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Behind the Mic with AudioFile Magazine

Find your next great audiobook on our podcast, Behind the Mic with AudioFile Magazine. Every Monday through Friday, AudioFile Editors recommend the best in audiobook listening. All in 6 minutes or less. It’s short, sweet, and just what your ears need. Got a bit more time? Listen to the bonus episode featuring conversations with the best voices in the audiobook industry.

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MOBITUARIES by Mo Rocca, read by Mo Rocca

Mo Rocca is delightfully obsessed with underappreciated dead people—and dragons. AudioFile’s Jonathan Smith tells host Jo Reed why he enjoyed listening to author Rocca share a seemingly endless supply of interesting facts and observations. Rocca’s naturally enthusiastic performance enhances the drama and entertainment value of his excellent research and tight storytelling. CBS Sunday Morning viewers and NPR listeners will recognize Rocca as a regular contributor, and anyone who shares his interest in perusing obituaries and celebrating the underappreciated will love this audiobook. Published by Simon & Schuster Audio.Find more audiobook recommendations at audiofilemagazine.com.Support for Behind the Mic with AudioFile Magazine comes from GraphicAudio, A Movie In Your Mind. Unique Audio Entertainment featuring a Full Cast and Imaginative Sound Scapes with new releases such as Brent Weeks Lightbringer Saga 5, Michael J. Sullivan's Riyria Revelations, S.M Stirling's Emberverse, and over 1,300 more full cast titles available only at www.GraphicAudio.net. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

5mins

3 Jan 2020

Rank #1

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Best Fiction Audiobooks 2018 from AudioFile Magazine

Today we share AudioFile Magazine’s list of the 2018 Best Fiction Audiobooks. Listen in as we discuss these audiobook winner, and share clips from CIRCE and WARLIGHT. Tune in tomorrow for more on OLIVER LOVING from narrator Michael Crouch.AudioFile Magazine’s Best Fiction Audiobooks of 2018 CLOCK DANCE by Anne Tyler, read by Kimberly Farr, published by Random House Audio OLIVER LOVING by Stefan Merrill Block, read by Michael Crouch, published by Macmillan Audio TRANSCRIPTION by Kate Atkinson, read by Fenella Woolgar, published by Hachette Audio WASHINGTON BLACK by Esi Edugyan, read by Dion Graham, published by Random House Audio CIRCE by Madeline Miller, read by Perdita Weeks, published by Hachette Audio WARLIGHT by Michael Ondaatje, read by Steve West, published by Random House Audio Explore ALL of the audiobooks in AudioFile’s Best of the Year Ezine with sound clips and narrator videos at https://www.audiofilemagazine.com/bestof/.On today’s episode are Robin Whitten, Founder and Editor, and Michele Cobb, Publisher at AudioFile Magazine.We are giving away audiobooks from Libro.FM, Audiobooks.com, and Downpour on Twitter — visit us there at @audiofilemag and look for the #podcast for your chance to download your picks from our Best Of lists.For more free audiobook recommendations, sign up for AudioFile Magazine’s newsletter.Support for Behind the Mic comes from Grammy Award-winning publisher Hachette Audio, home to works by James Patterson, JK Rowling, Joel Osteen, David Sedaris, David Baldacci, Elin Hilderbrand, Michael Connelly, and many more bestselling audiobooks. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

7mins

26 Nov 2018

Rank #2

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In Conversation with Narrator Jim Dale

Host Jo Reed welcomes Golden Voice narrator Jim Dale to Behind the Mic with AudioFile Magazine for a conversation about his audiobook narration and his extraordinary career in the entertainment industry.Jim Dale has narrated 40 audiobooks, including the Harry Potter series, treasured classics, the audiobook musical SPIN, and the worldwide bestseller, THE NIGHT CIRCUS. He’s garnered numerous awards, including Audie Awards, Grammy Awards, and an MBE from the Queen of England.If you ask an audiobook listener about their favorite audiobook, odds are they’ll say they adored Jim Dale’s narration of the Harry Potter series. What many listeners may not know is that HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE was his introduction to audiobook narration. Jim came to audiobooks accidentally, and later in his career, and we are so lucky he did.Discover reviews of Jim Dale’s audiobooks and thousands more at audiofilemagazine.comSupport for Behind the Mic with AudioFile Magazine comes from GraphicAudio, featuring series such as The Stormlight Archive, Deathlands, Smoke Jensen, Demon Cycle, and over 1,000 more A Movie In Your Mind full cast productions available only at www.GraphicAudio.net Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

32mins

22 Jan 2020

Rank #3

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Mystery 2019 Audie Awards

In Elizabeth George’s THE PUNISHMENT SHE DESERVES, a crime shakes a quiet, historic town in England. The audiobook, narrated by Simon Vance, took home the 2019 Audie Award for Mystery. It’s the 20th in the Detective Inspector Thomas Lynly series, and Vance is a rock star performing this complex and multifaceted murder mystery with a gaggle of characters. As our reviewer says, “A delightful puzzle, brilliantly read.” Published by Penguin Audio.Read the full review of THE PUNISHMENT SHE DESERVES at audiofilemagazine.com.For more free audiobook recommendations, sign up for AudioFile Magazine’s newsletter.On today’s episode are host Jo Reed and AudioFile Magazine Publisher Michele Cobb.Support for AudioFile's Sound Reviews comes from Oasis Audio, home to bestselling classic titles for all ages — from Gertrude Chandler Warner’s The Boxcar Children to George MacDonald’s LILITH and more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

6mins

7 Mar 2019

Rank #4

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DAISY JONES & THE SIX by Taylor Jenkins Reid, read by Jennifer Beals, Benjamin Bratt, et al.

Take a trip to the ’70s with this story of a fake rock band—sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll. A star-studded cast—Jennifer Beals, Benjamin Bratt, Judy Greer, and Pablo Schreiber lead the ensemble of narrators as they recount the band’s meteoric rise to fame and mysterious fall from grace as an oral history. A tapestry of memorable characters with electric chemistry and authentic-sounding relationships creates a remarkable audiobook. Published by Random House Audio.Read the full review of DAISY JONES & THE SIX at audiofilemagazine.com.For more free audiobook recommendations, sign up for AudioFile Magazine’s newsletter.On today’s episode are host Jo Reed and AudioFile Magazine Publisher Michele Cobb.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

4mins

26 Apr 2019

Rank #5

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HOW TO BE A GOOD CREATURE by Sy Montgomery, read by Sy Montgomery

What does it mean to be a good creature in the world? Naturalist and author Sy Montgomery explores this question through the stories of 13 animals that have shaped her life. Hearing about Octavia the octopus and good pig Christopher Hogwood, listeners will be drawn in not only by Montgomery’s stories but also by her voice, emotions, and her ability to create a sense of suspense. Perfect for animal lovers. Published by HighBridge Audio.Read the full review of HOW TO BE A GOOD CREATURE at audiofilemagazine.com.For more free audiobook recommendations, sign up for AudioFile Magazine’s newsletter.On today’s episode are host Jo Reed and Michele Cobb, Publisher of AudioFile MagazineSupport for AudioFile's Sound Reviews comes from GraphicAudio, featuring series such as The Stormlight Archive, Deathlands, Smoke Jensen, Demon Cycle, and over 1,000 more A Movie In Your Mind full cast productions available only at www.GraphicAudio.net. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

5mins

18 Jan 2019

Rank #6

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STAY SEXY & DON'T GET MURDERED by Karen Kilgariff, Georgia Hardstark, read by Karen Kilgariff, Georgia Hardstark, Paul Giamatti, et al.

If you are a true crime podcast fan, you’ve probably listened to MY FAVORITE MURDER, which combines crime with a surprising amount of fun and laughs. In the dual memoir. the hosts have a lot to say, including a section recorded before a live audience. Kilgariff and Hardstark reflect on the life experiences that shaped them as women, led them to meet each other, and, ultimately, inspired them to create the hit podcast. Actor and special audio guest Paul Giamatti offers wise quips. Published by Macmillan Audio.Read the full review of STAY SEXY & DON'T GET MURDERED at audiofilemagazine.com.For more free audiobook recommendations, sign up for AudioFile Magazine’s newsletter.On today’s episode are host Jo Reed and AudioFile Magazine publisher Michele Cobb.Support for Behind the Mic with AudioFile Magazine comes from Penguin Random House and Listening Library. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

5mins

23 Jul 2019

Rank #7

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WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING by Delia Owens, read by Cassandra Campbell

Kya Clark is a wild child who lives in isolation in the marshes off the Carolina coast. She lives and learns from the natural world around her. “The Marsh Girl” is almost a myth, but when a local boy is found murdered, Kya is suspected and pursued. The swamp reveals the secrets and prejudices of a southern small town in the 1960s. Published by Penguin Audio.Read the full review of WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING at audiofilemagazine.com.For more free audiobook recommendations, sign up for AudioFile Magazine’s newsletter.On today’s episode are host Jo Reed and Robin Whitten, Editor & Founder of AudioFile Magazine. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

4mins

8 Apr 2019

Rank #8

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THE DUTCH HOUSE by Ann Patchett, read by Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks gives a sensitive and warm reading of Ann Patchett’s fine novel about love, loyalty, and redemption. Jo Reed and AudioFile Publisher Michele Cobb chat about Hanks’s subtle performance in this story about two siblings, Danny and Maeve. After a rough upbringing, the two have complicated relationships with each other and their grand childhood home. Published by Harper Audio.Find more audiobook recommendations at audiofilemagazine.com.For more free audiobook recommendations, sign up for AudioFile Magazine’s newsletter.Support for Behind the Mic with AudioFile Magazine comes from GraphicAudio, A Movie In Your Mind. Celebrating 15 Years of Immersive Audio Entertainment featuring A Full Cast and Imaginative Sound Scapes with new series such as Brandon Sanderson's White Sand, Vault Comics Wasted Space, Ordinary Magic, and over 1,250 more full cast titles available only at www.GraphicAudio.net. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

5mins

12 Nov 2019

Rank #9

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ART MATTERS by Neil Gaiman, read by Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman delivers four brief paeans to free speech, the importance of libraries, and perseverance in writing and other creative pursuits. Gaiman has had so much experience and success in various professional arenas that his advice sounds both knowledgeable and knowing—he’s been there before—and his reassuring tone makes this a collection to listen to again and again. Published by Harper Audio.Read the full review of ART MATTERS at audiofilemagazine.com.For more free audiobook recommendations, sign up for AudioFile Magazine’s newsletter.On today’s episode are host Jo Reed and Robin Whitten, Editor & Founder of AudioFile MagazineSupport for AudioFile's Sound Reviews comes from GraphicAudio, featuring series such as The Stormlight Archive, Deathlands, Smoke Jensen, Demon Cycle, and over 1,000 more A Movie In Your Mind full cast productions available only at www.GraphicAudio.net. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

4mins

7 Jan 2019

Rank #10

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LITTLE by Edward Carey, read by Jayne Entwistle

A fictional memoir of Madam Tussaud, who founded the famous wax museum in London, takes listeners from the luxury of the French Court to the violence of the French Revolution. Petite Marie Grosholtz was nicknamed “Little,” but she was a powerhouse of spirit and perseverance. Narrator Jayne Entwistle is captivating and emotive as she tells Marie’s life in diary form. Published by Penguin Audio.Read the full review of LITTLE at audiofilemagazine.com.For more free audiobook recommendations, sign up for AudioFile Magazine’s newsletter.On today’s episode are host Jo Reed and AudioFile Magazine’s Founder & Editor Robin WhittenSupport for AudioFile's Sound Reviews comes from GraphicAudio, featuring series such as The Stormlight Archive, Deathlands, Smoke Jensen, Demon Cycle, and over 1,000 more A Movie In Your Mind full cast productions available only at www.GraphicAudio.net. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

5mins

4 Jan 2019

Rank #11

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Interview with Vikas Adam: 2019 Best Audiobooks

Sandhya Menon’s THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT SWEETIE is on AudioFile’s list of 2019 Best Young Adult Audiobooks. Narrator Vikas Adam joins AudioFile’s Michele Cobb to share what he loved about co-narrating this YA audiobook romance along with Soneela Nankani. Vikas gives voice to the mixed feelings of Ashish Patel, a high school basketball star who has just been dumped by his college girlfriend. Ashish gives in to his parents’ pressure to try arranged dating, and their pick is Sweetie, narrated by Soneela Nanakani. The two narrators create a tender story of self-discovery. Published by Simon & Schuster Audio.2019 Best Young Adult Audiobooks: WITH THE FIRE ON HIGH by Elizabeth Acevedo, read by Elizabeth Acevedo THE SECRET COMMONWEALTH by Philip Pullman, read by Michael Sheen FRANKLY IN LOVE by David Yoon, read by Raymond J. Lee WAYWARD SON by Rainbow Rowell, read by Euan Morton THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT SWEETIE by Sandhya Menon, read by Vikas Adam, Soneela Nankani AKATA WARRIOR by Nnedi Okorafor, read by Yetide Badaki For the full list of AudioFile’s 2019 Best Audiobooks, visit www.audiofilemagazine.com.Support for Behind the Mic with AudioFile Magazine comes from Paperback Classics, a new imprint from Oasis Family Media, bringing the best pulp and vintage paperbacks to audio, including 1960s cult-classic series Dark Shadows and Flash Gordon.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

8mins

12 Dec 2019

Rank #12

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HEDDA GABLER by Henrik Ibsen, Doug Hughes [English Version], read by Josh Bitton, JD Cullum, Gregory Harrison, Shannon Holt, Elizabeth Ruscio, Jocelyn Towne, Karen Malina White

A masterwork of Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen is given a contemporary feel in a new L.A. Theatre Works production. Host Jo Reed and AudioFile’s Robin Whitten share their thoughts on this piece of audio theater. The varied voices interact at breakneck speed and pacing, which can create a simultaneously overwhelming yet rewarding listening experience. Ibsen’s play is in full dramatic effect, with Jocelyn Towne’s Hedda raving and her husband jauntily oblivious as the intrigue of a marriage with a past plays out in our ears. Published by L.A. Theatre Works.Find more audiobook recommendations at audiofilemagazine.comIf you’re looking for some bookish positivity, visit the crew at Page Chaser for conversations about everything from the Hunger Games to Mister Rogers to Little Women. Join the Page Chaser crew at www.PageChaser.com. While there, be sure to sign up for Page Chaser Deals, which will give you a daily dose of the best inspirational audiobook and ebook deals on the internet. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

6mins

4 Feb 2020

Rank #13

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Kick Off National Poetry Month with Poetry Audiobooks

Host Jo Reed and AudioFile’s Robin Whitten celebrate all things poetry on today’s episode. April is National Poetry Month in the U.S., and there is a wealth of poetry on audio worthy of celebration. Choose from numerous excellent audio editions of collections from classic poets. Contemporary poets now record their own audiobooks beautifully and with intense emotion, with AudioFile’s favorites including works by Joy Harjo (Muscogee Creek Nation), Richard Blanco, Tracy K. Smith, and Maya Angelou. We consider poetry to be a good remedy in trying times, and author William Sieghart agrees in THE POETRY REMEDY, where he suggests a poem for a specific emotional condition. Hear a clip from a Wendell Berry poem he prescribed for anxiety, stress, and worrying. Published by Penguin Audio.Celebrate poetry every day with Naxos AudioBooks’ Poem For Today project, where each weekday in April they share a poem from a classic poetry audiobook, including fantastic performances by Michael Sheen, Ian McKellen, and John Cleese. Find more audiobook recommendations at audiofilemagazine.comSupport for Behind the Mic for AudioFile Magazine comes from Naxos AudioBooks. Naxos AudioBooks says, April is National Poetry Month. Join the celebration with The Great Poets series from Naxos AudioBooks. Anton Lesser reads Joseph Auslander's translation of the works of poet Francesco Petrarch. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

8mins

6 Apr 2020

Rank #14

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THE GLASS HOTEL by Emily St. John Mandel, read by Dylan Moore

Dylan Moore’s cool, smooth narration carries listeners through this story of deception, betrayal, and the cost of guilt. Host Jo Reed and AudioFile’s Emily Connelly discuss Emily St. John Mandel’s newest audiobook centered around a fictional Ponzi scheme and the impact of its inevitable collapse. This is a novel that drifts from one point of view to another, and Moore’s narration guides listeners through subtle shifts in tone and accent. It’s a quiet ghost story and a carefully crafted mystery. Published by Random House Audio.Find more audiobook recommendations at audiofilemagazine.comSupport for Behind the Mic for AudioFile Magazine comes from Naxos AudioBooks. Naxos AudioBooks says, Observe the birth of Henry James with a winner of AudioFile's Earphones Award, What Maisie Knew, performed by Juliet Stevenson. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

7mins

15 Apr 2020

Rank #15

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CAFFEINE written and read by Michael Pollan

Food writer Michael Pollan investigates how we all became addicted to the most commonly used drug in the world — caffeine. Host Jo Reed and AudioFile’s Robin Whitten discuss Pollan’s persuasive narration and writing as he mixes personal experimentation and historical research into the impact of caffeine around the world. Listeners will come away with a potful of information on the worldwide economic importance of coffee and tea, and the ubiquitous presence of caffeine in the world. Published by Audible, Inc.Find more audiobook recommendations at audiofilemagazine.comSupport for Behind the Mic for AudioFile Magazine comes from Naxos AudioBooks. Discover the people and the stories behind classical music new & old with Naxos at classicalmusicpodcasts.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

5mins

29 Apr 2020

Rank #16

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THE LONG CALL by Ann Cleeves, read by Ben Aldridge

A smashing start to a new mystery series from Ann Cleeves. Host Jo Reed and AudioFile’s Emily Connelly take listeners to charming North Devon, England, where DI Matthew Venn’s team has just found the body of a dead man on the beach. Ben Aldridge narrates with a cool and easy pace, mirroring Matthew’s calm demeanor as he leads his team on the investigation. The clues all point toward Matthew’s own past with his estranged religious community, and his sweet husband. Aldridge’s smoothly shifting accents introduce listeners to a new team of investigators in a community that has many secrets to uncover. The perfect next listen for fans of Cleeves’s Vera Stanhope and Shetland series. Published by Macmillan Audio.Find more audiobook recommendations at audiofilemagazine.com.For more free audiobook recommendations, sign up for AudioFile Magazine’s newsletter.Join New York Times bestselling author Patti Callahan for a seven-part original podcast – Behind the Scenes of Becoming Mrs. Lewis – and explore in depth the improbable and beautiful love story between C.S. Lewis and Joy Davidman. Learn more at www.becomingmrslewispodcast.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

6mins

3 Oct 2019

Rank #17

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ME AND WHITE SUPREMACY by Layla F. Saad, read by Layla F. Saad

Listeners will want to have a pen and a journal at the ready as they work through Layla F. Saad’s 28 days of examining the ways white supremacy is acting through them. AudioFile’s Emily Connelly tells host Jo Reed about the impact of this workbook that requires real listener participation. Saad first shared the Me and White Supremacy challenge on Instagram in 2018, and the challenge went viral. When she repackaged it as a free downloadable workbook, it was downloaded nearly 100,000 times. Now Saad has added new content, providing more personal and historical context as she helps listeners reflect on their relationship with white privilege, white fragility, and more. Saad narrates clearly and smoothly and keeps listeners in line—you will want to push back against being held accountable, and she knows just what to say to counter that impulse. This is life-changing work. Published by Blackstone Audio.Find more audiobook recommendations at audiofilemagazine.comSupport for Behind the Mic with AudioFile Magazine comes from Oasis Audio, publisher of Jolina Petersheim’s How the Light Gets In — a 2020 Audie Awards winner Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

6mins

17 Mar 2020

Rank #18

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DEVIL'S FJORD by David Hewson, read by Saul Reichlin

This audiobook is a perfect example of the popular Nordic noir genre. Listeners will be transported to a small fishing village ominously named the Devil’s Fjord on a remote island in the Faroe Islands. It’s a place, as one resident describes it, where you don’t belong unless you can kill. Narrator Saul Reichlin, who is English (as is the author), tells this gritty story in a cordial voice that makes its human savagery all the more terrifying. Reichlin’s character portrayals are vivid and convincing. The narration begins with a graphic description of a whale hunt, and soon it’s not only whales that are cut open. This story is dark but enlightening—although not for the squeamish. Published by Recorded Books.Find the full review of DEVIL'S FJORD at audiofilemagazine.com.For more free audiobook recommendations, sign up for AudioFile Magazine’s newsletter.On today’s episode are host Jo Reed and AudioFile Magazine Founder and Editor Robin Whitten.HarperCollins Leadership feed your inner drive to grow as a leader, with audiobooks that activate the leadership potential inside everyone. Learn more at www.harpercollinsleadership.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

5mins

22 Aug 2019

Rank #19

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CAST AWAY by Naomi Shihab Nye, read by Naomi Shihab Nye

Listeners won’t look at the discarded things around them in the same way after hearing this poetry collection on audio. Naomi Shihab Nye shares her experience as a self-appointed trash collector, and she narrates with a warm voice and a storyteller’s cadence. Host Jo Reed and AudioFile’s Emily Connelly share their thoughts on Nye’s appealing and engaging narration style, which makes her clever and insightful poems sound like musings—and calls to action. Nye takes a closer look at the things we throw away and considers the experience of refugees. The collection makes a wonderful tool for the classroom and will reward repeat listening. Published by HarperAudio.Find more audiobook recommendations at audiofilemagazine.comLooking for a bookish community that focuses on positivity and inspiration? That’s Page Chaser’s mission: to have conversations with avid readers who believe that everything is worthy of discussion – from Mister Rogers to the Hunger Games to Little Women. Join the Page Chaser crew at www.PageChaser.com, where you can read articles, watch videos, sign up for amazing bookish deals, and so much more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

6mins

21 Feb 2020

Rank #20