The Winners and Finalists of the 2020 Audie Awards

Congratulations to the winners of the 2020 Audie Awards!

The Audie Awards recognize outstanding achievements by the authors, narrators, and producers of the most talked-about audiobooks in the industry. See below for this year’s winners and finalists.



Audiobook of the Year

The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of September 11, 2001 by Garrett M. Graff, narrated by a full 45-person cast

At once a powerful tribute to the courage of everyday Americans and an essential addition to the literature of 9/11, The Only Plane in the Sky weaves together the unforgettable personal experiences of the men and women who found themselves caught at the center of an unprecedented human drama. The result is a unique, profound, and searing exploration of humanity on a day that changed the course of history, and all of our lives.

Read more and sample the audio →


Finalists

Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes by Tony Kushner, narrated by Bobby CannavaleNathan LaneNathan Stewart-JarrettSusan BrownJames McardleAndrew GarfieldDenise GoughBeth MaloneLee Pace, and Edie Falco

Becoming by Michelle Obama, narrated by Michelle Obama

Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White, narrated by Meryl StreepRobin MilesKirby HeyborneCassandra CampbellKimberly FarrLincoln HoppeMark DeakinsTavia GilbertDanny CampbellEmily RankinJanuary Lavoy, and Macleod Andrews

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett, narrated by Tom Hanks

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood, narrated by Margaret AtwoodDerek JacobiTantoo CardinalMae WhitmanAnn Dowd, and Bryce Dallas Howard



Autobiography / Memoir

Becoming by Michelle Obama, narrated by Michelle Obama

In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms.

Read more and sample the audio →


Finalists

From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home by Tembi Locke, narrated by Tembi Locke

Me: Elton John Official Autobiography by Elton John, narrated by Taron Egerton and Elton John

MotherStruck! by Staceyann Chin, narrated by Staceyann Chin

Too Much Is Not Enough: A Memoir of Fumbling Toward Adulthood by Andrew Rannells, narrated by Andrew Rannells



Best Female Narrator

Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson, narrated by Marin Ireland

Lillian and Madison were inseparable friends at their elite boarding school—until Lillian had to leave unexpectedly in the wake of a scandal. Years later, Lillian gets a letter from Madison asking her to be the caretaker of her stepkids, who are moving in with her family. The catch? The twins spontaneously combust when they get agitated. Thinking of her dead-end life at home, Lillian figures she has nothing to lose. Over the course of one humid, demanding summer, Lillian begins to learn that she needs these strange children as much as they need her—urgently and fiercely. Couldn’t this be the start of the amazing life she’d always hoped for?

Read more and sample the audio →


Finalists

All the Lost Things by Michelle Sacks, narrated by Cassandra Morris

The Boy by Tami Hoag, narrated by Hillary Huber

Prime Suspect by Lynda La Plante, narrated by Rachel Atkins

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow, narrated by January Lavoy



Best Male Narrator

Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny, narrated by Robert Bathurst

When a peculiar letter arrives inviting Armand Gamache to an abandoned farmhouse, the former head of the Sûreté du Québec discovers that a complete stranger has named him one of the executors of her will. Still on suspension, and frankly curious, Gamache accepts and soon learns that the other two executors are Myrna Landers, the bookseller from Three Pines, and a young builder, neither of whom had met the elderly woman.

When a body is found, the terms of the bizarre suddenly seem less peculiar and far more menacing.

Meanwhile, Gamache is attempting to rectify the events that led to his suspension. As his measures become increasingly audacious and desperate, Armand Gamache begins to see his own blind spots. And the terrible things hiding there.

Read more and sample the audio →


Finalists

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett, narrated by Tom Hanks

Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer, narrated by Robert Petkoff

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead, narrated by JD Jackson and Colson Whitehead

Watership Down by Richard Adams, narrated by Peter Capaldi



Multi-Voiced Narration

The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of September 11, 2001 by Garrett M. Graff, narrated by a full 45-person cast

At once a powerful tribute to the courage of everyday Americans and an essential addition to the literature of 9/11, The Only Plane in the Sky weaves together the unforgettable personal experiences of the men and women who found themselves caught at the center of an unprecedented human drama. The result is a unique, profound, and searing exploration of humanity on a day that changed the course of history, and all of our lives.

Read more and sample the audio →


Finalists

200 Women: Who Will Change The Way You See The World by Geoff Blackwell, Ruth Hobday, Kieran Scott, narrated by a full cast

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid, narrated by Jennifer Beals, Benjamin Bratt, Judy Greer, Pablo Schreiber, and a full cast

Dooku: Jedi Lost (Star Wars) by Cavan Scott, narrated by Orlagh Cassidy, Euan Morton, Marc Thompson, Pete Bradbury, Jonathan Davis, Neil Hellegers, Sean Kenin, January LaVoy, Saskia Maarleveld, Carol Monda, Robert Petkoff, and Rebecca Soler

Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka, narrated by Jarrett J. Krosoczka, Jeanne Birdsall, Richard Ferrone, Jenna Lamia, and a full cast



Narration by the Author or Authors

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo, narrated by Elizabeth Acevedo

Ever since she got pregnant freshman year, Emoni Santiago’s life has been about making the tough decisions—doing what has to be done for her daughter and her abuela. The one place she can let all that go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness.

Even though she dreams of working as a chef after she graduates, Emoni knows that it’s not worth her time to pursue the impossible. Yet despite the rules she thinks she has to play by, once Emoni starts cooking, her only choice is to let her talent break free.

Read more and sample the audio →


Finalists

Becoming by Michelle Obama, narrated by Michelle Obama

Inside Out by Demi Moore, narrated by Demi Moore

Madame Badobedah by Sophie Dahl, narrated by Sophie Dahl

Shortest Way Home: One Mayor’s Challenge and a Model for America’s Future by Pete Buttigieg, narrated by Pete Buttigieg

Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For by Susan Rice, narrated by Susan Rice



Fiction

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert, narrated by Blair Brown

In 1940, nineteen-year-old Vivian Morris has just been kicked out of Vassar College, owing to her lackluster freshman-year performance. Her affluent parents send her to Manhattan to live with her Aunt Peg, who owns a flamboyant, crumbling midtown theater called the Lily Playhouse. There Vivian is introduced to an entire cosmos of unconventional and charismatic characters, from the fun-chasing showgirls to a sexy male actor, a grand-dame actress, a lady-killer writer, and no-nonsense stage manager. But when Vivian makes a personal mistake that results in professional scandal, it turns her new world upside down in ways that it will take her years to fully understand.

Now eighty-nine years old and telling her story at last, Vivian recalls how the events of those years altered the course of her life—and the gusto and autonomy with which she approached it.

Read more and sample the audio →


Finalists

The Age of Light by Whitney Scharer, narrated by Therese Plummer

Cilka’s Journey by Heather Morris, narrated by Louise Brealey

Colombiano by Rusty Young, narrated by Rusty Young and Brian J. Ramos

The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell, narrated by Karina Fernandez



Non-Fiction

Grace Will Lead Us Home: The Charleston Church Massacre and the Hard, Inspiring Journey to Forgiveness by Jennifer Berry Hawes, narrated by Karen ChiltonJennifer Berry Hawes

On June 17, 2015, twelve members of the historically black Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina welcomed a young white man to their evening Bible study. He arrived with a pistol, 88 bullets, and hopes of starting a race war. Dylann Roof’s massacre of nine innocents during their closing prayer horrified the nation. Two days later, some relatives of the dead stood at Roof’s hearing and said, “I forgive you.” That grace offered the country a hopeful ending to an awful story. But for the survivors and victims’ families, the journey had just begun.

Read more and sample the audio →


Finalists

Mama’s Last Hug: Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us About Ourselves by Frans de Waal, narrated by L.J. Ganser

The Perfect Predator: A Scientist’s Race to Save Her Husband from a Deadly Superbug: A Memoir by Steffanie Strathdee and Thomas Patterson, narrated by Christine Lakin and Dan Woren

Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don’t Know by Malcolm Gladwell, narrated by Malcolm Gladwell

We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast by Jonathan Safran Foer, narrated by Jonathan Safran Foer



Thriller / Suspense

The Institute by Stephen King, narrated by Santino Fontana

In the middle of the night, in a house on a quiet street in suburban Minneapolis, intruders silently murder Luke Ellis’s parents and load him into a black SUV. The operation takes less than two minutes. Luke will wake up at The Institute, in a room that looks just like his own, except there’s no window. And outside his door are other doors, behind which are other kids with special talents—telekinesis and telepathy—who got to this place the same way Luke did: Kalisha, Nick, George, Iris, and ten-year-old Avery Dixon. They are all in Front Half. Others, Luke learns, graduated to Back Half, “like the roach motel,” Kalisha says. “You check in, but you don’t check out.”

Read more and sample the audio →


Finalists

Blood in the Water by Jack Flynn, narrated by Dion Graham

Freefall by Jessica Barry, narrated by Hillary Huber, Karissa Vacker, and MacLeod Andrews

Lady in the Lake by Laura Lippman, narrated by Susan Bennett

Winter Dark by Alex Callister, narrated by Ell Potter



Mystery

The Chestnut Man by Soren Sveistrup, narrated by Peter Noble

A psychopath is terrorizing Copenhagen. His calling card is a “chestnut man”—a handmade doll made of matchsticks and two chestnuts—which he leaves at each bloody crime scene. To save innocent lives, a pair of detectives must put aside their differences to piece together the Chestnut Man’s gruesome clues. Because it’s clear that the madman is on a mission that is far from over. And no one is safe.

Read more and sample the audio →


Finalists

Along Came a Spider (25 anniversary edition) by James Patterson, narrated by Taye Diggs

The Boy by Tami Hoag, narrated by Hillary Huber

The Lost Man by Jane Harper, narrated by Stephen Shanahan

The New Iberia Blues by James Lee Burke, narrated by Will Patton



Fantasy

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow, narrated by January Lavoy

In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place.

Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure, and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.

Read more and sample the audio →


Finalists

Beasts of the Frozen Sun by Jill Criswell, narrated by Tim Campbell and Alana Kerr Collins

Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James, narrated by Dion Graham

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo, narrated by Michael David Axtell and Lauren Fortgang

Time’s Children by D.B. Jackson, narrated by Helen Keeley



Business / Personal Development

So You Want to Start a Podcast: Finding Your Voice, Telling Your Story, and Building a Community that Will Listen by Kristen Meinzer, narrated by Kristen Meinzer

A comprehensive step-by-step guide to creating a hit show, So You Want to Start a Podcast covers everything from hosting and guest booking to editing and marketing—while offering plenty of encouragement and insider stories along the way. With this motivational how-to guide—the only one on the subject available—you’ll find the direction you need to produce an entertaining and informative podcast and promote it to the right audience. So You Want to Start a Podcast gives you the tools you need to start a podcast—and the insight to keep it thriving.

Read more and sample the audio →


Finalists

The Barefoot Spirit by Michael HoulihanBonnie HarveyRick Kushman, narrated by Ed AsnerAlamada KaratihyGigi Perreau

Calm the F*ck Down by Sarah Knight, narrated by Sarah Knight

Nine Lies About Work: A Freethinking Leader’s Guide to the Real World by Ashley Goodall and Marcus Buckingham, narrated by Ashley Goodall and Marcus Buckingham

Wolfpack by Abby Wambach, narrated by Abby Wambach



History / Biography

American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race by Douglas Brinkley, narrated by Stephen Graybill

On May 25, 1961, JFK made an astonishing announcement: his goal of putting a man on the moon by the end of the decade. In this engrossing, fast-paced epic, Douglas Brinkley returns to the 1960s to recreate one of the most exciting and ambitious achievements in the history of humankind. American Moonshot brings together the extraordinary political, cultural, and scientific factors that fueled the birth and development of NASA and the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo projects, which shot the United States to victory in the space race against the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War.

Read more and sample the audio →


Finalists

The First Conspiracy by Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch, narrated by Scott Brick

Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee by Casey Cep, narrated by Hillary Huber

The Queen: The Forgotten Life Behind an American Myth by Josh Levin, narrated by January Lavoy

Theodore Roosevelt for the Defense: The Courtroom Battles to Save His Legacy by Dan Abrams and David Fisher, narrated by Roger Wayne and Dan Abrams



Romance

Devil’s Daughter by Lisa Kleypas, narrated by Mary Jane Wells

Although beautiful young widow Phoebe, Lady Clare, has never met West Ravenel, she knows one thing for certain: he’s a mean, rotten bully. Back in boarding school, he made her late husband’s life a misery, and she’ll never forgive him for it. But when Phoebe attends a family wedding, she encounters a dashing and impossibly charming stranger who sends a fire-and-ice jolt of attraction through her. And then he introduces himself…as none other than West Ravenel.

Read more and sample the audio →


Finalists

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang, narrated by Emily Woo Zeller

The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez, narrated by Teddy Hamilton and Erin Mallon

Gimme Some Sugar by Molly Harper, narrated by Amanda Ronconi

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston, narrated by Ramon de Ocampo



Literary Fiction & Classics

The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates, narrated by Joe Morton

Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage. When his mother was sold away, Hiram was robbed of all memory of her—but was gifted with a mysterious power. Years later, when Hiram almost drowns in a river, that same power saves his life. This brush with death births an urgency in Hiram and a daring scheme: to escape from the only home he’s ever known.

Read more and sample the audio →


Finalists

Milkman by Anna Burns, narrated by Brid Brennan

Mythos by Stephen Fry, narrated by Stephen Fry

The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo, narrated by Yangsze Choo

Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson, narrated by Jacqueline Woodson, with Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Peter Francis James, Shayna Small, and Bahni Turpin



Faith-Based Fiction & Non-Fiction

How the Light Gets In by Jolina Petersheim, narrated by Tavia Gilbert

When Ruth Neufeld’s husband and father-in-law are killed working for a relief organization overseas, she travels to Wisconsin with her young daughters and mother-in-law Mabel to bury her husband. She hopes the Mennonite community will be a quiet place to grieve and piece together next steps. Ruth finds solace in the beauty of the land and healing through hard work and a budding new love with her husband’s cousin, Elam.

But an unexpected twist threatens to unseat the happy ending Ruth is about to write for herself. On the precipice of a fresh start and a new marriage, Ruth must make an impossible decision: which path to choose if her husband isn’t dead after all.

Read more and sample the audio →


Finalists

Breathe Again by Niki Hardy, narrated by Niki Hardy

Conscious: A Brief Guide to the Fundamental Mystery of the Mind by Annaka Harris, narrated by Annaka Harris

Dare to See: Discovering God in the Everyday by Katie Brown, narrated by Katie Brown

Jezebel: The Prequel by Jacquelin Thomas, narrated by Janina Edwards



Middle Grade

Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White, narrated by Meryl StreepRobin MilesKirby HeyborneCassandra CampbellKimberly FarrLincoln HoppeMark DeakinsTavia GilbertDanny CampbellEmily RankinJanuary Lavoy, and Macleod Andrews

Some Pig. Humble. Radiant. These are the words in Charlotte’s Web, high up in Zuckerman’s barn. Charlotte’s spider web tells of her feelings for a little pig named Wilbur, who simply wants a friend. They also express the love of a girl named Fern, who saved Wilbur’s life when he was born the runt of his litter.

E. B. White’s Newbery Honor Book is a tender novel of friendship, love, life, and death that will continue to be enjoyed by generations to come.

Read more and sample the audio →


Finalists

New Kid by Jerry Craft, narrated by Jesus Del Orden, Nile Bullock, Robin Miles, Guy Lockard, Peyton Lusk, Rebecca Soler, Dan Bittner, Phoebe Strole, Marc Thompson, Miles Harvey, and Ron Butler

Our Castle by the Sea by Lucy Strange, narrated by Lucy Strange

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson, narrated by Almarie Guerra and a full cast

The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart, narrated by Khristine Hvam



Short Stories / Collections

Full Throttle by Joe Hill, narrated by Stephen LangGeorge GuidallNeil GaimanKate MulgrewJoe HillZachary QuintoWil WheatonNate CorddryAshleigh CummingsLaysla De OliveiraConnor Jessup

In this masterful collection of short fiction, Joe Hill dissects timeless human struggles in 13 relentless tales of supernatural suspense, including “In The Tall Grass”, one of two stories cowritten with Stephen King. Featuring two previously unpublished stories and a brace of shocking chillers, Full Throttle is a darkly imagined odyssey through the complexities of the human psyche. Hypnotic and disquieting, it mines our tormented secrets, hidden vulnerabilities, and basest fears and demonstrates this exceptional talent at his very best.

Read more and sample the audio →


Finalists

Evidence of the Affair by Taylor Jenkins Reid, narrated by Julia Whelan, George Newbern, James Daniels, and Dara Rosenberg

Forward by Veronica Roth, Blake Crouch, N.K. Jemisin, Amor Towles, Paul Tremblay, and Andy Weir, narrated by Evan Rachel Wood, Rosa Salazar, Jason Isaacs, David Harbour, Steven Strait, and Janina Gavankar

I’m Telling the Truth But I’m Lying by Bassey Ikpi, narrated by Bassey Ikpi

Kabu Kabu by Nnedi Okorafor and Whoopi Goldberg (foreword), narrated by Yetide Badaki



Audio Drama

Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes by Tony Kushner, narrated by Bobby CannavaleNathan LaneNathan Stewart-JarrettSusan BrownJames McardleAndrew GarfieldDenise GoughBeth MaloneLee Pace, and Edie Falco

In this production, adapted especially for the listening experience, Andrew Garfield, Nathan Lane, and the entire cast recreate their acclaimed performances from the 2018 Tony Award-winning National Theatre revival of Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes. With narration by Bobby Cannavale and Edie Falco, and a musical score by Adrian Sutton, this audiobook is a compelling and immersive theatrical listening experience.

Read more and sample the audio →


Finalists

The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey by James Lecesne, narrated by James Lecesne

Birthday Suit by Lauren Blakely, narrated by Andi Arndt, Sebastian York, January LaVoy, Julia Whelan, R.C. Bray, Shane East, Joe Arden, Erin Mallon, Dion Graham, Savannah Peachwood, Jason Clarke, and Robin Miles

Have a Nice Day by Billy Crystal and Quinton Peeples, narrated by by Justin Bartha, Annette Bening, Dick Cavett, Auli’l Cravalho, Billy Crystal, Rachel Dratch, Darrell Hammond, Christopher Jackson, Kevin Kline, Robin Thede

Puss in Boots by Neil Fishman, Harvey Edelman, and Khristine Hvam, performed by Jim Dale, Mark Aldrich, Barret Leddy, Nick Sullivan, Brian Holden, Al Fallick, Lisa Livesay, Meredith Inglesby, Lynn Norris, John E. Brady, and Johnny Heller



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2019 Audie Awards Winners!

The 24th Annual Audie Awards took place on Monday! Congratulations to all of the Audie Winners!

The Audie Awards recognize outstanding achievement from the authors, narrators, and producers of the most talked-about audiobooks in the industry. See below for some of the winners! For the full list, take a look at our book list.

Audiobook of the Year

Title: Children of Blood and Bone
Author: Tomi Adeyemi
Narrator: Bahni Turpin


Publisher Summary:
In Children of Blood and Bone, Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut.

They killed my mother.
They took our magic.

They tried to bury us.
Now we rise.

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.
Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers-and her growing feelings for an enemy.

 

Autobiography/Memoir and Best Female Narrator

Title: Educated
Author: Tara Westover
Narrator: Julia Whelan

Publisher Summary:

Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

Read more and sample the audio →

 

Best Male Narrator

Title: Watchers
Author: Dean Koontz
Narrator: Edoardo Ballerini

Publisher Summary:

On his thirty-sixth birthday, Travis Cornell hikes into the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains. But his path is soon blocked by a bedraggled Golden Retriever who will let him go no further into the dark woods.

That morning, Travis had been desperate to find some happiness in his lonely, seemingly cursed life. What he finds is a dog of alarming intelligence that soon leads him into a relentless storm of mankind’s darkest creation.

Read more and sample the audio →

 

Fiction

Title: The Tattooist of Auschwitz
Author: Heather Morris
Narrator: Richard Armitage

Publisher Summary:

This beautiful, illuminating tale of hope and courage is based on interviews that were conducted with Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov—an unforgettable love story in the midst of atrocity.

In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover that he speaks several languages, he is put to work as a Tätowierer (the German word for tattooist), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners.
Imprisoned for over two and a half years, Lale witnesses horrific atrocities and barbarism—but also incredible acts of bravery and compassion. Risking his own life, he uses his privileged position to exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep his fellow prisoners alive.

One day in July 1942, Lale, prisoner 32407, comforts a trembling young woman waiting in line to have the number 34902 tattooed onto her arm. Her name is Gita, and in that first encounter, Lale vows to somehow survive the camp and marry her.

A vivid, harrowing, and ultimately hopeful re-creation of Lale Sokolov’s experiences as the man who tattooed the arms of thousands of prisoners with what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust, The Tattooist of Auschwitz is also a testament to the endurance of love and humanity under the darkest possible conditions.

Read more and sample the audio →

 

Humor

Title: The Greatest Love Story Ever Told
Author: Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally
Narrator: Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally

Publisher Summary:

The year: 2000. The setting: Los Angeles. A gorgeous virtuoso of an actress agreed to star in a random play, and a basement-dwelling scenic carpenter said he would assay a supporting role in the selfsame pageant. At the first rehearsal she surveyed her fellow cast members, determining if any of the men might qualify to provide her with a satisfying fling. Her gaze fell upon the carpenter, and like a bolt of lightning the thought struck her: no dice. Moving on.

Yet, unbeknownst to our protagonists, Cupid had merely set down his bow and picked up a rocket launcher…that fired a love rocket (not a euphemism). The players were Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman, and the resulting romance, once ignited, was . . . epic. Beyond epic. It resulted in a coupling that has endured to this day; a sizzling, perpetual tryst that has captivated the world with its kindness, athleticism, astonishingly low-brow humor, and true (fire emoji) passion.

How did they do it? They came from completely different families, ignored a significant age difference, and were separated by the gulf of several social strata. Megan loved books and art history; Nick loved hammers. But much more than these seemingly unsurpassable obstacles were the values they held in common: respect, decency, the ability to mention genitalia in almost any context, and an abiding obsession with the songs of Tom Waits.

Eighteen years later, they’re still very much in love and have finally decided to reveal the philosophical mountains they have conquered, the lessons they’ve learned, and the myriad jigsaw puzzles they’ve completed. Presented as an oral history in a series of conversations between the couple, the book features anecdotes, hijinks, photos, and a veritable grab bag of tomfoolery. This is not only the intoxicating book that Mullally’s and Offerman’s fans have been waiting for, it might just hold the solution to the greatest threat facing our modern world: the single life.

Read more and sample the audio →

 

History/Biography

Title: Darkest Hour
Author: Anthony McCarten
Narrator: John Lee

Publisher Summary:

May 1940. Britain is at war, Winston Churchill has unexpectedly been promoted to Prime Minister, the horrors of Blitzkreig witness one western European Democracy fall after another in rapid succession. Facing this horror, with pen in hand and typist-secretary at the ready, Churchill wonders what words could capture the public mood when the invasion of Britain seems mere hours away.

It is this fascinating period that Anthony McCarten captures in this deeply researched and wonderfully written new book, The Darkest Hour. A day-by-day (and often hour-by-hour) narrative of this crucial moment in history provides a revisionist look at Churchill—a man plagued by doubt through those turbulent weeks—but who emerged having made himself into the iconic, lionized figure we remember.

Read more and sample the audio →

 

Non-Fiction

Title: The Perfectionists
Author: Simon Winchester
Narrator: Simon Winchester


Publisher Summary:

The revered New York Times bestselling author traces the development of technology from the Industrial Age to the Digital Age to explore the single component crucial to advancement—precision—in a superb history that is both an homage and a warning for our future.

The rise of manufacturing could not have happened without an attention to precision. At the dawn of the Industrial Revolution in eighteenth-century England, standards of measurement were established, giving way to the development of machine tools—machines that make machines. Eventually, the application of precision tools and methods resulted in the creation and mass production of items from guns and glass to mirrors, lenses, and cameras—and eventually gave way to further breakthroughs, including gene splicing, microchips, and the Hadron Collider.

Simon Winchester takes us back to origins of the Industrial Age, to England where he introduces the scientific minds that helped usher in modern production: John Wilkinson, Henry Maudslay, Joseph Bramah, Jesse Ramsden, and Joseph Whitworth. It was Thomas Jefferson who later exported their discoveries to the fledgling United States, setting the nation on its course to become a manufacturing titan. Winchester moves forward through time, to today’s cutting-edge developments occurring around the world, from America to Western Europe to Asia.

As he introduces the minds and methods that have changed the modern world, Winchester explores fundamental questions. Why is precision important? What are the different tools we use to measure it? Who has invented and perfected it? Has the pursuit of the ultra-precise in so many facets of human life blinded us to other things of equal value, such as an appreciation for the age-old traditions of craftsmanship, art, and high culture? Are we missing something that reflects the world as it is, rather than the world as we think we would wish it to be? And can the precise and the natural co-exist in society?

Read more and sample the audio →

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STAFF PICK: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Title: Homegoing
Author: Yaa Gyasi
Narrator: Dominic Hoffman

My listening choices tend to be quite random, but for this title I made the decision after it won the Audie Award for Literary Fiction. I haven’t previously chosen a book based on an award, but after this I’ll do it more often! Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi is a novel that takes you through seven generations of a family that’s separated in eighteenth-century Ghana. After the separation, one branch of the family continues living in war-torn Ghana, while the second branch endures slavery in America. I fully enjoyed the story told generation by generation, each touching on the impact of slavery and colonialism from a different perspective. Fourteen individual lives along the lineage casts light on 14 ways that the effects trickled down the family tree.

The narration is done by Dominic Hoffman, who beautifully performs different accents as the story switches from Ghana to America, and the voice changes from African tribe leaders to American slavers to British soldiers. When the accent transitions, I did not feel taken out of the story as is sometimes the case in other books – a talent I really value in a narrator.

I found the book touching and thought-provoking and it introduced me to a side of the story I’d never learned about. If you like fiction inspired by real history, this is a tale for you.

Listen to a sample of the audio here.

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