To Dwell in the Wonder of the World

6 Audiobooks About the Natural and the Divine

Blossoming cherry tree

It’s spring! Yes, even if a snow-bomb cyclone dumped a foot of white stuff in your yard last week, Passover, Easter, and Earth Day are all right around the corner, followed by maypole dances. So let’s savor this froth of cherry tree blossoms as we consider the best new and classic celebrations of the natural and spiritual worlds.

Barbara Brown Taylor’s Earphones Award performance of her celebrated essay collection, AN ALTAR IN THE WORLD, is a listening experience to treasure, preferably while enjoying spring flowers. The theology professor and former Episcopal priest has a pleasant voice with a slight southern lilt that welcomes listeners like the smile so audible in her tone. In essays both personal and universal, she writes about encountering the sacred while living every day—talking a walk, ironing a shirt, waiting in line at the grocery store. As a non-churchgoer, I appreciated her broad view of God and her embrace of the holiness to be found in a garden, as well as in a cathedral or temple. 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.

Rescue Me! 5 Romance Audiobooks with Chases, Escapes, and Swoon-Worthy Rescues

With favorites from Alyssa Cole, Linda Howard, and Selena Montgomery

An Unconditional Freedom

An Unconditional FreedomRescue (verb): To free from confinement, danger, or evil (Merriam Webster). Some of my favorite romances ever involve a good old-fashioned rescue, and these days I’m an equal opportunity rescue junkie, savoring moments of deus ex machina involving characters of any gender. So here are five recent romances featuring memorable chases, escapes, and even verbal disentanglements for your listening pleasure.

Karen Chilton will knock you on your heels with her reading of Alyssa Cole’s Civil War adventures in AN UNCONDITIONAL FREEDOMIn this third installment of her spy series The Loyal League, Cole explores the psychology of slavery and the bravery of Northern spies through the intrepid adventures of Daniel Cumberland and Janeta Sanchez, agents on opposite sides of the war. Chilton’s narration maneuvers through Daniel’s anger and despair as well as Janeta’s increasing doubts about her loyalties. And she handles southern accents and Spanish phrases with ease.  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!

7 Kids’ Audiobooks About Autism

Family Listens for Autism Awareness Month

A Boy Called Bat

A Boy Called BatAs the step-parent of an autistic boy, I understand firsthand the challenges—and joys—of living with someone on the autism spectrum, and I often worry that neurotypical people will not recognize his kind heart and amazing mind. These audiobooks show autism from many different perspectives and offer opportunities for families to listen together and learn about understanding and accepting the neurodiversity of all people. 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.

3 Edgy New Romances that Are Even Better on Audio

Adrenaline-Filled Listening to Love

The Savior

The SaviorA paranormal, a romantic suspense, and a space opera (you’re welcome!). In the three new edgy romances below, our featured heroines are on top of their games, and our heroes are smoking hot. And how do we know this? Because our narrators are equally on top of their games and just as smoking hot! The combination of chills and thrills and that narrator-driven intimacy factor will remind you (as if you needed it) why audiobooks are the best way to experience your favorite stories. You’ll love this adrenaline-filled listening. 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!

8 Kids’ Audiobooks About Brave Women Who Fought for Change

Inspiration for Young Listeners

Roses and Radicals

Heroes

2019 marks the centennial of Congress approving the 19th Amendment, which gave many women the right to vote—a change that was brought about by a brave group of activists. The audiobooks in this list celebrate female activists—from more than 100 years ago all the way up to today. These inspirational true stories show ALL young listeners the importance of, and the power that comes from, speaking up for the rights of all people.

BEFORE SHE WAS HARRIET
by Lesa Cline-Ransome, read by SiSi Aisha Johnson, January LaVoy, Lisa Renee Pitts, Bahni Turpin
Live Oak Media, Ages 4-6

Four African-American women narrate in turn to describe Harriet Tubman’s voice rising in protest as a suffragist, as General Tubman, as a Union spy, and as an enslaved child when her father taught her to read the stars. Sounds of horse-drawn carriages, marching soldiers, spirituals, and rushing rivers help listeners imagine the many roles that Tubman played over her lifetime. 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.

5 Romances for Your Virtual Bucket List

Travel without leaving your armchair

Hate Notes

Hate NotesMy most recent listen—HATE NOTES by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward, read by Sebastian York and Lynn Barrington—proposes the millennial’s version of a bucket list. Rather than making a to-do list motivated by terminal illness, the main characters accomplish adventures that simply make their lives richer and more fulfilling. Their list expresses gratitude and bravery as well as a good measure of silliness. Looking at other recent titles, I notice that they comprise a sort of audio bucket list. I’ve never lived in a small town with a large family circle, but thanks to the arch sweetness of Diana Luke in K.M. Jackson’s AS GOOD AS THE FIRST TIME, I can experience that—and so can you! 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 Cherise Boothe

Why patience is important in the recording booth

Cherise Boothe

Cherise BootheSay hello to today’s Take 5 guest, Cherise Boothe, who is one of the queens of collaborative audiobooks. Her voice always gives spark to multicast productions, and I’m impressed with her ability to portray characters of all ages and from different parts of the world.

You may be familiar with Cherise’s youthful voice, which allows her to bring authenticity to children’s books. She is also, however, equally at home performing contemporary culture (THE FIRE THIS TIME), literary fiction (WHATEVER HAPPENED TO INTERRACIAL LOVE?), and humor audiobooks (BLACK MAN, WHITE HOUSE).

The audiobooks I feature here underscore the range of Cherise’s solo work, starting with a children’s story and ending with a novel about life under Jim Crow. 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.

Make a Wish! Great Listens for Grown-Up Birthdays

Audiobooks to treat yourself

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday

The remarkable coincidence that this blog entry is posting on my birthday encourages me to share that on the first birthday I remember, I hid under a table at the Wharf Theater in Monterey, California, while the actors serenaded me. I was five and had never before had a room full of strangers sing my praises. Now it happens all the time.

Or not, which brings me to David Sedaris. Birthdays need laughter, and his newest painfully comic essay collection, CALYPSO, is about aging. He thinks about it while recalling his family’s never-less-than-dramatic beach vacations. Sedaris reads in his famous tongue-in-cheek manner and with a vivid ability to dramatize a range of characters. Listen for the mirth and cherish the honesty. 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.

5 Stellar Listens for Speculative Fiction Fans

Take a Break from Reality

How Long 'Til Black Future Month

How Long 'Til Black Future MonthDo you ever just want to step back and take a quick break from reality? When work is crazy or the weather keeps me cooped up inside, I’m ready for a different world. Since I’m not a NASA astronaut and I can’t seem to time travel or walk through a mirror into an alternate universe, I escape with the help of speculative fiction, one of my favorite audiobook genres.

If the term speculative fiction is new to you, it’s just a fancy term for novels that feature a departure from life as we know it. The genre includes science fiction, time travel, fantasy, and alternate history as well as all things paranormal (vampires, werewolves, and demons).

Although I find it hard to resist a good dystopian listen (I’m gathering survival tips, just in case), today’s audiobook recommendations highlight the scope of speculative fiction and introduce you to excellent performances. In fact, all five titles featured here were Earphones Award winners. 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.

Corey Allen on Friday Black

Sci-fi, horror, fantasy—and a believable future

Corey Allen

Corey Allen narrates Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah’s moving collection of short stories, FRIDAY BLACK. The themes of these stories include the power divide, minimum-wage work, racism, education, and the consequences of ethical decisions, and Corey shares why it’s a collection well worth your listening time.

“What Nana manages to capture in this series of tales of young black people navigating a constantly moving, constantly shifting American landscape is incredible.”—Narrator Corey Allen

Read more…

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