What Einstein Told His Cook: Kitchen Science Explained Robert L. Wolke, read by Sean Runnette. Tantor Media, unabridged, eight CDs, 9.5 hrs., $44.99 ISBN 978-1-4526-0636-1
Chemistry professor emeritus and award-winning food columnist Wolke offers a reference guide to the science of food, everything from the truth about raw sugar and cream of tartar to how microwaves and “instant-read” thermometers actually function, explaining it all in a clear, accessible, and fun fashion. Sean Runnette turns in a subtle, winning performance in this audio edition, capturing the spirit of the text—his reading both informs and entertains—and delivering friendly, clear, and steady narration. Additionally, Runnette is restrained and wry—and vaguely reminiscent of Niles Crane from TV’s Frasier—nailing the book’s many moments of humor. This delightful audiobook—which includes a PDF with more than 30 recipes from the author’s wife, Marlene Parrish—is a must for foodies and science fans. A W.W. Norton paperback. (Feb.)
1. This is your first book to have an audio edition. What was behind your decision to narrate Dan Gets a Minivan yourself?
I used to contribute funny radio pieces to NPR’s Boston station, WBUR, and I also hosted a funny call-in show called “Everyday People,” where I interviewed non-celebrities like my UPS guy or a birthday-party clown. I forgot how much I loved going into a studio and recording until I posted some of those spots on my website for Dan Gets a Minivan. Narrating my book was a chance to get back into the studio again. Now I want to start doing radio again. Or maybe I can just narrate other people’s books instead of having to write my own.
2. How was the recording process for you? Was it what you expected? Was it different?
It was surreal. My book is a comic memoir about the transition from couplehood to familyhood. It’s funny, but it’s personal. Spending six hours reading it aloud was like spending six years re-living my life. Now I can fire my shrink. I’m cured.
3. What did you do to prepare before you stepped into the recording booth? Continue reading →
The collection showcases audio performances from some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. The first set of books available for download includes Anne Hathaway’s performance of The Wonderful Wizard of Ozby L. Frank Baum, Kate Winslet’s performance of Thérèse Raquin by Émile Zola, Samuel L. Jackson’s performance of A Rage in Harlem by Chester Himes, and Susan Sarandon’s performance of The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers.
“We are thrilled to be able to bring these breathtaking performances of literature to our rapidly expanding population of listeners,” Audible founder and CEO Donald Katz said in a statement. “Audible has consistently sought to elevate the quality of audiobook narration, and we hope this collection will expose an even broader audience to the rich palette of performances that makes listening to audiobooks so pleasurable.”
The A-List Collection features a roster of celebrated actors narrating distinguished works of literature that each star helped select. Additional audio performances in the series will include the following: Continue reading →