Each year the Audie Awards are presented to the best titles in audio publishing. The list of finalists for 2019 have been published (with the winners to be announced on March 4th), and these are the audiobooks that I’ve listened to and thoughts on each.
Audiobook of the Year
I’ve listened to two of the finalists. An American Marriage, Tayari Jones narrated by Eisa Davis and Sean Crisden was on our list of The Best Books We Read in 2018. I enjoyed the audiobook narration and felt that the narrators captured the characters in an intimate way that made listening to the audiobook a better experience than reading the physical book. This was my first time listening to an audiobook from either of the 2 narrators.
Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. In this deft exploration of love, loyalty, race, justice, and both Black masculinity and Black womanhood in 21st century America, Jones achieves that most-elusive of all literary goals: the Great American Novel.
Children of Blood and Bone, Tomi Adeyemi, narrated by Bahni Turpin is the other Audiobook of the Year finalists that I listened to – and this was a truly wonderful experience.
I’ve already mentioned plenty of times that I Had an Audiobook Listening Hangover From Children of Blood and Bone because everything from the story to the narration was incredible. The narrator – Bahni Turpin – has become one of my faves to listen to … just check out the other audiobooks she’s narrated that I’ve loved including The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lack by Rebecca Skloot, The Help by Kathryn Stockett and The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead.
Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls. But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope. Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik, narrated by Lisa Flanagan is the only Fantasy Finalist I’ve listened to – and it was phenomenal! It is hard to believe that there is only one narrator, because she made every single character come to life. Have you ever listened to (or read) a book – and at the end you feel like you don’t want to leave that World or those characters?! That’s how I felt about Spinning Silver.
Multi-Voiced Performance Finalists
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones, narrated by Eisa Davis and Sean Crisden , also nominated for Audiobook of the Year (and discussed above) is also nominated for Multi-Voiced Performance.
Lethal White by Robert Galbraith, narrated by Robert Glenister is the only nominee I’ve read in this category. I was actually in a reading slump when I decided to give this audiobook a try and after listening for 5 minutes, I was hooked. The audiobook narrator, Robert Glenister, did a fantastic job of giving each character a personality and distinct voice – including the female characters.
When Billy, a troubled young man, comes to private eye Cormoran Strike’s office to ask for his help investigating a crime he thinks he witnessed as a child, Strike is left deeply unsettled. While Billy is obviously mentally distressed, and cannot remember many concrete details, there is something sincere about him and his story. But before Strike can question him further, Billy bolts from his office in a panic. Trying to get to the bottom of Billy’s story, Strike and Robin Ellacott — once his assistant, now a partner in the agency—set off on a twisting trail that leads them through the backstreets of London, into a secretive inner sanctum within Parliament, and to a beautiful but sinister manor house deep in the countryside.
Thriller / Suspense Finalists
The Outsider by Stephen King, narrated by Will Patton. is another book that made our list of The Best Books We Read in 2018. And Will Patton is another fave audiobook narrator. For this book, he was adept at making each character distinctive and quirky. He made the characters come to life for me – and this is another book that I felt was better experienced as an audiobook.
An eleven-year-old boy is found in a town park, hideously assaulted and murdered. The fingerprints (and later DNA) are unmistakably those of the town’s most popular baseball coach, Terry Maitland, a man of impeccable reputation, with a wife and two daughters. Detective Ralph Anderson, whose son Maitland coached, orders an immediate and public arrest. Maitland is taken to jail, his claim to innocence scorned. Maitland has a foolproof alibi, with footage to prove that he was in another city when the crime was committed. But that doesn’t save him either.
Young Adult Finalists
✤ Tanya ✤ – Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, narrated by Bahni Turpin, nominated for Audiobook of the Year, is also nominated in the Young Adult category.
Have you read or listened to the audiobook of any of the books mentioned above? Any others nominated for an Audie Award that you’ve already listened to? Any on your radar?