The 2019 Audie Awards are joining awards season early this year with Audie nominations announced this week and winners to be announced March 4 at the New York Gala. QUEER EYE fashion expert Tan France will host the New York City event, presiding over the makeover of timing and format. The 2019 panel of more than 208 judges, including Ron Charles, Book Critic for The Washington Post; Lisa Lucas, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation; and Linda Holmes, Host of NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour, have designated Audie Finalists in 24 categories. Listen to samples of all the Finalists here.
This showcase of audiobook performance presents great listening opportunities for books that have already received acclaim in their print editions. Tayari Jones’s AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE is performed by two narrators who present both the epistolary section of letters and the rich emotional portraits. David Sedaris’s CALYPSO is the author’s own tour-de-force. Multiple Audie winner Bahni Turpin gives a not-to-be-missed performance of CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE. Michelle McNamara’s riveting I’LL BE GONE IN THE DARK gets a skilled narration from Gabra Zackman. Maxwell King’s biography of Fred Rogers, THE GOOD NEIGHBOR, is also nominated, and our conversation on the Behind the Mic podcast with LeVar Burton illuminates the success of this audiobook.
The Fiction category has terrific group of standout performances that pull together a somewhat unlikely group of titles. Author Hank Green’s career as musician and vlogger with brother John (THE FAULT IN OUR STARS) precedes his debut novel, AN ABSOLUTELY REMARKABLE THING, which gets a Finalist nod. Australian authors make a double showing with SANCTUARY by Judy Nunn and THE CLOCKMAKER’S DAUGHTER by Kate Morton, narrated by Downton Abbey‘s Joanne Froggatt. And New Zealand author Heather Morris takes a Fiction spot with THE TATTOOIST OF AUSCHWITZ, read by Richard Armitage. A re-recording of Yann Martel’s LIFE OF PI with narrator Vikas Adam takes a spot, as does Kristin Hannah’s THE GREAT ALONE, which gets a stunning performance by Julia Whelan, who is nominated in three additional a categories—FAR FROM THE TREE in Young Adult, and EDUCATED in both Best Female Narrator and Autobiography/Memoir.
Celebrity-minded fans will be pleased to find nominations for Sally Field, Megan Mullally, Nick Offerman, Leslie Odom, Jr., Carey Mulligan, Stockard Channing, Emma Thompson, Rosario Dawson, Michael C. Hall, Stanley Tucci, Amber Tamblyn, D.L. Hughley and former Vice President Joe Biden. Plenty of listening variety awaits across the 24 categories! You can mingle and meet the stars of the audiobook universe by attending the Audies Gala March 4, at Guastavino’s in New York City. Find ticket information through the APA.