There is NOTHING I love as much as ANY book that has an animal as one of the characters. Especially an animal with so much personality that they hog center stage away from the people. A couple of past favorites that immediately come to mind are Linda Howard’s TROUBLEMAKER and Susan Mallery’s SECOND CHANCE GIRL. When the first thought that comes to your mind as you are entering a new scene of the story is, “Well, what does the dog think of this development?” you know you’re in dog heaven.
We are fortunate enough to have some Behind the Mic thoughts from narrator Stina Nielsen and her puppy Phoebe! After watching this video, I predict that you’ll be in love with Stina Nielsen and Debbie Burns AND convinced that audiobooks are a force for good in the world. On the off chance you haven’t yet listened to one of Nielsen’s titles, do so immediately. She’s fun, she’s lively, and she brings a warmth to everything she does that keeps you connected to the story.
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!
This week 5 end-of-summer options that think about transitions
As we wrap up summer with a long weekend, the audiobook reviews this week put me in two minds. I want to extend my random “summer listening” choices just a little longer, but also know many of us have already turned to the more serious efforts of fall.
ARROWOOD, set in the London of Sherlock Holmes, looks like a great choice if you’re on a mystery bent. We’ve been doing a lot of listening around the upcoming Sherlock Holmes anniversary in October. Arrowood is a scornful, anti-Holmes detective portrayed by Malk Williams. It gets an Earphones Award, so well worth attention.
An ensemble of popular young adult writers including Libba Bray and Tim Federle offer a collection to wrap up summer with some teen listening: SUMMER DAYS AND SUMMER NIGHTS. Six narrators share the varied stories. The notion of “coming-of-age” comes to mind as I thought about the stories and how the end of summer often marks this transition.
The cultural commentary of Ben Sasse’s THE VANISHING AMERICAN ADULT has a lot to say about coming of age in 21st-century America. His friendly warning, as well as encouragement for parents, teachers, and officials, is worth checking out. Fiction is often the norm for listeners to explore coming-of-age stories, and I often think it’s a welcome way to learn about the customs, culture, and expectations of others ages and times—think Jane Austen. In a dynamic new production, Emma Thompson leads a full cast to present NORTHANGER ABBEY. The Gothic satire of Austen’s first novel makes good listening.
This week’s current darling of the publishing world, MY ABSOLUTE DARLING, is getting reviews and comments from critics as a major debut. As an audiobook, Gabriel Tallent’s debut is harrowing in a way that is different from the distress caused when we read text of graphic violence. Narrator Alex McKenna should be commended for her fortitude to perform the work and bring it vividly to listeners.
Can you think of other audiobooks that pack a punch that’s different from the experience of reading the same text in print?