Narrator Jason Culp on John Updike’s In The Beauty of the Lilies

Jason Culp video

In this video, narrator Jason Culp tells AudioFile listeners about IN THE BEAUTY OF THE LILIES, Updike’s novel in which Clarence Wilmot, a thoughtful clergyman in 1910 Paterson, New Jersey, loses his faith but finds solace in movies.

“Being a Hollywood kid myself, I really connected with this book, especially in the ways in which it illustrates how a particular family’s wounds and issues are unconsciously handed down.” — Narrator Jason Culp

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New Audiobooks for Listening Now

Robin’s Roundup May 1

Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois

Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois

While we are hunkered down—staying home, trying to get work done, helping kids have productive learning days, and staying healthy—some days seem interminable and others somehow busier than usual. Many of us have more listening time, though some without a commute to work may be finding themselves with less. Some of us have discovered how nice it is to just listen to a story at home at the end of a day. AudioFile reviewers are busier than ever, and new reviews are streaming out. Earlier this week, I was a guest on the program Reset on Chicago public radio station WBEZ. I prepared a list of recommended titles and thought I’d share some of the highlights here. 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.

Self-Learning the Audiobook Way

Self-learning the audiobook way

Self-learning the audiobook way

In a social-distancing world, students from kindergarten to college are trying their hand at homeschooling and self-learning to finish out the school year. Thus for today’s Take 5 roundup, I recommend nonfiction audiobooks that can be used as a basis for home study, particularly for listeners from young teens on up.

All of the following audiobooks can be used as a foundation for building a study unit or for starting a conversation with your students about the topic at hand. 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.

Comfort Listening: 6 Romance Audiobooks That Will Take You Away

Comfort Listening

Comfort Listening

Emotions are a funny thing. I bet over the past month, you’ve ridden a roller-coaster of them. I’ve had some high points—thinking about my grandparents and aunts and uncles who crushed cans and gave up driving during World War II as part of their civic duty and feeling proud to do mine by avoiding crowds—and a few low points as well. The day we closed up our library building to visitors, my Spanish app coincidentally was teaching me how to say, “I think I have a high fever and a headache,” which was more irony than I was capable of dealing with that day.

Last week, I became so mentally depleted that I needed a more definitive cure, which turned out to be the movie She’s the Man, starring Amanda Bynes at the height of her comedic powers and a younger Channing Tatum. It was a perfect escape movie, and it put me into a calmer frame of mind for a good three days. Here on the blog, I wanted to provide you with the audio equivalent—romances on the lighter side with stellar narrators and really catchy stories that will keep your attention focused. Plus (spoiler alert!), romance pretty much guarantees you a happy ending, which we all need right now. Love your listening, love your friends and neighbors from afar, love your pets for keeping you sane! 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!

Historical Crime Audiobooks Featuring Strong Women Protagonists

Historical Crime Audiobooks

Historical Crime Audiobooks

Corona Craziness surrounds us. I can’t minimize the anxiety it’s raising for our health, our economy, our wonderful way of life. But if you are in need of, or open to, a bit of distraction as you are social distancing or self-isolating, you might consider some of these fine audiobooks. In celebration of March as Women’s History Month (as opposed to when our worlds turned upside down month), I offer you several audiobooks that are the latest additions to wonderful historical crime series featuring strong women protagonists. 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).

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.

In Conversation with Jason Reynolds, National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature

Jason Reynolds Interview

Jason Reynolds Interview

AudioFile’s Josephine Reed spoke with author and National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Jason Reynolds about STAMPED, a remix of Ibram X. Kendi’s STAMPED FROM THE BEGINNING for young people which Reynolds also narrates. Highly recommended as a work for young readers, the audiobook is accessible to anyone interested in learning about how racism and antiracism developed in America. In all of his work, Reynolds is known for writing and speaking directly to young listeners, meeting them where they are, and helping young Black readers see themselves reflected in books they are excited to read. 

In this bonus episode of the Behind the Mic podcast, Reynolds speaks about the importance of writing for younger readers and how he came to work on STAMPED. Hear the full conversation below.

“What we were trying to do is ensure that the conversation around antiracism permeates every single sector of our country, not just scholars and academics and people who are thinking about race, but our children.“—Author Jason Reynolds

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Here’s to You, Girlfriend: 5 Audiobooks for Women’s History Month

Here's to You, Girlfriend

Here's to You, Girlfriend

Women make history in large and small ways every month of every year, including Women’s History Month in March. The third month of the year is also when I celebrate the memory of my mother. Dramatic, kind, brave, with a flair for rule-breaking and attentive listening, she was always proud of being accepted as a white woman at a Black Panther rally where she got to shake hands with Angela Davis. In that spirit, here’s to all the cool women in your life, the ones who look like you and the ones who don’t. 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.

4 Audiobooks That Make a Love Connection

4 audiobooks that make a love connection

4 audiobooks that make a love connection

I glimpsed an article online recently that advocated for doing your own in-person grocery shopping because it’s important, in this digital day and age, that we maintain some human contact. While some of the lines at the supermarket I have shared stretch the definition of “human contact,” I do agree that personal connections make life meaningful. These crucial connections make romance on audio a perennially successful pairing (IMHO).

Romance is, on its face, about making a long-term connection with another human being. Being able to hear someone read romance—to choose voices for characters and alter tone and pitch to express emotion—amplifies the power of romance for the listener. 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!

5 Questions with Narrator Steve West

Steve West

Steve West

Today’s Take 5 narrator is a man whose pleasant, clear voice invites listeners to come closer and enter the captivating world of whatever audiobook he’s performing. Whether he’s narrating fantasy, mystery, or history, Steve West highlights the characters’ personalities, creating believable portraits of the young and old and of the heroes and villains.

I can’t remember which Steve West audiobook was my first, but from that initial listen right up to today, I have been impressed with his attention to the flow and tempo of a story. Steve has a knack for holding back a beat when we need a moment to absorb a plot point, and he is equally adept at pushing us forward when the action is compelling. 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.