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Audiobooks

Actor Michael C. Hall Narrates ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’

51rZT5DkgdL._SL300_Dexter actor Michael C. Hall narrated an audiobook edition of Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote.

Audible.com released this work on February 11, 2014. This project marks the first time Hall served as a reader for an audiobook performance.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Hall had this statement: “Reacquainting myself with this landmark work of fiction was a pleasure and a privilege. Anyone only familiar with the film version of Breakfast at Tiffany’s will be astonished by the subtlety and beauty of Capote’s prose, and by the nuanced complexity of the story. For me, this is among the best scripts an actor could imagine.”

OverDrive Plans to Distribute DRM-Free Audiobooks

overdrive304Digital book distribution company OverDrive will discontinue the sale of audiobooks to libraries in the WMA format, and will only sell MP3 files.

This is a big deal because OverDrive is the largest audiobook distributor in the U.S. and it essentially means that most audiobooks in libraries going forward will be in a DRM-free format.

Here is more from the OverDrive blog: “This is in response to user preferences, widespread compatibility of MP3 across all listening devices and the fact that the vast majority of our extensive audiobook collection is already in MP3 format. This includes the audiobook collections from Hachette, Penguin Group, Random House (Books on Tape and Listening Library), HarperCollins, AudioGo, Blackstone, Tantor Media and dozens of others. Our publisher relations team is working closely with the very few remaining publishers who require WMA to seek permission to sell their titles in MP3 for library and school lending.” (Via BoingBoing).

Audiobooks.com is Offering Gift Cards For Audiobook Subscriptions

audiobooksAudiobooks.com is now selling gift cards for audiobook subscriptions.

The gift subscription gives the recipients access to one audiobook credit per month to listen to any book from the site’s library of more than 40,000 titles. Shoppers can add additional credits for $10 each if they want to give access to more than one book. The one month subscription costs $14.95, three months costs $39.95 and six months costs $74.95.

Customers can design the gift card from template gift cards and then include a personal greeting to the gift recipient. This includes the option to recommend a book to the gift recipient. The gift card will be delivered via email and will include the personal recommendation in the email. The card reads, “I think you’re going to really enjoy this book as your first listen card,” and the book’s cover is shown beneath the line.

Scribd and Oyster are also both offering subscriptions to eBooks as gift options.

Tim Ferris is Starting an Audiobook Imprint

timferrissTim Ferris, author of the The 4-Hour Workweek, has launched an audiobook imprint. He is calling it the Tim Ferriss Book Club. Through the imprint he is producing audio editions of previously published books that haven’t had their chance to really shine.

“Starting in college, I’ve fantasized about somehow driving fantastic but under-appreciated books into the limelight. I have a soft spot for out-of-print tomes and niche publications,” explained Ferris on his blog. “After three #1 bestsellers, I’ve finally pulled the trigger. For the last several months, I’ve been quietly buying audiobook and e-book rights to books that have changed my life, and producing audiobooks in professional studios.”

Ferris explained to TechCrunch that audio books are often discarded, but that they shouldn’t be as they have a lot of potential with the massive adoption of smartphones and tablets. Read more

World’s Creepiest Reading of Goodnight Moon

percy

Graywolf Press has released a recording of Benjamin Percy reading Goodnight Moon in his incredibly distinctive voice.

Percy manages to make the reading of Margaret Wise Brown‘s book both chilling and hilarious at the same time. Check it out:

Bedtime stories are supposed to settle the mind and calm the nerves. Benjamin Percy’s rendition of Goodnight Moon, however, will keep you up at night. If you’ve ever heard Percy, the author of Red Moon and The Wilding, read, you know that he has a voice like no other. His storybook reading is enough to give you nightmares. Happy Halloween from Graywolf Press! Don’t forget to check under the bed.

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.  

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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