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Become a Narrator for a Day--Lend Your Voice!

If you've ever wondered what it's like to be an audiobook narrator, here's your chance to give it a try! This June, Random House Audio and OverDrive are partnering to ask you to Lend Your Voice--to our audiobook production of L. Frank Baum's classic The Wizard of Oz.

We'll be setting up an on-site recording studio inside OverDrive's Digitalbookmobile during the American Library Association's annual conference in Washington, DC June 25-27. Anyone interested in recording a section of the audiobook can come by to participate, and once we've completed the book, we'll edit all the voices together into one "crowdsourced" audiobook production!

The finished audiobook will be posted online for all the narrators to listen to and share with family and friends.

If you'd like to be a part of the recording, the Digitalbookmobile studio will be located near the Washington Convention Center, across the street from the Renaissance Hotel (999 9th Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20001) at the corner of 9th St NW and New York Ave NW. Just follow the Yellow Brick Road to find us!

We'll be recording Friday afternoon and all day Saturday and Sunday, and can't wait to hear all your voices for Dorothy, the Cowardly Lion, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Wicked Witch!

If you have any questions, please email audio@randomhouse.com.

Congratulations to our Audie® Award finalists!

The 15th Annual Audie® Award finalists have been announced by the Audio Publishers Association, including four of our titles:

Nonfiction:

The National Parks, by Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan, narrated by Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan

Teens:

Going Bovine, by Libba Bray, Narrated by Erik Davies

Children's titles for ages up to 8:

Friend or Fiend with the Pain and the Great One, by Judy Blume, narrated by Kathleen McInerney and Judy Blume

A Season of Gifts, by Richard Peck, narrated by Ron McLarty

The Audie® Awards are the only awards program in the United States devoted entirely to honoring spoken word entertainment. Winners will be announced at the Audies Gala on May 25, 2010, at The Museum of the City of New York in New York City.

Go Green This Earth Day with Audiobooks!

Earth Day is a great time not only to learn about ways to be more environmentally friendly, but to celebrate our planet.   Check out these great Earth Day listens:

Go Green, Live Rich
50 Simple Ways to Save the Earth and Get Rich Trying
By David Bach, read by the author

Most people fear global warming and want a greener planet, but they think that "going green" is a luxury they can't afford. They think green products cost more, that you have to be on a waiting list for a super-expensive electric car, that you have to shop at places where you spend your whole paycheck. But what if they are wrong? What if you can do easy, simple things that not only help save the Earth but also help you get rich? David Bach makes that a reality in his simple system for making changes that benefit the planet but also put green in your wallet. You can live a life in line with your values and also bank your first Green Million.

The Lorax
By Dr. Seuss, read by Ted Danson

"UNLESS someone like you...cares a whole awful lot...nothing is going to get better...It's not."

Long before saving the earth became a global concern, Dr. Seuss, speaking through his character the Lorax, warned against mindless progress and the danger it posed to the earth's natural beauty.

Into the Wild
By Jon Krakauer, read by Philip Franklin

In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself...

This audiobook's stunning descriptions of one of America's last great wildernesses—Alaska—and Chris McCandless's struggle for survival there make a gripping listen.

Flush
By Carl Hiaasen, read by Michael Welch

You know it's going to be a rough summer when you spend Father's Day visiting your dad in the local lockup.

Noah's dad is sure that the owner of the Coral Queen casino boat is flushing raw sewage into the harbor–which has made taking a dip at the local beach like swimming in a toilet. He can't prove it though, and so he decides that sinking the boat will make an effective statement. Right. The boat is pumped out and back in business within days and Noah's dad is stuck in the clink.

Now Noah is determined to succeed where his dad failed. He will prove that the Coral Queen is dumping illegally . . . somehow. His allies may not add up to much–his sister Abbey, an unreformed childhood biter; Lice Peeking, a greedy sot with poor hygiene; Shelly, a bartender and a woman scorned; and a mysterious pirate–but Noah's got a plan to flush this crook out into the open. A plan that should sink the crooked little casino, once and for all.

A Walk in the Woods
By Bill Bryson, read by the author

"Not long after I moved with my family to a small town in New Hampshire, I happened upon a path that vanished into a wood on the edge of town."

So begins Bill Bryson's hilarious book A Walk in the Woods.  Bryson decides to walk the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail, which stretches from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine.  The AT, as it's affectionately known to thousands of hikers, offers an astonishing landscape of silent forests and sparkling lakes--and to a writer with the comic genius of Bill Bryson, it also provides endless opportunities to test his own powers of ineptitude, and to witness the majestic silliness of his fellow human beings.  

But A Walk in the Woods is more than just a laugh-out-loud hike.  Bryson's acute eye is a wise witness to this fragile and beautiful trail, and as he tells its fascinating history, he makes a moving plea for the conservation of America's last great wilderness.

Oscar-winning Audios

Didn't have time to read the book before seeing the movie?  Take a listen to these Oscar winners and nominees on audio on your morning commute, at the gym, or as you knit or work.

Precious
By Sapphire, read by the author

An electrifying first novel that shocks by its language, its circumstances, and its brutal honesty, Push recounts a young black street-girl's horrendous and redemptive journey through a Harlem inferno. For Precious Jones, 16 and pregnant with her father's child, miraculous hope appears and the world begins to open up for her when a courageous, determined teacher bullies, cajoles, and inspires her to learn to read, to define her own feelings and set them down in a diary.

Up in the Air
By Walter Kirn, read by Sean Runnette

Ryan Bingham's job as a Career Transition Counselor–he fires people–has kept him airborne for years. Although he has come to despise his line of work, he has come to love the culture of what he calls "Airworld," finding contentment within pressurized cabins, anonymous hotel rooms, and a wardrobe of wrinkle-free slacks. With a letter of resignation sitting on his boss's desk, and the hope of a job with a mysterious consulting firm, Ryan Bingham is agonizingly close to his ultimate goal, his Holy Grail: one million frequent flier miles. But before he achieves this long-desired freedom, conditions begin to deteriorate.

With perception, wit, and wisdom, Up in the Air combines brilliant social observation with an acute sense of the psychic costs of our rootless existence, and confirms Walter Kirn as one of the most savvy chroniclers of American life.

My Life in France
By Julia Child and Alex Prud'homme, read by Flo Salant Greenberg

In her own words, here is the captivating story of Julia Child's years in France, where she fell in love with French food and found ‘her true calling.'

This memoir is laced with wonderful stories about the French character, particularly in the world of food, and the way of life that Julia embraced so wholeheartedly. Above all, she reveals the kind of spirit and determination, the sheer love of cooking, and the drive to share that with her fellow Americans that made her the extraordinary success she became.

The Reader
By Bernhard Schlink, read by Campbell Scott

Hailed for its coiled eroticism and the moral claims it makes upon the reader, this mesmerizing novel is a story of love and secrets, horror and compassion, unfolding against the haunted landscape of postwar Germany.

When he falls ill on his way home from school, fifteen-year-old Michael Berg is rescued by Hanna, a woman twice his age. In time she becomes his lover--then she inexplicably disappears. When Michael next sees her, he is a young law student, and she is on trial for a hideous crime. As he watches her refuse to defend her innocence, Michael gradually realizes that Hanna may be guarding a secret she considers more shameful than murder.

Great Listens for Mom

Letter to My Daughter
By Maya Angelou, read by the author

Dedicated to the daughter she never had but sees all around her, Letter to My Daughter reveals Maya Angelou's path to living well and living a life with meaning. Here in short spellbinding essays are glimpses of the tumultuous life that taught Angelou lessons in compassion and fortitude: how she was brought up by her indomitable grandmother in segregated Arkansas, taken in at thirteen by her more worldly and less religious mother, and grew to be an awkward six-foot-tall teenager whose first experience of loveless sex paradoxically left her with her greatest gift, a son.

Whether she is recalling lost friends such as Coretta Scott King and Ossie Davis, extolling honesty, decrying vulgarity, explaining why becoming a Christian is a “lifelong endeavor,” or simply singing the praises of a meal of red rice, Maya Angelou writes from the heart to millions of women she considers her extended family.

Perfectly Imperfect: A Life in Progress
By Lee Woodruff, read by the author

In her acclaimed first book, In an Instant, Lee Woodruff, along with her husband, ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff, wrote eloquently and honestly about the struggles they faced together as Bob recovered from a traumatic brain injury sustained in Iraq. Now, with the same candor and clarity, Lee Woodruff chronicles her life as wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend.

In a voice that is fresh, irreverently funny, and irresistible, Lee Woodruff traces the quiet moments and memorable events that have shaped her life in progress. Perfectly Imperfect is the testimonial of a woman who embraces the chaos of her surroundings, discovers the splendor of life's flaws, and accepts that perfection is as impossible to achieve as a spotless kitchen floor.

Promises I Made My Mother
By Sam Haskell, with David Rensin, read by the author

When Haskell was young, his devoted mother, Mary, instilled in her son the values of character, faith, and honor by setting an example and asking him to promise to live his life according to her lessons. He did, and those promises have served Haskell consistently from his Mississippi boyhood to his long career at the venerable William Morris Agency in Beverly Hills.

Haskell has achieved success through self-respect, and from his story we learn how we, too, can maintain our dignity when faced with life's challenges. This stirring memoir is a testament to mothers everywhere who instill in their sons the lasting values they need to become good men and devoted fathers.

Home Safe
By Elizabeth Berg, read by the author

In this new novel, beloved bestselling author Elizabeth Berg weaves a beautifully written and richly resonant story of a mother and daughter in emotional transit. Helen Ames–recently widowed, coping with loss and grief, unable to do the work that has always sustained her–is beginning to depend far too much on her twenty-seven-year-old daughter, Tessa, and is meddling in her life, offering unsolicited and unwelcome advice.

Helen's problems are compounded by her shocking discovery that her mild-mannered and loyal husband was apparently leading a double life. The Ameses had painstakingly saved for a happy retirement, but that money disappeared in several large withdrawals made by Helen's husband before he died. In order to support herself and garner a measure of much needed independence, Helen takes an unusual job that ends up offering far more than she had anticipated. And then a phone call from a stranger sets Helen on a surprising path of discovery that causes both mother and daughter to reassess what they thought they knew about each other, themselves, and what really makes a home and a family.