5 Audiobooks to Travel the World — From Home

5 Audiobooks to Travel the World - At Home

5 Audiobooks to Travel the World - At Home

It’s summer in the Northern Hemisphere, which normally means spending a week at the beach, taking a family road trip or train trip, or booking a vacation to a foreign country. This year, most of us will be doing our traveling from the safety of our armchair or garden—and with the help of an absorbing audiobook.

The most travel I’ve done over the last several months is a quick walk around the neighborhood. Still, I haven’t stopped dreaming of new adventures, though I’m not sure where my wanderlust will take me in the years to come.

In the meantime, as I wait for the pandemic to run its course, I’ve indulged in some virtual vacations by listening to audiobooks that transport me far from home. This summer’s motto is, Have earbuds, will travel! 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 with Love in the Spotlight

5 Audiobooks with Love in the Spotlight

5 Audiobooks with Love in the Spotlight

The Kardashians, Will and Kate, Harry and Meghan, Will and Jada . . . what do they have in common? Being in the spotlight. As they say, fame isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Being royal, going viral, or dodging paparazzi can be a painful tradeoff for fame and fortune. Let’s run the tape on five romance audiobooks with fame and celebrity themes.

Take A Hint, Dani BrownJump right in with hot title TAKE A HINT, DANI BROWN by Talia Hibbert, read by Ione Butler. Ph.D. student Danika Brown and security guard and former professional rugby player Zafir Ansari go viral thanks to a romantic photo of Zafir carrying Dani to the elevator. They make the best of it with a fake romance to benefit Zafir’s charity, but will a viral moment lead to a forever relationship? Narrator Ione Butler plays up the sarcasm and the genuine romance with a light English accent. 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 Romances Set in the Great Outdoors

Remember when we went there?!

7 Romances Set in the Great Outdoors

7 Romances Set in the Great Outdoors

On the plus side, we here in the Northeast are still allowed to go for walks . . . I think. I wear my mask on my strolls around the neighborhood, and I notice everyone is very polite about crossing the street when they see someone, far in the distance, coming their way. Even getting some fresh air feels like an Indiana Jones-worthy quest these days.

So, from the comfort (hopefully) of our homes, let’s enjoy romance audiobooks that take advantage of the great outdoors, from Colorado to Maine and beyond. Even if we can’t hike, bike, or stroll right now, we can remember, imagine, and hear tell of such ancient customs. And there’s something fun about finding different ways to replicate the experiences we most cherish, isn’t there? I’m thinking of the man who ran an entire marathon in his backyard. It makes life special to think creatively, so let’s get started! 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!

The Art of the Matter: Audiobook Mysteries Where Art Takes Center Stage

Audiobook Mysteries Where Art Takes Center Stage

Audiobook Mysteries Where Art Takes Center Stage

While the reviews of the recently released film version of The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt have been mixed, the audiobook, narrated by David Pittu, was an AudioFile Best of 2013 in Fiction. Taking on the challenge of keeping listeners engaged through all 32 hours of THE GOLDFINCH, Pittu tells story of a boy whose life gets turned around when a bomb goes off in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, leaving him without a family but with a precious painting. The power of that possession is a central theme, and it made me realize how many audiobooks are based on art, the world of artists, art forgers, and the businesses that surround them. 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).

It’s Time for an Adventure! Travel Afar with These Audiobooks

Binoculars during Sunset

Binoculars during SunsetYou’re stuck behind the lawn mower this glorious July week, or worse yet, behind a desk piled high with past-due deadlines while everyone you know on social media is vacationing. Would it help if I told you that my mother referred to mowing as “vacuuming the lawn”? No? Not even a chuckle? Well, I do care. So, in this week’s Audio Adventures, some wild, funny, scary, amazing trips guaranteed to set your audacious spirit free even if your body is inching along in summer suburban traffic. 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 Novels in Verse: Audiobooks for National Poetry Month

Discover the Power of Young Adult and Children’s Audiobooks

Elizabeth Acevedo by Max Flatow Photography
Elizabeth Acevedo by Max Flatow Photography
Author Elizabeth Acevedo

Did you know that April is National Poetry Month? That makes this month the perfect time to push your audiobook envelope and add some variety to your listening.

Although your first inclination might be to listen to a poetry collection (try Richard Blanco’s HOW TO LOVE A COUNTRY), I have another suggestion. One of my personal favorite ways to enjoy poetry is to listen to novels in verse. For today’s Take 5 recommendations, I’ve concentrated on audiobooks that are appropriate for teens but that deal with issues that listeners of all ages can relate to, such as self-image, the #MeToo movement, racial profiling, immigration, family, and finding one’s path.

By the way, today’s picks can also serve double duty for Children’s Book Week, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, starting on April 29. Listen to these audiobooks for the poetry, to discover the power of children’s stories, and to learn something about yourself and the world we live in. 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.

4 Audiobooks to Get Healthy

In Our Time

Get healthy

Get healthyFebruary rings in the Lunar New Year and is also American Heart Health Month—just two of the seasonal reminders that getting healthy can mean better enjoying the year to come. We’re sharing audiobook suggestions all month over on Twitter to support you in those efforts. Healthy listening goes beyond collecting the same advice you might be reading in your doctor’s office or in the news. Here are some of the more unusual directions those audiobook choices can take you on the road to wellness:

Katja Panzar’s THE FINNISH WAY, narrated by Karen Cass, takes us on a tour of Nordic healthy living values that include decluttering, experiencing nature, and eating and exercising appropriately. Cass makes all this sound achievable as well as interesting. It’s most certainly a holistic approach to staying well! 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.

5 Questions with Xe Sands

Plus 5 Audiobooks from Xe!

Xe Sands

Xe SandsThis month I welcome Xe Sands to the Take 5 stage. Xe’s soft voice and emotionally deep performances have enhanced hundreds of audiobooks across many genres. She is particularly skilled at tightening the gap between author and listener while still leaving enough room to let us experience our own reactions to the story, whether it’s literary fiction, mystery, or romance.

As I picked five audiobooks to showcase Xe’s work, I couldn’t help but be biased by my own favorites, which lean heavily toward literary fiction. I should point out, though, that Xe has many devoted romance-loving fans and has earned much praise for her performances of a variety of nonfiction titles as well. 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.

Welcome to the mysteries of my Brooklyn

Solve: An introduction

Ellen Quint on the Brooklyn Bridge

By way of introduction (and confession), I am a mystery and audiobook addict. Thus, it is an honor and a fright to take on the responsibility of the Solve blog, picking up from the great work of Jen Forbus.

People ask: “When do you have the time to listen?” Since I don’t commute, there is no listening in the car.  The answer is:  I listen when I walk (and I get in my 10,000 steps every day). I listen when I load and unload the dishwasher, when I fold laundry and do any of my other dreaded housekeeping chores. Deeper confession—I listen when I can’t sleep. I told you that I’m an audiobook addict. 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).

The Sound Stage in the Closet

What It Really Takes to Be an Audiobook Narrator

Xe Sands

As we close out our December celebration of the Best Audiobooks of 2017, I wanted to share some of our winning narrators’ lesser-known skills and challenges.

Xe Sands
Xe Sands, photo by Charles Tarnowski

These are tidbits of information that enhance my admiration for their ability and occasional bravery. Such as not panicking when a spider lands on your hand while you’re trapped in a recording booth voicing a romantic scene. Xe Sands, who read Helen Rappaport’s CAUGHT IN THE REVOLUTION, is officially terrified of eight-legged creatures. Yet professional that she is, she didn’t react until she’d finished her sentence, exited the booth, and closed the door. That’s when she screamed her head off. 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.