February/March 2020

Discover the World of Audiobooks

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Would you like to ask Jason Culp, Frankie Corzo, or Rupert Degas what was most memorable about recording one of the year's best audiobooks? We did just that for special episodes of AudioFile's pod- cast, "Behind the Mic with AudioFile Magazine." As we were releasing the 2019 Best Audiobooks lists, we wanted to add focused conversations with narrators specifically about their celebrated performances. Our regular host Jo Reed turned the podcast over to Michele Cobb and me for episodes with the narrators. We like to consider the titles on our 2019 Best Audiobooks list as a great starting point for your new listening in 2020. And we were lucky to hear directly from the narrators about these fascinating and important audiobooks. We've written a lot about Emma Donoghue's audiobook Akin. It was the cover feature on our fall print issue along with an interview with Jason Culp. In our podcast conversation, we hear more about Jason's thoughts on Akin, which he calls "a road movie of a book." On the Best Nonfiction & Culture list, The Death and Life of Aida Hernandez by Aaron Bobrow-Strain was one of the most powerful lis- tening experiences in this group, and we were glad to welcome narrator Frankie Corzo as one of our podcast guests. We got a chance to ask Frankie more about her connection to the harrowing story of Aida's journey across the Mexico-U.S. border in 1987. Narrators are asked to enter into sometimes terrifying lives. It's powerful to hear how they approach these tough assignments, and how they find ways to bring the stories to us as listeners. In Best Memoirs, Golden Voice narrator January LaVoy shares Dorothy Butler Gilliam's experiences as the first female African- American reporter for The Washington Post in Trailblazer. Country music singer and songwriter Rory Feek stands in for Randy Travis in Forever and Ever, Amen. And in another of our podcast inter- views, British narrator Rupert Degas had no trouble slipping into Gerald Durrell's voice, personality, and enthusiasm for adventure. Remembering the author from many British television shows, Rupert seems to have channeled zookeeper/conservationist Durrell in The Aye-Aye and I, and well as three other memoirs. Listen to Rupert tell it on the podcast. We also talk with Vikas Adam, Adjoa Andoh, Moira Quirk, JD Jackson, Anthony Rey Perez, and George Newbern. Please listen in. Podcast Conversations with Narrators Editor's Notes Photo by Kevin Brusie Robin Whitten Editor and Founder Inside Track podcast February/March 2020 n 5

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