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March 2024 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.



AFTERMATH

AFTERMATH

Earphones Award Winner

by Craig Alanson | Read by R.C. Bray

Podium Audio
Science Fiction

R.C. Bray narrates the fast-paced sixteenth entry in the Expeditionary Force series. Army soldier Joe Bishop is all but retired, making his two-star general duties pretty much nonexistent. His current assignment is a punishment for all the shenanigans he's pulled--even though he saved the world. But everything is thrown into chaos when an attempt to activate a Sentinel leads to... Read More

THE AMEN EFFECT

THE AMEN EFFECT

Earphones Award Winner

by Sharon Brous | Read by Sharon Brous

Penguin Audio
Philosophy & Religion

Rabbi Sharon Brous, the senior rabbi of a Jewish community in Los Angeles, is an accomplished preacher who speaks clearly and quickly. Her fast pace becomes compelling as Rabbi Brous gets into the heart of her book, which rests on this statement that ". . . we who hold a dream of building a different kind of society must begin by building a different kind of community." Rabbi... Read More

BERRY SONG

BERRY SONG

Earphones Award Winner

by Michaela Goade | Read by Erin Tripp

Hachette Audio
Children

This ode to the berry-rich land by Tlingit author and Caldecott Medalist Michaela Goade finds its ideal narrator in Erin Tripp, who is Lingít Deisheetaan. Tripp's skill with the Tlingit language is matched by her feeling for the ebb and flow of Goade's English text. The audiobook opens with a recitation of the many different berries of Sitka, Alaska, in both Lingít and English... Read More

BURMA SAHIB

BURMA SAHIB

Earphones Award Winner

by Paul Theroux | Read by Charlie Anson

Harper Audio
Historical Fiction

Happily, Paul Theroux's latest masterpiece is available as an audiobook, narrated authoritatively by Charlie Anson. Eric Blair, a callow policeman in colonial Burma, will eventually become known as writer George Orwell. In a clear baritone, Anson describes the lush landscapes of Burma, its trees, foliage, dusty roads, and muddy rivers, along with its natives, who are subjugated... Read More

CAN'T WE BE FRIENDS

CAN'T WE BE FRIENDS

Earphones Award Winner

by Eliza Knight, Denny S. Bryce | Read by Karen Chilton, Caroline Hewitt

Harper Audio
Historical Fiction

Narrators Karen Chilton and Caroline Hewitt combine their considerable vocal talent to portray two legendary entertainers in this audiobook set primarily in the 1950s. There are no words to express how compelling Chilton's performance is as Ella Fitzgerald, "the Queen of Jazz." Chilton mesmerizes listeners as she imbues Fitzgerald with subtle emotion, poise, and practicality.... Read More

CROSSROAD BLUES

CROSSROAD BLUES

Earphones Award Winner

by Ace Atkins | Read by Dion Graham

Recorded Books
Mystery & Suspense

Narrator Dion Graham, with his ability to tap into a wide variety of voices, is the right pick for this blues-heavy novel, first published in 1998, featuring music, violence, sex, and a psychopath. Nick Travers is a former pro football player turned blues historian at Tulane University in Louisiana. He is sent to find a music professor who went missing while researching the... Read More

DEATH UNDER A LITTLE SKY

DEATH UNDER A LITTLE SKY

Earphones Award Winner

by Stig Abell | Read by Oliver Hembrough

Harper Audio
Mystery & Suspense

Thanks to Stig Abell's remarkable debut novel, Oliver Hembrough has the material needed to provide hours of engrossing listening. When former police officer Jake Jackson inherits his uncle's remote farm, he decides to disconnect from his London life and move in. Leaving behind all modern conveniences, Jake finds contentment he never dreamed possible, but when human bones are... Read More

FOURTEEN DAYS

FOURTEEN DAYS

Earphones Award Winner

by The Authors Guild | Read by Shayna Small

Harper Audio
Fiction

Shayna Small delivers a variety of accents as a group of New Yorkers gather on the rooftop of their dilapidated building during the COVID-19 pandemic, telling stories to pass the time. The audiobook features a "pots-and-pans symphony" that applauds the healthcare workers who risk their lives to treat the sick. Small shines in this reboot of another plague novel, Boccaccio's... Read More

GIRLS WITH BAD REPUTATIONS

GIRLS WITH BAD REPUTATIONS

Earphones Award Winner

by Xio Axelrod | Read by Benjamin Charles, Tyla Collier

Dreamscape
Romantic Fiction

The chemistry between narrators Tyla Collier and Benjamin Charles is unmistakable in their compelling performance. Kayla is finally living her dream of becoming a rock star, but amid the glow of fame comes an unexpectedly public lifestyle. This and her budding romance with her tour bus driver, Ty, are making her life complicated but exciting. The unique romantic setup and the... Read More

THE HOUSE OF HIDDEN MEANINGS

THE HOUSE OF HIDDEN MEANINGS

Earphones Award Winner

by RuPaul | Read by RuPaul

Harper Audio
Biography & Memoir

Pop culture drag star RuPaul's soft narration opens with sensory details that evoke the power of memory. His gentle voice allows listeners to enter early scenes of his life in San Diego that are not always easy--waiting for his father who never shows up, arriving home for lunch to find a locked door. Within those scenes are wise reflections about the world around him and his... Read More

THE LANTERN'S DANCE

THE LANTERN'S DANCE

Earphones Award Winner

by Laurie R. King | Read by Amy Scanlon

Recorded Books
Mystery & Suspense

Amy Scanlon takes over from longtime series narrator Jenny Sterlin to provide an exemplary debut performance of King's 18th Holmes/Russell adventure. Sterlin's distinctive voice and extraordinary characterizations will always echo in our memories, yet fans will welcome Scanlon's unique, engaging approach. Holmes and Russell arrive in the French countryside to visit Holmes's... Read More

THE MORNINGSIDE

THE MORNINGSIDE

Earphones Award Winner

by Téa Obreht | Read by Carlotta Brentan

Random House Audio
Fiction

This near-future dystopian novel is set in a time of ecological disaster in the mostly underwater community of Island City. Carlotta Brentan portrays the cast of characters smartly by subtly shifting tone, cadence, and timbre. She smoothly portrays the protagonist, who begins as a gangly 11-year-old named Sylvia. Brentan contrasts Sylvia's size and temperament with those of her... Read More

OLD CRIMES

OLD CRIMES

Earphones Award Winner

by Jill McCorkle | Read by Jill McCorkle, Hayden Bishop, Teralyn Davis, Marcella Cox, Kathy Bell Denton, Cary Hite

Hachette Audio
Fiction

Author Jill McCorkle joins a talented group of narrators in a memorable performance of her terrific new short story collection. Sly, funny, perceptive, and searing, the stories explore what gets us through our days and years. Hayden Bishop, Teralyn Davis, Marcella Cox, Kathy Bell Denton, and Cary Hite bring a euphonious mix of Southern accents and helpful interpretations of the... Read More

OUR HIDDEN CONVERSATIONS

OUR HIDDEN CONVERSATIONS

Earphones Award Winner

by Michele Norris | Read by Michele Norris and a Full Cast

Simon & Schuster Audio
Contemporary Culture

Peabody Award-winning journalist Michele Norris and a full cast deliver a must-listen performance of Norris's riveting examination of race in America. Based on 12 years of submissions to Norris's Race Card Project--six words about race from over half-a-million people--the audiobook shifts between Norris's clear, warm, thoughtful commentary and participants' contributions, all... Read More

SERPENTINE VALENTINE

SERPENTINE VALENTINE

Earphones Award Winner

by Giana Darling | Read by Rose Dioro, Quinn Riley

Giana Darling
Romantic Fiction

Rose Dioro and Quinn Riley mesmerize listeners in this sapphic academic romance. Having been raised by women, Lex Gorgon has always been empowered by the females in her life. When she enrolls in college and her male professor tries to destroy her, she vows to never let a man hurt another woman. Luna Pallas, is the straight daughter of the university president and the perfect... Read More

THE WAY OF ALL FLESH

THE WAY OF ALL FLESH

Earphones Award Winner

by Samuel Butler | Read by David Timson

Naxos AudioBooks
Classics

A.A. Milne called THE WAY OF ALL FLESH the second-best novel in the English language, but it remains one of the least known. In this audio version David Timson brings out all of its wit and charm, although some knowledge of Victorian Britain may be necessary to appreciate the extent of its satire. Among the five generations of the Pontifex family, there are a fair number of... Read More

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