Blog Bytes

 

by Kristopher Zgorski

Due to the pandemic and people being sequestered in their homes for extended periods of time, the book industry saw a rise in the popularity of audiobooks. As such, I thought it might be a great time to discuss a wonderful resource for audiobook reviews—AudioFile Magazine (https://www.audiofilemagazine.com). Those of us who have listened to books know that the quality of these products can vary greatly, and it is helpful to have informed coverage about the latest and greatest. The online reviews are easily tagged with genre categories, so you can search through the books that are of interest to you. Often, they will include a sample of the audiobook with the review, giving readers a brief taste of the narrator’s style. If, like me, you listen to enough audiobooks to have a favorite narrator, this website has a handy list of those readers and will direct you to other books they have recorded, videos about them, and other fascinating information. The website also has a handy list of Audie Award Winners—the industry standard in audiobook awards—as well as their own Earphone Award winners. AudioFile Magazine posts the occasional article, like a recent one commemorating the career of John le Carré upon his passing. Should you find any or all of this information useful, you can also find links to sign up for e-mail newsletters, information about subscribing in print or digitally, and so much more. Feed that need for audiobooks!

The Book Review Crew (https://thebookreviewcrew.com) is a book-review blog that is run by a group of book reviewers, so it is a great resource for multiple viewpoints. Their nine reviewers are scattered across the U.S. and Canada, making for some well-rounded coverage. Should you discover that you have a favorite—and believe me, they are all wonderful—you can easily search for reviews by that particular individual. They each have different interests, so you will find reviews of mystery, fiction, romance, nonfiction, and more. These reviewers write short reviews that get right to the point of what you want to know. They also use a handy “star rating system,” but it’s delightful because instead of stars they use different, fun icons to represent the stars depending on the book and the reviewer. Occasionally, more than one of them will review the same book—they call it a buddy review—and you can get a sense of what different readers thought about the same book.

The reviewer at Grab This Book (http://grabthisbook.net), Gordon, is a fan of crime novels and thrillers. He is an award-winning blogger stationed in the U.K.—Scotland, to be exact—so his coverage, which began in 2014, focuses on book reviews from that region. This makes it a great resource for readers who are looking to discover books from that part of the world. Gordon’s reviews are professionally written and well-informed. They give a sense of the book while still allowing readers to make their own decision on how it fits with their reading tastes. Along with reviews, Gordon also posts interviews with authors and the occasional guest post. 

© 2021 by Kristopher Zgorski

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