Free Halloween Audiobooks and Edgar Allen Poe

Tell Tale Heart on Audio Each year we provide our take on Halloween Audio Books that you can enjoy as part of the Halloween season.  This year I was reminded of one of the classic horror stories that I experienced in my youth, Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe.

Being from Boston I saw much coverage recently about Poe and his lack of affection of the Boston crowd back in his day.  I have to say I was surprised but I really didn’t know much about Poe except for this tale since Horror can sometimes freak me out.  A statue was recently put up in Boston with a Raven as part of it.  Poe was born in Boston back in 1809 but moved to Virginia in early childhood and later died in Maryland though he spent time back in Boston in between.

I read the Tell-Tale Heart back when I was in high school and I remember how spooky it was.  In audio form it is even more so.  Besides the various previous recommendations for Halloween audio books that we have recommended in the past we have added a page that includes some of the classic scary/horror stories that are often associated with Halloween.  We have gotten free audio books in the version of videos that we have included on the Free Halloween Audio Books page.  They include not only Poe’s classic but Bram Stoker’s Dracula, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein as well.

Though these versions are fine please note that they are not professional narrators so I have seen that sometimes commenters on the videos have seemed to have expected something more(for free).  Audio books are more than just readings and some narrators do a better job of performing than others.  Over the years I have noticed how more and more actors are getting into the narration of audio and it is because their talents cross over so well.  This is why I chose to include 2 performances in the selection for Poe’s Tell-Tale Heart instead of one of the many straight readings available on Youtube for Poe’s famous tale.  Vincent Price was a legendary actor of horror back in his day and hearing the tale with his voice definitely enhances the experience.

Enjoy and we will add more free audio books as time goes on!

Want to hear Edgar Allan Poe’s works professionally narrated?  Click here

Halloween Audio Ala Stephen King

Carrie-StephenKing-AudioDid Carrie freak you out?  I’m talking about the original one with Sissy Spacek.  Stephen King’s first published novel has been remade into a current version Carrie The Movie.  The previews alone are enough to make the hairs stand up on my arm so imagine the movie.  I remember seeing the original movie but had not realized that Sissy Spacek is the Narrator of the current unabridged audio book.  Stephen King does the intro and even that gives me the creeps.

There is something about horror stories that make them both repelling and attractive at the same time.  You can say the same about Halloween.  As a kid I was always the one who had nightmares and couldn’t sleep after seeing a horror movie yet I always couldn’t help myself.  I had to know the outcome of the story and in the end that is what movies are, stories.  Stephen King is a master at weaving the story that sucks you in like the car crash you don’t want to see but stare at anyway.

Besides the release of this new version of Carrie, Stephen King also published the follow up to another one of his most memorable scary stories, The Shining.  He follows it up with Doctor Sleep which brings back the little boy Dan Torrance.  Again this can only build on the terror brought to life by Jack Nicholson in the Shining.  Whenever I walk down a hotel hallway I can’t help but say “redrum, redrum” in my head.  Doctor Sleep is narrated by Will Patton who has such a great voice.  Some of you may better know him as Captain Weaver in the show Falling Skies.  He does a good deal of audio book narration though.

If you want a good scare this Halloween season Stephen King audio books won’t let you down but you do need to be careful if you are driving.  They can be so distracting you may end up being a ghost in one of his future stories…

Check out more of our Halloween Audio Book recommendations here…

What follows is the Carrie Movie trailer…



Hispanic Heritage Month 2013 – Audio in Spanish

rita moreno audio book coverHispanic Heritage Month is in full swing and we wanted to highlight some of our great Spanish Audio Book content.  Almost every year at this time we like to take a look at what new offerings are out there for those that want their audio books in Spanish.  It is not always the case that audio books get translated and I must say I am surprised that Rita Moreno’s Memoir is (as far as I can tell), not available in Spanish.  Nonetheless the book is available in English and is fine for the many of us hybrid Spanglish folks.

Whether you are of Latino/Hispanic descent it is hard not to know who Rita Moreno is.  She broke barriers with her role in West Side Story though some may think her role was too stereo typical.  I am Puerto Rican so for me it was just a treat to see someone like me on the TV.  Nowadays you can’t miss us and many have Rita to thank for that.

Rita Moreno is a Puerto Rican singer, dancer and actress. She is the only Hispanic and one of the few performers to have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony, and was the second Puerto Rican to win an Academy Award. From Wikipedia

Her memoir is a view into a life where things weren’t as “easy” as they are now for Latino actors.  Not only that it is a great listen because you get to hear it in her own voice since she narrates it.

Some other Spanish audio books that are highly searched for are Spanish Audio Books for Kids and Spanish Audio Bibles.  These are available with our content provider.  For more of our prior Hispanic Heritage Audio picks please visit our page for Hispanic Heritage Month.

As a side note if you are interested in Latino American history I would also like to mention a PBS documentary by the name of Latino Americans.  Though this is not an audio book and I don’t think it will be produced as one, it is a great way to learn about the Latino history that really isn’t taught anywhere.  It is also a great way to expose your children to the history that should be part of their culture.  This is a 3 part documentary that will be airing Part 2 tomorrow Tuesday September 24th.  You also have the opportunity to buy the whole documentary at PBS on DVD.  PBS describes the documentary as:

LATINO AMERICANS is the first major documentary series for television to chronicle the rich and varied history and experiences of Latinos, who have helped shape North America over the last 500-plus years and have become, with more than 50 million people, the largest minority group in the U.S. The changing and yet repeating context of American history provides a backdrop for the drama of individual lives. It is a story of immigration and redemption, of anguish and celebration, of the gradual construction of a new American identity that connects and empowers millions of people today.

Here is a video introduction as well:

Celebrate your Hispanic heritage with music, food, books and traditions not just this “month” but all year round!

Romance on Audio for Valentines Day and Beyond

Romance AudioValentine’s Day is tomorrow so odds are you fall into one of 2 groups.  You either love it or “not so much”.  I say “not so much” because most people can’t really hate Valentine’s Day.  It is a day to celebrate love and friendship.  In doing so it does bring to center stage whether you are in a special relationship or not.  Having been in both camps but being happily married now I can identify with both the journey and the destination.

When I was younger and quite honestly had the time I used to read many Romance Books.  In those days romance books a la Harlequin and Silhouette were not as explicit as they are today.  Before romance was a big part of my real life getting lost in the lives of the heroes and heroines in those books was an escape that I remember to this day.

We read and listen to books to be entertained, to live vicariously and sometimes to escape.  If Valentine’s Day is not what you want it to be or your romantic life lacks the sizzle it once had listening to a romantic audio book can give you both ideas and entertainment for the day for lovers.

Though I can appreciate some of the spicier romance now available under the Erotica category that has now been made even more famous by E.L. James I still love the Classic Romance Stories offered up by Jane Austen for example.  With the 200th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice a lot of press has been given to the timelessness of Jane Austen’s books.  There is something at the core of it’s romantic story line that transcends time, a love that is at time impossible but can not be denied.

We updated our links on our past post on Valentine’s Day Audio Books to reflect our current audiobook partnership.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Romance on Audio

To that list which does include Jane Austen I would add Lisa Kleypas and of course E.L. James for some spicier romance.

In time for Valentines, one of Nicholas Sparks books Safe Haven is coming out as a movie.  It might make for a nice romantic night out…


Audio Book Gifts – Team of Rivals on CD

Team of Rivals Cover Doris Kearns GoodwinDoris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals was recently produced as a movie by Stephen Spielberg.  It reminded many of us who had either listened to or read the book how fascinating Abraham Lincoln still is.  It is hard to believe it was released in 2005 since the impression it had on me still feels so strong.

As we are forced to be onlookers to what appear to be unreasonable negotiations and expectations in Washington about the Fiscal Cliff anyone who has read, listened and now watched the movie Team of Rivals has to be a bit disgusted (no I am not taking sides).

The book is summarized as:

Team of Rivals doesn’t just tell the story of Abraham Lincoln. It is a multiple biography of the entire team of personal and political competitors that he put together to lead the country through its greatest crisis. Here, Doris Kearns Goodwin profiles five of the key players in her book, four of whom contended for the 1860 Republican presidential nomination and all of whom later worked together in Lincoln’s cabinet.  Edwin M. Stanton,  Salmon P. Chase, William H. Seward, Edward Bates and Lincoln himself.

I listened to the full unabridged version of Team of Rivals which was more than 40 hours.  Of course, as with these longer audio book titles they are also available in  an abridged form.  There is an abridged CD version available as well and would make a great audio book gift this Holiday season.

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

As for the movie I am looking forward to seeing it.  The holiday break may be a good opportunity to do it.  As with all books that are made into movies odds are one will be better than the other but based on reviews Daniel Day-Lewis brings more that his striking resemblance to the roll.  According to Doris Kearns Goodwin herself he captured his voice and mannerisms in a way that is true to her research.

Whether you decide to listen to it over some long commutes or see the movie or both I am sure it will be an experience that you will remember.  Hopefully we all will learn how to work better together as well.

Here is the trailer for the Team of Rivals movie: