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August 2021 Earphones Award Winners

The award is given by AudioFile to truly exceptional titles that excel in narrative voice and style, characterizations, suitability to audio, and enhancement of the text.


HELL OF A BOOK
Earphones Award Winner
Fiction

If ever there was a piece of fiction suited to becoming an audiobook, this is it. The novel's two protagonists tell distinct but interlocking stories of what it is like to be Black in America. Narrator JD Jackson's inspired portrayal of an unnamed author on a boozy book tour has the sandy sadness of a man coming to terms with fame, race, and death. Ronald Peet, whose voice has... Read More

ROOM TO DREAM
Earphones Award Winner
Children

Sunny Lu narrates the third in Kelly Yang's Front Desk series. After delivering the first two audiobooks, Lu is firmly anchored in the winning persona of heroine Mia Tang. This adventure begins when Mia and her family return to their China homeland to visit. She leaves Los Angeles confused about her relationships with her two best friends and feeling stuck over how to achieve... Read More

SIX CRIMSON CRANES
Earphones Award Winner
Young Adult

Narrator Emily Woo Zeller immerses listeners in this fairy-tale- inspired fantasy. Shiori, who is uninterested in her arranged engagement, learns to wield forbidden magic from a shape-shifting dragon. After stumbling upon her stepmother's secret, Shiori is exiled and cursed to remain mute--every word uttered means death to one of her six brothers, who have been transformed into... Read More

TOWER OF BABEL
Earphones Award Winner
Mystery & Suspense

Richard Poe commendably presents Queens, New York, with its cross section of cultures and residents, including onetime top lawyer--now foreclosure profiteer--Ted Molloy. Listeners will enjoy the action as Molloy tackles real estate moguls and Russian mafia between visits to Mets home games and Gallagher's Pub. Molloy is determined to save Barbara Miller, who has dementia, from... Read More

A WEEKEND WITH PABLO PICASSO
Earphones Award Winner
Poetry & Drama

Herbert Sigüenza delivers an outstanding performance of his acclaimed one-man show based on the life of Pablo Picasso. It is 1957, in the south of France, at the studio of the iconic Spanish artist. While working on a challenging commission, Picasso engages the listener, who plays the role of an uninvited houseguest, in a captivating, one-sided conversation. For three days, he... Read More

YOU ARE EATING AN ORANGE. YOU ARE NAKED.
Earphones Award Winner
Fiction

There's real magic in this pairing of Sheung-King's first novel and Kenny Wong's audiobook debut. The novel can seem unrooted as the setting shifts from Toronto to Hong Kong to Prague. The narrator and his lover are never named, and they share intimacy by telling each other stories and folktales that can come across like disjointed vignettes. But this, of course, is the point,... Read More

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