Category Archives: Audiobook Narrators

June Is Audiobook Month #JIAM @audiobookSYNC

Get Caught Listening

To celebrate Audiobook Month, I’m listening to three audiobooks at the same time. (I’m listening to each one at different times, but all at the same time, too, if you know what I mean.)

Red Hook RoadUsually two at a time is my maximum for audiobooks, but I’m listening to Red Hook Road (Midwest Tape, 2010) written by Ayelet Waldman, narrated by Kimberly Farr, on CDs borrowed from the library, because I couldn’t get the audio download through OverDrive or Axis360 from any of my public library sources.

sin-eaters-daughter-101262-sync2016-2000x2000Then, when my Axis360 app wouldn’t work and I couldn’t finish listening to The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, narrated by Mia Barron the other day, I downloaded a SYNC free audiobook to listen to: The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury, narrated by Amy Shiels.

Since listening on CD means I can’t listen to Red Hook Road except at home and The Sin Eater’s Daughter is good so far, but not gripping, I decided to start Armada by Ernest Cline, narrated by Wil Wheaton, once I finished The Nest (which I really liked, by the way). I’ve been noticing a few reviewers have said they didn’t fall in love with Armada the way they did with Ready Player One, so I wanted to get to it before I ran across any spoilers.

ArmadaI haven’t gotten too far into Armada, but I like it! So far there’s really no love story going on, it’s all Space Invader-style video game and scifi movies, but Wil Wheaton’s narration is great and I’m enjoying the voice of the main character.

SYNC from AudioFile

What I really wanted to mention with this post, though, was the weekly free audiobook downloads that are offered by AudioFile through the annual SYNC program, where you can download two audiobook titles a week: a YA novel paired with either a classic novel or multi-voice production of a play.

The selection changes each Thursday at 7 am. EDT, so bookmark audiobooksync.com to check selection weekly, or to sign up to receive weekly email or text reminders.

sync-poster-no-dates-2016-finalIf you have the OverDrive app on your phone or mp3 player already, all you need to do is add SYNC as a library and you can easily download the weekly selections. (They do take up room on your phone, though, so you might want to download them on a computer if you’re not going to listen right away.) There is no loan period; the audiobook files are yours to keep!

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry (Audio)

cover image of audiobook on CDThe Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, a novel by Gabrielle Zevin, is about a grieving widower named A.J. – old before his time at not even 40 – whose lonely life as a judgmental, cantankerous bookseller on Alice Island (a fictional Massachusetts island much like Martha’s Vineyard) is transformed when a small child named Maya enters his life. Narrated by Scott Brick, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry was one of my favorite audiobooks of 2014. Bookish and clever, funny and moving, it’s a wonderful story, even if completely unrealistic.

I started this post back in May, but never wrote up a review, so I thought I’d just share a couple of quotes from the book. Lambiase (pronounced Lamb-bee-ay-zay, as I recall) is the police detective who is investigating the abandonment of Maya in A.J.’s bookstore.

“Lambiase does not miss his wife, although he does miss having somewhere to go after work. He parks himself on the floor and pulls Maya onto his lap. After Maya falls asleep, Lambiase tells A.J. the things he’s learned about the mother.

‘What’s strange to me,’ A.J. says, ‘is why she was on Alice Island in the first place. It’s kind of a pain to get here, you know. My own mother’s visited me once in all the years I’ve lived here. You really believe she wasn’t coming to see someone specific?’

Lambiase shifts Maya in his lap. ‘I’ve been thinking about that. Maybe she didn’t have a plan of where she was going. Maybe she just took the first train, and then the first bus, and then the first boat, and this is where she ended up.’

A.J. nods out of politeness, but he doesn’t believe in random acts. He is a reader, and what he believes in is narrative construction. If a gun appears in Act One, that gun had better go off by Act Three.”

* * *

Lambiase nods, and drinks his wine. “Nobody’s saying you have to keep her.”

“Yeah, yeah, of course. But do you think I could have some sort of say in where she ended up? She’s an awfully smart little thing. Like she already knows the alphabet, and I even got her to understand alphabetical order. I’d hate to see her land with some jerks who didn’t appreciate that. As I was saying before, I don’t believe in fate. But I do feel a sense of responsibility toward her. That young woman did leave her in my care.”

If you like quirky books like Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore or Where’d You Go, Bernadette?, or books that are about books and reading, you’ll probably like The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry very much. Listen to an excerpt here.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry
Zevin, Gabrielle
Brick, Scott (narr.)
Highbridge Audio
April 2014
9781622313532
7 hours on 7 CDs
$29.95

Disclosure: I bought my own copy of this audiobook, which is nice, because I might want to listen to it again sometime.

Other opinions on the audiobook edition:
AudioFile
The Literate Housewife
Words and Peace

Audiobook Fans — Charity Auction and Marathon LIVE Reading @ALS_Bob

Many of our favorite audiobook narrators, including Karen White, are putting on an exciting event/fundraiser in Burbank, California next month – the Audiobook Marathon LIVE, But for those of us who don’t live out that way, there’s an online auction, so scroll on down for details on great audio-related auction items you can win – such as a personalized voice mail message recorded by famed narrator Scott Brick or a ticket to the 2014 Audie Awards Ceremony in New York City…

SAVE THE DATE…

The First Ever!
Audiobook Marathon LIVE: An ALS Charity Event
25 Hours, 12 Genres, 1 Amazing Cause!
The Victory Theater in Burbank, CA

Saturday, November 9, 2013 

WHEN: Starts Saturday, November 9, 2013 at 6:30 PM. Continues until Sunday, November 10, 2013 at 7:30 PM

WHAT: The First Ever Audiobook Marathon LIVE: An ALS Charity Event

You’ve heard them through your speakers, earbuds, and headphones, now see them perform live!  25 Hours, 12 Genres, 1 Amazing Cause! The event begins with a one hour Children’s Hour. The remainder of the event will occur in 90-minute performance blocks.

WHERE:

The Victory Theatre
3326 W Victory Blvd
Burbank, CA 91505

TICKETS:

• General Admission: $15

• Children’s Hour: $10 (6:30pm-7:30pm)

NOTE: after initial hour all tickets apply to 90-minute performance blocks

Audible Inc. has donated one free download with the purchase of every ticket.  Attendance required to collect. Tickets for the live audiobook marathon can be purchased at http://audiobooks.brownpapertickets.com

SCHEDULE:

Audiobook lovers and literature buffs can delight in the rare opportunity to see and hear LA’s top audiobook narrators and celebrity guests come together live to perform selections from time honored classics and contemporary best sellers of every genre.  The marathon will begin with a Children’s Hour followed by twelve 90-minute performance blocks.  In each block a different collection of five fan favorite narrators will read selections in a specific genre of literature.

  • Children’s Hour                       6:30pm-7:30pm
  • Humor                                   8:00pm-9:30pm
  • Thriller/Mystery                      10:00-11:30pm
  • Science Fiction                         Midnight-1:30am
  • Erotica                                   2:00am-3:30am
  • The Undead                           4:00am-5:30am
  • Inspiration/Health                   6:00am-7:30 am
  • Juvenile Fiction (Ages 6-10)     8:00am-9:30 am
  • Biography/Memoir          10:00am-11:30am
  • Romance                                Noon-1:30 pm
  • Classics                                  2:00pm-3:30pm
  • Multi-Cast                              4:00pm-5:30pm
  • Humor                                   6:00pm-7:30pm

Beer, wine, coffee and other refreshments will be available for sale in the lobby.

FUN & GAMES:

As the late night hours approach, throughout each 90-minute block the narrators and audience will be issued fun challenges to enhance, complicate, or render completely incoherent some of our most treasured stories.  Might we get a priceless opportunity to hear Scott Brick read Fifty Shades of Grey in a Scottish accent with a mouthful of marshmallows?  Anything is possible!

RAFFLE PRIZES & ONLINE AUCTION:

Alongside the performances there will be raffles with prizes that are sure to excite audiobook and literature fans alike. There will also be an online auction of rare items and once in a lifetime experiences.

Online auction prizes include:

  • Lunch with Henry Winkler (California)
  • A tour of Random House Studios during working hours
  • The Complete Works of Ernest Hemingway from Simon & Schuster Audio, a $400 value
  • Personalized voice mail message recorded by famed narrator Scott Brick
  • Visit George Guidall in a NYC studio and see the master at work
    • Countless bestselling audiobooks from top publishers Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, Random House, Scholastic, Blackstone, Recorded Books and more
    • Hunger Games set (Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay)
    • Signed Maggie Stiefvater sets:  Shiver series (Shiver, Linger, and Forever), The Scorpio Races (single title), Raven Cycle series (two titles have been published to date, The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves) all in library packaging with cover inserts signed by Maggie Stiefvater.
    • DVDs: Scholastic Treasury of 100 Storybook Classics — This is a box set of 100 Weston Woods films on 16 DVDs
    • Demo recording: For any NY-based voiceover talent willing to come to Weston Woods’ studio in Danbury, CT, three hours of studio time to record and edit an audiobook narration demo
    • Gift cards to Audible.com, High Bridge Audio, eChristian Audiobooks, and many more
    • Voice Over Talent Listing in Audiofile Magazine, a MUST for new narrators
    • A ticket to the 2014 Audie Awards Ceremony in New York City
    • A one year APA (Audio Publishers Association) membership

New prizes added every week leading up to the show!

To bid on one of these amazing prizes and many more visit 32 Auctions

WHO: A small sampling of industry-top narrators who will be involved.

Simon Vance
Scott Brick
John Lee
Julia Whelan
Kirby Heyborne
(and many more)

PROCEEDS: Proceeds from the auction will go to the ALS Association.  Ticket sales will go toward medical expenses and a new wheelchair for beloved audiobook producer Bob Deyan, who has been suffering with ALS disease for several months.

WHY: The 25 Hour Audiobook Marathon Live was inspired by audiobook producer Bob Deyan’s current fight with ALS.  Bob and his wife, Debra, manage Deyan Audio, a recording and production studio that has produced multiple Grammy and Audie Award winning audiobooks and brought work to hundreds of narrators and audio engineers.

While enjoying the grand opening gala of their new studios in Northridge, CA Bob’s leg began tingling.  That was the beginning.  Bob has been battling ALS for several months now.  He has since lost the ability to walk and can now only speak on occasion.  Friends, family, and professionals in the audiobook industry were stunned and saddened by Bob’s diagnosis.  But ever since discovering he is ill, Bob has made it his mission to battle this disease, which includes raising awareness as well as money for ALS-related charities.  Many in the industry have rallied behind him, uniting an often solitary community of professionals.  His health, however, has been fluctuating and with the escalating cost of hospital visits and home care the audiobook community wants to pick up the torch by continuing to raise money and awareness for research, and help Bob and Debra with their mounting medical expenses.  All donations raised toward Bob’s care will be facilitated by the not-for-profit Help Hope Live.

ABOUT DEYAN AUDIO:

Bob and Debra Deyan LOVE books and especially AUDIOBOOKS! So, when Bob and Debra got married they put their schooling and experience together and dove into the publishing world.  When they got started, audiobooks were recorded to 1/4″ tape. Things have come a long way since then!

Deyan Audio is a multimedia company, which was conceived in 1990 by Bob and Debra Deyan in Van Nuys, CA. Bob Deyan, from Los Angeles, has a BA in Radio/Television Broadcasting from the University of California Long Beach. Debra Deyan from Virginia Beach, holds a MBA from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA.

Bob produces, directs, and QCs (Quality Control) audiobooks, as well as manages the company alongside his wife Debra. He has produced over 1,000 audio books. Bob has directed celebrity readers such as Richard Dreyfuss, Craig Ferguson, Raven Simoné, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Alice Cooper, Dudley Moore, Juliet Mills, Ed Asner, Patrick MacNee and recorded Milton Berle, Whoopi Goldberg, Joe Mantegna and many more. Bob also works with celebrity authors and famous motivational speakers.

Besides more than 20 years in the audio book business, Bob has had experience as a Television Director, Videographer, Photographer, Voice Over/Radio Talent and Operations Manager for a Los Angeles based radio station. During his college days at UCA-LB, Bob was chosen out of hundreds of applicants to intern on the set of M.A.S. H. for several weeks based on a script he wrote for the show.

Debra manages the editing and engineering team and QCs. Debra is responsible for financials and daily operations. Before Debra started her 20 plus year career in audiobook creation, she used her MBA in the swimming pool supply business as a Director of Regulatory and Legal Affairs for seven years and prior to that she put herself through college as a saleswoman for 6 years in the wholesale fishing tackle industry.

ABOUT ALS:

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive degenerative disease that affects the nerves and spinal cord.  The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.  There is no cure or treatment to reverse the disease.

The mission of the ALS Association is to lead the fight to treat and cure ALS through global research and nationwide advocacy while also empowering people with Lou Gehrig’s disease and their families to live fuller lives by providing them with compassionate care and support.  We are a member of the National Health Council and the only national organization solely dedicated to fighting ALS on all fronts while directly serving the ALS community.  By leading the way in global research, providing assistance for people with ALS through a nationwide network of chapters, coordinating multidisciplinary care through certified clinical care centers, and fostering government partnerships, The ALS Association builds hope and enhances quality of life while aggressively searching for new treatments and a cure.

The Audiobook Marathon Planning Committee:

Mostly comprised of narrators, the committee behind the event includes Tara Sands, Cassandra Campbell,  Deanna Hurst-Levin, Steve Sidawi, MacLeod Andrews, Hillary Wilson, Kimberly Farr, Kathe Mazur, Coleen Marlo, Vikas Adam, Michael Goldstrom, Allyson Ryan, and Jessica Kaye.

Thank you to Karen White for sending all of the above information!

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