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.
Jason Culp's near-perfect narration of the new literary drama from the author of ROOM matches its emotional intensity. Two lost souls from distant branches of the same family tree are thrown together. Culp uses an edgy tone to express the frustration of set-in-his-ways 79-year-old retired professor Noah Selvaggio as his planned trip to the French Riviera is upended when he... Read More
With Suzanne Toren as narrator, listeners to Taylor's beloved classic are in for a treat. Detailed episodes of the four sisters and their endearing young brother, Charlie, are set within the holidays of the Jewish year. Just a few of the WWI period episodes include discovering the joys of learning and the pleasures of reading, celebrating Sukkot, and collecting prune pits to... Read More
Teacher, saxophonist, and poet laureate of the United States, Joy Harjo does not just read her poems. She performs them with passion and music; some are literally songs, and she sings them. This collection focuses on the many trails of tears, from those of her Cherokee and Muscogee ancestors to those of Central American natives today. The poems are beautiful, made more... Read More
Author Alison Weir delivers a completely original and lively look at the fourth wife of Henry VIII, Anna of Kleve, and masterful narrator Rosalyn Landor provides the perfect interpretation. With Landor at the mic, places, characters, intrigues, and betrayals are truthful, immediate, and completely absorbing. Beginning with Anna's life in the German duchy of Kleve, listeners... Read More
It's a turbulent time in France, when neighbors inform on neighbors, when a quiet word in the wrong ears can bring about torture and death. Hattie Morahan's similarly quiet voice threads through this story of the Inquisition and century-old secrets. In sixteenth-century Languedoc, 19-year-old Minou Joubert, the bookseller's daughter, encounters Piet Reydon, a Huguenot convert,... Read More
Author/narrator Elizabeth L. Cline frankly reveals how our closets contribute to world poverty and pollution. Her voice is as clear as her sobering message. She explains that fast fashion is one of the largest water polluters on the planet as well as significantly contributing to landfills, creating carbon emissions, and profiting from the poverty of laborers who usually work... Read More
Hypnotic music and Kate James's deeply soothing voice set the tone for this essential guide on creating calm. Australian mindfulness coach, James discusses how we live in an age when nonstop technology is changing our brains, relentless social media distorts our view of reality but leaves us feeling isolated, and having more satisfies us less and less. In such times, knowing... Read More
Narrator Kathy Keane invites listeners along as seminarians Charles and James meet Lily, an avowed and potentially unlikable atheist, and Nan, who is gentle and supportive. These are the women they believe are destined to be their partners in life. Relationships between the characters are developed slowly, letting listeners get to know them. Keane especially draws listeners in... Read More
Narrator Nicholas Boulton's rich baritone amplifies the drama and intrigue in this intense medieval romance. Gryff is a Welsh prince in hiding who is captured by violent thieves and kept alive simply because he knows how to care for his valuable hunting falcons. A small, nearly silent, and deadly woman slays his captors, and the pair form an alliance as they travel together.... Read More
Polish actress Beata Pozniak does not merely narrate this ethereal new novel, she inhabits it, seamlessly becoming Janina, the main character and teller of the tale. The retired teacher, avid astrologer, and neighborhood eccentric lives in a sparsely populated village in the woods. She prefers the company of animals to people, giving her neighbors unflattering nicknames like... Read More
Sometimes moles are all the company one needs, at least when it comes to Gareth Armstrong's marvelous performance of William Horwood's classic fantasy of love, drama, and societal conflict. Just as Richard Adams's WATERSHIP DOWN isn't really about rabbits, Horwood's novel isn't about moles. Simply put, this is a tale of the love between Bracken and Rebecca, and their efforts to... Read More
Right from the start, narrator Raymond J. Lee fully inhabits funny, endearing, nerdy-and-proud-of-it California high school senior Frank Li. Frank is studying for the SATs, hanging out with his fellow AP classmates, falling in love, and thinking a lot about his identity as the son of Korean immigrants, all with the heightened feelings of a teenager experiencing these things for... Read More
A dynamic pair, Anna Chlumsky and Edoardo Ballerini, deliver an emotionally rich performance of this intricately woven story steeped in the Western frontier. Haunted by their pasts, Nora and Lurie do what they can to survive in the desolation of the Arizona Territory. Lurie's chapters unfold in the first person, and Edoardo Ballerini's deep, gravelly voice and purposeful... Read More
Stephen King's newest audiobook is compulsively entertaining and features a dazzling performance by narrator Santino Fontana. After a seemingly unconnected prelude that is revisited much later, listeners meet 12-year-old telekinetic genius Luke Ellis. One night, Luke's parents are brutally murdered, and he's drugged, kidnapped, and brought to The Institute. There, he meets... Read More
Narrator Oliver Wyman embodies everyone's favorite trickster god in this exciting origin story for Marvel's Loki of Asgard. When one of Loki's constant schemes to show up his brother, Thor, lands them both in hot water, he is banished to Midgard (a.k.a. nineteenth-century London) to investigate a series of magical murders. Wyman takes on the central role of Loki with relish,... Read More
Julia Whelan superbly narrates this story of four friends--South Korean Ji Sun, Southern Margaret, wealthy Alice, and biracial Lainey--who meet as freshmen at an elite New England college. Whelan is exceptionally skilled at conveying dialogue. She creates a distinctive and believable voice for every character, including secondary characters, male and female. Indeed, every... Read More
Five talented narrators, including the author, differentiate shifting time periods and three generations of an African-American family. Bahni Turpin aids listeners in understanding the feelings of 16-year-old Melody, who is central to the story. Her caustic comments arise from her mother Iris's infrequent presence. Shayna Small fills in Iris's complexities. She is a teen mother... Read More
Narrator Corey Brill's conversational tone lures listeners into the story of Jake Baker, a neurosurgeon. Musing about the workings of the brain on his operating table lead him to contemplate secrets in his own past, and an important year in his life. What follows is an exceptional account of Jake's twelfth year in small-town Ontario in the 1980s. Brill excels at portraying the... Read More
In this historical middle-grade audiobook, four disparate teens join a secret WWI mission, tunneling beneath no-man's-land toward the German front line. Narrator Raphael Corkhill is superb. He gives each boy a voice matching his nickname and personality. Shillings, named for his quick-fingered ability to steal one, speaks like the wily London urchin he is. Dover's lilting voice... Read More
Imogen Church's performance of Jones's audiobook is a master class in characterization. Listeners will be drawn in both by the compelling story of family, virtue, and greed and by Church's ability to achieve the sound of a full-cast production all by herself. The story involves Bea and Dan, a British couple who dip into their meager savings to take a vacation. Their first stop... Read More
January LaVoy's breathtaking narration shines in a fantasy in which Doors offer infinite possibilities for adventure. January Scaller is a daring and bold "in-between" girl who feels like another foreign curiosity in Mr. Locke's home. She lives for her father's brief returns from his travels, when he brings his employer new treasures. She is 7 in 1901 when she discovers a... Read More
Erin Bennett's intense narration is not out of place in this wake-up call for people who don't prepare for death, leaving their loved ones to deal with dozens of end-of-life responsibilities large and small. Her performance is enjoyable despite the direness of the subject matter because she's so engaged with the material and the listener, and because of her skill in modulating... Read More
Elisabeth Rodgers narrates this audiobook eloquently, paying attention to the author's encyclopedic knowledge of her subject. Her tone, style, and pace suit this thoughtful work's wide-ranging content. The author, a professor of the history of the book, leads the listener on a world tour of this iconic object, which she convincingly argues was the original mass-marketed... Read More
Narrators Eileen Stevens and Jesse Vilinsky tap into the current of desperation that runs throughout Rory Power's stunning debut--part thriller, part queer romance, and part horror. On a remote island, students at the Raxter School for Girls have been left to fend for themselves, grimly watching as an insidious sickness wreaks havoc on their bodies and minds, and waiting for a... Read More
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