Award season isn’t over yet! Last month, the Audio Publisher’s Association announced the 2016 Audie Award Finalists and it is going to be difficult to choose winners from these amazing choices in 2015 audiobooks. The Audie is awarded to the best in the audiobook industry, in genre categories like “History / Biography” and “Humor” as well as performance categories like “Narration by the Author and “Multi-Voiced Performance”. Audie nominees are judged for performance, direction, production, and content. Listen to samples and read reviews for all the nominees here.
Being fairly picky about audiobooks–the pacing and tone of the narration has to be ‘just so’ or I’ll stick to print–I look to Audie nominees past and present for a handy selection of best bets. I often find books that I would not have considered reading in print, but that are in some way more compelling as a listen. In no genre is this truer for me than non-fiction. Here are few non-fiction highlights from this year’s nominees in various categories:
There are some books that should be heard and not seen.
Well, perhaps that’s a little extreme. Let me say instead that there are authors whom you haven’t really experienced until you have read them aloud, or had them read to you. Most poets fit that category, and certainly Shakespeare. And for both myself and The Wild Geese Players, who will be reading him this Saturday at the Central Library, James Joyce. His Ulysses had remained largely a closed book to me. I had gotten a hundred or so pages in more than once, only to throw in the towel, addled by Joyce’s curious locutions and challenging stream of consciousness. Then I listened to the audiobook, and everything changed. Continue reading “James Joyce at the Library!”
I’m obsessed. Listening to audiobook memoirs during my daily commute, my favorites are read by the authors themselves. It makes the ride more enjoyable, and there is something special about listening to a person read aloud their own memoir. It feels like they’re sitting right there, sharing their story with me and me alone. Here are some favorites:
Every year we five librarians on the Listen List panel review hundreds of new audio books, nominate and choose the twelve titles that are the very best in narration, production and story. Announced on January 26th at the American Library Association Midwinter conference in Philadelphia, this year’s Listen List is posted on the ALA website, where you can read more about the judges and the winning audios.
Sometimes people ask me how I have time to listen to all these audio books. In fact, the twelve winning titles alone represent 145 hours of listening! Added to that, each judge listened to an additional 26 audios nominated for consideration, along with all the titles we each reviewed in order to find those 38 narrative gems. Being on the Listen List and other award committees sponsored by ALA is a labor of love conducted on our own time. Continue reading “Listen List 2014: Outstanding Audio Awards”