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.

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.

Negotiating

In Our Time

The Art of Negotiation

The Art of NegotiationWe all negotiate in many different ways to achieve what we need and want—whether that’s negotiating with other people or with actual physical barriers. When it comes to negotiating with things, our negotiation techniques can include climbing, detouring, and other physical methods of getting past what seems to stand in our way. Negotiating with people isn’t physical, however: It’s all about discussion. And discussion involves a lot of talking, listening, and consideration of what has been said, from all parties. Learning about negotiating better and more helpfully through audiobook listening can give us practice as well as good information to take into our next social, political, or work-related negotiating round. 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.

Holiday Romance is in the Air

4 New Holiday Audiobooks

A Very Merry Romance

A Very Merry RomanceApplaud my restraint. I have waited until November to post holiday audiobook reviews. Just ask my coworkers—it was June when I announced the schedule for a certain “Countdown to Christmas” holiday movie festival that I plan my weekends around. So for my fellow Christmas-philes, these audiobooks should add to your festive spirit.

A VERY MERRY ROMANCE
by Brenda Jackson, read by Ron Butler
Harlequin Audio
AudioFile Earphones Award

Narrator Ron Butler doesn’t take sides as he presents the romantic journey of Marilyn Bannister and Jonathan Madaris. A Houston principal, Jonathan can’t date his new teacher, so he secretly transfers her to begin his courtship. Butler embodies the suave confidence Jonathan uses to attract Marilyn’s attention and overcome her misgivings while subtly differentiating Marilyn’s dialogue. The holiday warmth comes near the end of the recording, so this is a good warm-up to the holiday season.    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!

10 Scary and Not-So-Scary Kids Audiobooks for Halloween

Get Your Young Listeners in a Trick-or-Treating Mood

Kids Audiobooks for Halloween

Kids Audiobooks for Halloween

Some people love to be scared at Halloween. I was never one of them. While for my friends, October means breaking out frightening stories of ghosts and ghouls, I prefer my Halloween listens to be cozy and maybe slightly spooky, but definitely on the tamer side of terrifying.

Here are some atmospheric stories perfect for chilly fall nights to get kids in the mood for Halloween—without being too scary. 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.

Beautiful Country Burn Again: The Long Con of American Politics

Narrator Ron Butler on Ben Fountain’s Candid and Unsparing Audiobook

Ron Butler

Narrator Ron Butler takes AudioFile listeners behind the scenes with his comments on recording Ben Fountain’s BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY BURN AGAIN: Democracy, Rebellion, and Revolution, which asks listeners to consider whether America must reinvent itself.

“It is compelling, enthralling, maddening, and inspiring. An incredible read.”—Narrator Ron Butler Read more…

We're the editorial team at AudioFile Magazine!

Take 5 with Ron Butler

5 Audiobooks and 5 Questions with a Versatile Voice Performer

Ron Butler

Ron ButlerToday’s Take 5 guest is one smooth-talking man. No matter the genre, I find myself swimming in Ron Butler’s soft voice, leaning in to catch every nuance. I’ve always admired his feel for the pace of a story, whether truth or fiction, and seeing Ron’s name on an audiobook is enough for me to add the title to my wish list.

I’ve chosen five excellent audiobooks to introduce you to the range of Ron’s solo work, but I can’t miss this opportunity to encourage you to listen to some of the award-winning multi-narrator books he has contributed to, including FRESH INK, a collection of contemporary short stories for teens celebrating diversity in literature. 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 Starring Paranormal Beings

Werewolves, witches, zombies, oh my . . .

Pumpkins

PumpkinsI know Halloween is a couple of weeks away, but I’m already excited about carving pumpkins and seeing the neighborhood kids in their ghoulish costumes. Like so many of you, I get in the mood by listening to mysteries, thrillers, and other spooky audiobooks throughout the month of October.

Although I don’t read a lot of horror (okay, so I don’t read horror at all), I do like stories that introduce me to not-quite-human paranormal creatures. I’m not fond of ghosts, but give me a werewolf, witch, zombie, or vampire, and I’m all in.

If you’re not sure where to start on your creepy creature audiobook adventure or if you’re looking for something new to listen to, I’ve got you covered. Get ready to meet your new paranormal BFF. 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.

New Voices Join AudioFile’s Podcast

Behind the Mic with AudioFile Magazine

Transcription

As we worked on creating AudioFile’s new podcast, Behind the Mic, we planned to have as many “voices” as possible to amplify our audiobook conversations. In our early weeks, listeners have heard our host Jo Reed and me as well as AudioFile Publisher Michele Cobb recommending the titles. This week, AudioFile Assistant Editor & reviewer Emily Connelly joins in with five new audiobook picks. Next week, reviewer Jonathan Smith will join us to share recent favorites. We each take a slightly different approach as we talk about the highlights and why each audiobook will be a great listen.

If you are having fun with our podcast—and finding good things to listen to— please hop over to iTunes and leave us a review or rate the show!

On the podcast this week, Emily discusses new and notable audiobooks, including some for younger listeners. 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.

The Poetry of Each Day: Tracy K. Smith & Emily Dickinson

Robin’s Roundup: April 20th

Wade In The Water

“Poetry lives everywhere,” said Tracy K. Smith, teacher and writer and America’s Poet Laureate, as she kicked off April’s National Poetry Month a few weeks ago. As a listener—to audiobooks, poetry, podcasts, and even the eloquence of a speaker—I love that we celebrate all of these in sound.

In Smith’s new collection of poetry WADE IN THE WATER—which of course she reads—we hear her unhurried presentation of cadences and rhythm. And happily for listeners, her earlier collections, DUENDE and LIFE ON MARS, have also been released as audiobooks. In today’s New York Times there is a great conversation between Smith and Jacqueline Woodson, “Tracy K. Smith and Jacqueline Woodson Talk Reading Race and Spreading the Gospel of Literature.”

Duende
Life On Mars
Wade In The Water
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.