If you were to bring together a group of audiophiles, you would soon hear a literal cacophony of impassioned recommendations for “must listen” narrators and memorable performances. At some point, everyone would be pulling out their phones and scraps of paper to take down suggestions for future listening. Laughter and mock swoons emerge as well as the inevitable professions of audio love: “I would listen to that narrator read the dictionary!” As the lovefest dies down, talk will eventually drift to the dark side of audiobooks—that is to say, the recording missteps that cause eye rolls that take your eyebrows along with them. Chief among these is the accent-gone-wrong. You know this problem well: The character is Scottish/French/Southern/Japanese, but the accent is something, um . . . indescribably not right. And so, it is my great pleasure to present to you five romance audiobooks with notably wonderful accents. Journey around the globe with these characters who are authentically presented by narrators who have done their homework.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!
People wanting to change their lives usually go through six stages before they succeed, says personal growth blogger and podcaster Gregg Clunis in his audiobook, TINY LEAPS, BIG CHANGES. With his sincere, resonant voice and determined pacing, his reading of this stimulating audiobook gives it instant credibility—authority you recognize right away when you hear it. His thinking on this subject, intuitive and accessible, contributes to the audiobook’s power: He says people need a jolt of unpleasantness to kick-start change—a wake-up call like a betrayal by someone you trusted, a demeaning interaction with a boss, or a bad decision that has come home to roost. But for most of us, the alarm bell is not enough. The sting of bad news fades quickly because we tend to resist change and fall back into familiar routines. But once we have learned to “stay with” our unhappiness, he suggests that we spend time looking at alternative directions and focus on one, connect with it fully, and then get into a daily routine that moves us in that direction. 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.
Hello, universe, check out the spectacular listening in the Newbery and Odyssey Awards
In the midst of awards season, I’m always looking out for those that specifically celebrate audiobooks, like the Spoken Word Grammy (Carrie Fisher’s THE PRINCESS DIARIST) and The Odyssey Award (THE HATE U GIVE). Also, I love finding the audiobook companion of books that are being celebrated—the American Library Association awards announced this week offer a wealth of great listening. The Newbery Award, for example, given for the year’s “most outstanding contribution to literature,” honored HELLO, UNIVERSE by Erin Entrada Kelly. We’ve talked about and celebrated the audiobook for months—check out narrator Ramon de Ocampo in one of our Behind the Mic videos telling us how swept up he was in this book. It’s thrilling to know that it has received the great Newbery honor. You’ll be hearing more about one of the Newbery Honor titles, Jason Reynolds’s LONG WAY DOWN—we have an exciting interview with Jason about recording his audiobooks for our upcoming print issue. (Look for it April 1.)Read more…
A family listening choice about courage, fate, and friendship
AudioFile magazine goes Behind the Mic with Ramon de Ocampo to learn about his narration of HELLO, UNIVERSE by Erin Entrada Kelly. A wonderful coming of age story with keen perceptions on courage, fate, and friendship.
“I remember in the recording booth how swept up I was and pulled into this really honest and original coming of age story.”—Narrator Ramon de Ocampo