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June 2020 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.


THE ASTONISHING LIFE OF AUGUST MARCH
Earphones Award Winner
Fiction

What's really astonishing is Joel Froomkin's spectacular performance of this outstanding debut novel. During intermission, a Broadway leading lady gives birth, coolly deposits the newborn into a laundry basket, finishes her play, and never looks back. Aged laundress Eugenia Butler finds the baby and quenches his first thirst with champagne. Froomkin is attuned to Jackson's... Read More

BEACH READ
Earphones Award Winner
Romantic Fiction

Narrator Julia Whelan inhabits the first-person point of view of January Andrews, a bestselling romance writer who was a hopeless romantic until her father died and she learned of his mistress. Listeners share January's despair as she faces a summer of failing to write her next romance novel while packing up her father's secret beach house. She's dismayed to discover that her... Read More

BLUE-EYED DEVIL
Earphones Award Winner
Romantic Fiction

Narrator Brittany Pressley delivers an A-plus performance of Kleypas's beloved Texas romance. Pressley introduces Haven Travis, daughter of an oil magnate, with a lilting drawl whose musical notes ring melodiously. Her declarative delivery packs an aural punch as Haven faces and later escapes a horrifically abusive husband. Hearing the menace that Haven's husband, Nick, exudes... Read More

THE CALL OF THE WILD
Earphones Award Winner
Children

Narrator Rebecca K. Reynolds flawlessly renders this magnificent story, abridged with children in mind. Buck, a mixed St. Bernard and Scottish shepherd, has an enviable life in Southern California until he is stolen and sold to be a Gold Rush sled dog in the Yukon. Listeners will be mesmerized as they share Buck's joys, sorrows, and pain as he adjusts to his new life.... Read More

CRASH COURSE
Earphones Award Winner
Contemporary Culture

Heather Henderson's performance exudes equal parts compassion, tension, and outrage within a consistent tone. These qualities are subtle but effective, and absolutely necessary here. Whipple's audiobook covers a specific airline disaster. In 1978, 10 people died after United Flight 173 crashed in a Portland, Oregon, neighborhood. The crew had wrestled with equipment malfunction... Read More

CREDIBLE THREAT
Earphones Award Winner
Mystery & Suspense

Narrator Karen Ziemba returns to masterfully portray the characters she has grown comfortable with in Jance's popular series. Ali Reynolds and her cybersecurity team probe threats made on the life of the archbishop of Phoenix. Simultaneously, Ali's partner in love and work, B. Simpson is called away to investigate a threat to one of their European clients. Ziemba is excellent... Read More

LEAVING LYMON
Earphones Award Winner
Children

Dion Graham narrated the author's companion book, FINDING LANGSTON. Now he delivers the story of a minor character from that work, Lymon, the boy who bullied Langston. Graham's soft tones tell of Lymon's early years in 1940s Mississippi; the nurturing he received from his grandfather, with whom he shared a love of music; and his visits with his father at Parchman Prison.... Read More

MAGIC BARREL
Earphones Award Winner
Poetry & Drama

In this 1992 L.A. Theatre Works live performance, Tony Award winner David Cromer and the irrepressible Shelley Berman (1925-2017) created a wonderful chemistry between a shy rabbinical student who is searching for the perfect mate and an old-style Yiddish matchmaker who possesses a large envelope full of prospects. Always full of heartwarming wit and comic detail, these ace... Read More

THE MOTHER OF THE BRONTES
Earphones Award Winner
Biography & Memoir

Narrator Anna Bentinck impeccably introduces Maria Branwell Brontë, who is ordinarily in the shadow of her famous children and eccentric husband. Listeners enthusiastically join Maria, her wealthy Penzance family, and later her husband, Reverend Patrick Brontë. Bentinck's thoughtful delivery enriches each character, and she excels at evocative descriptions of both grand and... Read More

PIZZA GIRL
Earphones Award Winner
Fiction

Jeena Yi is the ideal narrator for this stunning debut audiobook, which dramatizes the restless nature of adolescence. Yi superbly evokes a pregnant 18-year-old's kaleidoscope of emotions, which swing from unease about her present circumstances to complicated grief over the loss of her alcoholic father and impatience with her caring mother and supportive live-in boyfriend.... Read More

THE REDEEMED
Earphones Award Winner
Fiction

Narrator Jonathan Keeble's mastery of Tim Pears's quietly beautiful and evocative writing is one of the many pleasures in this final installment of his West Country Trilogy. Set in rural southwest England in the early 1900s, the audiobooks conjure the pace, sounds, and sights of a lost world. Following the intertwining lives of Leo, the carpenter's son, and Lottie, the daughter... Read More

SAFECRACKER
Earphones Award Winner
Mystery & Suspense

Fred Berman gives a gonzo performance of this rocket-fueled new thriller. The title character and narrator is Michael Maven, a film buff and oddly moral career criminal. His voice is Brooklyn street-smart, which alone would be charm enough. But enter his multiethnic friends, the polished British woman for whom he steals things to order, the Mexican drug thugs he's accidentally... Read More

UNIVERSE OF TWO
Earphones Award Winner
Fiction

Cassandra Campbell gives a stellar performance of this audiobook, set mainly in 1940s Los Alamos, New Mexico. The story is loosely based on the life of 19-year-old mathematician Charlie Fisk, who played a crucial role in the design of the detonator for the atomic bomb. The point of view alternates between Charlie and his sympathetic wife, Brenda, a musician. The sensations of... Read More

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