Audiobook Week: 2011-2012, My Audiobook Year

I’ve been listening to audiobooks for something like seventeen years now and have been working in the industry for nearly as long! Every year, there is something new that captures my attention in terms of book trends, narrating styles or changes in the industry itself; but to bring this closer to my own personal listening experience, I have to say that the thing that I’ve “discovered” this year is audio drama! Now I have listened to and worked on audio dramas in the past; but it has been only one of the many forms of audio that I listen to. This year as a part of the Armchair Audies (hosted by @lithousewife at I decided to listen to a couple of audio dramas that were finalists in this year’s Audies Awards.  The Mark of Zorro (by Johnston McCully; dramatized by Yuri Rasovsky; full cast performance) was the first finalist I listened to and it was great: really well produced and a lot of fun! I was really hooked on the form and I ended up listening to all five of the final nominees! I’m now eager to claim the same category in next year’s Armchair Audies. What was really interesting to me about the audio drama finalists, was that it held a few sub-genres in an of itself: studio productions, live staged readings, podcasts, and radio broadcasts. The things I look for in the performances are how quickly the actors get the characters up on their feet, edge-to edge energy (does the performance slag off at any point?) and how the sound effects are used. This is addition to the normal considerations of any audiobook as to being well cast and well executed.

See Also:
2010-2011, My Audiobook Year (My response to Jennifer K.’s (@devourerofbooks at Audiobook Week meme last year)

If you want to know more about me you can check out these two interviews:

If you want to know more about the Armchair Audies, you can check out the Armchair Audies (hosted by @lithousewife at and the wrap-up I wrote for the audio drama category, which also contains links to the individual reviews 🙂

n.b. – Jennifer will be moving the Armchair Audies to it’s own site before the next Audies start up, so stay tuned!) 



15 thoughts on “Audiobook Week: 2011-2012, My Audiobook Year

  1. If you decide to try out some audio drama, I strongly recommend both The Mark of Zorro (starring Val Kilmer) and I, Claudius (starring Tom Goodman-Hill and Derek Jacobi.) Both are truly excellent productions 🙂


  2. I loved Armchair Audies so much! I am planning on writing a post about the Audies themselves. Well, at least my impressions of the winners and how much fun I had sitting on the edge of my hotel bed because my phone was nearly dead and had to be plugged in. LOL! I can't wait to see what it becomes over the next year. Thanks so much for being my inspiration!


  3. You know, I've recently become curious about audio dramas. When I was a teenager I had a paper route. Our local radio station would play some old time audio dramas in the wee hours in the morning. I used to really enjoy them. Maybe it's time to pick one up again?


  4. Oh, yes! Definitely! Many of thee audio dramas have their foundations in radio plays! The Mark of Zorro was dramatized by Yuri Rasovsky who had quite a career in radio plays and, I,Claudius comes from BBC Radio 4! We're Alive, A Story of Survival: The First Season is a collection of podcasts about a group of survivors in a zombie apocalypse. The podcasts are immensely popular with millions of dnloads and are very much a 21st version of radio plays (you can get the first and second season in audiobook and the third season I believe is ongoing.)The plays are always a bit trickier, for me anyway, as the actors are playing to an audience that has visual aids. Even when it's a live staged reading, the audience can see the actor's faces, expression and body language. In audio, we can only extrapolate from what we can hear.


  5. Oh man. I was thinking about something the other day and wondered if you had ever created a post about it. But now I don't remember. Will rack brain…

    It's folks like you who are introducing so many to auditory reading–I love and admire your enthusiasm.

    Oh, I remember now. How did you get into audiobooks as a career?


  6. I've covered that a little bit in my interview with @lithousewife; but basically, I was shanghaied into proofing Umberto Eco's Foucault's Pendulum, narrated by Grover Gardner. There was a lot of untranslated foreign passages, phrases and words in the book and it was definitely a challenge, especially given Eco's rather obtuse style.

    I went on to proof and serve as a studio monitor (a sort of early version of the studio engineer)in the Washington , DC area and then I eventually (and briefly) had my own proofing and research company, dog eared copy.

    When DH got the gig as Studio Director at Blackstone, I came along with and have been accumulating bits for my job description ever since!

    One day I will write a longer post 🙂


  7. Oh do check it out! We flew by the seat of pants this year; but already things are in motion for next years' Armchair Audies! It's pretty straight forward: When the finalists are announced for the official Audie awards, you pick a category and listen to all (about 5 or 6) the audiobooks in that category. Then you decide who should win! ON the night of the Audies, we follow the live action with tweets from the event and we see who chose the same as the judges! I'm thinking prizes should be involved 🙂


  8. I admire the discipline of all you judges for the Armchair Audies. I couldn't keep up with all the categories, but will probably be referring back to all the reviews for years to come!
    I love Blackstone Audio! When I stopped by their booth at BEA to tell them, I got invited to lunch and to meet Ridley Pearson. He was very interesting and had a lot of ideas related to audio editions of his books.


  9. I think that I have only listed to one drama (live recording of a play) and it was great! I can't believe I haven't check out the Armchair Audies before.


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