It was another busy week for The Walking Book Club community!
- We hosted The Dearly Beloved author Cara Wall and narrator Kathy Keane for a book chat.
- Our new selections for August are announced below. Including the link to our free preview of The Night Swim! Thank you MacMillan Audio.
- I caught up with professional narrator Sara Sheckells to learn more about the profession.
- The audiobook platform PDF members helped to create is ready for download!
It was a treat to hear about the creative process directly from them.
If you haven’t already moved and listened to the ensemble story of James, Charles, Nan and Lily, please check it out.
Many of our members gave it a five sneaker rating.
“It was a fabulous session — both writer and narrator were so chatty and it was great to hear the story behind the story. Thank you for organizing.”
“This was fabulous! My first Zoom with you ladies. Smart conversations. Great social mixing and inclusivity. Fantastic insights. Next time I’ll be braver and unmute!!”
Drum roll… the selections for August and September:
The Night Swim by Megan Goldin — It’s here!
The Walking Book Club is delighted to be able to pass on the opportunity to preview The Night Swim before its release. Please keep us updated on your thoughts in our discussion group and post your reviews on Goodreads. Click on this link and follow the prompts to download the NetGalley app on your phone.
Happy & You Know It by Laura Hankin — frothy fun with a touch of mystery, a light listen perfect for a summer stroll.
Eleanor Oliphant is Perfecting Fine by Gail Honeywell — Audie Award winner for fiction in 2018, with great availability through library loan platforms.
I try to curate an optimal list looking at reviews, narration, availability, genre, length and more, but know you still may not be wooed by the options.
That’s why you’re always welcome to choose your own selection.
Or, get a jump on September selections and grab any Lisa Wingate book.
She’ll be joining us in September for our third Heart and Soul book chat to benefit Feeding America.
THURS, SEPT 17, 2020
Book Chat with author of The Book of Lost Friends and Before We Were Yours, Lisa Wingate
07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Over the next few weeks, I thought it would be fun to dig a little deeper into the world of audiobook narration.
I had the pleasure of connecting with audiobook narrator, Sara Sheckells, who has close to 30 titles on her resume and has been working in the voice artistry and audiobook narration fields for three years.
I asked Sara what drew her to the profession:
I was an avid audiobook listener before I became a narrator. While I continue to choose audio to consume books, listening, by default, has become on-the-job training, too.
When I was a child, my mother worked in a fantastic independent bookstore. I practically grew up there — reading in the storeroom, then babysitting for the owner, and eventually helping during summer and holiday sales (though my book-wrapping skills were debatable.) I have always loved and been surrounded by books.
It was this bookstore connection that first got me hooked on audio dramas. We wound up with all these clearance copies of old radio dramas (The Green Hornet, War of the Worlds…) on audio cassette and I was fascinated by them. This fed into my interest in radio broadcasting, which is what I went on to study in college.
I absolutely loved the stint I had working in radio, in particular with children’s programming. My vocal performance training and an interest in education then led to an internship with the Boston Women’s Heritage Trail, where I performed as an in-character tour guide.
Ultimately, I wound up serving as an educator for many years, but all the while, I kept dabbling in voice work — either as a reader for Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic (now Learning Ally) or by completing commercial voiceover courses.
I see now how all these seemingly separate experiences (books, radio, vocal/theatrical performance and teaching) led me right back to the art of storytelling. When life circumstances convened in such a way as to allow me to research and pursue audiobook narration as a career, I leapt at the opportunity.
Next week: How has audiobook narration changed over the years?
Finally, a great big “thank you” goes out to the members of our global community of book lovers in sneakers, who helped create our Top 20 Audiobook Platforms resource!
“Where does everyone get their audiobook downloads?” is often asked in The Walking Book Club forum. You helped answer that question.
Here’s what we uncovered. Many of our members use a combination of services, often checking availability on free library loan programs first, then seeing if a download is available at a discounted price before using the option to purchase by selection or use a credit if participating in a subscription service.
The list is presented alphabetically; be sure to note that the platforms vary in global availability, cost per download or subscription fee, number of titles available, and breath of media included. Please refer to notes for additional information on a service or app.
I hope to hear from you in our chat group soon or contact me directly via email.
The Walking Book Club Update
Next Heart and Soul Book Chat
February 7th, 5:00 pm EST Heart and Soul Book Chat with Sadeqa Johnson, author of The Yellow Wife to benefit the Sacred Burial Ground Project .