AUDIOBOOK OF THE YEAR

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: Tertiary Phase

by Douglas Adams

Narrated by Simon Jones, Geoffrey McGivern, and a full cast 
(BBC Audiobooks America)

Arthur wakes up in a cave on pre-historic Earth (thus ignoring the events of the Secondary Phase), on the day, four years after he last saw Ford Prefect, that Ford arrives back. Ford carries news that he has detected disturbances in the "space-time wash", and that they might be able to escape. The disturbance turns out to be an old sofa, which materialises in a field. They chase the sofa as it runs off, and then are transported elsewhere.

Zaphod and Trillian are on the Heart of Gold, without Marvin. Zaphod is extremely hung over, and upset that Trillian is dismissing the events of The Secondary Phase as a "psychotic episode". Trillian wishes to do something and is getting increasingly annoyed at Zaphod. After preparing a fabulous meal, and Zaphod still refusing to come out of the bathroom, she teleports away, telling the ship to "transport me the hell out of Zaphod Beeblebrox's life."

Meanwhile, Marvin is on a swamp on Sqornshellous Zeta, conversing with the native life-forms, mattresses. He is circling around and around on one leg, while his artificial (i.e. replacement) leg is stuck in the swamp.

Finalist Titles

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling; narrated by Jim Dale (Random House Audio) 

The Truth (With Jokes) by Reginald Rose; written and read by Al Franken (Brilliance Audio)

ACHIEVEMENT IN PRODUCTION

At the Back of the North Wind

by George MacDonald

Narrated by a full cast (Tyndale House)

In this Radio Theatre audio drama adaptation of George MacDonald's classic story, a beautiful woman known as the North Wind blows through a small village in Victorian London, and everyday lives are mysteriously enveloped by a power and a glory. 

Along the way, she visits a poor stable boy named Diamond, a very sweet little boy who makes joy everywhere he goes. He fights despair and gloom and brings peace to his family. One night, as he is trying to sleep, Diamond repeatedly plugs up a hole in the loft (also his bedroom) wall to stop the wind from blowing in. However, he soon finds out that this is stopping the North Wind from seeing through her window. Diamond befriends her, and North Wind lets him fly with her, taking him on several adventures. 

At the Back of the North Wind explores the place of death in our lives, social injustice, and our deep need for love and forgiveness.

Finalist Titles

Between You and Me by Mike Wallace, with Gary Paul Gates; narrated by Mike Wallace (Time Warner AudioBooks)

Gilbert and Sullivan Set Me Free by Kathleen Karr; narrated by Carmen Viviano-Crafts (Full Cast Audio) 

The Last Voyage of Columbus by Martin Dugard; narrated by Simon Jones (Time Warner AudioBooks) 

The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom; narrated by a full cast (Tyndale House)

AUDIO DRAMA

The Sherlock Holmes Theatre

by Arthur Conan Doyle, William Gillette, and Yuri Rasovsky

Narrated by Martin Jarvis, Kristoffer Tabori, and a full cast (Blackstone Audio, Inc.)

In Sherlock Holmes, the Napoleon of crime, Professor Moriarity, plots with would-be blackmailers to have Holmes killed. And the normally love-proof Holmes falls for an exceptional woman.

What is the secret of the shocking death of poor Enid's sister, whose dying words were, "the speckled band?" Only Holmes can find the answer and save a helpless girl from certain death in The Speckled Band.

When Holmes retired, it created a financial crisis for his friend Watson, who owes money to mobsters who want either their cash or his blood. The surprising upshot is: Ghastly Double Murder in Famed Detective's Flat, a one-act comedy by producer-director Yuri Rasovsky.

Finalist Titles

At the Back of the North Wind by George MacDonald; narrated by a full cast (Tyndale House)

Frozen by Bryony Lavery; narrated by Rosalind Ayres, Jeffrey Donovan, and Laila Robbins (L.A. Theatre Works)

The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood; narrated by a full cast (BTC Audiobooks/Goose Lane Editions)

The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom; narrated by a full cast (Tyndale House)

AUDIOBOOK ADAPTED FROM ANOTHER MEDIUM MEDIUM

Hidden Kitchens: Stories, Recipes, and More From NPR's The Kitchen Sisters

by Davia Nelson and Nikki Silva

Narrated by Frances McDormand (Audio Renaissance)

Inspired by the popular, award winning radio series on NPR's Morning Edition, Hidden Kitchens explores the world of secret, unexpected, below-the-radar community cooking across America: a midnight cab yard kitchen on the streets of San Francisco, a secret civil rights kitchen tucked away in a house in Montgomery, freighter food from the galleys of the Great Lakes, the most unexpected hidden kitchen of the homeless—the George Foreman grill. The Kitchen Sisters travel the nation in search of unsung kitchen heros, legendary meals, and cooking rituals in this wild, poignant chronicle of American life through food.

Finalist Titles

The Essential Dylan Thomas by Dylan Thomas; narrated by Dylan Thomas, Richard Burton, Philip Madoc, Jason Hughes, Michael Sheen, and Richard Bebb (Naxos Audiobooks)

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: Quandary Phase by Douglas Adams; narrated by a full cast (The Audio Partners Publishing Corp.)

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Tertiary Phase by Douglas Adams; narrated by a full cast (The Audio Partners Publishing Corp.)

King of Shadows by Susan Cooper; narrated by a full cast (Family Classics/NYS Theatre Institute)

BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR

Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise

by Ruth Reichl

Narrated by Ruth Reichl (Random House Audio)

Garlic and Sapphires is Ruth Reichl's riotous account of the many disguises she employs to dine anonymously. There is her stint as Molly Hollis, a frumpy blond with manicured nails and an off-beige Armani suit that Ruth takes on when reviewing Le Cirque. The result: her famous double review of the restaurant: first she ate there as Molly; and then as she was coddled and pampered on her visit there as Ruth, The New York Times food critic.

What is even more remarkable about Reichl's spy games is that as she takes on these various disguises, she finds herself changed not just superficially, but in character as well. She gives a remarkable account of how one's outer appearance can very much influence one's inner character, expectations, and appetites.

Finalist Titles

iCon by Jeffrey S. Young and William L. Simon; narrated by Alan Sklar, Jeffrey S. Young, and William L. Simon (Penton Overseas)

The Tender Bar written and read by J.R. Moehringer (Time Warner AudioBooks)

We Are All The Same by Jim Wooten; narrated by Alan Sklar (Tantor Media)

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion; narrated by Barbara Caruso (HighBridge Audio)

BUSINESS INFORMATION/EDUCATIONAL

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...And Others Don't

by Jim Collins

Narrated by Jim Collins (HarperAudio)

Built to Last, the defining management study of the '90s, showed how great companies triumph over time and how long-term sustained performance can be engineered into the DNA of an enterprise from the very beginning. 

But what about companies that are not born with great DNA? How can good companies, mediocre companies, even bad companies achieve enduring greatness? Are there those that convert long-term mediocrity or worse into long-term superiority? If so, what are the distinguishing characteristics that cause a company to go from good to great?

Over five years, Jim Collins and his research team have analyzed the histories of 28 companies, discovering why some companies make the leap and others don't.

Finalist Titles

The Martha Rules written and read by Martha Stewart (Random House Audio)

The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous, & Broke written and read by Suze Orman (Penguin Audio)

Why Business People Speak Like Idiots by Brian Fugere, Chelsea Hardaway, and Jon Warshawsky; narrated by Alan Sklar (Tantor Media)

Leadership and Self-Deception by The Arbinger Institute; narrated by William Dufris (The Audio Partners Publishing Corp.)

CHILDREN'S TITLES FOR AGES 8+

Star of Kazan

by Eva Ibbotson

Narrated by Patricia Connolly (Recorded Books)

In 1896, in a pilgrim church in the Alps, an abandoned baby girl is found by a cook and a housemaid. They take her home, and Annika grows up in the servants' quarters of a house belonging to three eccentric Viennese professors. She is happy there but dreams of the day when her real mother will come to find her.

And sure enough, one day a glamorous stranger arrives at the door. After years of guilt and searching, Annika's mother has come to claim her daughter, who is in fact a Prussian aristocrat and whose true home is a great castle. But at crumbling, spooky Spittal, Annika discovers that all is not as it seems in the lives of her new-found family.

Finalist Titles

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling; narrated by Jim Dale (Random House Audio)

Once written and read by Morris Gleitzman (Bolinda Audio)

The Penultimate Peri by Lemony Snicket; narrated by Tim Curry (HarperAudio)

The Kingdom Keepers by Ridley Pearson; narrated by Gary Littman (Brilliance Audio)

While I Live by John Marsden; narrated by Suzi Dougherty (Bolinda Audio)

CHILDREN'S TITLES FOR AGES UP TO 8

Arnie the Doughnut

by Laurie Keller

Narrated by Michael McKean, Diana Canova, David de Vries, et al. (Weston Woods Studios)

At first glance, Arnie looks like an average doughnut―round, cakey, with a hole in the middle, iced and sprinkled. He was made by one of the best bakeries in town, and admittedly his sprinkles are candy-colored. Still, a doughnut is just a doughnut, right?

WRONG! Not if Arnie has anything to say about it. When Mr. Bing buys him and brings him home to his breakfast table, however, Arnie realizes his carefree days are about to end…unless he persuades Mr. Bing that a doughnut can be more than just a snack.

Finalist Titles

A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond; narrated by Stephen Fry (HarperAudio)

Blues Journey by Walter Dean Myers; narrated by Walter Dean Myers and Christopher Myers (Live Oak Media)

Ellen Tebbits by Beverly Cleary; narrated by Amanda Martin (HarperAudio)

Rotten School #1 and #2 by R.L. Stine; narrated by Michael McKean (HarperAudio)

CLASSIC

Around the World in Eighty Days

by Jules Verne

Narrated by Jim Dale (Random House Audio)

Shocking his stodgy colleagues at the exclusive Reform Club, enigmatic Englishman Phileas Fogg wagers his fortune, undertaking an extraordinary and daring enterprise to circumnavigate the globe in 80 days. With his French valet Passepartout in tow, Verne's hero traverses the far reaches of the earth, all the while tracked by the intrepid Detective Fix, a bounty hunter certain he is on the trail of a notorious bank robber.

Finalist Titles

The Noël Coward Collection by Noël Coward; narrated by Simon Jones, Noel Coward, and Margaret Leighton (HarperAudio)

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux; narrated by Ralph Cosham (Blackstone Audio, Inc.)

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens; narrated by Anton Lesser (Naxos Audiobooks)

The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens; narrated by David Thorn (Alcazar AudioWorks)

FICTION, ABRIDGED

Q & A: A Novel

by Vikas Swarup

Narrated by Kerry Shale (The Audio Partners Publishing Corp.)

Ram Mohammad Thomas may be in jail, but he is not a criminal. A penniless 18-year-old waiter from the slums of India, Ram appeared to be on the path to wealth when he correctly answered 12 questions on the TV show "Who Wants to Win a Billion? The show's producers bribe the police to arrest him for cheating, and as Ram's lawyer rescues him from prison, he also extracts Ram's amazing life-story and a captivating portrait of 21st-century India.

Finalist Titles

The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette by Carolly Erickson; narrated by Maggi-Meg Reed (Audio Renaissance)

The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell; narrated by Jamie Glover (HarperAudio)

State of Fear by Michael Crichton; narrated by John Bedford Lloyd (HarperAudio)

Ya-Yas in Bloom by Rebecca Wells; narrated by Judith Ivey (HarperAudio)

FICTION, UNABRIDGED

A Slight Trick of the Mind

by Mitch Cullin

Narrated by Simon Jones (HighBridge Audio)

He's 93-years-old, in retirement in Sussex, beginning to lose his memory, and subject to emotions he has resisted all his life. His name is Sherlock Holmes.

It's 1947, and the long-retired Holmes lives in a remote Sussex farmhouse with a housekeeper and her young son, Roger. Holmes has recently returned from war-torn Japan and settled into the routine of tending his apiary, writing in his journals, and grappling with the waning powers of his once razor-sharp mind. Then Roger secretly searches Holmes' private study and uncovers the case of Mrs. Keller, the long-ago object of the legendary sleuth's deep, and never acknowledged, infatuation.

Finalist Titles

The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell; narrated by Jamie Glover (HarperAudio)

Road to Purgatory by Max Allan Collins; narrated by Stanley Tucci (Brilliance Audio)

Survivor in Death by J.D. Robb; narrated by Susan Ericksen (Brilliance Audio)

The Motive by John Lescroart; narrated by David Colacci (Brilliance Audio)

HUMOR

The Truth (With Jokes)

by Al Franken

Narrated by Al Franken (Brilliance Audio)

The master of political humor strikes again with a powerful and provocative message for all of us. Exposing the lies and deceptions of the politicians and the media in the runup to the 2004 presidential elections, Al Franken reviews the results and comments on the men and women who shape our world. 

Franken reveals the alarming story of how Bush (barely) beat Kerry with his campaign of "fear, smear, and queers", and then claimed a nonexistent mandate; Republicans decided that Terri Schiavo would make "a great political issue"; Conservatives sought to undermine Social Security by using a strategy borrowed from...Vladimir Lenin; and that Tom DeLay is just an absolute horror show.

Finalist Titles

The Adventures of Guy Noir by Garrison Keillor; narrated by Garrison Keillor and a full cast (HighBridge Audio)

Car Talk written and read by Tom and Ray Magliozzi (HighBridge Audio)

Fired by Annabelle Gurwitch; narrated by Annabelle Gurwitch, Charlayne Woodard, Carl Capotorto, Dana Gould, et al. (L.A. Theatre Works)

Nothings Sacred written and read by Lewis Black (Simon & Schuster Audio)

INSPIRATIONAL/FAITH-BASED FICTION

Grace Will Lead Me Home

by Katherine Valentine

Narrated by John McDonough (Recorded Books)

Katherine Valentine’s two previous Dorsetville novels enchanted listeners with lovable characters and rich humor. The third installment delivers more of the day-to-day intrigue and comic happenstance only found in Valentine’s endearing community. 

All is not well in Dorsetville—the sheriff is ill, tragic news awaits Lori Peterson—but in a close-knit community like this, there is no shortage of neighborly care to get you through life’s twists and turns.

Finalist Titles

Forgiven by Karen Kingsbury; narrated by Sandra Burr (Brilliance Audio)

Just Above a Whisper by Lori Wick; narrated by Barbara Rosenblat (Oasis Audio)

Lost in Rooville by Ray Blackston; narrated by Andrew Peterson (Oasis Audio)

The Zahir by Paulo Coelho and translated by Margaret Jull Costa; narrated by Jamie Glover (HarperAudio)

INSPIRATIONAL/SPIRITUAL

Finding God in Unexpected Places

by Philip Yancey

Narrated by Mel Foster (Brilliance Audio)

An Atlanta slum. A pod of whales off the coast of Alaska. The prisons of Peru and Chile. The plays of Shakespeare. A health club in Chicago. For those with eyes to see, traces of God can be found in the most unexpected places. Yet many Christians have not only missed seeing God, they've overlooked opportunities to make him visible to those most in need of hope.

Finalist Titles

It's Not Easy Being Green written and read by Jim Henson and Friends (Hyperion Audio)

The Journeys of Socrates by Dan Millman; narrated by Sam Tsoutsouvas (HarperAudio)

Life's Journeys According to Mister Rogers by Fred Rogers, with an introduction by Joanne Rogers; narrated by Lily Tomlin, B.D. Wong, Blair Brown, and Richard Kind, with a foreword by Joanne Rogers (Time Warner AudioBooks)

Living in God's Love written and read by Billy Graham (Penguin Audio)

Varanasi written and read by Robert E. Svoboda (Soundwalk)

JUDGES' AWARD: SPANISH LANGUAGE

El Codigo Da Vinci (The Da Vinci Code)

by Dan Brown

Narrated by Raul Amundaray (FonoLibro Inc.)

Langdon joins forces with a gifted French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, and learns the late curator was involved in the Priory of Sion, an actual secret society whose members included Sir Isaac Newton, Botticelli, Victor Hugo, and Da Vinci, among others.

In a breathless race through Paris, London, and beyond, Langdon and Neveu match wits with a faceless powerbroker who seems to anticipate their every move. Unless Langdon and Neveu can decipher the labyrinthine puzzle in time, the Priory's ancient secret, and an explosive historical truth, will be lost forever.

Finalist Titles

Cuando era Puetorriqueña written and read by Esmeralda Santiago (Recorded Books)

Don Quijote de la Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes; narrated by a full cast (Yo Yo Libros)

La Casa En Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros; narrated by Liliana Valenzuela (Random House Audio)

La Vida Secreta de las Abejas (Secret Life of Bees) by Sue Monk Kidd; narrated by Cristina Arsuaga (HighBridge Audio)

LITERARY FICTION

Upstate

by Kalisha Buckhanon

Narrated by Heather Simms and Chadwick Boseman (Audio Renaissance)

Set in New York in the '80s and '90s, Upstate tells the story of two young lovers, Antonio and Natasha, torn apart by tragedy and struggling to survive against all odds. When a horrific tragedy sends Antonio to jail, their worlds turn upside down.

Antonio struggles to stay alive on the inside; Natasha battles society on the outside. Over the course of 10 years, they share an intimate correspondence as their lives change dramatically and they often have only each other to turn to. Will fate bring them back together, or will they remain forever apart?

Finalist Titles

Brother Fish by Bryce Courtenay; narrated by Humphrey Bower (Bolinda Audio)

Casanova in Bolzano by Sandor Marai; narrated by Simon Prebble (HighBridge Audio)

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell; narrated by Scott Brick, Cassandra Campbell, Kim Mai Guest, Kirby Heyborne, John Lee, and Richard Matthews (Books on Tape)

The Highest Tide by Jim Lynch; narrated by Fisher Stevens (Audio Renaissance)

MULTI-VOICED PERFORMANCE

Raymond and Hannah: A Love Story

by Stephen Marche

Narrated by Kathleen McInerney and David LeDoux

This boldly contemporary love story combines sex and seriousness, physical lust and spiritual longing. Raymond and Hannah hook up at a party; a one-night stand expands into a weeklong passionate and surprisingly deep love affair. Then Hannah leaves for a year in Jerusalem. With six thousand miles separating their bodies, the energy of love and lust must be sublimated to the written word. While Hannah immerses herself in Torah and the Orthodox world of Jerusalem, Raymond remains in multicultural Toronto, working on his dissertation on Robert Burton's The Anatomy of Melancholy.

Over the school year, Hannah's growing love for her Jewishness is more and more at odds with her love for a blond, blue-eyed WASP. And Raymond, pining in Toronto, seems to be living out his dissertation before he's even written it. Can this new love affair survive distance, cultural dissonance, and out-of-sync, late-night e-mails?In this remarkable debut, carnal love confronts religion and culture, and modern passion finds its counterpoint in ancient texts.

Finalist Titles

Assassination Vacation written and read by Sarah Vowell (Simon & Schuster Audio)

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Clo by Jonathan Safran Foer; narrated by Jeff Woodman, Barbara Caruso, and Richard Ferrone (Recorded Books)

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova; narrated by Jim Ward, Rosalyn Landor, Robin Atkin Downes, Dennis Boutsikaris, and Joanne Whalley (Time Warner AudioBooks)

Life's Journeys According to Mister Rogers by Fred Rogers, with an introduction by Joanne Rogers; narrated by Lily Tomlin, B.D. Wong, Blair Brown, and Richard Kind, with a foreword by Joanne Rogers (Time Warner AudioBooks)

MYSTERY (FICTION)

The Serpent on the Crown: The Amelia Peabody Series, Book 17

by Elizabeth Peters

Barbara Rosenblat (HarperAudio)

The Emersons have returned to the Valley of the Kings in 1922 and Amelia Peabody and her family look forward to delving once more into the age-old mysteries buried in Egypt's ever-shifting sands. But a widow's strange story, and even stranger request, is about to plunge them into a storm of secrets, treachery, and murder.

The woman, a well-known author, has come bearing an ill-gotten treasure, a golden likeness of a forgotten king, which she claims is cursed. She insists it has taken the life of her husband and unless it is returned to the tomb from which it was stolen, more people will die.

Amelia and her clan resolve to uncover the secrets of the statue's origins, setting off on a trail that twists and turns in directions they never anticipated, and, perhaps, toward an old nemesis with unscrupulous new designs. But each step toward the truth seems to reveal another peril, suggesting to the intrepid Amelia that the curse is more than mere superstition. And its next victim might well be a beloved family member...or Amelia Peabody herself.

Finalist Titles

Away with the Fairies by Kerry Greenwood; narrated by Stephanie Daniel (Bolinda Audio)

Hidden River by Adrian McKinty; narrated by Gerard Doyle (Blackstone Audio, Inc.)

The Hot Kid by Elmore Leonard; narrated by Arliss Howard (HarperAudio)

One Dangerous Lady by Jane Stanton Hitchcock; narrated by Barbara Rosenblat (Blackstone Audio, Inc.)

NARRATION BY THE AUTHOR OR AUTHORS

The Tender Bar: A Memoir

by J.R. Moehringer

Narrated by J.R. Moehringer (Time Warner AudioBooks)

J.R. Moehringer grew up captivated by a voice. It was the voice of his father, a New York City disc jockey who vanished before J.R. spoke his first word. Sitting on the stoop, pressing an ear to the radio, J.R. would strain to hear in that plumy baritone the secrets of masculinity and identity.

At eight years old, suddenly unable to find The Voice on the radio, J.R. turned in desperation to the bar on the corner, where he found a rousing chorus of new voices. The alphas along the bar, including J.R.'s uncle Charlie, a Humphrey Bogart look-alike; Colt, a Yogi Bear sound-alike and Joey D, a soft-hearted brawler, took J.R. to the beach, to ballgames, and ultimately into their circle. They taught J.R., tended him, and provided a kind of fatherhood-by-committee.

Time and again, the bar offered shelter from failure, rejection, heartbreak, and eventually from reality.

Finalist Titles

1776 written and read by David McCullough (Simon & Schuster Audio)

Kiss Me Like a Stranger written and read by Gene Wilder (Audio Renaissance)

My Life so Far written and read by Jane Fonda (Books on Tape)

The Truth (With Jokes) written and read by Al Franken (Brilliance Audio)

NON-FICTION, ABRIDGED

Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig

by Jonathan Eig

Narrated by Edward Herrmann

Lou Gehrig is regarded as the greatest first baseman in baseball history. A muscular but clumsy athlete who grew up in New York City, he idolized his hardworking mother and remained devoted to her all his life. Shy and socially awkward, Gehrig was a misfit on a Yankee team that included drinkers and hell-raisers, most notably Babe Ruth. 

Gehrig and Ruth formed the greatest slugging tandem in baseball history. They were the heart of the first great Yankee dynasty. After Ruth's retirement, Gehrig and a young Joe DiMaggio would begin a new era of Yankee dominance. But Luckiest Man reveals that Gehrig was afflicted with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) much sooner than anyone believes, as early as the spring of 1938. Despite the illness, he didn't miss a game that year, keeping intact his astonishing consecutive-games streak, which stood for more than half a century.

Finalist Titles

102 Minutes by Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn; narrated by Ron McLarty (HarperAudio)

Cinderella Man written and read by Jeremy Schaap (Random House Audio)

A Crack in the Edge of the World written and read by Simon Winchester (HarperAudio)

The Last Voyage of Columbus by Martin Dugard; narrated by Simon Jones (Time Warner AudioBooks)

NON-FICTION, UNABRIDGED

The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century

by Thomas L. Friedman

Narrated by Oliver Wyman (Audio Renaissance)

The Award-winning New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman demystifies the brave new world for readers, allowing them to make sense of the often bewildering global scene unfolding before their eyes. With his inimitable ability to translate complex foreign policy and economic issues, Friedman explains how the flattening of the world happened at the dawn of the twenty-first century; what it means to countries, companies, communities, and individuals; and how governments and societies can, and must, adapt.

Finalist Titles

The Boys of Pointe du Hoc written and read by Douglas Brinkley (HarperAudio)

Conspiracy of Fools by Kurt Eichenwald; narrated by Stephen Lang (Random House Audio)

A Crack in the Edge of the World written and read by Simon Winchester (HarperAudio)

The Truth (With Jokes) written and read by Al Franken (Brilliance Audio)

ORIGINAL WORK

Famous Composers

by Darren Henley

Narrated by Marin Alsop (Naxos Audiobooks)

Following on the success of The Story of Classical Music, Darren Henley and Marin Alsop combine forces again to tell, in more detail, the lives of six key composers: Bach, Vivaldi, Mozart, Beethoven, Dvorak, and Shostakovich. 

Their colorful lives and their love of music are told against the backdrop of some of their finest works, an ideal combination.

Finalist Titles

Billy Collins Live by Billy Collins; narrated by Billy Collins with an introduction by Bill Murray (Random House Audio)

Eyewitness: 1940-1949 by Joanna Bourke; narrated by Tim Pigott-Smith (AudioGO/BBC Audio)

Eyewitness: 1950-1959 by Joanna Bourke; narrated by Tim Pigott-Smith (AudioGO/BBC Audio)

Eyewitness: 1960-1969 by Joanna Bourke; narrated by Tim Pigott-Smith (AudioGO/BBC Audio)

PACKAGE DESIGN

The Hiding Place

by Corrie ten Boom

Narrated by a full cast (Tyndale House)

At one time, Corrie ten Boom would have laughed at the idea that she had a story to tell. For the first 50 years of her life, nothing out of the ordinary ever happened to her. She was a spinster watchmaker living contentedly with her sister and their elderly father in the tiny house over their shop in Haarlem. Their uneventful days, as regulated as their own watches, revolved around their abiding love for one another. 

But with the Nazi invasion and occupation of Holland, everything changed. Corrie ten Boom and her family became leaders in the Dutch underground, hiding Jewish people in their home in a specially built room and aiding their escape from the Nazis. For their pains, all but Corrie found death in a concentration camp.

Finalist Titles

Eldest by Christopher Paolini; narrated by Gerard Doyle (Listening Library)

King Kong by Edgar Wallace; narrated by Stefan Rudnicki (Blackstone Audio, Inc.)

The C.S. Lewis Signature Classics Audio Collection by C.S. Lewis; narrated by James Simmons, Joss Ackland, Robert Whitfield, and Geoffrey Howard (HarperAudio)

Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne; narrated by Peter Dennis (Blackstone Audio, Inc.)

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT/MOTIVATIONAL

The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts

by Gary Chapman

Narrated by Gary Chapman (Oasis Audio)

Dr. Gary Chapman identifies five basic languages of love and then guides couples towards a better understanding of their unique languages of love. 

Falling in love is easy. Staying in love—that’s the challenge! How can you keep your relationship fresh and growing amid the demands, conflicts, and just plain boredom of everyday life? Between busy schedules and long days, expressing love can fall by the wayside. We forget to compliment, to give gifts “just because,” to linger in our embrace. The things that say “I love you” seem to either not get said or not get through. 

This is a book about saying it—and hearing it—clearly. No gimmicks. No psychoanalyzing. Learn to speak and understand your mate's love language, and in no time you will be able to effectively love and truly feel loved in return. Skillful communication is within your grasp!

Finalist Titles

Hot Sex by Tracey Cox; narrated by Fiona Macleod (Bolinda Publishing, Inc.)

Secrets of the Millionaire Mind written and read by T. Harv Eker (HarperAudio)

Win Your Case written and read by Gerry Spence (Audio Renaissance)

Younger Next Year by Chris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge, M.D.; narrated by Don Leslie and Rick Adamson (HighBridge Audio)

ROMANCE

Origin in Death: In Death, Book 21

by J.D. Robb

Narrated by Susan Ericksen (Brilliance Audio)

Set in 2059 in New York City, the number-one bestselling In Death series has given fans a searing glimpse into near-future law and order. Now, as scientists work to expand the limits of technology, Detective Eve Dallas tracks the cunning, cold-blooded killer of a father and son.

A pioneer of modern reconstructive and cosmetic surgery, Dr. Wilfred B. Icove, is found dead in his office-murdered in a chillingly efficient manner: one swift stab to the heart. Struck by the immaculate condition of the crime scene, Dallas suspects a professional killing. Security disks show a stunningly beautiful woman calmly entering and leaving the building-the good doctor's final appointment.

But who is the mystery woman, and what was her relationship with the good doctors? With her husband, Roarke, working behind the scenes, Dallas follows her darkest instincts into the Icoves' pasts. And what she discovers are men driven to create perfection—playing fast and loose with the laws of nature, the limits of science, and the morals of humanity.

Finalist Titles

Chill Factor by Sandra Brown; narrated by Stephen Lang (Simon & Schuster Audio)

A Good Yarn by Debbie Macomber; narrated by Linda Emond (HarperAudio)

Rosie Dunne by Cecelia Ahern; narrated by Roger Rees, Moira Quirk, Ros Landor, and Russell Copley (Time Warner AudioBooks)

The Tea House on Mulberry Street by Sharon Owens; narrated by Caroline Winterson (Listen & Live Audio, Inc.)

SCIENCE FICTION

Market Forces

by Richard K. Morgan

Narrated by Simon Vance (Tantor Media, Inc.)

What do you buy and sell when the global markets reach saturation point? The markets themselves. Thirty years from now the big players in global capitalism have moved on from commodities. The big money is in conflict investment. The corporations keep a careful watch on the wars of liberation and revolution that burn constantly around the world. They gauge who the winners will be and sell them arms, intelligence, and power. In return for a slice of the action when the war is won.

The reward? A stake in the new nation. It's cynical, brutal, and it has nothing to do with democracy and the rule of law. So what else is new? The executives in this lethal game bid for contracts, fight for promotion, secure their lives on the roads. Fighting lethal duels in souped up, heavily armored cars on the empty motorways of the future. Chris Faulkener has a lethal reputation and a new job at Shorn Associates. Has he got what it takes to make a real killing?

Finalist Titles

Dragonsblood by Todd McCaffrey; narrated by Dick Hill (Brilliance Audio)

Shadow of the Giant by Orson Scott Card; narrated by David Birney, Scott Brick, and a full cast (Audio Renaissance)

The Rolling Stones by Robert A. Heinlein; narrated by David Baker (Full Cast Audio)

The Vor Game by Lois McMaster Bujold; narrated by Grover Gardner (Blackstone Audio, Inc.)

SHORT STORIES/COLLECTIONS

Runaway: Stories

by Alice Munro

Narrated by Kymberly Dakin (BBC Audiobooks America)

The stories in this collection are about women of all ages and circumstances. The runaway of the title story is a young woman who is incapable of leaving her husband. In another, a country girl emerging into the larger world via a job in a resort hotel discovers in a single moment of insight the limits and lies of passion.

Three stories concern the same woman—in the first, she escapes from teaching at a girls' school into a wild love affair; in the second, she returns with her child to the home of her parents, whose marriage she finally begins to examine; and in the last, her vanished child turns up caught in the grip of a religious cult.

In these and other stories, Alice Munro's understanding of the people about whom she writes makes their lives as real as our own.

Finalist Titles

Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios by Yann Martel; narrated by Jeff Woodman, Johnny Stange, Randolph Jones, Barbara Caruso, and David Ledoux (HighBridge Audio)

Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen, translated by Tina Nunnally; narrated by Kate Reading and Richard Matthews (Penguin Audiobooks)

The Girl Who Married a Lion by Alexander McCall Smith; narrated by Davina Porter, Lisette Lecat, Steven Crossley, Danai Gurira, and Nyambi Nyambi (Recorded Books, LLC)

The Noël Coward Collection by Noël Coward; narrated by Simon Jones, Noel Coward, and Margaret Leighton (HarperAudio)

SOLO NARRATION—FEMALE

A Breath of Snow and Ashes: Outlander, Book 6

by Diana Gabaldon

Narrated by Davina Porter (Recorded Books, LLC)

A Breath of Snow and Ashes is the sixth book in Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series and continues the saga of 18th-century Scotsman Jamie Fraser and his 20th-century, time-traveling wife, Claire. 

The year is 1772, and the rift between Britain and its American colonies has put a frightening word into the minds of all concerned: revolution. In the backwoods of North Carolina, violence has already reared its ugly head, as cabins have been burned to the ground. To preserve the colony for King George III, the governor pleads with Jamie to bring the people together and restore peace. But Jamie has the privilege, although some might call it a burden, of knowing that war cannot be avoided. Claire has told him that the colonies will unite and rebel, and the result will be independence, with all British loyalists either dead or exiled. 

And there is an additional problem. Claire has discovered a newspaper clipping from 1776 that tells of Jamie’s death.

Finalist Titles

The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman; narrated by Nancy Travis (Time Warner AudioBooks)

Last Days of Dogtown by Anita Diamant; narrated by Kate Nelligan (Simon & Schuster Audio)

Pretty Birds by Scott Simon; narrated by Christina Moore (Recorded Books, LLC)

Up from Orchard Street by Eleanor Widmer; narrated by Lorna Raver (Blackstone Audio, Inc.)

SOLO NARRATION—MALE

Moby Dick

by Herman Melville

Narrated by William Hootkins (Naxos AudioBooks, Ltd)

"Call me Ishmael." Thus starts the greatest American novel. Melville said himself that he wanted to write "a mighty book about a mighty theme" and so he did. It is a story of one man's obsessive revenge-journey against the white whale, Moby Dick, who injured him in an earlier meeting. Woven into the story of the last journey of The Pequod is a mesh of philosophy, rumination, religion, history, and a mass of information about whaling through the ages.

Finalist Titles

Assassin by Ted Bell; narrated by John Shea (Brilliance Audio)

One Shot by Lee Child; narrated by Dick Hill (Brilliance Audio)

Shibumi by Trevanian; narrated by Joe Barrett (Blackstone Audio, Inc.)

The Shining by Stephen King; narrated by Campbell Scott (Simon & Schuster Audio)

HALL OF FAME AWARD

The Harry Potter Audiobook Series

by J.K. Rowling

Narrated by Jim Dale

"I solemnly swear that I am up to no good."

The fantasy audiobooks chronicle the adventures of the apprentice wizard, Harry Potter. Harry and his Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry classmates Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger are a critically-acclaimed phenomenom, capturing the imagination of listeners throughout the world.