August/September 2013

Discover the World of Audiobooks

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Page 8 of 75

Editor' Notes s Just Magic What draws you to audiobooks? Is it the opportunity to fit more reading into your multitasking life? Is it your preference to hear a story or to listen to learn new information? Does the change from print- or screen-centered work bring you a welcome alternative? Perhaps one or more of these reasons influences your decision to listen. For me, it's all of them at various times that encourage me to pick up my earbuds. It is also the lure of the voices. Golden Voice narrator George Guidall, who just received a new honor as Booklist's 2013 Voice of Choice, often speaks about this elemental human response to another's voice. Yet in our modern world, we too often experience voices as noise. It struck me at the airport last week, how the blaring TV news continuously interrupted conversation or thought. Audiobook voices take a very different tack to gain attention: They want to draw you in, not push you away. It's one of the most appealing aspects of an audiobook, when you sense the voice luring you to listen. That's why the quality of the voice is so important. Earlier this summer, AudioFile sponsored the debut of what we're calling the Golden Voices Theater. As part of the Hear Now Festival in Kansas City, we presented live readings given by five of our Golden Voice narrators: Dion Graham, Katherine Kellgren, Robin Miles, Barbara Rosenblat, and Stefan Rudnicki. With the help of Sue Zizza, Gabrielle de Cuir, Carol Stewart, and Robert Fass, we launched a show that can bring the power and magic of the spoken word to live audiences at book festivals, libraries, or a theater venue. Our star voices read selections around the theme of Jazz—Miles Davis, Josephine Baker, Dorothy Parker, and F. Scott Fitzgerald—and the combination of great writing and live performance by these exceptional narrators was just magic. There is no other way to describe it—they had us in thrall. Here in these pages you'll find great recommendations for good Inside Track listening as well as exciting author interviews and studio features. See our coverage of Billy Crystal's new memoir, partly recorded for a live audience and then integrated with his studio recording (page 24). Get an inside look at Ellen Kushner's latest full-cast performance, The Fall of the Kings (page 54). And thanks to all of you audiobook fans for following us on various platforms—print, web, email, social media, Photo by Kevin Brusie and—of course—sound. AudiobookREX Our new mobile-friendly app for weekly recommendations: Email Updates Sign up for Earshot! and Editors' Picks newsletters at enews_signup.html Golden Voices Theater Robin Whitten Editor and Founder For more information, email August/September 2013 I 7

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