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July 2019 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.


BE CALM
Earphones Award Winner
Personal Growth

Bernadette Dunne's low-key narration complements the author's methods for helping listeners feel calmer. Weber provides practical strategies to manage the debilitating effects of anxiety. The diverse range of methods includes simple cognitive therapies and mindfulness practice, and Dunne moves through each explanation smoothly and slowly enough to ease the listener into each... Read More

THE BEHOLDER
Earphones Award Winner
Young Adult

Emily Rankin provides an exquisite performance of this alternate- history fantasy peppered with fairy tales. To secure the future of her people, Selah must find the right suitor, but her scheming stepmother has her own plans and sends Selah on a journey across an ocean to find one. Several chapters begin with a quote from a popular fairy tale in its original language, and... Read More

BENEATH THE TAMARIND TREE
Earphones Award Winner
Biography & Memoir

Author Isha Sesay narrates her experience of reporting on the return of the Chibok schoolgirls who were kidnapped by Boko Haram, the extremist group in Nigeria. Genuine passion infuses her delivery--she turns this audiobook into a feminist speech of sorts. She shares her personal experiences with relatives who grew up in Nigeria who encountered circumstances similar to those of... Read More

BUNNY
Earphones Award Winner
Fiction

Narrator Sophie Amoss's animated performance is spot-on for this genre-bending story of women enrolled in a highly selective master's program in creative writing at a school named Warren. Samantha Mackey, a scholarship student, has trouble connecting with her rich female classmates, until--against her better judgment--she agrees to attend one of their parties. Falling down a... Read More

BUT BEAUTIFUL
Earphones Award Winner
Contemporary Culture

Lyrical, evocative writing is matched with a top-shelf performance in this evocative book of vignettes on how some of the jazz greats practiced their art. With his wide range of dialects and exceptional ability to immerse himself in a story, Dion Graham delivers the kind of listening experience that you'll want to hear in one sitting and in the dark--a slowly unfolding tableau... Read More

FOREVER AND EVER, AMEN
Earphones Award Winner
Biography & Memoir

Randy Travis may have lost his ability to sing (he suffered a life-threatening stroke in 2013), but his voice as a writer comes through loud and clear in this deeply engaging autobiography on audio. Fellow country singer Rory Feek echoes Travis's twang as he confidently narrates the story of a talented and resilient man who overcame a difficult upbringing to achieve remarkable... Read More

GENESIS
Earphones Award Winner
Contemporary Culture

At just three hours, this brief audiobook achieves for Wilson's narrative its truest form--a testament, a legacy, a summary vision of a lifetime of scientific achievement. Jonathan Hogan is a particularly steady and lucid narrator, familiar to listeners of Wilson's earlier titles. His voice is finely attuned to the great biologist's voice, character, values, and mission, as... Read More

GHOSTS OF GOLD MOUNTAIN
Earphones Award Winner
History

Narrator David Shih does a remarkable job with this audiobook about the contributions of Chinese immigrants in the building of the First Transcontinental Railroad. His deep, gentle voice is inviting, and he urges us to keep listening by pacing himself well and enunciating clearly. Shih gives Chang's story depth and heft by accentuating the trials these workers were forced to... Read More

A GIRL LIKE HER
Earphones Award Winner
Romantic Fiction

Narrator Rupert Channing knocks this performance out of the park with the purr of his British accent infusing each moment with pure listening bliss. Ruth Kabbah keeps to herself and wants to keep it that way, but her new neighbor is throwing off her routine by cooking her meals and being too nice. Evan Miller wants to know his gorgeous and prickly neighbor better, but rumors in... Read More

HER DAUGHTER'S MOTHER
Earphones Award Winner
Mystery & Suspense

After a series of unsuccessful in vitro fertilization attempts, Lana and Tyler decide to use an egg donor. Petrova's completely original mystery gets amazing performances from Tavia Gilbert as Lana, Dan Bittner as Tyler, and Carlotta Brentan as Katya, the egg donor. The couple select an anonymous donor from numerous profiles and photographs. However, Tyler leaves Lana just... Read More

THE HUNDRED YEARS WAR
Earphones Award Winner
History

This excellent audio production of Seward's popular overview delivers all the drama and pageantry of the Hundred Years War (Britain versus France, 1337-1453). Nigel Patterson is a particularly apt narrator. His firm pacing, confident diction, and unaffected delivery reflect Seward's lucid and unsparing narrative in which kings and potentates receive the same frank assessment as... Read More

THE LETTER FOR THE KING
Earphones Award Winner
Young Adult

Matt Addis narrates this expansive tale of chivalry and great deeds, a Dutch classic written in 1962 and recently translated into English. Tiuri, a young squire making his pre-knighthood vigil, cannot refuse a request for help from a mysterious stranger. Thus begins an adventure through dangerous forests, across wide rivers, and among people whose allegiances are uncertain.... Read More

LONG LIVE THE TRIBE OF FATHERLESS GIRLS
Earphones Award Winner
Biography & Memoir

Essayist T Kira Madden performs her memoir with the raw, brutal honesty no one else could give it. With little emotional modulation, she lets her stream-of-consciousness writing plunge listeners into her childhood in Boca Raton, Florida. It was marked by material wealth, neglect by parents who were struggling with addiction, and racism. Her calm, steady voice provides some... Read More

MR. SAMMLER'S PLANET
Earphones Award Winner
Classics

It's as much about the language in Saul Bellow's 1970 novel as it is about the philosophical, and what better narrator to handle Bellow's complex characters, ideas, and luscious layering of words than AUDIOFILE Golden Voice George Guidall? Arthur Sammler is a Polish refugee--a Holocaust survivor with only one good eye. But that doesn't keep him from seeing. Guidall portrays the... Read More

OUR MAN
Earphones Award Winner
Biography & Memoir

Narrator Joe Barrett's voice is learned, rugged, and dry--the perfect fit for Packer's political biography, which spans decades as it follows career diplomat Richard Holbrooke from the Vietnam War to the war in Afghanistan. Packer's audiobook doesn't polish Holbrooke's story; his personal flaws and fierce political ambition are on full display. His intellect and political... Read More

PATRON SAINTS OF NOTHING
Earphones Award Winner
Young Adult

Narrator Ramón de Ocampo expresses the many emotional shifts of Jay Reguero. The audiobook begins with Jay's early memory of connection with his compassionate cousin, Jun, while visiting the Philippines, where he is originally from. Now 17, Jay finds himself unmotivated by college acceptance and dulled by video games. De Ocampo juxtaposes this fog with a rush of feelings when... Read More

A ROGUE BY NIGHT
Earphones Award Winner
Romantic Fiction

Ashford McNab narrates a complicated and compelling story of romance between two damaged individuals. Katharine Wright, a doctor who was once a smuggler, reluctantly falls in love with Harland Hayward, a sometimes smuggler who is also a doctor. The complexity of the situation they find themselves in is mirrored in their feelings for each other. McNab does an excellent job... Read More

SELF-HELP
Earphones Award Winner
Fiction

Lorrie Moore's razor-sharp collection of nine introspective, bitingly ironic short stories is complemented by Jane Oppenheimer's contemplative, wryly humorous narration. Delivering stories focusing on such themes as the challenges of new and long-term relationships, personal and professional growth, and children's relationships with their parents, Oppenheimer deftly endows the... Read More

SEPARATE
Earphones Award Winner
History

Narrator Donald Corren does a masterful job reading this audiobook. In 1896, the Supreme Court ruled that if states wanted to segregate African-Americans from whites, then it was constitutional for them to do so. That the case made few ripples at the time speaks volumes about the country at the turn of the twentieth century. Its legacy, though, was dramatic. Corren's tone has... Read More

TERNS OF ENDEARMENT
Earphones Award Winner
Mystery & Suspense

Narrator Bernadette Dunne expertly establishes a personal connection between listeners and the passengers on a cruise ship that breaks down in the Caribbean. Meg Langslow and her family are well defined, as are the rest of the travelers, in particular the boorish "Three Stooges" and four women who are on a writer's retreat. When passenger Desiree St. Christophe, a notorious... Read More

THIS TIME WILL BE DIFFERENT
Earphones Award Winner
Young Adult

Narrator Joy Osmanski delivers the sarcasm of 17-year-old CJ Katsuyama. Her demeanor thinly veils her pain at the lack of love she feels from her mother, a driven business executive. CJ believes she will always fail to meet her mother's expectations. On the other hand, Osmanski makes clear the love and support this teen has from her best friend, Em; her Aunt Hannah; and Owen a... Read More

THE WAY HOME
Earphones Award Winner
Biography & Memoir

Gerard Doyle's narration aptly reflects the author--a man of strong convictions who chose to chart his own course. As author Mark Boyle came to the conclusion that the things he owned were beginning to own him, he took drastic steps that many of us would find unthinkable: He renounced modern technologies and opted for a slower existence closer to the earth on Blasket Island,... Read More

WOLF RAIN
Earphones Award Winner
Romantic Fiction

Angela Dawe delivers a flawless narration that will engage new listeners and series fans alike. Wolf-changeling Alexei rescues Memory from a psychotic kidnapper at a point in her life when Memory is developing her empathic abilities. Dawe's cool, elegant reading perfectly frames the wintry setting that opens the audiobook, showing how two scarred, closed-off individuals evolve... Read More

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