiction, Khristine’s narrations immerse me in the story as I root for the heroes and boo the villains.

I’m most familiar with Khristine’s work in fantasy, but she’s won awards in historical fiction, literary fiction, romance, and more. The audiobooks I feature today reflect this range. 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.

5 Audiobooks about Summer Sports

Dive Into Summer Listens

Find A Way

Hello, Summer! I welcome your days of outdoor living. You bring me gardening, cookouts, and naps on the deck. The air is teeming with the soothing sounds of birds and bees . . . and the occasional thwack of balls.

Find A WayYes! Now’s the time to dust off those tennis balls, golf balls, baseballs, soccer balls, and bocce balls. Don’t care for cricket? Maybe it’s time to launch a canoe, a sailboat, a kayak, or a raft. Don’t have sports equipment? No problem. Head on over to the swimming pool, the swimming hole, the creek, the beach, or the bay and just jump in.

I love summer sports and look for ways to participate on a casual level, whether it’s a pick-up neighborhood baseball game or a Saturday bike ride with my husband. Despite, or maybe because of, my amateur status, I’ve always felt that sports enrich our lives, not only encouraging us to improve our physical skills but teaching us to be better winners and losers and giving us a basis to form lifelong friendships.

I’ll never be a professional athlete, but thanks to audiobooks, I can live vicariously. Today I feature five memoirs from both hobbyists and elite athletes who are devoted to a summer sport. These audiobooks may not help you improve your score, but they’ll inspire you to get in the game. 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.

They Do What!?

The Secret Lives of Four Audie Award Nominees

Lorelei King

If I said that a much lauded, respected, and beloved narrator was once put to work cleaning toilets in an Athens youth hostel, would you guess it was Lorelei King, John Lee, Davina Porter, or Scott Brick?

SpellmongerOn the eve of the Audie Awards, I thought I’d share some unexpected facts about four of this year’s nominees. Particulars that their normal bio might not reveal. So, back to the youth hostel’s toilets. What if I add that the aforementioned narrator also likes to “contemplate a historic marker in my hometown that memorializes the place where plastic was invented”? Before you do an Internet search, I’ll hint that this person previously won an Audie Award for THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO, which required over forty hours of narration, and is the voice of Philip Kerr’s iconic Bernie Gunther suspense series, of which the latest is GREEKS BEARING GIFTS.

Yes, it’s true. Golden voiced John Lee, nominated this year for SPELLMONGER, Book 1 of Terry Mancour’s fantasy series, knows the backside of a Greek youth hostel. Let’s just hope he also got to see the Parthenon. Lee also once worked the night shift at a razor-blade factory, which he says makes him feel lucky for every moment in the recording booth. 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.

Barbara Bush Loved Audiobooks

Robin’s Roundup: April 27th

Barbara Bush reads Dr. Seuss
Photo © The George Bush Presidential Library/ Chandler Arden-Specialties Photography

Former First Lady Barbara Bush loved audiobooks. When I spoke with her in 2004 about her narrating her own memoirs, REFLECTIONS and BARBARA BUSH: A Memoir, she told me that audiobooks were among her “travel essentials.” She shared what she was listening to with friends—biographies like David McCullough’s TRUMAN, Kathryn Stockett’s THE HELP—even recently Mrs. Bush always had her iPad and headphones handy and ready to play whatever audiobook she was listening to at the time, especially for car rides or when she was home needlepointing. And if she ever couldn’t decide what to listen to next, she never got tired of her classic favorite, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. Read our full interview with Mrs. Bush. 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.