The Great Gatsby

Like so many others, I loved the Great Gatsby when I read it… all the way back in high school. A story narrated by Midwesterner turned New York salesman Nick Carraway (narrated by Oscar-nominated Jake Gyllenhaal). It is story of materialism during the Roaring Twenties.

Set amidst the hyper-privileged elite of Long Island, Fitzgerald’s novel follows the titular Gatsby. Let’s turn to the publisher for a quick summary:

After meeting and losing Daisy during the war, Gatsby has made himself fabulously wealthy. Now, he believes that his only way to true happiness is to find his way back into Daisy’s life, and he uses Nick to try to reach her. What happens when the characters’ fantasies are confronted with reality makes for a startling conclusion to this iconic masterpiece.

Gyllenhaal does a great job remaining true to Fitzgerald’s simple yet elegant prose. Have a listen before the movie comes out!

Have an iPhone or iPad?

There’s been a bit of news of late for iOS users:

First off – Audible recently updated their iPhone app, and they released an iPad-native version. It’s a sleek, new, graphics-heavy way to browse the store putting cover art at the forefront. Other updates include: you can sign in with your Amazon account more easily, and you can download 3 hours of content over cellular. You can find them in the App store.

Second – A trick recently came out turning your iBooks into Audiobooks, a la Siri. Essentially, you just use Siri Dictation to read either a portion – or the whole text – of an iBook. Here’s how:

  1. Navigate to Settings > General > Accessability. Tap “Speak Selection,” slow down the rate if you like, and turn on “Highlight Words” so you can track from where Siri is reading.
  2. In iBooks, open the book you want to hear. Tap the “aA” icon, tap “Themes,” and select “Scroll.” Tap and select a word, drag through the text as far as you’d like to hear, and tap “Speak” in the resulting menu.
  3. Tap and select anywhere and choose “Pause” if you need a break.

Check out the Example below:

APA Announces Finalists for Audie Awards

The Audie Awards, or Audies as they’re more often called, are awards bestowed since 1996 by the Audio Publishers Association for outstanding audio books. Finalists are announced in the winter, and winners announced in the spring.

Just to whet your appetite here’s the finalists for Fiction:

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Read by Claire Danes, this timely dystopian novel studies the role of women in a society which has stripped them of their rights. Danes’ emotional subtleties make this story-following a “handmaid” whose sole purpose is to bear children for a government leader—a consuming listen.

Speaks the Nightbird by Robert McCammon
In the Carolinas just before the passing of the 17th century, beautiful widow Rachel Howarth is tried for witchcraft. Fortunately, the magistrate’s clerk is on her side, and as the two fall in love they must battle the township to save the townspeople.

A Rage in Harlem: A Grave Digger & Coffin Ed Novel by Chester Himes
Set in 1950s Harlem, Chester Himes tracks down Imabelle after she scams him and runs off with a truck of gold ore. The dark humor mirrors impoverished and delinquent characters and bungled situations, and narrator Samuel L Jackson animates all of them.

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
Narrator Edoardo Ballerini is the solo voice behind the array of characters, time periods, and events traced through this story which wrestles with the essentials of dreams, love, and life, with stories shifting from 1960s Italian innkeppers to present-day Hollywood production assistants.

The Bartender’s Tale by Ivan Doig
Set during “the summer of everything,” 1960, a young Rusty Harry falls in love, dives into drama and story, and discovers the truth behind his father’s mysterious trips to Canada. The highlight with this audio book is the rich dialog, replete with colloquialisms, allowing characters to develop and genuinely respond to one another.

The full list of finalists for the Audie Awards is available at The Audies Official Site, hosted by Audiofile.

Grammy Award Winner: Society’s Child

The Grammy Awards, which took place February 10th, announced the winner of this year’s Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album:

Society’s Child by Janis Ian
An autobiography read by author Janis Ian. In this fascinating memoir of her more than 40 years in the music business, Ian chronicles how she did drugs with Jimi Hendrix, went shopping for Grammy clothes with Janis Joplin, and sang with Mel Tormé, all the while never ceasing to create unforgettable music. In Society’s Child, Janis Ian provides a relentlessly honest account of the successes and failures – and the hopes and dreams – of an extraordinary life.


The year has seen the transformation of Simply Audiobooks into the formidable Audible-competitor, which recently celebrated its one-year anniversary.

In hand with its anniversary, the site has introduced a significant price drop; joining the site used to cost $25 a month for two books. That’s been slashed to $14.95 for one book a month, and $22.95 for two per month. You can still join under their free trial program.

In the past year they’ve also put out an iPhone app and an Android App. The catalog isn’t quite as expansive as Audibles—25,000 titles compared to the Amazon subsidiary’s 100,000-and doesn’t support as many platforms, but at the end of the day some users prefer the user experience. Give their free trial a shot if you aren’t happy on the Audible bandwagon.

Introducing the Timeline

We’re very proud to introduce a new feature today: The Timeline.

This page allows you to go back in time and see which audio books were most popular throughout the past year. Whether you want to see what’s popular now, or what was popular over the summer (the sweltering Fifty Shades Trilogy), we’ve got your back. To our knowledge, we’ve got the only one of these that exists.

We’ll be curating this list, adding new time points as Audible releases them, and we won’t ever take away old days. You’ll also find our own take for many of the books that appear in these lists. Check it Out!

Audible sources both iTunes and Amazon, commanding the audio book market, so their top selling titles are representative of the industry.We’ve made it easy to check out more information at Audible if you want to learn more about an audio book… go have a look! We hope you find it as useful and interesting as we do!

Featured Narrator: Joe Barrett

Joe Barrett’s versatile interpretation of these edge-of-your seat thrillers and mysteries will engage your imagination and take you on a journey with some of the best authors in the genre. Mr. Barrett lends his considerable theatrical experience on and off Broadway to narrating and bringing to life the spine tingling adventures you’ll find in these Audible audiobooks.

Joe Barrett masterfully narrates One Second After by William R. Forstchen, a survival thriller where the impossible happens: a nuclear bomb sets off an electro-magnetic pulse reaction and shuts down every electro-mechanical device imaginable. Cars, computers, planes and hospital equipment are permanently wiped out, and a struggling American community must face their greatest challenge. They are plunged into a brutal struggle for survival as gangs roam the landscape murdering and plundering towns and communities. Could this really happen to America? Listen to One Second After and decide for yourself.

Don’t miss Marine One, another superb thriller narrated by Joe Barrett, written by James W. Huston. In a tragic accident on a flight to a top secret meeting at Camp David, the President of the United States dies aboard Marine One, the official helicopter, manufactured by the French firm, WorldCopter. Lawyer Mike Nolan must enter the world of intrigue to defend WorldCopter from charges of criminal negligence and find out who lies at the center of this sinister plot.

You’re sure to enjoy The Burying Place, written by Brian Freeman and also narrated by Joe Barrett. A suspenseful psychological thriller from start to finish, the story opens with the kidnapping of innocent Callie Glenn. Callie’s philandering father, a wealthy orthopedic surgeon, may have been responsible for the abduction. Jonathan Stride and his lover Serena pursue opposing sides, with Serena hoping to prove the Doctor innocent. Meanwhile, a serial killer fixates on police detective Kasey Kennedy, and a murder ties into Callie’s kidnapping. Find out how all the puzzle pieces fit together by listening to this fast paced murder mystery in the style of the Cohen Brothers movie, Fargo.

Joe Barrett takes you on another thrilling adventure with House Divided: A Joe DeMarco Thriller by Mike Lawson. Joe DeMarco is inextricably caught in a web of political intrigue when his cousin is murdered by military assassins and it is filmed by an illegal covert NSA surveillance program. Joe soon becomes the pawn in a cat and mouse game involving master spies and the Pentagon. All of these thrilling audiobooks are available at

Now you can join for Just $7.49 and receive a credit good toward any of the audiobooks mentioned in this article or another audiobook of your choice. This introductory rate of $7.49/month is available for the first three months of your membership and then you can choose to continue at $14.95 per month.

Featured Author: Dean Koontz

Audiobook listeners are sure to find the below books from Dean Koontz to be enthralling listens that stimulate the imagination and take you to places filled with mystery and suspense.

Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz, narrated by David Aaron Baker, is no ordinary horror story. It delightfully mixes genres to arrive at a place that is whimsical, thrilling, and tantalizing in a way that makes it difficult to stop listening. Odd Thomas converses with spirits and solves crimes with the help of Police Chief, Wyatt Porter. But this time Thomas must deal with a mysterious stranger plagued by wailing spirits and a date of impending doom that not even his spirit friends can help him solve.

Dean Koontz’ masterful blend of science fiction, fantasy and suspense has entertained millions of readers. By the Light of the Moon, narrated by Stephen Lang, follows the journey of a young artist who has been injected with a paradoxical substance that will either kill him or grant him a mysterious power. You won’t be able to stop listening as Dean Koontz thrills your imagination with this story of terror and hope.

Fear Nothing by Dean Koontz, narrated by Keith Szarabajka, is a fast paced tale that takes you into the heart of a dark mystery surrounding a small California town and Christopher Snow, a boy with a severe sensitivity to light. Following the eerie removal of his father’s corpse, Christopher is driven to solve the conspiracy his town is desperate to keep hidden. To learn the secret, listen to this brooding story by Dean Koontz, the master of horror and suspense.

Disparate people are mysteriously being drawn together by an invisible thread of terror, their days and nights haunted by a nightmare reality. That is how Dean Koontz’ Strangers, narrated by Dick Hill, starts out. Eventually these strangers converge at the ironically named Tranquility Motel to find out the terrible truth about why they have been called together. Once again Dean Koontz has penned a suspenseful story that you won’t be able stop listening to.

Now you can join for Just $7.49 and receive a credit good toward any of the audiobooks mentioned in this article or another audiobook of your choice. This introductory rate of $7.49/month is available for the first three months of your membership and then you can choose to continue at $14.95 per month.

Goodreads Choice Awards : Winners

More than one million votes have been cast in the only major book awards chosen by readers, over at Goodreads. We’ll be adding a more exhaustive and interactive roundup shortly, but here’s a few titles whose audio books have stood out over the year:

Best Fiction went to J.K. Rowling’s Casual Vacancy, which stood out among its competition, featuring titles as Emily Giffen’s Where We Belong, Kristin Hannah’s Home Front, and Karen Walker’s The Age of Miracles.

Susan Cain’s debut of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking took home Best Non-Fiction. Other notable entries include Katherine Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers, and The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg.

Chart-topper Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn came away with the award for Best Mystery without a scratch.

The award for Historical Fiction went by a tight margin to M. L. Stedman’s The Light Between Oceans, just edging out Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel. Best Fantasy novel was claimed by powerhouse author Stephen King for The Wind Through the Keyhole.

Oh, and unsurprisingly the Fifty Shades trilogy that made headlines year-round and took women (and apparently men) by storm “dominated” the Romance category with Fifty Shades Freed.

Congratulations to all the winners! Grab yourself something for the holidays!

Goodreads Choice Awards

Goodreads Choice Awards 2012 Logo

Now in its fourth year, the Goodreads Choice Awards now holds rein the biggest competition in books to be decided by readers. Books were nominated based on the number of ratings and average rating of books added by users over the course of the year.

Goodreads now boasts over 12 million members, and nominations have become more significant each year. The competition began with 15 nominees in each of 20 categories, but there’s been a few write-ins, so that number’s up to 20 in each category. The final round will cut that in half, allowing you to vote on the top 10 books of each category.

Vote for you favorite books you’ve read (or listened to!) over the past year — semifinals run through November 17th, and the Final round runs from November 19-27.