The Digital Squeeze Episode 5: AudioFile Magazine Best of 2019

Podcast | The Digital Squeeze

Returning guests Robin Whitten and Francisca Goldsmith share some hot audiobook picks for the New Year and discuss some recent insights from AudioFile Magazine.

Transcript |

Julie Twomey: Hello and welcome to another of The Digital Squeeze podcast. I'm your host Julie Twomey. I had the pleasure of welcoming back two guests from AudioFile Magazine to talk about popular audiobook recommendations and reviews for 2019. Check out our chat.

I am pleased to welcome back two guests on the show to continue our chat about the rising popularity of audiobooks. My first returning guest is Robin Whitten, the editor and founder of AudioFile Magazine, the number one source for audiobook reviews. Welcome back to the program, Robin.

Robin Whitten: Oh, thank you, Julie.

Julie Twomey: And next, I am joined by Francisca Goldsmith, a renowned media consultant, author, instructor, and contributing editor and reviewer for AudioFile Magazine. Welcome back to the show, Francisca.

Francisca Goldsmith: Hi, Julie.

Julie Twomey: And since our last chat, there have been some important audiobook releases that I'd really love to share with our audience. And since it's the holidays and the new year upon us, I'd love to focus on some popular picks for families, personal development picks to help folks de-stress, as well as discuss some business-related favorites to give our corporate listeners a boost of confidence for the new year. So let's start with family picks from Robin.

Robin Whitten: Okay. Well, I had a little practice with my three year old grandson this weekend for the first one on my list which is Madame Badobedah, which is a new story by Sophie Dahl and read by the author. Sophie Dahl is Roald Dahl's granddaughter and so this is a little English story that has shades of Harriet the Spy, Elouise, and just the wonderful humor and joy that a lot of English children's stories have. Very fun for families, very fun to learn how to say Badobedah. So that's one of my choices for families. Another one is Bernard Pepperlin, which is a little story about a Dormouse and in the new world, leaving the tea party and Alice behind, Dormouse finds himself in New York City. So it's a very cute story, wonderful to have families think about Alice and loving Alice in Wonderland and then have this new sort of take with the Dormouse being the star.

Julie Twomey: That's great. And that would be a great pick for the car rides is what I'm thinking for the holidays.

Robin Whitten: And another title that has gotten a lot of attention, just gotten onto the New York Times Children's Bestseller list is Dasher by Matt Tavares who is a main author and illustrator and it's the story of a young reindeer, as you can imagine, and read by Laural Merlington. So this is a very seasonal title but very fun.

Julie Twomey: That's great. Those are great suggestions. And let's talk about personal growth and development with some picks from Francisca.

Francisca Goldsmith: One of the most recent reviews that we've published, is one I'm really excited about, is The Art of Flaneuring. And this is a book by Erica Allen about the fine art of walking and wandering and just leading your path into discovery for better life by going out there and seeing what's what and who's where, outside your car, outside a bus or a train or an airplane and just being in the landscape, the cityscape, the country scape, seeing other people. Anti Art is the narrator for this and one of the things that I really enjoy about reading the review and then seeing how the narrator responded to it on her Twitter feed is that she herself is a walker and a wanderer and was delighted to have this book come to her as an assignment for narrating and also to be able to share her joy of wandering with other people. So that's one that definitely with the holidays coming up, wandering is a great way to de-stress. It's de-stress.

Robin Whitten: Maybe you should spell Flaneur for everyone because it's not a word we see all the time.

Francisca Goldsmith: It's F as in Frank, L-A-N as in Nancy, E-U-R, the French term. And this is something that's picked for personal development also has a holiday stress tie in and that's a title called I Just Haven't Met You Yet. And this one is by Tracy Strauss who suffered from childhood abuse and sexual abuse and it's about dating and love life after having a very difficult time with abusive relationships. So what is it Teri Clark Linden has chosen to narrate it is helpful because instead of making it emotional and dramatic, she helps the listeners dial down emotion and pay attention to how to confront and handle your feelings about past experiences as you move into dating and love and life in general in the present. So that's another one that for many people will be quite helpful at the holiday season.

Julie Twomey: Thank you, Francisca. Those both sound great as somebody who struggles with some of that myself, I think some really good tips will come from that. Francisca can you also give some picks about business development?

Francisca Goldsmith: Sure. One that is specific to businesses as in people who have gone out and struck papers and they are in business, The Lemonade Life, which is How to Fuel Success, Create Happiness and Conquer Anything. This one is read by the author who is Zack Friedman and he himself does a lot of work with people helping them to get started on building a creative legacy that makes use of the small business model prism, which is perspective, risk, independence, self-understanding and motivation. So that's one for people who are interested in starting a small business or want to sharpen their skills in a small business that they already have.

There are however business matters that all of us have to take care of in our personal lives as well and one that I'm particularly excited about right now is a new book by Chanel Reynolds called What Matte Most, A Guide to Wills, Money, Insurance and Life's "What-ifs". Right now I'm helping someone who's living through this what-ifs and this kind of audio book read by Erin Bennett who is a fabulous narrator who often does literature of fiction as well as non-fiction, is just the sort of guide that can help you settle down and figure out, what do I need to take care of now in terms of business matters that could help either me or my loved ones in the future when we can't really pay attention to the fine details of, and that's called What Matter Most.

Julie Twomey: I love the sound of that. I think people can definitely take away some tips for prioritization especially this time of year, so that's a great recommendation. One of my favorite categories is mystery and suspense, especially during the holidays. There's just something about it. So Robin are there any newer exciting mysteries that you can recommend?

Robin Whitten: Oh absolutely Julie. I don't need the holidays to be a fan of mystery and suspense.

Julie Twomey: Same. Same.

Robin Whitten: But I have a couple that I've been enjoying and one of them is Robert Harris's new book which is called Second Sleep, which is quite a different sort of title for Robert Harris since it's set in kind of new world, which is actually a medieval world and it takes almost the entire audiobook to figure out what's going on, because there it's like a time warp. So it's very unlike Robert Harris who is usually doing quite marvelous historical fiction where we can sort of check his facts. This one is very inventive, very interesting and it's read by a British narrator Roy McMillan, who is excellent. He just has the right story telling to take you along through this very curious and interesting title.

Julie Twomey: Great. And that was called Second Sleep?

Robin Whitten: Second Sleep. Yeah. And then I have another one that I was very surprised by. Patricia Cornwell has been a popular mystery writer for so long and she's had really not, I don't know ups and downs, but she's had waves of popularity. She's just started a new series. This one is called Quantum. What's exciting about it is that it's read by January LaVoy who is as we all know one of the great narrators that we have right now. So I think January has taken hold of this series. It's about a NASA pilot and it's the start of a series, female pilot. So that has a lot of potential and I thought it was so great that new series, new narrator, as far as I know for Cornwell and quite a success.

Julie Twomey: I myself as a mystery lover, I love series, especially if it's something I like. You're able to keep it going. So that's a perfect recommendation.

Robin Whitten: Can I give you one more if you really like series and have been going a long time?

Julie Twomey: Absolutely.

Robin Whitten: There's a new Alexander McCall Smith, Mma Ramotswe series, this is number 20 in the series and it's To the Land of Long Lost Friends. Wonderful voices, a great story and the narrator, Lisette Lecat has done all 20 of them and she is still going strong with this newest one. So that's either the beginning of a series or the end, we've got it covered.

Julie Twomey: Perfect. That's great. Now let’s segue to a discussion about AudioFile Magazine. There have been a few issues that have been published since our last conversation, but I wanted to talk about a few topics that I found interesting in some of your recent issues. So Robin, in the August September issue of AudioFile Magazine you feature City of Girls on the cover, that's by Elizabeth Gilbert and read by Tony Award winning actress Blair Brown. I really enjoyed this article about Blair. I was struck by her dedication to reading books by important female authors. Can you talk a bit more about the article and why you decided to lead with it for your cover?

Robin Whitten: Well I think we always try to find a book in our planning ahead because we're several months ahead when we're planning these issues. We want to find an audiobook that is going to get a lot of attention, that we know has been reviewed well and is a great listening experience. We were very excited in the case of Elizabeth Gilbert to have not only the book being announced early, but also that Blair Brown was going to be reading it and that she would be available for us to do an interview, which is a big part of that.

Julie Twomey: Yeah. I really enjoyed the interview. I thought it was really insightful. Since we're talking about important female voices in our literature, can you recommend some additional new releases that feature female authors or narrators? I'm going to start with Robin.

Robin Whitten: Well there are several. I think this fall, Elizabeth Strout's, Olive, Again is a continuation of her very strong series and the narrator Kimberley Farr has read all of her titles that was quite fabulous. Tomi Adeyemi, Children of Virtue and Vengeance. She's the author of Children of Blood and Bone and the narrator is Bahni Turpin, so that was most celebrated last year and here she has a new release, so I think we can certainly be very excited about that. Another title that gives us a different cultural mix, is Dominicana by Angie Cruz, and it's read by a Dominican actress Coral Pena. So I love to see that combination. We're seeing it more from publishers and their casting. I think the other one that I'd like to mention is Edwidge Danticat's stories published this year called Everything Inside and read by Robin Miles. Robin Miles has done many of Danticat's titles over time. So it's another so of continuation that's very nice, between female narrators and authors.

Julie Twomey: Yeah, those sound great. And Francisca, what are your picks for female authors or narrators?

Francisca Goldsmith: I'm just going to pitch a couple of fairly new, in the first case a fairly new author, not completely new, working with a narrator whom I've heard in other situations, but we've just give our Earphones Award, which is our version of a starred review to Tamsyn Muir, Gideon the Ninth, which is a fantasy novel and I think it's a fantasy novel that will surprise people who haven't listened to fantasy in a while or the fantasies they've listened to are mostly best seller type fantasies. This one has great story telling and Moira Quirk who is the narrator on it, knows how to completely immerse listeners in the plot. So you fall away, you're no longer listening in that wonderful way that when you are reading with your eyes you're no longer paying attention to the fact that the light is dimming perhaps in the room where you're reading. That's called Gideon the Ninth.

Then another new narrator I want to call attention to is Jayne Entwistle. Jayne Entwistle reads a variety of literary types including some children's work. She's won some national awards for her reading and a recent book that she has made is The Spies of Shilling Lane. This is a historical fiction. It takes place in Britian, in London during the split. It's by Jennifer Ryan, but the reason I want to call attention to Jayne Entwistle is because she is a model of speaking the author's words in phrasing that makes immediately clear sentences that we might not have understood so well if we were reading them with our eyes. We might have had to go back and re-read the sentence once we read it in full because we weren't really sure where the emphasis went. Jayne Entwistle is a master at helping people become more attune to how crafty authors can be with where they've put their various phrases. That's called the Spies of Shilling Lane.

Julie Twomey: The Spies of Shilling Lane, I love that.

Francisca Goldsmith: Jayne Entwistle does the Alan Bradley, the Flavia de Luce mystery series, just to go back to mysteries for a second Julie.

Julie Twomey: Let's move to another topic, so there's also been some important releases by men as well and Over The Top written and narrated by Jonathan Van Ness, is featured in AudioFile and I wanted to talk about that a little there. Francisca can you talk about that and also give your picks for self-love and acceptance?

Francisca Goldsmith: Interestingly just as Robin pointed out that we're seeing more and more attention being paid by publishers to having narrators chosen or cast who are actually members of the community from which a book might arise or the author him or herself arises, we're also seeing a really bounty of books about lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual, questioning and other people. So in attention to titles that you've mentioned, there's also Adam Rippon's memoir, Beautiful on the Outside. Adam Rippon is a very out gay ice skater who has lived a life in which he has fought a number of demons including some eating disorder issues. But a surprise here is he's an excellent writer. His writing pulls one in. It is a memoir, so he is really speaking of his own point of view of things, so it might not be 100 factually correct. Who knows, who cares? But he also proves to be a very good narrator, as well as a memoirist. So for people who are looking for a novel of overcoming and seeing that there's hope on the other side, Beautiful on the Outside is definitely one to pick up.

Another one which is from an interesting series called Jewish Lives, and it's actually an academic series, but it's sort of academia that general readers can read quite easily. In the Jewish Lives series, there is now a volume that is about Harvey Milk, the very well known San Francisco mayor who was assassinated. This new one which is simply called Milk is narrated by Joel Froomkin. In it we not only visit Harvey Milk's own life, which includes the fact that he was in the Navy, he was an officer, he grew up in New Jersey, moved to California. He repaired cameras, there's a really good reason why the gay male community and cameras have something in common, maybe this book will help in understanding it, but it also goes into the immense attention and care that Harvey Milk had for inclusiveness. And this is in a period of time well before we think of. You think of the last five or 10 years as being the period in which we're really paying attention to inclusiveness in society and it's that Harvey Milk was always doing that back in the 70s and even in the 60s. It's simply called Harvey Milk.

Julie Twomey: Robin, were there any picks that you wanted to recommend?

Robin Whitten: Well I just wanted to recommend one that is really brand new that we're just publishing the review of which is Alan Cumming and a memoir called Legal Immigrant, which is actually sort of a live performance that Cumming has done. He is so charming, so honest and engaging, that I think this is another title to add into that group.

Julie Twomey: And I want to switch to the August-September issue of AudioFile. I noticed that you had a interview with Scott Brick from your Behind the Mic AudioFile podcast. He's one of my absolute favorite narrators. He seems like such a cool character and I just love his voice. In the article I was really happy to learn that he was also and author. Robin, can you let our audience know a little bit more about the AudioFile podcast and talk about some other voices that are featured on that program?

Robin Whitten: Absolutely. We're having a ball with our Behind the Mic with AudioFile Magazine podcast. We started it with a fairly clear idea of what we were going to do, which was to recommend one audiobook each day in a very short little four minute conversation, that was the central theme of what we were going to do, but we found that it was really fun to add in maybe once a month have a bonus episode that is with an extended interview with the narrator or an author because that conversation is quite different from a print interview. When you can hear someone like Scott Brick or George Guidall talk about their craft, tell listeners a little bit more of their lives in their own voices, just the way we enjoy an audiobook memoir. We're really hearing from them. So we do this, the long interviews pretty much once a month and you'll have to everyone who's listening will have to look forward to January where we have an interview with Jim Dale. So that will be very exciting having him talk about Harry Potter as well as many of the other things that he has done in audiobooks.

But we also, I think one of the things about the Behind the Mic podcast that's interesting is that there are four editors who work on this and each one of us takes a week of titles and we pick five titles because this comes out every day. We pick five titles to talk about with our host Jo Reed. So each of us have slightly different interests. Emily Connelly loves fantasy, literary fiction and YA and children's titles. So sometimes she will pick a selection of those. I'm always happy to talk about mysteries, so I usually pepper a few of those in. Michele Cobb and Jonathan Smith have different interests and so their audiobooks are very different in the selection. We switch every week to a different editor talking with Jo. So it really mixes up the podcast a bit and also in four minutes, how long does it really take to recommend an audiobook.

Julie Twomey: Yeah, I love that. That makes it easy to digest. People can fit it in easy into their day. It's a great idea. I also read that you just celebrated one year of podcast, so congratulations.

Robin Whitten: Yes, it's been great fun and really quite a learning experience, but we are having fun with it.

Julie Twomey: Yep, absolutely. Same here, we're going through the same kind of thing and it's just really exciting to be trying something new. So, I give you kudos for that. So for our listeners if you want to take a listen to the AudioFile podcast, you can simply go to\podcast. Let's continue here.

So Robin in the October-November issue of AudioFile, you write about the vast selection of audiobooks in your editor's notes and the challenge of choosing one from so many, and I can so relate to that. I have probably 20 downloaded on my phone, and I just wish I could listen to them all at the same time. And so it's a good problem to have. But can you provide listeners with tips to find audiobooks that resonate with their personal preference?

Robin Whitten: Well I'm a little reluctant to answer this in the company of so many librarians who do reader service, but AudioFile is sort of a big reader service in a way. Yeah, but I often say, you really have to follow your preferences of your print reading, your favorite authors and then check the reviews, because you'll find one of our reviewers who's also a listener saying something about that title or author and one of the things that I can suggest is that our reviewers are quite active and that all the reviews are signed. So if you find someone who you like their reviews, you agree with what they say, then you can follow that reviewer and check out what they're listening to next.

Julie Twomey: That's a great suggestion. Francisca did you anything to add to that?

Francisca Goldsmith: I do, because we're winding down to the end of 2019, when we are recording this and at the beginning of 2019, AudioFile Magazine put out 12 listening challenges, where AudioBook listeners who kind of wanted to up their listening game in the same way that other places were putting out reading challenges for the year, so we published 12 listening challenges and we had quite a number of people who at first signed on to do it, and now that we're in December, we've actually had two people who took up everyone of those challenges. That challenge was designed to kind of open your mind and your awareness to approach audiobooks in a different way, so for finding even more things that you like. So for example, one challenge which was appropriate for April, since it's National Poetry Month was to listen to audiobooks of poets reading their own poetry.

However, one was really pretty funny, and they're rolling in right now on Twitter, which is why I'm very aware of them, is one month's challenge was to listen to an audiobook in a genre that you would never read with your eyes. And people are doing it and it's really fun to see their responses to that. We're still getting ones with things like, "So I listened to all of the titles that made it to the Audie's finalist list, but not in 2019, in a previous year." So there was not that energy of, oh I have to pick the winner, because the winner was already known. It's listen to the other ones. What were they like in that category for you? Did you like one of them better. So that kind of stuff. It's just a way of peaking people's appetite for exploring the format a little differently.

Julie Twomey: I think those are great tips. Francisca with your background in libraries, can you offer students some tips to finding audiobooks that they may enjoy, especially with school breaks coming.

Francisca Goldsmith: Well with school breaks coming I would suggest that they look and see which titles they've already downloaded from AudioBooks SYNC in previous summers, since that program which we run every year is now 10 years old, I'm sure they've got some lurking around somewhere. It's also the time of year though that we start announcing our new list for the 2020 season, so I would suggest that librarians and teachers and family members keep track of that AudioBook SYNC program for students coming up in the upcoming year.

Francisca Goldsmith: I can tell you that one of the titles that's coming up is one that I just found completely delightful when I was reviewing it for AudioFile Magazine, and it's called The Silence Between Us. It's a young adult novel, it's by an author named Alison Gervais who herself is hard of hearing. So we're talking about an audiobook made from a novel written by an author who is hard of hearing. The narrator is a woman named Chloe Dolandis. Chole Dolandis is not someone I had come across before as a narrator, but one of the things she does in this audiobook that is completely stunning is she reads poor English, which is how most young adult novels are written. They're written the way people talk. She reads the passages that are in the American sign language and she reads the passages that are in speaker spelling. She differentiates among those two ways of communicating, but she does it without any stereo typing or any stigma. So it is in effect like listening to something that's been translated from two different languages, as well as being in English. So it definitely has been interesting and we're bringing it to AudioBook SYNC next summer.

Julie Twomey: Yeah, that's so interesting. I hadn't heard of that before, being able to differentiate like that. So I'd be very curious to experience that for myself. Francisca on a similar note, can you offer faculties some recommendations that are either being used in curriculums or good accompaniment to particular majors?

Francisca Goldsmith: Sure. Another area in which we review fairly new audiobooks is, AudioBooks is reviewing right now of either classical or contemporary classical works. So fairly recently one of the books that came across my reviewing desk was the philosopher, the early mid 20th Century ... Mid 20th Century, not really ... Hannah Arendt, who wrote a book called On Revolution. Now here is a political scientist and philosopher who is probably best known for her magazine coverage of Eichmann's trial in Jerusalem, but On Revolution is about the political theory of revolution. You think to yourself, okay, that must have been absolutely deadly as an audiobook. It was not. And it wasn't because Tavia Gilbert who is the narrator in this case did exactly what an excellent narrator does with a complex text and that is they have gone through it enough times before performing that it becomes for the listener the same sort of experience that the listener would have if he or she were reading it for the third or fourth time with their eyes. So certainly for political science teachers and for philosophers, I would suggest looking into things like listening to On Revolution, other philosophical and theoretical text which when they're given fine performance can actually make that text completely fresh, new and inspiring.

Julie Twomey: I think that's a great tip and it's something that we're hearing a lot too from my company EBSCO's side, is that a lot of text for history and the ones that you mentioned, they're not always so easy for folks to approach in print. So having that opportunity to have them in an audiobook form is really helpful. So I think that's a great tip. So I just wanted to now talk about the new issue of AudioFile that was just released this month, which is like the best of. It's super exciting. What can readers look forward to in this new issue? And let's start with Robin.

Robin Whitten: Well, best lists are always interesting. I think people love them and hate them for somewhat the same reason is trying to decide whether you agree with what's on them.

Julie Twomey: Right. Right.

Robin Whitten: But I think that AudioFile's best list have a very specific focus that is not like everyone else's and that is because the listening experience is that's what's best. Is that's in these titles that's what we care about is the listening experience and there are some titles that are on a lot of best books list and I use the NBA winner, The Yellow House, but it's not on ours. We have chosen titles that we focus on the performance. We focus on different styles of performances. So we've got things that are full cast. We've got assemble readings with lots of different voices. Some of them there are different performance styles like a staged reading that this type of thing that L.A. Theater Works does, which is an actual play being read on a stage. Some have lots of sound and lights and a soundscape of sound effects. Some of them are the very intimate single voices. So we run the gamut of all of those. There are nine subjects that we have divided the list into. So if you're not interested in memoirs you can skip right over and go to the mysteries.

Julie Twomey: Yeah, I love that breaking it out by sections like that. It makes it easier.

Robin Whitten: Yes, and each one of the titles there's a sound clip with each one. You can also see right away whether we have a podcast with the narrator or an interview with the author or something right there on the little card for each of the titles as you look through.

Julie Twomey: Oh, I love that. I love that interaction that you can do, especially with everything being digital now. It's so convenient.

Robin Whitten: Yes. Yes. One of the exciting part of the lists is on our podcast for last week and this week, we do have little conversations with some of the narrators whose titles are in the list. So today we have a conversation with J.D. Jackson, the narrator of The Attica Locke titled Heaven, My Home. That's one of our best mysteries of the year and J.D. talks about it a little bit. Just another short little interview. So we've amplified the list in a number of ways.

Julie Twomey: Francisca did you want to add anything about the best picks?

Francisca Goldsmith: Just to circle back to some of the things that we've talked about already in this podcast in terms of matching, making sure there is some sort of match between the narration and the culture of the particular audiobook. One of the ones for instance that's made it to the children's and family listening list is, We Are Grateful, which is by Traci Sorrell who is Cherokee and it is about all the ways in which people are grateful throughout the year based on Cherokee traditions. Her family and friends are actually the narrators in this, including one of her younger relatives who was 15 when the audiobook was recorded, who had actually won best speaking award for the Cherokee language in his high school language class. So, that sort of experience also can open even the most experienced of audiobook listeners to understanding another way of listening and another value that audiobooks can have that can very much out strip the print book in which if you were looking at this just in print, you really would struggle, although there is a printout in the back, you would struggle to pronounce things the way they should be pronounced.

Julie Twomey: Okay, great. So thank you for talking about the top picks from your recent issue. I'm really excited to look into those further now that I have some suggestions. Was there anything else.

Robin Whitten: Well there certainly are lots of choices here and I think that one of the things that is really behind each of our selections is that we want to be sure that the listener reader is getting something more than they might in print. Some little bit of magic. A really good example of that is The Testaments by Margaret Atwood. This title is on lots of lists, but the cast makes all the difference of the audio book. So-

Julie Twomey: Yeah, I'm not surprised to learn that that was chosen as a top pick. Yeah, we actually offer a short clip to The Testaments on our social media channels. It's something that we're going to try to do more of and Ann Dowd reprises her role as Aunt Lydia and she's absolutely mesmerizing in her performance. So listeners can checkout clips from The Testaments by searching for EBSCO on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. So I hope you will go ahead and enjoy that. So in conclusion, I want to end with what we're listening to now and let's start with Francisca.

Francisca Goldsmith: One of the things that I'm listening to right now, or just finished listening to, it's relatively brief, is a collection of poetry called Libretto for the Desert. This by Sona Van and it is a work that is in translation from Armenia by Shushan Avagyan and it's read interestingly enough, it's performed by an actress who is Polish, Beata Pozniak. So here we have a very multicultural approach to presenting poetry. It is a collection of poetry on the theme of the Armenian genocide, which happened just over 100 years ago. It is also something that fits very well into today's world, but one of the reasons that I've been listening to it is because one of the things that we do at AudioFile Magazine on a weekly basis, is draw attention to a work that's in translation, because that also ups the ante a little bit for both the listener and the narrator, because they're presenting material that may be sensitive to a particular culture or language use and yet they're presenting it in English which is not the language it was written in. But I'm rather transfixed by that at the moment I would say.

Julie Twomey: It's something I've wanted to get into as well, is listening to poetry. So that's a really good recommendation. Robin, how about you?

Robin Whitten: Well let's see, I have next in my little listening queue, is The Secret Commonwealth, which is Philip Pullman's new title read by Michael Sheen. I've been saving it until I had a couple long trips so I wouldn't be interrupted too often. But I'm also, because I'm watching on HBO, watching Historic Materials, which is based on The Golden Compass and the trilogy surrounding that. And this is a sequel later on in the character's lives, so it's spectacular from all accounts, our review and other members, friends who have listened. So that's what I'm about to listen to.

Julie Twomey: Oh that sounds great. For me, I just downloaded The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes and narrated by Julia Whelan. It's actual funny one of my colleagues mentioned it to me last week. We had an episode with Julia a few months back and it got some of my colleagues to listen to some from her materials, so she worked the opposite way and gave me a recommendation. So it's just one of the really cool ways of sharing that this podcast does.

Robin Whitten: Indeed, and I will double that recommendation, because I just finished The Giver of Stars, so I enjoyed it thoroughly and Julia Whelan is amazing. It's spectacular.

Julie Twomey: She really is. Yeah, and one of the things I like about her is she's able to do the male and female voices in a way where it's not jarring or anything like that. It's just a really easy listen with her. So, that's great. Excellent.

Robin Whitten: Very good. And you know The Giver of Stars is about librarians, so what a perfect thing to end with.

Julie Twomey: So perfect. Exactly. Thank you for pointing that out. So great. That concludes our episode ladies. Thank you so much and I want to look forward to working with you again.

Robin Whitten: Thank you Julie.

Francisca Goldsmith: Thank you so much Julie.

Julie Twomey: Thank you have a great day everyone.

It's easy for libraries to subscribe to AudioFile Magazine through Flipster, EBSCO's digital magazine newsstand. For individual subscriptions you can go to Thank you.

Transcripts are generated using a combination of speech recognition software and human transcribers, and may contain errors.

Transcripts are generated using a combination of speech recognition software and human transcribers, and may contain errors.

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