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.
John Hopkins's rich, dramatic voice suits this account of the 13 days in 1962 when the world was on the verge of a nuclear catastrophe: the Cuban Missile Crisis. Hopkins artfully meets the challenge of describing the mutual brinksmanship that took place between the Soviet Union and the U.S. when Russian missiles were discovered a mere 90 miles from American shores. Hopkins... Read More
Podcaster Nora McInerny's collection of essays will have listeners nodding and chuckling in recognition as she observes life in the Internet Age. McInerny recounts pivotal moments in her life, both poignant and cringe-worthy. Her experiences cover her childhood in the 1980s, college years in the early 2000s, young adulthood, motherhood, the loss of her first husband to cancer,... Read More
The beguiling irony in this affecting audiobook begins with the juxtaposition of creative giants who seem at first to be from different planets. But Nick Hornby uses his detailed knowledge of the nineteenth-century English writer Charles Dickens and the late American pop star Prince to show what they shared--extraordinary artistic drive and productivity. During their creative... Read More
This marvelous narration brings the comedian, activist, vegetarian, and civil rights leader vividly to life. Joe Morton gets Gregory's tone, sound, pace, and humor perfectly. Along with having mastered Gregory's unique style, he captures Gregory's humility, candor, and sense of fun. Emulating his manic energy, Morton lets Gregory's ringing soul come through in this collection... Read More
Narrator Dion Graham excels in this sequel to the Edgar Award winner DOWN THE RIVER UNTO THE SEA. Family ties draw investigator Joe "King" Oliver into finding out whether someone has framed a white nationalist for a crime he didn't commit. In a second, unrelated case, King helps the husband of his ex-wife, Monica, whom police arrested for selling heating oil as diesel fuel.... Read More
Stephen Shanahan portrays Aaron Falk, who is in South Australia's wine country to attend his godson's christening. As he and the child's father catch up with each other, talk turns to a cold case involving a missing woman. Shanahan's native Australian accent and easygoing tone help set the scene as Falk becomes ever more involved in helping his friends figure out what happened.... Read More
Claire Keegan's short story is enhanced by Aoife McMahon's exquisite narration. Her soft, melodious accent is the voice of the young, unnamed narrator from an impoverished Irish-Catholic family. Her voice is hurt and unsure as her father drops her off at the home of distant relatives without a suitcase, an explanation, or a goodbye--just an admonishment: "Try not to fall into... Read More
Narrator Mikhaila Aaseng gives a chilling performance in this haunted house horror story. Louise reluctantly returns to her family home after her parents die. She finds that her mother's obsession with puppets and dolls has filled the house. As she's forced to work with her estranged deadbeat brother in order to sell the property, she learns that the house has other plans.... Read More
Narrator Lucy Rayner settles quickly and assuredly into the character of aristocratic Miss Aleen Isabel Cust who, from the age of 6, is determined to ride and work with horses and other animals. From the late 1870s onward, Cust works tirelessly to overcome the hidebound male establishment and become the first woman veterinary surgeon in Britain and Ireland. Rayner adopts a... Read More
The interplay between the narrators' performances--the layered tension of Sandra Okuboyejo's voice and William DeMeritt's deliberately authoritative yet mysterious presentation--creates a chilling listening experience. Liz, a Black woman in her 30s, returns to her hometown of Johnstown for a friend's wedding. Johnstown is a deeply segregated place with a history of mysterious,... Read More
Carolina Hoyos expertly and lovingly narrates this astounding audiobook. A Mexihcah girl tells her little brother about the history of book making in Mesoamerica before the arrival of Europeans. Book-making techniques are explored in depth--from the plants used to make the pages to the animals, insects, and rocks used to complete and decorate the books. How these books were... Read More
Golden Voice narrator JD Jackson acts out Krueger's dramatic audio-original novella, which is about the potential breach of a levee, the only thing holding back torrents of water during the unprecedented flooding of the lower Mississippi River in 1927. Four men--three convicts temporarily released and a man named Quince Mobley--arrive by boat and work tirelessly to save the... Read More
Adam Lazarre-White performs S.A. Cosby's reissued debut novel. Nathan Waymaker is a former law enforcement officer now working at his cousin's funeral home in the Chesapeake Bay area. When a local pastor dies under mysterious circumstances, two women from the pastor's congregation approach Waymaker, offering to pay him to look into the pastor's death. Lazarre-White's... Read More
To call this performance just an audiobook would be an enormous understatement. It's an immersive listening experience with an original score, sound effects, and an entire cast. A disease has taken over the entire world, making social interactions rare and beloved destinations dystopian. Beta-test player John Chambers joins a lifelike virtual reality game in which he can... Read More
Sophie Amoss gives her all as she performs this middle-grade fantasy thriller with style and heart. She imbues Albert with compassion for Manon, the girl he finds in the forest, and captures his wife's disdain for her. Manon speaks with a whispery lightness to animals as she tries to learn who/what she is and why she is being hunted. The wide range of characters exhibits deep... Read More
Hugh Bonneville's memoir is funny, personal, informative, insightful, and fun to listen to. The world-class British actor has a stunning list of credits and famous friends, as well as an abundance of anecdotes, which he delivers with self-deprecating humor. Probably best known to American audiences as the Earl of Grantham in "Downton Abbey," Bonneville has also worked with the... Read More
Based on the popular podcast "Poetry Unbound," this audiobook is a fine anthology of poetry, as well as a very good introduction, for those who need it, to how to think about poetry. Even old poetry hands will enjoy and appreciate Pádraig O Tuama's brief and insightful essays accompanying each poem, as well as the poems themselves, many of which are likely to be unfamiliar even... Read More
Leading a cast of well-established, award-winning African American voice talents, Tamika Katon-Donegal gives a voice full of bright sensitivity, intelligence, and hope to Rachel, a young early-twentieth-century Black woman who is coming of age and looking to the future. When Rachel runs headlong into the real-life horrors of American racism, she doubts whether she can follow... Read More
Private detectives Lillian Pentecost and Willowjean Parker are back. Series narrator Kirsten Potter returns with another smashing performance. It's New York City, 1947. Holly Quick, writer of gruesome murder stories for STRANGE CRIMES magazine, hires Pentecost and Parker because she's discovered that three murders from her stories were recently brought to life. But Holly won't... Read More
This year's Booker Prize novel is also one of its most compelling audiobooks. Set in a violent phase of Sri Lanka's recent history, the story is often grim--but also deliciously ingenious and suspenseful. The narrator, recently murdered, addresses himself as "you," reconstructing a storyline in which the afterlife exists simultaneously with the living world and the victim... Read More
Saskia Maarleveld sublimely narrates this highly anticipated return to the world of Elfhame. Suren, child queen of the Court of Teeth, fled to the human world to live in the woods, where she helps release humans from their bargains with the fae. Her mother, Lady Nore, has taken over the Ice Needle Citadel, and prince Oak of Elfhame needs Suren's help to stop her. Maarleveld... Read More
Meg Howrey performs her latest novel, a captivating story set in 1980s and '90s Manhattan. Carlisle grew up with her mother in the Midwest, spending summers in New York City with her father, Robert, and his partner, James. As an adult, Carlisle is estranged from her father and intent on losing herself in her work as a choreographer. Howrey's narration creates an emotionally... Read More
Author and narrator Mac Barnett completely charms in this delightful fairy-tale retelling. Barnett is clearly having a great time relating the story of a hungry troll who waits for tasty morsels to cross the bridge over his head. Young listeners will giggle at Barnett's growly voice for the troll, who rhymes hopefully about a goat flambé with candied yams and a goat clam... Read More
Sam Heughan, OUTLANDER's Jamie Fraser, recounts his journey across the 96 miles of Scotland's West Highland Way. The story becomes a metaphor for Heughan's life as an actor in this atmospheric and absorbing memoir. He gives a spirited and heartwarming performance as he interweaves stories of how he became a successful working actor into the details of his arduous trek across... Read More
Actor Donald Corren brings his vocal skills to this tale of an angel and a demon who leave the shtetl for America to do a mitzvah and to seek excitement. Their fortunes become entangled with a human girl's in an adventure that balances laugh-out-loud humor, Jewish tradition, and gentle affirmation of queer identities. Corren expertly manages it all with his Yiddish-inflected... Read More
Expertly narrated, richly detailed, and charged with drama, this history of the courageous Germans who stood up against the Nazis will linger in the mind well after one has finished listening. Expect no German accents here, no overtones of menace or impending tragedy. Jamie Renell's restrained, finely nuanced narration vividly conveys the dilemma of Germans who opposed the... Read More
Married Duluth police detectives investigate the kidnapping of the wife of a lawyer while struggling with crushing physical and psychological challenges. Narrator Joe Barrett brings these characters vividly to life. Listeners share the struggles of Detective Serena Stride as she investigates the crime while dealing with the recent death of her abusive mother. She channels her... Read More
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