Mrs. Hemingway by Naomi Woods

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It is Paris in the summer in 1926.  Ernest Hemmingway along with wife Hadley are enjoying time in the villa in southern France.  They laugh and flirt and receive admiring glances from strangers, yet they are not alone.  Fife, the woman who caught Ernest’s eye at a party awhile back is there as well.  As much as Hadley wishes she could hate her, she finds Fife’s laid back easy-going ways to be appealing.  It is easy to see what draws Ernest too her,and Hadley herself has come to know Fife as one of her dearest friends even thought she occasionally gives Ernest an ultimatum – end it now.

Eventually, Ernest does end it.  But not with Fife.  He ends his marriage to Hadley and marries Fife who is overjoyed as she has won the man of her dreams, even at the cost of Hadley.  Together, Fife feels, they were go into their golden years hand in hand.

As years go by, Fife starts to see Ernest giving an appreciate eye to a younger, perkier woman named Martha.  Fife suddenly know what it feels what it must have been like for Hadley as she watches, helpless as her husband finds ways to go away with Martha.   Heart sick, Fife watches her marriage crumble before her.

But – if Martha thinks that she is the last of the Hemingway wives; she had better think again….

 

 

 

Woo this was good!  I listened to this on audio and Kate Reading did a wonderful job narrating the voices of Ernest’s four wives as well as Ernest and an assortment of friends along the way.  (Kate Reading’s rendition of Fife was exactly as I would have pictured her sounding, a distinctive smooth self-assured voice.

This was one of those audio books you hate to turn off.  I love historical fiction!  This audio was filled with real letters and telegrams of conversations that just added to the intrigue of Ernest Hemingway.  I had no idea about Ernest’s life or loves, or even his untimely surprising death.

The book is told in alternating chapters by each of the four wives (talk about hearing “her side” of the story!), this fictional story unfolds as though you were right there.  It has left me wanting to know more.  I have never read Hemingway, but I plan to give him a try after feeling that I now… kind of know the man, and am now curious between all that time of having an unsettled heart… what did he write about?

Super fab people…. SUPER FAB.

 

  • Narrated by: Kate Reading
  • Length: 9 hrs and 4 mins 
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (May 27, 2014)
  • Format: Unabridged

 

Please watch this site for June audio book related posts, like this one.  For every post you comment on in June that has this audio book symbol:

Audio month, Sheila DeChantal, Book Journey

I will put you into a drawing for a $25 book certificate for each comment (Barnes and Noble or Amazon – your choice).  Winner will be drawn in July.

 

The Narrating Life by Narrator Patrick Lawlor

Audio month

Audio book month continues and so do the narrator posts and audiobooks and of course, the giveaway that goes along with it.  Please welcome narrator Patrick Lawlor.  I did not have a lot of time to chat with him in New York but now he will share his narrating life with us: 

 

Patrick

 

My name is Patrick Lawlor and I have been narrating audiobooks since 2001. Full-time since 2004. This is what I do, this is my job. How lucky am I that I have a job that combines two of my favorite things, reading and talking?! Smiley-face
I have recorded over 325 books. in every genre. Some of my favorites include Merle’s Door, Lessons From a Free Thinking Dog, by Ted Kerasote, Adam Canfield of the Slash, by Michael Winerip, Timecasters by Joe Kimball (J.A. Konrath), The Troubleshooters series by Suzanne Brockmann, The Darwin Awards series by Wendy Northcutt and the controversial Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson.
I was very lucky to get into audiobooks at a time when there were a lot fewer people trying to do this for a living. The Audio Publishers’ Association held a yearly job market, which was, in essence, a chance for prospective narrators to audition for a bunch of publishers at once, and then have several opportunities to socialize with them and start to get to know them. I was able to make several lasting relationships and got my first gig halfway through the day!
Patrick 2
I completed 5 books my first year, 9 my second year, and about 12 my third. Since then, I average between 25 and 30 books a year. This has become my full-time job and I couldn’t be happier about it. I still do theatre when I can, that’s where my roots are, and that was my primary focus before audiobooks, but mainly I record. I have a studio in my home, and these days, record most of my work there. This is probably the biggest change in the industry since I began. There is a huge movement toward narrators recording themselves at home. Digital technology has made it relatively easy to get professional-quality results at home for relatively little money. The internet and things like ISDN and ftp sites, make remote recording and moving around sound files quite do-able. There is a certain, undeniable convenience about recording at home, to be sure, but I do miss going into the studio and working with a director and an engineer. I am, after all, a performer, and I enjoy having others around. Books DO still get done in studios, and I go in every chance I get, but the market being what it is, and the sheer number of narrators entering the business each year, means I need every advantage I can get, and home recording is a big one.

This is probably the biggest change in the industry since I began. There is a huge movement toward narrators recording themselves at home.

Through the years, as I have been exposed to more and various material, I have gone through a process of discovery. For the most part, I have been making this up as I’ve gone along. I have had some wonderful directors who have guided me in the right direction, but I am definitely a work in progress.  I have matured, certainly, and learned many techniques that have made me a better story-teller. I generally read slower and more clearly. There was a tendency in earlier books to speed up. My voice also had a tendency to get a little high-pitched when excited. I have much more control these days. At the same time, I am getting older, and so is my voice. I like to think it’s getting better, richer, but those female characters are certainly having to evolve a bit!  Altogether, I think I’ve remained pretty consistent, though along the way, I have experimented quite a bit with how to narrate a book, sometimes successfully, sometimes not. Sometimes REALLY…not. It has been a challenging and thoroughly enjoyable ride!
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My first audiobook recording gig will always be one of my more fun memories, no matter how many books I record. I was attending the APA Job Market in New York, in early 2001, and I had just auditioned for a room of publishers and producers, when one of them, a producer named John McElroy, caught me in the hall and said he had a short project I would be perfect for. Was I interested?  “Of course”, I said and he promised to get me the script by the end of the day. It would require extending my stay in NYC by a day, so I would basically break even, but I was getting my start! And in New York City! (I lived in Los Angeles at the time.) I was ecstatic! I continued the day on a cloud.
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When I read the script later in my hotel room, however, that cloud did that little “poof” disappearing thing you see in cartoons. What I had was a chapter from a book of erotica. It resembled nothing so much as a 30 minute Letter to Penthouse. I am certainly not prudish in the least, and I have nothing against erotica, and this wasn’t especially hardcore or anything, but I DID start to wonder about the ease with which I got this gig. And what, exactly in my audition made John consider me ‘perfect” for this? Well, maybe this was normal. What did I know? I had never done a book before.
The next day I went downtown to “the studio.” When I arrived at the address, it was a small, unmarked door between a Bodega and a nail place. I went up to the 3rd floor and entered what seemed to be a travel agency, where Russian seemed to be the primary language and a lot of big, swarthy gentlemen looked dully uninterested in my arrival. I had flashes of that scene in the movie FAME, where the girl goes to her first on-screen gig.. A good quart of flop-sweat released itself into the sleeves of my shirt. After ten minutes or so of trying to get the receptionist to understand what I was looking for (words like “recording,” “audiobook” and “studio” were not among the dozen or so words of English she knew, and that angered her), I decided to call the studio. Outside. At  a pay phone. It turns out I had transposed two numbers in the address, and the beautiful, professional studio was across the street!
I had a nice conversation with the director John.  In the end John said very nice things about my work and handed me a check and that was that. I was a paid audiobook narrator! I had done my first project! As it turns out, the first of many to come. And no, they have not all been like that.

 

Please watch this site for June audio book related posts, like this one.  For every post you comment on in June that has this audio book symbol:

Audio month, Sheila DeChantal, Book Journey

I will put you into a drawing for a $25 book certificate for each comment (Barnes and Noble or Amazon – your choice).  Winner will be drawn in July.

Morning Meanderings… 2999 – What Is Crazy Cool About This Number?

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Greetings children of earth!  And of course any Shadow Hunters, Vampires, Werewolves, Wizards, Witches, Warriors, Fairies, Elves, Pixies…. I really am an equal opportunity blogger 🙂

 

And apparently… need more coffee if I am going to be this goofy in the morning. 🙂

 

Ok…  the number.  That number is the number of posts I have written since Book Journey began.  It’s interesting… I did not notice when post 1,000 and 2,000 went by.  Yet, awhile ago I notices I was about 100 posts away from 3,000.  Since then I have been trying to keep an eye on it so I could do something for 3,000 (after all… it will take a while to get to 4,000!)  I was going to do a super cool countdown (or count up) and not tell you what I was counting…but of course, life was busy… I forgot to count.. and suddenly yesterday I realized, like a baby that is due… 3,000 was arriving this weekend if I was ready or not.  🙂

I already had a discussion question I have been tossing around to post today so please stop in later and meet 3,000, join in the discussion, and a special giveaway because it is 3,000 posts.

3000 posts.

Holy smokes right?

Moving on…

In bookish arrivals… here is what came into my home this week:

 

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Yours For Eternity by Damien Echols and Lorri Davis I forgot why I wanted to listen to this one and then I just read the synopsis again and went… oh yeah….)

 

 

Ride Around Shining by Chris Leslie Hynan

 

 

The Story Of Land And Sea by Katy Simpson Smith

 

I am hoping to work on a couple outdoor projects today but right now our sky is “iffy”  if not outdoors, then I will be working on a spare room today prepping auction items for Wine and Words.  🙂

 

Also – we are still rocking Audiobook Month here with giveaway:

 

Please watch this site for June audio book related posts.  For every post you comment on in June that has this audio book symbol:

Audio month, Sheila DeChantal, Book Journey

I will put you into a drawing for a $25 book certificate for each comment (Barnes and Noble or Amazon – your choice).  Winner will be drawn in July.

 

Here are the posts that qualify for entries:

Intro to Audiobook Month

The Acting Of Narration with Johnny Heller

Delicious by Ruth Reichl

A Day In The Life Of Narrating by Narrator Therese Plummer

The Beginning of Narration by Narrator Allyson Johnson

The BEST audiobooks according to the listeners

If I Can’t Have You by Gregg Olsen and Rebecca Morris

Top 5 audiobooks according to narrator Tavia Gilbert

Look Ma!  NO hands!  Audiobooks MY Way!

Things To Look For When Picking Your Next Audio by Narrator Xe Sands

Then and Always by Dani Atkins

Beyond Books by Narrator Karen White

The Other Story by Tatiana De Rosnay

 

 

What are you doing with your Sunday?

The Other Story by Tatiana De Rosnay (audio review w/giveaway)

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I have heard Simon Vance narrate before and I am well aware of how others have gushed over his narration.  While in the past I found him good, I had not found him exceptional… until now.  Simon Vance’s narration of The Other Story totally turned me into a Vance fan!  ~ Sheila

 

 

Best selling author Nicolas Duhamel (Kolt) is staying at a beautiful Tuscan Island Resort with his girlfriend, working on his second novel highly anticipated by his huge fan following and his editor.  His debut book, The Envelope, stemmed from his finding out something about his father’s past and the book just flowed….

now..

he doesn’t have crap.

Lying to his editor, his girlfriend, and his many fans who all assume he is on the island fiercely tapping out something amazing, Nicolas instead is spending his time on Facebook posting pictures and watching the “likes” work their magic into the hundreds.  He is hanging on Twitter basking in the attention he receives by typing in anything into that 140 character slot what he is eating, profound (so he thinks) thoughts on anything…  and watching people… especially the beautiful girls who find him a temptation as a famous author.

And now, years later, as Nicolas feels on the brink of self-destruction, he discovers that there is more to his family history then he had even uncovered… and within that… is,

the other story.

 

I listened to this book on audio because 1) I have enjoyed Tatiana De Rosney in the past, 2) it’s the story of a best-selling author and 3) Simon Vance narrating is something I did not want to pass up.

 

My thoughts…

Nicolas Duhamel is an ASS.  He is a walking ego having lived off the success of his first book and then making himself a social media icon.  HIs ego is so big that it overpowers the book.  On Facebook and Twitter he can be a God… when in real life he is a life sucking worm (my words) who leaves destruction in every life he touches.

*whew*

*Dusts off pants.*  *stretches*

Ok.  Now that I got that out-of-the-way.  Never underestimate the power of writing a story about an author… or a book store…. or a book lover… or a book thief :).  Many of us readers… LOVE the literary topics.  And, as I mentioned above, that was one of the draws to this book.

Narrator Simon Vance ROCKED this audio.  He was so engaging, as he discussed the puketastic (my word) Nicolas that I became quite engaged in the story line… probably mostly because I wanted to know

what would happen?

would he write another book?

what would it be about?

My gosh… am I so infatuated with authors that I will forgive them anything?  No.  In fact, if I would have went the book route with this one, I probably would have given up on it.  While beautifully written and descriptive, it felt L O N G.  There is a whole lot of story…. and I did not feel a decisive plot.  Is the plot the writer’s block?  Or something else?  Even as the book closed I found myself questioning if there was a set plot.. .or was the whole book a plot?

If I say it enough.. the word plot loses all meaning.  And that sounds about right.

There are some good qualities to the read, I would rate it a 3 out of 5, and certain do not rely on my opinion alone on this one.

 

*Note – this book has some crude, highly sexual chapters that may not be appealing to some readers (including this one)

 

Please watch this site for June audio book related posts, like this one.  For every post you comment on in June that has this audio book symbol:

Audio month, Sheila DeChantal, Book Journey

I will put you into a drawing for a $25 book certificate for each comment (Barnes and Noble or Amazon – your choice).  Winner will be drawn in July.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beyond Books by Narrator Karen White

Audio month

I recently had the opportunity to meet Karen White at a narrator luncheon.  We sat right across from each other and I suddenly had 20,000 questions I did not know I had until we were there chatting.  🙂  Thankfully, she gracefully and patiently answered all my questions… and now she is about to answer some more.  Please welcome to Book Journey, Karen White.  ~ Sheila

 

Karen white

Hi I am Karen White and I started narrating books in 1999.  Some of the books I have narrated would be:

Beachcombers by Nancy Thayer

Roots of the Olive Tree by Courtney Miller Santo

The Four Ms. Bradwells by Meg Waite Clayton

The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen

Here and Again by Nicole Dickson

Not The Killing Type by Lorna Barrett

It Happened One Wedding by Julie James

 

My favorite literary fiction books i have narrated this past year are Here and Again,  What I Had Before I Had You, and  Sea Creatures.  My favorite memoir this year (and very sad as this inspiring woman just recently passed away last week) Until I Say Good Bye by Susan Spencer Wendell.

 

Although the industry conventional wisdom is that it takes 2 hours in the studio to record what we call a “finished hour” (an hour after the recording has been edited and readied for release), for me it’s really closer to 2.5 or 3, depending on the complexity of the writing. I am pretty meticulous and I try to avoid recording many “pickups” (re-recording bits where mistakes were made). Not including breaks, I spend about five hours recording, about five days a week. I usually fill in the rest of my workday with preparing upcoming books, engaging in social media, and looking for work.

 

When I am not narrating,

 

I have two kids, a husband and a dog, so much of my time is spent hanging out with and doing things with them. I go to my girls’ soccer and softball games (and try not to yell too loudly so as to save my voice but am not always successful!). My husband and I like to cook and give dinner parties. He’s great with the grill and various fancy French recipes, I’m a pretty good baker and try to be creative with the veggies. We all like to make pasta together!

 

Karen White, Fruit Galette, Book JOurney, Sheila DeChantal
a fruit galette (one of my favorite things to bake)
Karen White, Book Journey, Narrator
a beautiful evening at the softball field

 

We live near the beach in NC, so in the summer we make trips to the water. There’s an island across the inter-coastal waterway only reachable by boat – it has a gorgeous, uncrowded beach – and we are slowly learning the ins and outs of getting there (you need TWO anchors to make sure your boat doesn’t float away while you’re swimming, you need flips flops to get across the island unless you want 2nd degree burns on the bottoms of your feet, etc.)

 

Karen White, narrator, Book JOurney
Both my girls on the boat heading out to the island

When looking for good audio when traveling, we are huge fans of the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series, narrated by Katherine Kellgren. It is hilarious and unique and kept us awake driving across the country last summer.

Favorite movie and movie snack?

I am definitely a popcorn and a coke kind of gal. No butter.I just saw THE FAULT IN OUR STARS and that’s my favorite (I have a short-lived memory). I love movies that make me feel a LOT, whether I’m laughing or crying – and this had both. Besides all the obvious great moments, my girls and I really loved the casting and original song by the guy who led the support group – what is that guys name? See I already forgot. He was spot on, I remember that.

 

Karen White, Narrator, Book JOurney
Elsa!

 

Bonus question – a funny narration happening

This is a little embarrassing, but I burp a lot when I am recording. I’ve directed other people quite a bit, and while everybody inevitably has interesting stomach noises, usually before and after lunch, I think I am the most prodigious belcher. I think it’s a combination of the fact that I drink a lot of Xiao’s Blend tea which has peppermint, which I learned relaxes the esophageal sphincter and the fact that when I’m reading, my diaphragm is just jumping up and down on my stomach as I’m breathing! I self edit as I go now, but I used to feel bad for the poor editor who had to hear all my loud burps. Now I just yell at my body in between takes when it burps too much or makes weird stomach noises (“Seriously!? Shut UP!”), often in the middle of a really good take… 😉

 

Karen White, narrator, Sheila DeChantak, Book JOurney
Prepping a book by reading it on my IPAD

 

 

Please watch this site for June audio book related posts, like this one.  For every post you comment on in June that has this audio book symbol:

Audio month, Sheila DeChantal, Book Journey

I will put you into a drawing for a $25 book certificate for each comment (Barnes and Noble or Amazon – your choice).  Winner will be drawn in July.

 

Then and Always by Dani Atkins

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  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Random House Audio
  • Audible.com Release Date: May 20, 2014

 

 

Rachel Witshire’s life is going better than she could have imagined.  She has a wonderful group of friends including an attentive boyfriend, and she has been accepted into the college she had hoped for.  Then, right before she leaves for college a terrifying accident changes everything.

 

Five years later Rachel still wears the scars of that day, both on the outside and the inside.  When she returns to her hometown for her best friends wedding she is filled with uncertainty of what it will be like to encounter the old friends that were part of that overpowering and sad memory.  Then a fall puts Rachel in the hospital and when she is able to leave she discovers things are not as they were…  her scars are gone, her job is different, and the guy she loves….

but is this a case of amnesia?  Head trauma?  Or is this a reality that Rachel can cling to, no longer knowing what is truth and what is fiction… and not sure which reality she really wants to hold on to.

 

In a word… powerful.  I have read several books over the past year with the “amnesia theme” but this one takes a little different path.  At one point I thought the book felt predictable, and in some ways it was.  Then the air was literally forced out of my lungs as I became fully engrossed as the book reached a conclusion that literally made me say “no way,” with a sense of awe and appreciation.

I listened to Then and Always on audio.  Narrator Susan Duerden was well-chosen for this book.  Thoroughly enjoyable at 8 hours and 45 minutes, a perfect length for a summer listen.

 

 

Please watch this site for June audio book related posts, like this one.  For every post you comment on in June that has this audio book symbol:

Audio month, Sheila DeChantal, Book Journey

I will put you into a drawing for a $25 book certificate for each comment (Barnes and Noble or Amazon – your choice).  Winner will be drawn in July.

Things To Look For When Picking YOUR Next Audiobook by Narrator Xe Sands

Audio month

I admit, there are not a lot of narrators that I recognize by name on the audiobooks I listen to. Xe Sands is the exception.  Xe Sands is also (so far) the only narrator that I have looked up and picked audio not by book title or author… but because she narrated it.  Please welcome to Book Journey, Xe Sands. ~Sheila

 

Xe

Hello!  My name is Xe Sands.  I started narrating in 2010 and just passed the 100 audio books I have narrated mark.  Oh gracious!  Let’s cull that a bit.  LOL!

 

Most recently I have worked on literacy and historical fiction including Wonderland, by Stacey d’Erasmo, Euphoria (with Simon Vance) by Lily King, The Transcriptionist by Amy Rowland, and The Witch of Truro (from Blackbird House) by Alice Hoffman.  I have also just completed Vision in Velvet (6th in the Witchcraft Mystery Series) by Juliet Blackwell, Motherless Child by Glen Hirsberg, Something Sweeter by Candis Terry, Forged by Jacqueline Frank, and Never Marry a Viscount by Anne Stuart.

I do also enjoy listening to audio.  I spent years listening to them with my daughter during our morning/afternoon commute.  These days I find them especially wonderful to listen to while I am doing something I *really* don’t want to do, such as dishes, exercise, folding laundry… well, CHORES of any type actually.  🙂  I find them incredibly distracting in the very best of ways.  There have even been times that I’ve dragged a chore out just so I could finish a particularity well-delivered scene.

 

I find audiobooks incredibly distracting in the very best of ways. ~Xe Sand

 

My topic today – is to tell you what I think a listener should pay attention to when choosing audiobooks.

 

First, I think a listener should figure out what type of storytelling they enjoy.  Do they enjoy a full storytelling experience, with differentiated characters and appropriate rise and fall in emotion, or an “audio theater” type of experience with sound effects and different voice actors, or perhaps a more straight forward read, naturally delivered, but with little variation of voice?

 

Then, within that preferred type of experience, they might think about how enunciation is to them vs. a very natural delivery, whether or not they can tolerate shifts in volume, etc.  For example, Neil Gaiman, one of my favorite authors and narrators, tends to be a fairly quiet and intimate narrator, and that suits his books perfectly.  So although I might fiddle with my volume control while listening, I wouldn’t have him deliver it any other way – it’s perfect for the material.  However, having to tweak the volume can prove frustrating for some listeners and adversely affect their experience.  Good to know what you can tolerate going in.

PicMonkey Collage

Sometimes it is also helpful to consider whether the material is going to be appropriately served in audio.  There are books that simply work better in print, or that lose something in the translation to audio…  books with extensive charts, graphs, etc., or those with very clever or entertaining illustrations or maps.  Those types of books are excellent candidates for a tandem read – having the print version handy for reference as you move through the audio.

 

Next, listen to the first chapter (or at the very least the full sample available – better yet, several) to get a feel for the delivery style and cadence of the narrator.  Are you able to sink into the story and essentially forget the narrator, as a separate entity?  Do you find their voice pleasing (you’ll be spending a good number of hours with it!).  If yes, then it is a good sign that you’re in for an enjoyable ride.  Basically you are listening for a delivery that melts away and leaves just you and the story.

 

Basically you are listening for a delivery that melts away and leaves just you and the story. 

 

If you have a few narrators who have led you into amazing journey’s in the past, you can always start to look for books based on the narrator.

Sheila asked me what makes for good (and great) listening.  That’s such a tough question to answer in a broad sense because each listener brings their own preferences to the listening experience.  So I’ll just offer what makes a listen compelling to me.  Here’s what I’m looking for:  a natural delivery.  I want narration that makes me believe that if I closed my eyes, it would be just me and the narrator, sitting somewhere, them telling me this really odd/cool/weird/amazing series of events that happened.  Just that.  I don’t give a fig about their enunciation – I just want them to sound like they do when they’re talking to me in person, telling me a story, with dialog that sounds as if I was in the room when it was originally exchanged, and with emotion that feels real to me, as if I was witnessing the scene myself.  That’s what makes great listening for me – natural, connected to the emotion, PRESENT.  The rest, such as enunciation or consistent volume, etc?  That can all go by the wayside if the storytelling is solid and they are truly present with it.

 

 

Please watch this site for June audio book related posts, like this one.  For every post you comment on in June that has this audio book symbol:

Audio month, Sheila DeChantal, Book Journey

I will put you into a drawing for a $25 book certificate for each comment (Barnes and Noble or Amazon – your choice).  Winner will be drawn in July.

Look Ma! No Hands! Audiobooks My Way!

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So…. you probably know that this is audiobook month.   I am having a blast sharing with you audio reviews, narrators thoughts, and now – I will let you know how I do like to do audio.

 

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In my car…

Some people think that you do not listen to audio in the car unless you have LONG commutes or on road trips… not true.  Audiobooks actually work on short commutes as well… it’s true.  They don’t blow up in your cars CD player or anything if they play for less than 30 minutes.  Urban legend people… its not true.

I listen to audio in my car almost everywhere I drive to.  Work may be only ten minutes away – but round trip that is 20 minutes more into a book than I was before.  I love turning on the car and getting into the story.  When choosing car audio, I like the book length to be around the 7 -9 hour mark.  I reserve longer audio books for longer road trips so I can listen to it in large chucks of time.

 

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In my CD player in the house…

This is probably the “old school” version of audio listening but when you have many delicious audio’s on CD around and you want to listen to them, you do what you have to do.  I have trouble downloading audio onto my computer, so instead I listen to the DVD’s.  This is great for when I am working on a craft project, cooking, folding clothes, painting.. I love listening to audio in the house while I am doing other things that require use of my hands.

 

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On my Phone…

What has turned out by fr to be my favorite way to listen to audio, is my phone.  I use Audible.com which I LOVE LOVE LOVE for downloading great audio directly to my phone.  I have used Audible for three years now and yes I am kind of a living breathing walking advertisement for them.  The audiobooks are reasonably priced, they have great sales a few times a year, and your first one is free.  If you try an audio and don’t like it you can exchange it.  No kidding.

When mowing the lawn or gardening, or even biking – I pop my ear buds in and can listen to my Audible audiobooks.  My phone is easier to move through the house then the CD player so I use it when I am on the move from one area to another.  I even use it at work when I am alone and working on filing.  I sit it on my desk and listen as I work.

My brilliant purchase that I made about 6 months ago to go with my listening to books on my phone was:

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An external speaker.  This, when turned on will pick up the Bluetooth in your phone and amplify the audiobook.  This makes it easier to move around an area and say, leave the phone on the counter and still be able to hear it.

These cute little external speakers come in all shapes and sizes and start around $9.96 and can go up to $99.  Don’t knock yourself out.  Mine was $14.96 and works wonderfully.  It’s cute, shaped like a clam shell and its orange.  What’s not to love?

 

I usually have three audiobooks going at once and that works for me.  For you  – If you are new to audio I recommend audible’s free trial.  You have seen many posts on great audio here this month – choose wisely and enjoy.  I absolutely want to hear about your experience.

 

For those of you who do do audio (yes… I said do do), please share here what ways you like to listen.  Remember, this is an audiobook post so comments qualify for the giveaway for this month. 

 

 

Please watch this site for June audio book related posts, like this one.  For every post you comment on in June that has this audio book symbol:

Audio month, Sheila DeChantal, Book Journey

I will put you into a drawing for a $25 book certificate for each comment (Barnes and Noble or Amazon – your choice).  Winner will be drawn in July.

Morning Meanderings… Two Book Events Missed (Poo!)

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Since June began, every Monday we have had a Minnesota Author at the Library sponsored by our Friends Of The Library.  I love these events as it is an author event that takes place three miles from my house, and it is a wonderful way to be able to listen to an author and hear about their writing and their books.

Two Mondays ago, June 9th, I missed Rhonda Foch’s, author of Minnesota Lost Town’s Northern Addition because I was at Camp.  This Monday I missed Peter Geye, author of The Lighthouse Road because I was speaking instead at the same time for a local volunteer group about the Friends Of The Library, an opportunity I could not pass up… but really wanted to hear Peter.  On the bright side, I was able to meet both authors before I ran to my other commitments.

Peter Geye, Rhonda Fochs, Lighthouse Road, Book Journey, Sheila DeChantal
I did manage to pick up both of their books at these events.

 

Next week we have Jess Lourey with her book January Thaw.  Should be fun and YAY, I can be there 😉

 

SO…. audio book month.  I am having a BLAST and I hope you are too!  I appreciate all the comments on the audio related posts and I really appreciate those of you who are dabbling in audio for the first time, or trying it again after perhaps unsuccessful attempts previously.

Please remember that all the audio book related posts this months have a giveaway for a $25 gift card to either Amazon or Barnes and Noble. To enter – just comment on the audio posts… one entry per comment.  Here is a recap of all the audio book related posts so far:

 

Intro to Audiobook Month

The Acting Of Narration with Johnny Heller

Delicious by Ruth Reichl

A Day In The Life Of Narrating by Narrator Therese Plummer

The Beginning of Narration by Narrator Allyson Johnson

The BEST audiobooks according to the listeners

If I Can’t Have You by Gregg Olsen and Rebecca Morris

Top 5 audiobooks according to narrator Tavia Gilbert

 

 

Please watch this site for June audio book related posts.  For every post you comment on in June that has this audio book symbol:

Audio month, Sheila DeChantal, Book Journey

I will put you into a drawing for a $25 book certificate for each comment (Barnes and Noble or Amazon – your choice).  Winner will be drawn in July.

 

 

 

Top 5 Audio Books… according to Narrator Tavia Gilbert

Audio month

 

I began narrating in the fall of 2007, so I’ve been a full-time narrator for almost seven years and have recorded close to 300 books. I have so many beloved projects, including Let Me Stand Alone — the journals of Rachel Corrie, many books of non-fiction by the brilliant Annie Dillard, several wonderful Carlotta Carlyle mysteries, Kate Christensen’s memoir, thrillers by Allison Leotta, science fiction by John Scalzi, young adult fiction by Katherine Paterson, children’s stories like The Wizard of Oz and the Velveteen Rabbit...and more. If you visit TaviaGilbert.com/full-audiography, you’ll see my complete audiobook listing, with my personal favorites highlighted in blue. I’m fortunate to have been given great books to voice throughout my career the years, and have some more fantastic book projects on the horizon.
Tavia Gilbert
Five amazing audiobooks? It’s very hard to choose just five, but here’s a list of a few favorite audiobooks!
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The Fault In Our Stars, by John Green, narrated by Kate Rudd (young adult)
Kate inhabits this story, which has been such a smash hit in the last couple of years. I couldn’t stop listening to this book, and at the same time I couldn’t bear for it to end. I’ve never listened to an audiobook twice, but this might be the first multiple-listen experience. Kate was exceptional in her performance, fully bringing the characters to life, capturing every bit of wry humor, creating such a nuanced reading that I was absolutely captivated.
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Rise & Shine, by Anna Quindlen, narrated by Carol Monda (contemporary fiction)
I love listening to Carol Monda’s narration, and this is a great performance of a compelling story. I’ve told Carol how I feel when she begins a story — I totally and completely trust her. I relax in her masterful presence, because I know that she will not make a wrong turn anywhere along the path. Her pacing is perfect, her characterizations spot on, her dialogue true to life, her heart completely open and her work completely in the moment. I’m a better narrator because I’ve listened to her work.
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The Sunday Philosophy Club Series, by Alexander McCall Smith, narrated by Davina Porter (literary fiction/philosophy)
I adore Davina Porter’s narration of Isabel Dalhousie’s stories. Alexander McCall Smith is a captivating, charming, contemplative writer, and this series is just fantastic. Davina creates soulful, heart-felt, fiercely intelligent voice performances — she’s the perfect medium for the compassionate and thoughtful characters Smith writes. This team of writer and voice actor is unparalleled, and I luxuriate in the listening experience.
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Call the Midwife, by Jennifer Worth, narrated by Nicola Barber (memoir)
I fell in love with the British television series, Call the Midwife, and later equally delighted in Nicola Barber’s narration of the memoir by Jennifer Worth. Nicola’s characterizations and accents are spot on, and I was riveted by the story. Call the Midwife fans will be pleased to hear story lines that they recognize from the TV show, but those unfamiliar with the series will quickly become devotees of the young British midwives and Catholic sisters whose lives make this a wonderful listen.
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The Millennium Trilogy, by Stieg Larsson, narrated by Simon Vance (thriller)
You cannot go wrong with a performance by Simon Vance, and the dark, terrifying, thrilling Swedish series is excellent. Simon is a master story-teller, and he was perfectly cast for this series. His characterizations are never over the top but always differentiated, the suspense horrifying with his subtlety and nuance, the timing and delivery impeccable. These books are not for the faint of heart, but they’re even better with Simon’s performance.
And a bonus question….
And this isn’t a funny narration story, but a sweet one:
Years ago, years after I graduated from Seattle’s Cornish College of the Arts, one of my most beloved college voice and speech teachers, Stephanie Kallos, left full-time acting and teaching to concentrate on her writing. 
Her first novel, Broken For You, was beautifully narrated by Anna Fields, one of the best narrators in the history of audiobooks. 
Anna died tragically when she was trapped in her Seattle recording studio during a flood; the loss to the audiobook community was enormous. 
When Stevie’s second novel, Sing Them Home, was published, I was very new to the narration art-form, but because it was the novel of a dear friend, I wanted the opportunity to do the project, and I campaigned for it. 
Being told that the novel was mine to voice came with a feeling of great responsibility, because I so wanted to make Stevie proud, I wanted to reach the bar that Anna Fields had set, and the story was long and complex and crazy challenging — multiple dialects, Welsh language, and singing, as well as several distinct main characters and about 100 characters in total, including a very young child, and a 100-year-old man — who sang in Welsh! 
It was a daunting project then, and it would be a daunting project now, six years and hundreds of books later. 
But I had a fantastic director, and we worked very slowly and carefully on the performance, and it won my first Earphones Award. 
Most importantly, Stevie loved the work, and I felt that I had, in fact, honored Anna Fields by taking everything I’d learned from listening to countless books she’d narrated, and doing the very best work I was capable of. 
Stevie is publishing her third novel next year, and we are both so hopeful that I will be invited to narrate the project. Her writing is extraordinary, and it’s so special voicing a story that someone I love carefully crafted, so I’d be thrilled to work with her again. Our fingers are crossed!
Tavia

Please watch this site for June audio book related posts.  For every post you comment on in June that has this audio book symbol:

Audio month, Sheila DeChantal, Book Journey

I will put you into a drawing for a $25 book certificate for each comment (Barnes and Noble or Amazon – your choice).  Winner will be drawn in July.