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Audiobooks

Bryan Cranston Talks About ‘The Things They Carried’

Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston has narrated the audiobook edition of Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried. In the video interview above, the award-winning actor talked about narrating the classic book.

You can listen to the first chapter for free online at this link. Producers Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman will work together with documentarian Ken Burns to curate an audiobook collection for Audible called Playtone.

The series is named after the three creators’ film and television production company, featuring a wide range of books.  

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Bryan Cranston To Narrate ‘The Things They Carried’

audible_logo._V400592310_Producers Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman will work together with documentarian Ken Burns to curate an audiobook collection for Audible called Playtone.

The series is named after the three creators’ film and television production company, featuring a wide range of books–you can see the complete list of titles below.  The series will include Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried narrated by Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston. Check it out:

Other books in the Playtone line are the classic war memoirs With the Old Breed by E.B. Sledge and Helmet for my Pillow by Robert Leckie. These two memoirs, which inspired Playtone’s award-winning HBO miniseries The Pacific, are narrated by the actors who portrayed Sledge and Leckie in the series, Joseph Mazzello and James Badge Dale, and both feature introductions by Hanks. Finally, celebrated documentarian Burns (The Civil WarThe Dust Bowl) has handpicked a selection of audiobooks covering the past 150 years of American history that has inspired his own work, personally recording introductions to each.

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Free Public Domain Audiobook Site Gets Update

librevoxLibriVox, the free public domain audiobooks website, has received a “major facelift” thanks to donations and a grant. You can now browse free audiobooks by AuthorTitleGenre/Subject and Language.

The site now counts 7,000 projects, recorded by dedicated volunteers around the world. Follow this link to visit the new and improved site:

In 2005, Hugh McGuire asked: “Can the net harness a bunch of volunteers to help bring books in the public domain to life through podcasting?” The LibriVox site has recently undergone a major facelift, making it far easier to browse and find great public domain audiobooks. In addition, the underlying software that helps thousands of volunteers contribute to LibriVox has been completely rebuilt. This rebuild project was funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and donations from the public.

Charles Bukowski Audiobooks Coming for First Time

Fans of Charles Bukowski can listen to audiobook editions of his work for the first time ever. HarperCollins plans to release eight audiobooks for the late writer’s 93rd birthday. The digital audiobooks will be available on August 13th.

The books include: Post OfficeSouth of No NorthFactotumWomenHam on RyeHot Water MusicHollywood, and Pulp. Actor and audiobook narrator Christian Baskous  will read the books.  Ecco publisher Daniel Halpern had this comment:

It would be Bukowski himself reading here, if the technology had advanced quickly enough.  But his voice rings clear and deep in these renditions – and from them, the genius of Bukowski flows forth.

(Image via)

Oprah Winfrey & Forest Whitaker Read on ‘The Butler’ Audiobook

Oscar winner Forest Whitaker, Emmy Award-winning talk show host Oprah Winfrey and Lincoln actor David Oyelowo will lend their voices to the audiobook edition of  The Butler: A Witness to History.

Atria Books’ 37 INK imprint will publish the print edition of Wil Haygood’s nonfiction book; a biography that profiles an African-American butler named Eugene Allen who was employed at the White House for 34 years.

The three actors will all star in adaptation of the novel, directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Lee Daniels.

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Free Philip Roth Audiobook Raises Funds for the Newark Public Library

The great Philip Roth recorded himself reading “In Memory of a Friend, Teacher and Mentor” to raise funds for the Newark Public Library.

Every time a reader downloads the free audiobook version of the eulogy Roth wrote for his former teacher, Audible will donate $1 to the Newark Public Library (up to $25,000). The Paris Review caught up with Roth to find out more, getting his thoughts about his childhood library:

The library was very important to me as a kid. The main Newark Public Library was downtown, and I went to a branch library where I lived, about a mile away. I went often, when I got to be eleven, twelve, thirteen. Then, my first year of college, I went to college there in Newark—Newark-Rutgers, now—and the college didn’t have a library, so the Newark Public Library was our library. I’m very attached to it. And I don’t want it to go under. Not that $25,000 will save it, but it can’t hurt.

Colin Firth Wins Audiobook of the Year for ‘The End of the Affair’

Actor Colin Firth and Audible Studios won the Audiobook of the Year prize at the Audie Awards last night for an audiobook edition of Graham Greene’s The End of the Affair.

We’ve linked to all the winners below. In addition, Dracula by Bram Stoker won the distinguished achievement in production award for an audiobook with work by Alan CummingTim CurryKatherine Kellgren and more. The audio drama award went to Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner. Firth had this statement in the release:

I’m grateful for this honor, and grateful for the opportunity to narrate one of my favorite stories—a great novel told in the first person makes for the best script an actor could imagine. None better than The End of the Affair … Theater and film each offer their own challenges and rewards, but narration is a new practice for me and the audiobook performance provides exhilarating possibilities for both actors and listeners.

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Turn Your Favorite Kid’s Book into an Audiobook

If you want to make a personalized audiobook for the kid in your life, StorySticker can help you with the transition.

Created by stkr.it, the tool will be unveiled at BEA next week. AppNewser has all the details:

StorySticker lets you do create audio recordings of yourself reading their favorite book so that they can listen to your voice at bedtime. The StorySticker audio book works through the combination of an app and a unique coded sticker that attaches to the inside of any children’s book. You can buy the stickers at a book retailer and paste it into your child’s book. Then you can download the free app and follow the prompts to record your reading. The recording is linked with the sticker and your child can hear your recording by scanning the StorySticker code or by selecting the book within the app.

Granta Best of Young British Novelists List Gets Audiobook

Audible has released an 11 hour and 43 minute audiobook edition of Granta‘s Best of Young British Novelists list.

We also collected free samples of the Best of Young British Novelists list, 20 different novels to explore. Here’s more about the Audible production:

Every 10 years, Granta Magazine dedicates a special issue celebrating the 20 best British novelists under the age of 40 … Audible invited all these young novelists to read their work – some of them did, and some of them chose to have their stories professionally narrated – and the result is an exciting blend of literary talent and spoken-word: These distinctive voices and the sense of place that permeate every story create a listening experience you will not soon forget.

 

Audible & Center for Fiction Establish Christopher Doheny Award

Audible and The Center for Fiction have established the Christopher Doheny Award, honoring the memory of an employee who died of cystic fibrosis.

The winner will receive $10,000, publication and promotion of their book both in print and audio formats. This award recognizes writers whose fiction or nonfiction manuscripts that focus on the topic of serious illness. You can email DohenyAward [at] audible [dot] com for more information.

Here’s more from the release: “The winner of the Christopher Doheny Award will demonstrate high literary standards while exploring the impact of illness on the patient, family and friends, and others. In recognition that authors frequently need support during the writing process, both manuscripts in process and completed manuscripts will be eligible.”

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