Charleston Gazette-Mail | WV Book Team: Golden Voice audiobooks for busy readers

Today’s busy readers often can’t fit all the books they want to read into their hectic days. That is probably why audiobooks saw a rise of 14 percent in new “readership” during 2016, according to a Pew Research Center study.

Audiobooks are now available on CD, Playaways (a portable MP3 player that plays a single book), and online to download or stream. These modern formats are super convenient for listeners, and they are available for free at libraries across the state.

For many audiobook fans, it is the narrator as much as the author who makes the book. These listeners try new authors based on a favorite narrator. AudioFile Magazine bestows the Golden Voice label to outstanding voice actors, which is like being selected for an audiobook hall of fame. The following outstanding audiobook recommendations feature Golden Voice narrations:

Scott Brick narrates a wide range of genres, from best-selling thrillers to historical nonfiction. “Alexander Hamilton” by Ron Chernow has had renewed interest after it inspired the musical. This biography adopts a fascinating perspective on Hamilton’s life, as Chernow delves into his early life in the Caribbean and Hamilton’s brilliant climb to power during the American Revolution.

Chernow skillfully balances Hamilton’s gifts and flaws, capturing the intrigue of an extraordinary figure in American history. Brick’s contribution is a narration that remains fresh and powerful throughout, bringing listeners along to witness the rise of a gifted man with an Achilles’ heel.

Another exceptional Golden Voice belongs to Dion Graham, who has narrated titles ranging from James Patterson thrillers to James Baldwin. His narration of Jon Walter’s powerful “My Name is Not Friday” won the AudioFile Best of Young Adult 2016. This novel will pull at the heartstrings of readers and listeners of all ages.

Thirteen-year-old Samuel is sent away from the orphanage where he…

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