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The newest book from author Colson Whitehead is The Nickel Boys, and it’s just as haunting, heartbreaking, and brilliant as his Pulitzer Prize-winning The Underground Railroad. Naturally, bringing Whitehead’s masterful prose to like via The Nickel Boys audiobook required an equally masterful narrator. Enter JD Jackson.

Learn more about award-winning narrator JD Jackson and his narration experience:
Tell us about The Nickel Boys.
The Nickel Boys is about a young man, Elwood, coming of age on the tail end of Jim Crow. He wants to go to college but ends up at a reformatory school, because of a system that fails him. His experiences at the Nickel Academy, which is based on a real school in Florida, expose the wounds of racism and violence that have left the scars we continue to scratch as a nation. Seeing this young man’s optimism and belief in Dr. King’s dream diminished at every turn is heartbreaking. Seeing his friend Turner’s cynicism validated is sobering. Props to Whitehead. He writes this in a way that makes hopelessness beautiful. Thoroughly enjoyed this book. A new classic, in my opinion.

Was there a character in the book that you found yourself wanting to explore more? Why?
The character I wanted to explore more would have to be Griff. What happens with him in the novel is pretty memorable. I would’ve liked to know his backstory. To see his arc from before the Nickel Academy, to after the boxing match. To know what experiences led him to bully, then champion the black boys’ dormitory, only to fail himself.

Is there a book or character that you’ve narrated that helped you explore parts of yourself?
I recently narrated a book called The Warner Boys, by Curt and Ana Warner. It’s a memoir by a former football star and his wife, who after years of self-imposed seclusion share their story of raising twin boys with severe autism. This book constantly made me reflect on my own adventures in fatherhood and forced me to measure my patience, faith, and strength with the Warners’. It put parenting in perspective and reminded me of just how blessed I am. It also showed how sharing your pain versus isolating yourself is the real salve.

What audiobook would you take with you on vacation?
The audiobook that I would take with me on vacation would have to be The Alchemist narrated by Jeremy Irons. One of my all-time favorite books. Sometimes I have to recalibrate or be reminded of my “personal legend.” And who better to take you on that literary journey than Jeremy Irons?

Listen to a clip of JD Jackson narrating The Nickel Boys:

“Haunting and haunted…devastating.”—Frank Rich, The New York Times Book Review (cover)

The Nickel Boys is a chilling, masterful novel that explores the depths of evil and the resilience of the human spirit. Whitehead’s prose is dazzling, and the narrative’s nimble twist is a swift kick to the solar plexus.”—The Minneapolis Star-Tribune

The post Q&A with JD Jackson, Narrator of <i>The Nickel Boys</i> appeared first on Penguin Random House Audio.

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By Justin Dean, author of Awesome Dog 5000

My sister’s Game Boy had run out of batteries.

The situation was dire. A double-A supply run was out of the question: the van only pulled over for two reasons, coffee and gas. It would be at least another hour before Dad would need a refill on either. No, Holly and I were stuck in the back seat holding a state-of-the-art white plastic brick with a black screen. Trading high scores had tragically killed our friend Tetris in a matter of hours. The family road trip wasn’t even at the halfway point, and I had already gone through all five stages of grief. The Game Boy was gone, and I had accepted boredom. Luckily, there was a fail-safe. I had brought my Walkman—or rather my affordably priced, generic, store-brand portable cassette player—and along with it, my complete music library: Vanilla Ice, MC Skat Kat, and a worn-out tape of that week’s top ten, recorded off the radio.

I think this is a good time to mention I’m eleven in this story.

I also had with me an audiobook, and by that I mean I was in possession of an actual book of audio. The plastic case opened to reveal a pair of numbered cassettes, labeled Sphere by Michael Crichton. A few days before the trip, I had tagged along with my mother to the library. Mom didn’t play Game Boy and wanted a book to bring along for the drive. It was a smart move on her part. Books rarely run out of batteries. Unfortunately, any attempt at me trying to read in the van always resulted in a bad case of motion sickness. Instead of Dramamine, Mom prescribed an audiobook. It would be my first.

As a new experience, choosing a title from the shelf would require a very thorough three-step vetting process: Is the font on the spine cool? If so, is the cover art cool? If so, is the summary on the back cool? By following this scientific method of coolness, Sphere was written in Helvetica-ish green, the cover showed a circle in water, and the summary seemed like pretty standard sci-fi fare. It was a quick and easy pass until five words obliterated the competition: “from the creator of Westworld.” Now at this point in my life, the list of my favorite robot movies went as follows:

  1. Terminator 2
  2. The Terminator
  3. RoboCop
  4. Westworld
  5. Short Circuit

So if this Michael Crichton guy was the same dude who made the sweet futuristic western about a haywire robo-cowboy amusement park, it only made sense in my fifth-grade brain that, of course, I’d love a contained adult psychological thriller about imaginary jellyfish!

I put on my affordably priced, generic, store-brand headphones and hit Play. It only took a few chapters, and I was completely hooked. For the first time I could enjoy a story on the go, and Sphere was taking me places. It had—spoiler alert from 1991—everything awesome: time travel, starships, A.I. run amok. I was transported from that boring highway in Oklahoma to a high-tech undersea habitat in the Pacific Ocean. I followed the scientists as they discussed the mysterious sphere and investigated its origins and potential sinister intent. A million questions cycled through my mind: What did it want? How did it get there? Can you please turn down the radio a little?

Even at max volume it was difficult to hear the narrator over the guitar licks of Boston’s “More than a Feeling.” My headphones’ little spongy ear-thingies were poor insulation against Dad’s classic rock station. He’d occasionally be nice enough to inch the dial back, only to mindlessly roll it forward again when he dug another tune. I was on an exciting underwater adventure scored intermittently by Lynyrd Skynyrd. There’s nothing quite like an intense chapter ending on a suspenseful cliffhanger, and just as it holds on that beat of perfect silence…“Free Bird” rocks out.

For the entire drive, every music legend from the Eagles to the Stones to the local car-dealership jingle contributed to my own personal Sphere soundtrack. It was one of my most frustrating, irritating, and, looking back now, formative experiences growing up. I burned through the two A and B sides of Sphere back to back, nonstop on that trip. I never stopped listening. It didn’t matter that Dad’s old timey music was annoying. I had to know what happened next in the story. My first audiobook was everything I had hoped. It showed me how a good story can grab the imagination and never let go. A good story can entice and intrigue. It pulls you through every word, sentence, paragraph, and chapter from departure to arrival. The best stories take you on a journey. An audiobook is one that goes along for the ride. When it was time for our next family road trip, Holly asked Mom for more batteries.

I asked for better headphones.

Listen to a clip and learn more about Justin Dean’s Awesome Dog 5000

Author: Justin Dean
Read By: Robbie Daymond

Marty, Ralph, and Skyler might make the ultimate secret combo when battling alien-slime ninjas in their favorite video game, but in real life they’re just regular kids. That is, until the three best friends discover Awesome Dog 5000, a robotic dog with very real power-ups. Life for Marty, Ralph, and Skyler just got a major turbo-boost!

“An awesome ride! Go, dog, go!”—Chris Grabenstein, #1 New York Times bestselling author

The post Road Trip Into the Ocean appeared first on Penguin Random House Audio.

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Need to get through your to-be-read list quickly but don’t have time? Love closing your eyes and hearing a great story at the end of a long day? Oh yeah, so do we. Check out our top ten reasons to queue up audiobooks this summer, and let the listening love affair begin!

Reason #10: Listening Makes Your Commute Fly By

Car pooling? Listen to a work-minded audiobook together. Little ones in the backseat? Find something the whole family can enjoy.

Reason #9: Begone, Bookmarks!

No need to keep track of bookmarks or pages, start and stop your listening where needed and pick up right where you left off.

Reason #8: Save on Bandaids 

Okay, this might be a larger issue (some of us are just prone to papercuts from life, okay?)—but audiobooks are also here to help.

Reason #7: Your Entire Reading List, in Your Pocket

Take your library with you and listen anytime, anywhere. No additional screens required.

Reason #6: The Ultimate Hands-Free

Hands-free reading! Set your pace with an audiobook and listen while you work out (see our top picks for fitness listening), or let an audiobook be your sous-chef in the kitchen while you cook, bake, or wash dishes.

Reason #5: Sit Back and Enjoy the View

Take audiobooks to the beach, the porch, or your fire-escape…and bliss out.

Reason #4: Avoid Book Bag Backaches

Bag too heavy? Back need stretching? Take a load off while still piling on some audio self-care.

Reason #3: Give ‘Em Something to Talk About

Catch up on your book club reading by listening to the audio edition, then play a page or two at your group’s gathering! Listening to characters spark off the page is sure to ignite conversation.

Reason #2: No More Asking, “How do you say…?”

Love a book but don’t know how to pronounce the main character’s name? It happens! Don’t even get us started on our childhood renditions of “Hermione.” Life pronunciation hack: listen to audiobooks.

Reason #1: Live the Dream: Read With Your Eyes Closed

Remember storytime? Whether listening on your own or co-listening with friends, family, or colleagues, audiobooks ARE storytime. They will pull you in, and take you back.

Need summer listening recommendations? Find your next audiobook by matching it to your favorite beer!

The post Top 10 Reasons to Listen to Audiobooks appeared first on Penguin Random House Audio.

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It’s July in New York and we’re wondering where the summer went. Also, how could we possibly be only 5 months away from 2020?! This year has truly flown by. When I’m not scheduling activities to make the most of the rest of the summer months, I’m finding solace through my air pods.

Here’s what I’m listening to:

There’s nothing more enjoyable than a great coming-of-age story, and City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert is just that: an audiobook about girlhood, about the relationships between women, and also a nostalgic love letter to New York City. Like Vivian, I find comfort in knowing that none of us really know what we’re doing and that we all go through ups and downs and get a little lost along the way.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been emotionally prepping myself for the premier of The Lion King movie by listening to the new soundtrack over and over again! (Petition to rename the movie Beyoncé Presents: The Lion King). Our queen of the jungle has stayed true to brand, delivering a regal, goosebump-triggering rendition of “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” alongside Donald Glover. The entire soundtrack is both comforting and brings me to tears at the same time. You’ll know where to find me on July 18th!

 
When I’m in need of some soul searching, I’m most likely tuning into On Purpose with Jay Shetty. Jay is an award-winning storyteller, life coach, and monk dedicated to making “wisdom go viral.” The podcast is a series of interviews discussing positivity, passion, and purpose, and the episodes are full of valuable, actionable content that leaves me feeling motivated and rejuvenated. Seriously, I can listen to that man talk forever.
 

For more Penguin Random House Audio staff picks, check out our archive!

The post What We’re Listening To: July 2019 Picks appeared first on Penguin Random House Audio.

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In this episode of This Is the Author, meet Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin, co-founders of The Skimm (whose audiobook is How to Skimm Your Life); Kristy Shen, co-author of Quit Like a Millionaire; and Summer Rayne Oakes, author of How to Make a Plant Love You.

With topics like making day-to-day tasks easier, learning about money, and caring for plants, these books were all inspired by these women’s desire to help others. Plus, discover which author’s dream narrator is Lorelei King—the voice behind Stephanie Plum.

S4 E41: Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin, Kristy Shen, and Summer Rayne Oakes - SoundCloud
(818 secs long, 15 plays)Play in SoundCloud

Learn more about their audiobooks:

Covering everything from personal finance, to career, to stress management, global politics, and more, this audiobook gives you the information you need to make informed and empowered decisions in your life.

From two leaders of the FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) movement, a bold, contrarian guide to retiring at any age, with a reproducible formula to financial independence.

“This book wants you to be rich: in money, in time, and in life. You have come to the right place. Kristy and Bryce take you through the process step by step, with actionable things that you can do no matter what your age, location, background, or education.”—JLCollins, bestselling author of The Simple Path to Wealth

When we become plant parents, we also become better caretakers of ourselves, the people around us, and our planet. So, let’s step inside the world of plants and discover how we can begin cultivating our own personal green space–in our homes, in our minds, and in our hearts.

“Summer Rayne will upend so much more than your approach to plant care. You’ll learn how to better care for and treat people—starting with yourself. Highly recommended for anyone who struggles with the emptiness of modern living.”—Hannah Bronfman, author of Do What Feels Good

To listen to more episodes of This Is the Author, click here.

The post S4 E41: Danielle Weisberg & Carly Zakin, Kristy Shen, and Summer Rayne Oakes appeared first on Penguin Random House Audio.

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When it comes to choosing an audiobook for a summer chill session—whether that be by the shore or in a sun spot on your floor—not only do we want a great story, we also want the perfect narrator—or full cast of narrators—to tell it. Check out these 9 new audiobooks for listeners who crave great voices and unexpected stories that will develop their brains along with their tans!

Read by the author and an all-star full cast. Fair warning: Raised in Captivity does not slot into a smooth preexisting groove. Funny, wise, and weird in equal measure, this short story collection is a fever graph of our deepest unvoiced hopes, fears and preoccupations. Ceaselessly inventive, hostile to corniness in all its forms, and mean only to the things that really deserve it, it marks a cosmic leap forward for one of our most consistently fascinating writers.

Author: Mona Awad
Read By: Sophie Amoss

Named a best book of Summer 2019 by Entertainment Weekly, NPR, Newsweek, Vanity Fair, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Vulture, Nylon, Bustle, TheSkimm, and LitHub

The spellbinding new audiobook from one of our most fearless chroniclers of the female experience, Bunny is a down-the-rabbit-hole tale of loneliness and belonging, friendship and desire, and the fantastic and terrible power of the imagination.

Between the troublesome family secrets, old sibling rivalries, and her two teenage grandkids, matriarch Annette’s birthday vacation is looking more and more like the perfect storm. Adrift together on the open seas, the Feldmans will each face the truths they’ve been ignoring—and learn that the people they once thought most likely to sink them are actually the ones who help them stay afloat.

Author: Richard Russo
Read By: Fred Sanders

Shot through with Russo’s trademark comedy and humanity, Chances Are… also introduces a new level of suspense and menace that will quicken the reader’s heartbeat throughout this absorbing saga of how friendship’s bonds are every bit as constricting and rewarding as those of family or any other community.

An audiobook about family, Midwestern values, hard work, fate, and the secrets of making a world-class beer, from the bestselling author of Kitchens of the Great Midwest

“Perfect for a summer day with a good beer and a piece of pie.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred)

Shana wakes up one morning to discover her little sister in the grip of a strange malady. She appears to be sleepwalking. She cannot talk and cannot be woken up. And she is heading with inexorable determination to a destination that only she knows. But Shana and her sister are not alone…

“This career-defining epic deserves its inevitable comparisons to Stephen King’s The Stand.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Want to soak up some non-fiction rays?

Through the lens of their decades-long friendship and including exclusive interviews and details from previously classified documents, noted historian and New York Times bestselling author Steven M. Gillon examines John F. Kennedy Jr.’s life and legacy in this riveting and revealing audiobook.

A food critic chronicles four years spent traveling with René Redzepi, the renowned chef of Noma, in search of the most tantalizing flavors the world has to offer. Hungry is a memoir, a travelogue, a portrait of a chef, and a chronicle of the moment when daredevil cooking became the most exciting and groundbreaking form of artistry.

Summer Rayne Oakes, an urban houseplant expert and environmental scientist, is the icon of wellness-minded millennials who want to bring nature indoors. Summer has managed to grow 1,000 houseplants in her Brooklyn apartment (and they’re thriving!) Her secret? Listen to the audiobook—read by Summer!—to find out.

For more beachy audio recommendations, CLICK HERE. And speaking of refreshing summer activities, ever wondered what audiobook would pair best with your favorite beer? Wonder no more! Find your perfect beer and audio pairing here!

The post 9 Bodacious Listens for Brainy Beach Bums appeared first on Penguin Random House Audio.

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The stories from these debut authors range from memoirs to fantasy to mystery thrillers. So, whether you’re heading to the beach or spending a sunny afternoon outside relaxing, these audiobooks will keep you entertained. Discover a fresh new voice to add to your playlist!

FICTION & NONFICTION FOR KIDS AND TEENS

Makeda June Kirkland is eleven-years-old, adopted, and black. Her parents and big sister are white, and even though she loves her family very much, Makeda often feels left out. When Makeda’s family moves from Maryland to New Mexico, she leaves behind her best friend, Lena- the only other adopted black girl she knows- for a new life. Makeda can’t help but wonder: What would it feel like to grow up with a family that looks like me?

Project Runway meets Mulan in this sweeping fantasy about a young girl who poses as a boy to compete for the role of Imperial Tailor and embarks on an impossible journey to sew three magic dresses, from the sun, the moon, and the stars.

Psst: Check out our Q&A with author Elizabeth Lim!

An often hilarious and always relevant memoir about one teen boy’s battle with brain cancer and his Starlight Children’s Foundation wish: to meet Mikhail Gorbachev in Russia and plead for nuclear disarmament and world peace.

FICTION FOR ADULTS

This novel follows the lives of three groundbreaking women: up-and-coming German actress Marlene Dietrich, who would wend her way into Hollywood as one of its lasting icons; Anna May Wong, the world’s first Chinese American star, playing for bit parts while dreaming of breaking away from her father’s modest laundry; and Leni Riefenstahl, whose work as a director would first make her famous—then, infamous.

Fourteen-year-old Cindy and her two older brothers live in rural Pennsylvania, in a house with occasional electricity, two fierce dogs, one book, and a mother who comes and goes for months at a time. So when a glamorous teen from a more affluent, cultured home goes missing, Cindy escapes her own family’s poverty and slips into the missing teen’s life. As Cindy experiences overwhelming maternal love for the first time, she must reckon with her own deceits and, in the process, learn what it means to be a daughter, a sister, and a neighbor.

Meet Kelly. Twenty-nine, go-getter, a brilliant robotics engineer, and perpetually single. So when her younger sister’s wedding looms and her attempts to find a date become increasingly cringeworthy, Kelly does the only logical thing: she builds her own boyfriend. What could go wrong?

Author: Ruchika Tomar
Read By: Sophie Amoss

Cale Lambert, a bookish loner of mysterious parentage, lives in a dusty town near the California-Nevada border. When she starts waitressing at the local diner, she reconnects with Penélope Reyes, a charismatic former classmate running mysterious side-hustles to fund her dreams. The girls become inseparable—until one terrifying act of violence shatters their world.

Author: Lila Savage
Read By: Lisa Flanagan

Ella is nearing thirty, and not yet living the life she imagined. One spring, Bryn–a retired carpenter–hires her to help him care for Jill, his wife of many years. A car accident caused a brain injury that has left Jill verbally diminished. As Ella is drawn ever deeper into the couple’s household, her presence unwanted but wholly necessary, she is startled by the yearning this awakens in her, one that complicates her feelings for her girlfriend, Alix, and causes her to look at relationships of all kinds in new ways.

Roberta spends her life trying not to take up space. At almost thirty, she is adrift and alienated from life. But when she meets Stevie, a spirited and effervescent artist, their intense friendship sparks a change in Roberta, a shift in her desire for more. Together, they invent the Supper Club, a transgressive and joyous collective of women who gather to celebrate, rather than admonish, their hungers; Roberta is forced to reconcile herself to the desire and vulnerabilities of the body–and the past she has worked so hard to repress.

In her first weeks at Hawthorne College, Malin is swept up into a tight-knit circle that will stick together through all four years. But Malin isn’t like the rest of her friends; she’s an expert at hiding her troubled past. She acts as if she shares the preoccupations of those around her—dating, partying—all while using her extraordinary insight to detect their deepest vulnerabilities and weaknesses. On the cusp of graduation, Malin’s secrets—and those of her friends—are revealed. While she scrambles to maintain her artfully curated image, her missteps set in motion a devastating chain of events that ends in a murder…

Interested in learning about more fantastic debut authors?
Take a look at June Debuts!

The post Add These July Debuts to Your Playlist appeared first on Penguin Random House Audio.

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Do it now! There are only so many tomorrows!

This is the spoiler-free moral of Melanie Cantor’s new audiobook, Death and Other Happy Endings. Read on to learn what Melanie had to share with us about adoring her characters, the beauty of reality, and just how dreamy listening on a (well-deserved) vacation can be.

Tell us a little about Death and Other Happy Endings.
Death and Other Happy Endings is about a 43 year old woman who is given three months to live. Instead of taking a trip of a lifetime, she decides to write letters to the three significant people in her life who have hurt her and finally brave telling them how she really feels. All the things she’s wanted to say but never dared. It’s about female empowerment, finding your voice and why we should face up to important issues before it’s too late. Even though its subject encompasses death, it’s a witty and challenging read, dealing with love, life and making sure you live it, friendship and relationships.

Was there a character in Death and Other Happy Endings that you found yourself wanting to explore more? Why?
To be honest, I fell in love with all my characters and the more they developed the more I wanted to explore them. A lot of people have described them as “very real” – I think that’s because they were so real to me. The book touches on very human experiences, some devastating, so it was important for me to make them authentic. Naturally I love Jennifer (the main protagonist) but Isabelle brings so much humour to the mix, you fall in love with her in spite of her vanity.

Is there a book or character that you’ve written that helped you explore parts of yourself?
Writing Jennifer’s relationship with Harry helped me understand a significant unfinished relationship in my life which has always been a ‘what if?’ for me. In other words, what if I’d have done things differently? What if I’d fought harder for him? What if I’d have trusted him instead of doubting him? I played that out with Jennifer and Harry and I think the outcome is probably the outcome for most of these types of relationships. And we’ve all had one, haven’t we?

What audiobook (or voice) would you take with you on vacation?
Oh my goodness. I so long for a vacation. Just to lie down by a pool and read or listen to books would be wonderful. I’m hoping I get the opportunity before summer ends. I watched the TV series Patrick Melrose based on Edward St Aubyn’s semi-autobiographical novels and found it compelling. I’d happily listen to that (although I’m sure it will be quite disturbing). I also love quirky writers like Jennifer Egan and Maria Semple so would listen to A Visit from the Goon Squad and Where’d You Go Bernadette even though I’ve read both. I’m also a huge fan of AM Homes so anything of hers. Years ago I listened to William Hurt narrating The Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux and I could listen to him forever. He could read a shopping list and I’d be gripped.

If you could explore any part of the world, where would you go and why?
There are several places I keep on saying I want to visit but they all require time and currently I have none. I hope I won’t leave it too late to see Vietnam and Cambodia, South America, Cuba and India. I need to take a leaf out of my own book and “do it now! There are only so many tomorrows!”

Is there a fictional world you’ve written that you would personally like to explore? Why?
As you can tell from my book and what I’ve said above I prefer reality. I’ve been a fly on the wall in Jennifer’s world for about the last three years and I’ve enjoyed that immensely. Now it’s time to move on and explore another, very different world of a different family. Of course they’ll be totally dysfunctional and that’s what I already love about them.

Listen to a clip of Hannah Curtis reading Melanie Cantor’s Death and Other Happy Endings

Miss our last Q&A? Check out what author Elizabeth Lim had to say about exploration here.

The post Q&A with Melanie Cantor, Author of <em> Death and Other Happy Endings </em> appeared first on Penguin Random House Audio.

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What happens when characters from beloved classic stories meet? Bestselling author Andy Weir and illustrator Sarah Andersen decided to find out when they wrote the new graphic novel Cheshire Crossing. In it, Dorothy Gale, Alice Liddell, and Wendy Darling meet at a boarding school where they can control their powers. It’s only a matter of time, though, before they travel back to Oz, Wonderland, and Neverland, discover new evils, and learn to work together to defeat them.

Adapting this graphic novel into an audiobook creates a whole new experience of the story. It leaps off the page; it’s full of music, sound effects, and has a full cast of narrators bringing all the character to life. Cheshire Crossing is a must-listen.

Now, let’s meet the cast:

Meet Pete Bradbury:
I particularly loved the way this piece wove together the disparate strands of these three cherished classic works. Andy Weir has a wonderfully dry wit and such a sly, subversive sense of humor. It was a hoot to read and an even bigger thrill to lay down these tracks. As the father of two teenage girls, I can’t wait to show them the finished product. Such a pleasure working with you and Scott.

Meet Rebecca Soler:
I play Miss Poole, the Mary Poppins‒esque nanny, along with the Queen of Hearts and a few other fun characters. Any time I get to channel my beloved Julie Andrews is a fun day. (Yes, she is my Julie Andrews.) And getting to be in the booth with up to seven other actors at a time playing iconic characters from literature like Captain Hook, the Wicked Witch of the West, Alice, Wendy, and Dorothy was a complete blast. We were cracking each other up. Honestly the energy in the room from everyone playing and having fun is addictive. Such a killer ensemble cast and a delicious adventure story. A must listen!


Meet Brittany Pressley:
Recording this was sooooo fun! I was totally having a blast. So awesome to get to play with other actors. The sparring scene with Captain Hook was my fav. I actually got a little light-headed from giving it my all. (That’s a good thing!)


Meet Sophie Amoss:
It was amazing to combine my experience with audiobooks (which traditionally is one in which you record solo) and that of my theater training (that of the ensemble). To look across the microphone and bounce off your fellow actors was so much fun. Neil Hellegers as the Cheshire Cat and Peter Coleman as big and tiny Peter Pan had me in stitches. And it was great fun to play Cockney spirits alongside Sean Patrick Hopkins.


Meet Kristen DiMercurio:
I don’t think I’ve ever had so much fun working on an audiobook! The cast was hilarious, the energy was high, and I could listen to Lisa Flanagan do that Wicked Witch of the West laugh a hundred more times and never get bored. I think listeners will be able to hear just how much fun we’re having as a cast.


Meet Lisa Flanagan:
I love playing witches, and the Wicked Witch of the West is the greatest witch of all. My Halloween performance as the grand dame in high school had the fifth and sixth graders terrified of me for weeks. I love how Andy Weir expanded upon her story. The Wicked Witch of the West and Captain Hook? Total power couple.


Meet James Monroe Iglehart:
I must say I had a blast recording this fantastic story. This was my first audiobook experience, and the cast was so welcoming and fun to work with. I got the privilege to play the role of Captain Hook and others in this awesome story. Nick Martorelli, our producer, made me feel so at home to be myself but also just go nuts and be as silly as I wanted. A lot of my scenes were with Lisa Flanagan, who played the Wicked Witch of the West, and she was the best. We had a ball. I learned so much from the cast around me, and I can’t wait to be able to perform on one of these again!


Meet Neil Hellegers:
Well first, there’s that feeling when you realize that in a room full of Alice, Wendy, Dorothy, Peter Pan, and so forth, you’re playing the one guy who’s actually a real historical figure, and is the father of nuclear physics to boot. But then you find archival recordings of Lord Rutherford and hear his delightful blend of New Zealand and British RP [Received Pronunciation] accents, and all is well. Plus you get to be Smee and the Cheshire Cat, so it’s all good. And then you get to play in a studio full of literally fantastically amazing talent…and it’s all great!


Meet Sean Patrick Hopkins:
Recording Cheshire Crossing was beyond exciting because we so rarely get to share the booth with our talented peers in this business. One of my favorite moments was hearing Lisa’s Wicked Witch cackle live in the booth as I got to skulk around as Nikko the Monkey King. I loved The Wizard of Oz growing up, so her laugh took me right into that world.


Meet Peter Coleman:
My time on Cheshire Crossing was brief but so much fun. Such a great cast to work off of, some faces familiar to me, some friendly new ones. As someone who’s gone his whole life having people call me “Peetaaah,” it was very rewarding to finally have it done professionally, and to have it shouted by such a talented actor as John was the cherry on the sundae.

GO BEHIND THE SCENES IN THIS MAKING-OF VIDEO!
Recording Andy Weir's CHESHIRE CROSSING audiobook - YouTube

LEARN MORE ABOUT CHESHIRE CROSSING AND LISTEN TO A CLIP:

“The story is a delightful, chaotic romp.”—Seattle Book Review

“Each heroine emerges as a fully three-dimensional protagonist with a distinctive personality that enables her to feel both timeless and timely.”—Kirkus Reviews

The post Meet the Cast: <i>Cheshire Crossing</i> appeared first on Penguin Random House Audio.

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This year Space Exploration Day (July 20th) is extra out-of-this-world as we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing! So pop on that paper mache helmet, strap into your refrigerator-box rocket, and blast off with one of these stellar audiobooks for kids and space enthusiasts of all ages!

Lunar Listens for Kids

On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon. But did you know he built his own model planes as a little boy and then grew up to be a test pilot for experimental aircraft before becoming an astronaut? Listen to this audiobook to find out more about Neil Armstrong’s journey from flight fan to first man on the moon.

Filled with the science and training required to put a person into space, and every detail of what it’s like to live in a spaceship for days on end (including what happens when astronauts need to use the bathroom), this audiobook is sure to leave kids clamoring for a spot on the next mission to outer space.

Author: Mike Mongo
Read By: Mike Mongo and Alyssa Carson

Endorsed by authors, teachers, scientists and Congressmen, Mike Mongo’s The Astronaut Instruction Manual is a functioning, first-step instruction manual for children between the ages of 8 and 13 who want to be space explorers.

If a black hole is not a hole, then what is it? Find out what black holes are, what causes them, and how scientists first discovered them in this audiobook.

Author: Elaine Scott
Read By: Pete Larkin

This fascinating and breathtaking audiobook explains in simple terms how advancements in technology have changed our understanding of the universe–and exactly how and why the number of planets in our solar system went from nine to eight.

And now for some space fan fiction! Award-winning author Steve Sheinkin creates exciting fictional adventures through time with historical figures going AWOL and mixes them with true fun facts about each person. Check out Neil Armstrong and Nat Love, Space Cowboys and all of the hilarious audiobooks in the Time Twisters series!

Audiobooks for Space Fans of All Ages

A companion audiobook to the AMERICAN EXPERIENCE® Film on PBS®. Setting key players in the political, social, and cultural climate of the time, Chasing the Moon focuses on the science and the history, but most important, the extraordinary individuals behind what was undoubtedly the greatest human achievement of the twentieth century.

Psychologist Richard Wiseman brings together history, psychology, and self-help in this unique and powerful audiobook guide to achieving the impossible in work and in life.

Author:
Read By: Jonathan Davis and John Logsdon

Renowned space historian John Logsdon traces the greatest moments in human spaceflight by weaving together essential, fascinating documents from NASA’s history with his expert narrative guidance.

The post Celebrate Space Exploration on the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing! appeared first on Penguin Random House Audio.

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