Audiobook Narrator Spotlight: Robin Miles

Actor, audiobook director and performer Robin Miles has narrated hundreds of audiobooks. Miles has the ability to convincingly recreate a huge range of speech patterns and accents, conveying more about a character than comes across through their words alone. After an experience narrating the horror book The Good House by Tananarive Due, she realized she could leverage this ability to take on more audiobook work in the sci-fi, horror, and fantasy genres, whose stories typically require more range to portray a large diversity of character-types and voices. Robin Miles is now an industry legend, and a recent inductee of the Audible Narrator Hall of Fame. Here are a few titles read by Miles in the collection:

Barracoon by Zora Neale Hurston

In 1927 and 1931, author Zora Neale Hurston met and interviewed Cudjo Lewis, the last person alive who had been enslaved and transported from Africa as part of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. A Peak Pick! Continue reading “Audiobook Narrator Spotlight: Robin Miles”

Listen Local: Download audio books by Washington authors

If you’re looking for a downloadable audiobook, here are a half-dozen titles — general fiction, nonfiction, historical fiction, and fantasy —  by local authors.

She Regrets Nothing by Andrea Dunlop. Fiction
The forgotten granddaughter of one of New York’s wealthiest men is reunited with her family just as she comes of age—and once she’s had a glimpse of their glittering world, she refuses to let it go without a fight. Second novel from a Seattle author.

Whiskey by Bruce Holbert. Fiction
This Spokane author’s latest novel is set in Electric City, Washington. Brothers Andre and Smoker are navigating their own marriages along with their parents’ frequent collision with the law.  Fiercely loyal and just plain fierce, they’re bound by a series of darkly comedic and hauntingly violent events: domestic trouble; religious fanaticism; benders punctuated with pauses to dry out that never stick. Continue reading “Listen Local: Download audio books by Washington authors”

Listen List 2014: Outstanding Audio Awards

Every year we five librarians on the Listen List panel review hundreds of new audio books, nominate and choose the twelve titles that are the very best in narration, production and story. Announced on January 26th at the American Library Association Midwinter conference in Philadelphia, this year’s Listen List is posted on the ALA website, where you can read more about the judges and the winning audios.

Sometimes people ask me how I have time to listen to all these audio books. In fact, the twelve winning titles alone represent 145 hours of listening! Added to that, each judge listened to an additional 26 audios nominated for consideration, along with all the titles we each reviewed in order to find those 38 narrative gems. Being on the Listen List and other award committees sponsored by ALA is a labor of love conducted on our own time. Continue reading “Listen List 2014: Outstanding Audio Awards”

Magnolia’s Favorite Audiobooks

“If I don’t like the [narrator’s] voice, I can’t listen. If I like the voice, I can listen to almost anything!”  — Magnolia Library Patron

image-of-da-vinci-code-audiobook-courtesy-of-incurable-hWhile there’s nothing like sitting down with a good book and thumbing through the pages, sometimes listening to a book read by a really talented narrator can be an even more captivating experience – and it’s a much safer way to read in the car! We recently asked patrons of the Magnolia library to tell us about some of their favorite narrators and the audio books where they feel these narrators have done their best work. If you’d like to listen to a good book but aren’t sure where to start, here’s a list that will get you on your way.

Tip of the Day: Once you find a narrator you like, you can always search for more audio books with the same voice by entering the his or her name as a keyword in the “author” search box of the Seattle Public Library catalog. Not sure what I mean? Just Ask a Librarian!

Alyssa Bresnahan – This prolific narrator of books for children, teens, and adults received AudioFile Magazine’s award for Continue reading “Magnolia’s Favorite Audiobooks”

My iPod, the best present ever!

Ah, what could be better than young love? How about young gadget love! Libraries are all about transformation and discovery, and we regularly enjoy our patrons’ enthusiasm as they discover new ways of experiencing life and culture. This account of one librarian’s thrilling honeymoon with her new iPod will bring back fond memories for some, and perhaps tempt others to take the plunge.  – Editor

image-of-blue-ipod-courtesy-of-mountainbreadDo I feel alive in the 21st century with a new blue iPod Nano, a recent gift! I’ve been jealous for awhile of those people walking around with white earbuds. It’s typical technology, coming with only a few brief instructions pages on that glossy paper. I click to the Apple site, Google some “how do I iPod?!” instructions, and dive in.

I download music from my personal music collection. First Taking the Long Way Home by the Dixie Chicks, then Verdi’s Requiem with Joan Sutherland and Luciano Pavarotti. I grin as my home computer’s cd drive makes that whir-whirring sound. The next adventure is with the audio-ebookLibrary’s digital book collection. I find a biography about Florence Nightingale by Laura E. Richards, and agree with the description that both children and adults would enjoy this short read.

I click on iTunes and bravely add the icon to the sparse computer desktop Continue reading “My iPod, the best present ever!”