Best Listening! 2018 Audie Award Finalists Announced

The Audie Awards®, sponsored by the Audio Publishers Association (APA), recognizes distinction in audiobooks and spoken-word entertainment. Publishers and rights holders enter titles in various categories for recognition of achievement. Finalists are selected, and from that group of finalists one winner is awarded. The finalists in 26 categories were released on February 6; award winners will be announced at the New York Historical Society on May 31. 

In the best female narrator category, I like Saskia Maarleveld, who narrated The Alice Network, by Kate Quinn. Two women - a female spy recruited to the real-life Alice Network in France during World War I and an unconventional American socialite searching for her cousin in 1947 - are brought together in a mesmerizing story of courage and redemption. Maarleveld won a Best Romance Narrator award from Romantic Times in 2017 for her work on Nora Roberts' Bay of Sighs.

Trevor Noah's Born a Crime could not have possibly been narrated by anyone else! Noah takes listeners on his biracial journey from boy to man during apartheid. His knowledge of African dialect and his ability to capture the culture in a single word makes this recording a number one stand-out in the best male narrator category for me.

In the multi-voice performance category, there would be no other choice for me than George Saunders' Lincoln in the BardoThe acclaimed short story writer’s first full-length novel boasts a star-studded cast of 166 narrators! Nick Offerman, David Sedaris, Lena Dunham, Ben Stiller, Susan Sarandon, Megan Mullally, and Don Cheadle are among the celebrities who have all lent their voices to narrate the story, about Abraham Lincoln mourning his son Willie in a graveyard full of ghosts. It is the closest I have ever felt to being in the middle of theatre in the round.

Fredrik Backman's Beartown is among the finalists in the best fiction category. Narrator Marin Ireland just disappears into Backman's characters, creating a unique voice and emotional sense for each one. The story about the importance of hockey in a small town, and its ability to both bring people together and push them apart, is made unforgettable through Ireland's narration.

Formed in 1986, the Audio Publishers Association (APA) is a not-for-profit trade association that advocates the common, collective business interests of audio publishers. The APA consists of audio publishing companies and suppliers, distributors, and retailers of spoken word products and allied fields related to the production, distribution, and sale of audiobooks. Visit the APA website for a complete list of all 2018 finalists and past award winners.

Already a fan of the audio format? Find out how it's done at this Sunday's presentation Listen Up! Behind the Scenes of the Audiobook Studio Live featuring all-star narrator Cassandra Campbell and audiobook producer Dan Zitt. No registration required, but we're happy to send you a reminder! 

Written by Dodie on February 8, 2018