AUDIOBOOK OF THE YEAR

Hamilton: The Revolution

by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter

Narrated by Mariska Hargitay, with the authors, published by Hachette Audio

Hamilton: The Revolution gives listeners an unprecedented insight into both revolutions, from the only two writers able to provide it. Miranda, along with Jeremy McCarter, a cultural critic and theater artist who was involved in the project from its earliest stages - "since before this was even a show," according to Miranda - traces its development from an improbable performance at the White House to its landmark opening night on Broadway six years later. In addition, Emmy and Gold Globe-winning actor Mariska Hargitay lends her voice to the audiobook, and Miranda reads more than 200 funny, revealing footnotes for his award-winning libretto.

The audiobook does more than tell the surprising story of how a Broadway musical became a national phenomenon: It demonstrates that America has always been renewed by the brash upstarts and brilliant outsiders, the men and women who don't throw away their shots.

Finalist Titles

Boys in the Trees written and narrated by Carly Simon, published by Macmillan Audio

The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo written and narrated by Amy Schumer, published by Simon & Schuster Audio

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, narrated by Bahni Turpin, published by Penguin Random House Audio / Books on Tape

Year of Yes written and narrated by Shonda Rhimes, published by Simon & Schuster Audio

AUDIO DRAMA

In the Embers

by Brian Price and Jerry Stearns

Narrated by Robin Miles, Edwin Strout, Dean Johnson, Jacquie Maddix and a full cast; music by Mike Wheaton, published by Great Northern Audio Theatre/Blackstone Audio

A song, a pressed flower, and the sound of two girls' voices recovered from a burned wooden beam by using a brand-new laser technique to read a charred surface like the grooves of an old 78 rpm record. These are the clues that archaeologist Digger Morgan discovers while working on a routine dig at a Maryland plantation. Who were the girls? When was the fire? The answers all lead to 1920s jazz pioneer Kit Jeffers, whose voice mysteriously appears on Digger's computer and whose existence remains haunted by a singular tragic event.

Finalist Titles

Alien: Out of the Shadows: An Audible Original Drama by Tim Lebbon and Dirk Maggs, narrated by Rutger Hauer, Corey Johnson, Matthew Lewis, Kathryn Drysdale, Laurel Lefkow, Andrea Deck, and Mac McDonald, published by Audible Studios

Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor Adventures: Death and the Queen by James Goss, narrated by David Tennant, Catherine Tate, Alice Krige, Blake Ritson, Beth Chalmers, and Alan Cox, published by Big Finish Productions

Doctor Who: The War Doctor: Only The Monstrous by Nicholas Briggs, narrated by John Hurt, Jacqueline Pearce, Carolyn Seymour, and Lucy Briggs-Owen, published by Big Finish Productions

The Mountaintop by Katori Hall, narrated by Aja Naomi King and Larry Powell, published by LA Theatre Works

AUTOBIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR

The Greatest: My Own Story

by Muhammad Ali with Richard Durham

Narrated by Dion Graham, published by Graymalkin Media

Growing up in the South, surrounded by racial bigotry and discrimination, Ali fought not just for a living, but also for respect and rewards far more precious than money or glory. He was named Sportsman of the Century by Sports Illustrated and the BBC. Ali redefined what it meant to be an athlete by giving hope to millions around the world and inspiring us all to fight for what is important to us.

This is a multifaceted portrait of Muhammad Ali only he could render: sports legend, unapologetic anti-war advocate, outrageous showman and gracious goodwill ambassador, fighter, lover, poet, and provocateur, and an irresistible force to be reckoned with.

Finalist Titles

Around the Way Girl written and narrated by Taraji P. Henson, published by Simon & Schuster Audio

Buffering: Unshared Tales of a Life Fully Loaded by Hannah Hart, narrated by Hannah Hart and Judy Young, published by HarperAudio

The Rainbow Comes and Goes written and narrated by Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt, published by HarperAudio

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi; Foreword by Abraham Verghese, narrated by Sunil Malhotra and Cassandra Campbell, published by Penguin Random House Audio / Books On Tape

BEST FEMALE NARRATOR

Be Frank with Me

by Julia Claiborne Johnson

Narrated by Tavia Gilbert, published by HarperAudio

Reclusive literary legend M. M. "Mimi" Banning has been holed up in her Bel Air mansion for years. But after falling prey to a Bernie Madoff-style Ponzi scheme, she's flat broke. Now Mimi must write a new book for the first time in decades, and to ensure the timely delivery of her manuscript, her New York publisher sends an assistant to monitor her progress. The prickly Mimi reluctantly complies - with a few stipulations: no Ivy Leaguers or English majors. Must drive, cook, tidy. Computer whiz. Good with kids. Quiet, discreet, sane.

When Alice Whitley arrives at the Banning mansion, she's put to work right away - as a full-time companion to Frank, the writer's eccentric nine-year-old.

As she slowly gets to know Frank, Alice becomes consumed with finding out who Frank's father is, how his gorgeous "piano teacher and itinerant male role model", Xander, fits in to the Banning family equation - and whether Mimi will ever finish that book.

Finalist Titles

Another Brooklyn: A Novel by Jacqueline Woodson, narrated by Robin Miles, published by HarperAudio

The Little Red Chairs by Edna O'Brien, narrated by Juliet Stevenson, published by Hachette Audio

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, narrated by Emma Thompson, published by Audible Studios

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, narrated by Bahni Turpin, published by Penguin Random House Audio / Books On Tape

BEST MALE NARRATOR

Jerusalem

by Alan Moore

Narrated by Simon Vance, published by Recorded Books

In the epic novel Jerusalem, Alan Moore channels both the ecstatic visions of William Blake and the theoretical physics of Albert Einstein through the hardscrabble streets and alleys of his hometown of Northampton, UK. In the half a square mile of decay and demolition that was England's Saxon capital, eternity is loitering between the firetrap housing projects. Embedded in the grubby amber of the district's narrative, among its saints, kings, prostitutes, and derelicts, a different kind of human time is happening, a soiled simultaneity that does not differentiate between the petrol-colored puddles and the fractured dreams of those who navigate them.

Jerusalem's dizzyingly rich cast of characters includes the living, the dead, the celestial, and the infernal in an intricately woven tapestry that presents a vision of an absolute and timeless human reality in all of its exquisite, comical, and heartbreaking splendor.

Finalist Titles

Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff by Pappy Pariah, narrated by Sean Penn, published by Audible Studios

End of Watch by Stephen King, narrated by Will Patton, published by Simon & Schuster Audio

The Last Tribe by Brad Manuel, narrated by Scott Brick, published by Podium Publishing

The Purloined Poodle by Kevin Hearne, narrated by Luke Daniels, published by Kevin Hearne/ACX

Underground Airlines by Ben H. Winters, narrated by William DeMeritt, published by Hachette Audio

BUSINESS/PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

Humans Need Not Apply

by Jerry Kaplan

Narrated by John Pruden, published by Tantor Media, a division of Recorded Books

After billions of dollars and 50 years of effort, researchers are finally cracking the code on artificial intelligence. As society stands on the cusp of unprecedented change, Jerry Kaplan unpacks the latest advances in robotics, machine learning, and perception powering systems that rival or exceed human capabilities.

Driverless cars, robotic helpers, and intelligent agents that promote our interests have the potential to usher in a new age of affluence and leisure - but, as Kaplan warns, the transition may be protracted and brutal unless we address the two great scourges of the modern developed world: volatile labor markets and income inequality. He proposes innovative, free-market adjustments to our economic system and social policies to avoid an extended period of social turmoil. 

Finalist Titles

Capital Offenses: Business Crime and Punishment in America's Corporate Age by Samuel W. Buell, narrated by LJ Ganser, published by Audible Studios

Shrill written and narrated by Lindy West, published by Hachette Audio

The Storyteller’s Secret written and narrated by Carmine Gallo, published by Macmillan Audio

Trekonomics: The Economics of Star Trek by Manu Saadia, narrated by Oliver Wyman, published by Audible Studios

EROTICA

Marriage Games

by CD Reiss

Narrated by Sebastian York and Elena Wolfe, published by Flip City Media Inc.

Thirty days. That's all Adam Steinbeck demands of his wife. Thirty days in a remote cottage, doing everything he demands. After that, he'll sign her divorce papers and give her their company.

That's how long he has to rediscover the man he once was. The dominant master he hid when he fell in love with her five years before.

She wants their production company badly enough to go to the cottage for a month. Cut off ties to the world and do his bidding. She can submit to him with her body, but her heart will never yield.

She thinks this is his pathetic attempt to repair their marriage.

She's wrong.

Finalist Titles

The Baller by Vi Keeland, narrated by Mackenzie Cartwright and Sean Crisden, published by Tantor Media, a Division of Recorded Books

The Darkest Torment by Gena Showalter, narrated by Max Bellmore, published by Recorded Books

Eighteen (18): Based on a True Story by J.A. Huss, narrated by Ava Erickson, published by Podium Publishing

January: Calendar Girl, Book 1 by Audrey Carlan, narrated by Summer Morton, published by Brilliance Publishing

Sweet Dreams by Sunny Leone, narrated by Vikas Adams and Simone Lewis, published by Novel Audio

EXCELLENCE IN DESIGN

Geek Feminist Revolution

by Kameron Hurley

Published by HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

As geek culture goes mainstream - from Game of Thrones to the Avengers - it's never been more important to look at the role women play in it and the future they're helping to create. And Kameron is the smart, funny, and profane voice we need to guide listeners through the world of fandom and the coming revolution in pop culture.

Finalist Titles

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, design by David Drummond, published by Audible Studios

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, design by Levente Szabo, published by Audible Studios

Alien: Out of the Shadows: An Audible Original Drama by Tim Lebbon and Dirk Maggs, design by James Jackson, published by Audible Studios

Grimm’s Fairy Tales by The Brothers Grimm, design by Divya Srinivasan, published by Listening Library

EXCELLENCE IN MARKETING

Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000

by L. Ron Hubbard

Narrated by Josh Clark, Scott Menville, Jim Meskimen, Phil Proctor, Stefan Rudnicki, Fred Tatasciore and a full cast, published by Galaxy Audio

The Voyager launched in 1977, the alien Psychlos remorselessly wiped out the human race with a poisonous gas barrage, and ground and air bombings. They killed more than 99.9% of the people on Earth, not to mention their sadistic hunting sprees of humans for pure bloodthirsty pleasure for the ensuing 1,000 years. 3,000 Psychlos are now stationed on Earth, mining her remaining natural resources, and mankind is an endangered species.

Terl, the greedy and sadistic Psychlo Planetary Security Chief assigned to Earth, has a selfish plan for a future of abundance and prosperity. This plan requires enslaving humans to mine precious gold in the treacherous Rocky Mountains, and then wiping out all of the evidence, including all remaining human life.

Enslaved by Terl, Jonnie Goodboy Tyler must turn a small desperate band of the last survivors into a tightly coordinated rebel force.

Pitted against impossible odds, they must outsmart this cunning and vicious alien adversary that has conquered all opposition across the galaxy into total oblivion.

Finalist Titles

Alien: Out of the Shadows: An Audible Original Drama by Tim Lebbon and Dirk Maggs, narrated by Rutger Hauer, Corey Johnson, Matthew Lewis, Kathryn Drysdale, Laurel Lefkow, Andrea Deck, and Mac McDonald, published by Audible Studios

Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff by Pappy Pariah, narrated by Sean Penn, published by Audible Studios

The Dispatcher by John Scalzi, narrated by Zachary Quinto, published by Audible Studios

Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter, narrated by Mariska Hargitay, with the authors, published by Hachette Audio

EXCELLENCE IN PRODUCTION

Alien: Out of the Shadows: An Audible Original Drama

by Tim Lebbon and Dirk Maggs

Narrated by Rutger Hauer, Corey Johnson, Matthew Lewis, Kathryn Drysdale, Laurel Lefkow, Andrea Deck, and Mac McDonald, published by Audible Studios

As a child, Chris Hooper dreamed of monsters. But in deep space, he found only darkness and isolation. Then, on planet LV178, he and his fellow miners discovered a storm-scoured, sand-blasted hell - and trimonite, the hardest material known to man.

When a shuttle crashes into the mining ship Marion, the miners learn that there was more than trimonite deep in the caverns. There was evil, hibernating and waiting for suitable prey. Hoop and his associates uncover a nest of Xenomorphs, and hell takes on a new meaning. Quickly they discover that their only hope lies with the unlikeliest of saviors....

Ellen Ripley, the last human survivor of the salvage ship Nostromo.

Finalist Titles

Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000 by L. Ron Hubbard, narrated by Josh Clark, Scott Menville, Jim Meskimen, Phil Proctor, Stefan Rudnicki, Fred Tatasciore, and a full cast, published by Galaxy Audio

Beric the Briton by G.A. Henty. narrated by Brian Blessed, Brian Cox, Tom Baker, Honeysuckle Weeks, John Rhys-Davies, and a full cast, published by Heirloom Audio Productions

The Oedipus Plays: An Audible Original Drama by Sophocles, narrated by Jamie Glover, Hayley Atwell, Michael Maloney, Samantha Bond, Julian Glover and David Horovitch, published by Audible Studios

The Secret History of Twin Peaks by Mark Frost, narrated by a full cast, published by Macmillan Audio

A Wild Swan by Michael Cunningham, narrated by Lili Taylor and Billy Hough, published by Macmillan Audio

FANTASY

The Hike

by Drew Magary

Narrated by Christopher Lane, published by Brilliance Audio

When Ben, a suburban family man, takes a business trip to rural Pennsylvania, he decides to spend the afternoon before his dinner meeting on a short hike. Once he sets out into the woods behind his hotel, he quickly comes to realize that the path he has chosen cannot be given up easily. With no choice but to move forward, Ben finds himself falling deeper and deeper into a world of man-eating giants, bizarre demons, and colossal insects.

On a quest of epic, life-or-death proportions, Ben finds help comes in some of the most unexpected forms, including a profane crustacean and a variety of magical objects, tools, and potions. Desperate to return to his family, Ben is determined to track down the "Producer," the creator of the world in which he is being held hostage and the only one who can free him from the path.

Finalist Titles

The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson, narrated by Michael Kramer, published by Macmillan Audio

The Black Prism by Brent Weeks, narrated by Simon Vance, published by Hachette Audio

The Everything Box by Richard Kadrey, narrated by Oliver Wyman, published by HarperAudio

League of Dragons by Naomi Novik, narrated by Simon Vance, published by Tantor Media, a Division of Recorded Books

FICTION

Sister of Mine

by Sabra Waldfogel

Narrated by Bahni Turpin, published by Brilliance Publishing

When two Union soldiers stumble onto a plantation in northern Georgia on a warm May day in 1864, the last thing they expect is to see the Union flag flying high - or to be greeted by a group of freed slaves and their Jewish mistress. Little do they know that this place has an unusual history.

Twelve years prior, Adelaide Mannheim - daughter of Mordecai, the only Jewish planter in the county - was given her own maid, a young slave named Rachel. The two became friends, and soon they discovered a secret: Mordecai was Rachel's father, too.

As the country moved toward war, Adelaide and Rachel struggled to navigate their newfound sisterhood - from love and resentment to betrayal and, ultimately, forgiveness.

Now, facing these Union soldiers as General Sherman advances nearer, their bond is put to the ultimate test. Will the plantation be spared? Or will everything they've lived for be lost?

Finalist Titles

America’s First Daughter by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie, narrated by Cassandra Campbell, published by HarperAudio

Darktown by Thomas Mullen, narrated by Andre Holland, published by Simon & Schuster Audio

End of Watch by Stephen King, narrated by Will Patton, published by Simon & Schuster Audio

Julian Fellowes’s Belgravia by Julian Fellowes, narrated by Juliet Stevenson, published by Hachette Audio

HISTORY/BIOGRAPHY

In Harm's Way: The Sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors

by Doug Stanton

Narrated by Mark Boyett, published by Audible Studios

A harrowing, adrenaline-charged account of America's worst naval disaster - and of the heroism of the men who, against all odds, survived.

On July 30, 1945, the USS Indianapolis was torpedoed in the South Pacific by a Japanese submarine. An estimated 300 men were killed upon impact; close to 900 sailors were cast into the Pacific Ocean, where they remained undetected by the navy for nearly four days and nights. Battered by a savage sea, they struggled to stay alive, fighting off sharks, hypothermia, and dementia. By the time rescue arrived, all but 317 men had died.

The captain's subsequent court-martial left many questions unanswered: How did the navy fail to realize the Indianapolis was missing? Why was the cruiser traveling unescorted in enemy waters? And, perhaps most amazing of all, how did these 317 men manage to survive?

Finalist Titles

Paul McCartney: The Life by Philip Norman, narrated by Jonathan Keeble, published by Recorded Books

A Time to Die by Robert Moore, narrated by Pete Cross, published by Dreamscape Media, LLC

Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution by Nathaniel Philbrick, narrated by Scott Brick, published by Penguin Random House Audio / Books On Tape

The Year of Lear by James Shapiro, narrated by Robert Fass, published by Tantor Media, a Division of Recorded Books

HUMOR

I’m Judging You

by written and narrated by Luvvie Ajayi

Published by Macmillan Audio

Comedian, activist, and hugely popular culture blogger at AwesomelyLuvvie.com, Luvvie Ajayi, serves up necessary advice for the masses in this hilarious book of essays.

With over 500,000 readers a month at her enormously popular blog, AwesomelyLuvvie.com, Luvvie Ajayi is a go-to source for smart takes on pop culture. I'm Judging You is her debut book of humorous essays that dissects our cultural obsessions and calls out bad behavior in our increasingly digital, connected lives - from the importance of the newest Shonda Rhimes television drama to serious discussions of race and media representation to what to do about your fool cousin sharing casket pictures from Grandma's wake on Facebook.

Finalist Titles

The Bassoon King: My Life in Art, Faith, and Idiocy written and narrated by Rainn Wilson, published by Penguin Random House Audio / Books On Tape

Black Man, White House: An Oral History of the Obama Years by D.L. Hughley, narrated by Keith Szarabajka, John Reynolds, Fran Tunno, Cherise Boothe, Dan Woren, P.J. Ochlan, Gregory Itzin, Paula Jai Parker-Martin, Mia Barron, Ron Butler, and James Shippy, published by HarperAudio

Life and Other Near Death Experiences by Camille Pagán, narrated by Amy McFadden, published by Brilliance Publishing

You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain by Phoebe Robinson; Foreword by Jessica Williams, narrated by Phoebe Robinson, published by Penguin Random House Audio / Books On Tape

You’ll Grow out of It written and narrated by Jessi Klein, published by Hachette Audio

INSPIRATIONAL/FAITH-BASED FICTION

Risen: The Novelization of the Major Motion Picture

by Angela Hunt

Narrated by P.J. Ochlan and Alana Kerr Collins, published by christianaudio, a division of Recorded Books

Roman Tribune Clavius is assigned by Pilate to keep the radical followers of the recently executed Yeshua from stealing the body and inciting revolution. When the body goes missing despite his precautions, Clavius must hunt it down. His investigation leads him from the halls of Herod Antipas to the Garden of Gethsemane and brings him in touch with believer and doubter alike. But as the body still remains missing, Clavius commits to a quest for the truth - and answers that will not only shake his life but echo throughout all of history.

Finalist Titles

Beric the Briton by G.A. Henty, narrated by Brian Blessed, Brian Cox, Tom Baker, Honeysuckle Weeks, John Rhys-Davies, and a full cast, published by Heirloom Audio Productions

The Christmas Town written and narrated by Donna VanLiere, published by Macmillan Audio

The Dragon and the Raven by G.A. Henty, narrated by Brian Blessed, John Rhys-Davies, Helen George, Sylvester McCoy, John Bell, and a full cast, published by Heirloom Audio Productions

The Girl from the Train by Irma Joubert, narrated by Sarah Zimmerman, published by Thomas Nelson

Journey’s End by Renee Ryan, narrated by Karen Peakes, published by Brilliance Publishing

INSPIRATIONAL/FAITH-BASED NON-FICTION

The Awakening of HK Derryberry

by Jim Bradford and Andy Hardin

Narrated by Milton Bagby, published by Thomas Nelson

HK Derryberry came into the world with the odds stacked heavily against him. He was taken from his unmarried mother's womb three months prematurely when she was killed in a car wreck. After 96 days of seesawing between life and death, HK's grandmother took him home.

One Saturday morning Jim Bradford, a successful businessman in his mid-fifties, happens into Mrs. Winner's Chicken and Biscuits and sees a nine-year-old's head pressed down against a black plastic boom box with a crooked antenna and three strips of silver duct tape stretched across the battery cover. He can't help but notice the long, white plastic braces on each of the child's legs. Mr. Bradford learns that HK's grandmother is forced to bring him to the fast-food restaurant where she works, leaving him to sit alone all day at a small table, with only his boom box for company. On subsequent Saturdays Jim feels drawn back to the restaurant to meet with HK and begins spending every weekend with him.

Eventually it becomes apparent that buried beneath HK's severe disabilities is one spectacular ability. 

Finalist Titles

Divine Collision by Jim Gash, narrated by Brandon Batchelar and Jason White, published by Oasis Audio

Forgiving My Daughter’s Killer by Kate Grosmaire and Nancy French, narrated by Kate Rudd and Nick Podehl, published by Brilliance Publishing

The Great Good Thing written and narrated by Andrew Klavan, published by Thomas Nelson

Space at the Table written and narrated by Brad Harper and Drew Harper, published by Oasis Audio

LITERARY FICTION & CLASSICS

Homegoing

by Yaa Gyasi

Narrated by Dominic Hoffman, published by Penguin Random House Audio / Books On Tape

Two half sisters, Effia and Esi, unknown to each other, are born into different villages in 18th-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and will live in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle, raising children who will be sent abroad to be educated before returning to the Gold Coast to serve as administrators of the empire. Esi, imprisoned beneath Effia in the castle's women's dungeon and then shipped off on a boat bound for America, will be sold into slavery.

Finalist Titles

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (read by Johansson) by Lewis Carroll, narrated by Scarlett Johansson, published by Audible Studios

Another Brooklyn: A Novel by Jacqueline Woodson, narrated by Robin Miles, published by HarperAudio

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens, narrated by Richard Armitage, published by Audible Studios

LaRose written and narrated by Louise Erdrich, published by HarperAudio

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, narrated by Bahni Turpin, published by Penguin Random House Audio / Books On Tape

MIDDLE GRADE

How to Train Your Dragon: How to Fight a Dragon’s Fury

by by Cressida Cowell

Narrated by David Tennant, published by Hachette Audio

The Doomsday of Yule has arrived, and the future of dragonkind lies in the hands of one boy with nothing to show but everything to fight for. Hiccup's quest is clear...but can he end the rebellion? Can he prove himself to be king? Can he save the dragons? The stakes have never been higher, as the very fate of the Viking world hangs in the balance!

Finalist Titles

All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook by Leslie Connor, narrated by Michael Crouch and Kathleen McInerney, published by HarperAudio

Demon Dentist by David Walliams, narrated by David Walliams, Jocelyn Jee Esien, and Nitin Ganatra, published by HarperAudio

The Enchanted Files: Hatched by Bruce Coville, narrated by a full cast, published by Listening Library

The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz, narrated by Adam Gidwitz and various, published by Listening Library

MULTI-VOICED PERFORMANCE

Small Great Things

by Jodi Picoult

Narrated by Audra McDonald, Cassandra Campbell, and Ari Fliakos, published by Penguin Random House Audio / Books On Tape

Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than 20 years' experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she's been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don't want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders, or does she intervene?

Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and as a result is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy's counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family - especially her teenage son - as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other's trust and come to see that what they've been taught their whole lives about others - and themselves - might be wrong.

Finalist Titles

Les Liaisons Dangereuses: Read by the Cast of the Stage Play by Choderlos de Laclos, narrated by Dominic West, Janet McTeer, Una Stubbs, Elaine Cassidy, Adjoa Andoh, Edward Holcroft, and Morfydd Clark, published by Audible Studios

The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom, narrated by Mitch Albom, Roger McGuinn, Ingrid Michaelson, John Pizzarelli, Paul Stanley, George Guidall, and more, published by HarperAudio

Pruno, Ramen, and a Side of Hope: Stories of Surviving Wrongful Conviction by Courtney Lance and Nikki Pope, narrated by Whoopi Goldberg and Bill Kurtis, published by Post Hill Press

Thomas Jefferson-From Boy to Man by Jayne D'Alessandro-Cox, narrated by James Brinkley, Alexander Brinkley, and Christina Rideout, published by James Brinkley/Jayne D'Alessandro-Cox

A Wild Swan by Michael Cunningham, narrated by Lili Taylor and Billy Hough, published by Macmillan Audio

MYSTERY

The Crossing

by Michael Connelly

Narrated by Titus Welliver, published by Hachette Audio

Detective Harry Bosch has retired from the LAPD, but his half brother, defense attorney Mickey Haller, needs his help. The murder rap against his client seems ironclad, but Mickey is sure it's a setup. Though it goes against all his instincts, Bosch takes the case. With the secret help of his former LAPD partner, Lucia Soto, he turns the investigation inside the police department. But as Bosch gets closer to discovering the truth, he makes himself a target.

Finalist Titles

Crimson Shore by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, narrated by Rene Auberjonois, published by Hachette Audio

A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny, narrated by Robert Bathurst, published by Macmillan Audio

The Heavens May Fall by Allen Eskens, narrated by R.C. Bray, David Colacci and Amy McFadden, published by Tantor Media, a Division of Recorded Books

IQ by Joe Ide, narrated by Sullivan Jones, published by Hachette Audio

NARRATION BY THE AUTHOR or AUTHORS

A Life in Parts

by written and narrated by Bryan Cranston

Published by Simon & Schuster Audio

Bryan Cranston landed his first role at seven, when his father, a struggling actor and director, cast him in a United Way commercial. Soon Bryan was haunting the local movie theater, memorizing and reenacting favorite scenes with his older brother. Acting was clearly the boy's destiny - until one day his father disappeared. Suddenly destiny took a backseat to survival.

In his riveting memoir, A Life in Parts, Cranston traces his zigzag journey from his chaotic childhood to his dramatic epiphany and beyond, to megastardom and a cultlike following, by vividly revisiting the many parts he's played on camera (astronaut, dentist, detective, candy bar spokesperson, president of the United States, etc.) and off (paperboy, farmhand, security guard, dating consultant, murder suspect, dock loader, son, brother, lover, husband, father).

Discussing his failures as few men do, describing his work as few actors can, Cranston has much to say about innate talent and its benefits, challenges, and proper maintenance, but ultimately A Life in Parts is about the necessity and transformative power of hard work.

Finalist Titles

Dear Mr. You written and narrated by Mary-Louise Parker, published by Simon & Schuster Audio

The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo written and narrated by Amy Schumer, published by Simon & Schuster Audio

In Such Good Company: Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem, and Fun in the Sandbox written and narrated by Carol Burnett, published by Penguin Random House Audio / Books On Tape

LaRose by Louise Erdrich, written and narrated by Louise Erdrich, published by HarperAudio

The View from the Cheap Seats written and narrated by Neil Gaiman, published by HarperAudio

NON-FICTION

Hillbilly Elegy

by written and narrated by J.D. Vance

Published by HarperAudio

The Vance family story begins hopefully in postwar America. J. D.'s grandparents were "dirt poor and in love" and moved north from Kentucky's Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually their grandchild (the author) would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of their success in achieving generational upward mobility.

But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that this is only the short, superficial version. Vance's grandparents, his aunt, his uncle, his sister, and most of all his mother struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life and were never able to fully escape the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. Vance piercingly shows how he himself still carries around the demons of their chaotic family history.

Finalist Titles

Adnan’s Story written and narrated by Rabia Chaudry, published by Macmillan Audio

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond, narrated by Dion Graham, published by Penguin Random House Audio / Books On Tape

The Gene by Siddhartha Mukherjee, narrated by Dennis Boutsikaris, published by Simon & Schuster Audio

A Million Years in a Day by Greg Jenner, narrated by Matthew Lloyd Davies, published by Tantor Media, a Division of Recorded Books

Words on the Move: Why English Won't - and Can't - Sit Still (Like, Literally) written and narrated by John McWhorter, published by Audible Studios

ORIGINAL WORK

The Dispatcher

by John Scalzi

Narrated by Zachary Quinto, published by Audible Studios

One day, not long from now, it becomes almost impossible to murder anyone - 999 times out of a thousand, anyone who is intentionally killed comes back. How? We don't know. But it changes everything: war, crime, daily life.

Tony Valdez is a Dispatcher - a licensed, bonded professional whose job is to humanely dispatch those whose circumstances put them in death's crosshairs, so they can have a second chance to avoid the reaper. But when a fellow Dispatcher and former friend is apparently kidnapped, Tony learns that there are some things that are worse than death and that some people are ready to do almost anything to avenge a supposed wrong.

It's a race against time for Valdez to find his friend before it's too late...before not even a Dispatcher can save him.

Finalist Titles

The Adventures of Tom Stranger, Interdimensional Insurance Agent by Larry Correia, narrated by Adam Baldwin, published by Audible Studios

Alien: Out of the Shadows: An Audible Original Drama by Tim Lebbon and Dirk Maggs, narrated by Rutger Hauer, Corey Johnson, Matthew Lewis, Kathryn Drysdale, Laurel Lefkow, Andrea Deck, and Mac McDonald, published by Audible Studios

Car Talk Science: MIT Wants Its Diplomas Back written and narrated by Tom Magliozzi and Ray Magliozzi, published by HighBridge/Recorded Books

In the Embers by Brian Price and Jerry Stearns, narrated by Robin Miles, Edwin Strout, Dean Johnson, Jacquie Maddix and a full cast, published by Great Northern Audio Theatre/Blackstone Audio

Pete Seeger: The Storm King, Vol. 2  written and narrated by Pete Seeger, edited by Jeff Haynes, published by Hachette Audio

PARANORMAL

Ghost Gifts

by Laura Spinella

Narrated by Nicol Zanzarella, published by Brilliance Publishing

All Aubrey Ellis wants is a normal life, one that doesn't include desperate pleas from the dead. Her remarkable gift may help others rest in peace, but it also made for an unsettling childhood and destroyed her marriage. Finally content as the real estate writer for a local newspaper, Aubrey keeps her extraordinary ability hidden - until she is unexpectedly assigned the story of a decades-old murder.

Rocked by the discovery of a young woman's skeletal remains, the New England town of Surrey wants answers. Hard-nosed investigative reporter Levi St John is determined to get them. Aubrey has no choice but to get involved, even at the terrifying risk of stirring spirits connected to a dead woman's demise and piquing her new reporting partner's suspicions.

Finalist Titles

Blood of the Earth: Soulwood, Book 1 by Faith Hunter, narrated by Khristine Hvam, published by Audible Studios

The Elementals by Michael McDowell, narrated by R.C. Bray, published by Valancourt Audiobooks in association with Blue Heron Audio

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater, narrated by Will Patton, published by Scholastic Audio

Staked by Kevin Hearne, narrated by Luke Daniels, published by Penguin Random House Audio / Books On Tape

ROMANCE

Dirty

by Kylie Scott

Narrated by Andi Arndt, published by Macmillan Audio

The last thing Vaughan Hewson expects to find when he returns to his childhood home is a brokenhearted bride in his shower, let alone the drama and chaos that come with her.

Lydia Green doesn't know whether to scream or cry in a corner. Discovering the love of your life is having an affair on your wedding day is bad enough. Finding out it's with his best man is another thing altogether. Just when this runaway bride has nowhere left to turn, a handsome stranger offers her a broad, muscular shoulder to cry on. Vaughan is the exact opposite of the picture perfect, respected businessmen she's normally drawn to. This former musician turned bartender is rough around the edges and is facing his own crossroads. But Lydia's already tried Mr. Right and discovered he's all wrong. Maybe it's time to give Mr. Right Now a chance.

Finalist Titles

Duke of Sin by Elizabeth Hoyt, narrated by Ashford McNab, published by Hachette Audio

First Star I See Tonight by Susan Elizabeth Phillips, narrated by Nicole Poole, published by HarperAudio

Glitterland: Spires, Book 1 by Alexis Hall, narrated by Nicholas Boulton, published by Hedgehog Inc Productions

The Obsession by Nora Roberts, narrated by Shannon McManus, published by Brilliance Publishing

SCIENCE FICTION

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

by Alan Dean Foster

Narrated by Marc Thompson, published by Penguin Random House Audio / Books On Tape

Set years after Return of the Jedi, this stunning new action-packed adventure rockets us back into the world of Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca, C-3PO, R2-D2, and Luke Skywalker, while introducing a host of exciting new characters. Darth Vader may have been redeemed and the Emperor vanquished, but peace can be fleeting, and evil does not easily relent. Yet the simple belief in good can still empower ordinary individuals to rise and meet the greatest challenges.

Finalist Titles

The Book of the Unnamed Midwife by Meg Ellison, narrated by Angela Dawe, published by Brilliance Publishing

Crosstalk by Connie Willis, narrated by Mia Barron, published by Recorded Books

The Dispatcher by John Scalzi, narrated by Zachary Quinto, published by Audible Studios

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel, narrated by a full cast, published by Penguin Random House Audio / Books On Tape

SHORT STORIES/COLLECTIONS

The Brink: Stories

by Austin Bunn

Narrated by Austin Bunn, Luke Daniels, Tanya Eby, Ralph Lister, Amy McFadden, Mikael Naramore, and Nick Podehl, published by Blunder Woman Productions via ACX

The stories in Austin Bunn's dazzling collection explore the existential question: what happens at the end, and what lies beyond it? In the wry but affecting "How to Win an Unwinnable War", a summer class on nuclear war for gifted teenagers turns a struggling family upside down. A young couple's idyllic beach honeymoon is interrupted by terrorism in the lush, haunting "Getting There and Away". When an immersive video game begins turning off in the heartbreaking "Griefer", an obsessive player falls in love with a mysterious player in the final hours of a world.

Finalist Titles

Certain Dark Things by M.J. Pack, narrated by Jacob York, published by Audible Studios

Coffee at Luke’s edited by Jennifer Crusie, narrated by Colby Elliott, published by Last Word Audio

The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke by Arthur C. Clarke, narrated by Ray Porter, Jonathan Davis and Ralph Lister, published by Audible Studios

East, West by Salman Rushdie, narrated by Sunil Malhotra and Steven Crossley, published by Recorded Books

Killer Women: Crime Club Anthology #1 by Louise Millar, Alex Marwood and Tammy Cohen, narrated by Clare Corbett, Adjoa Andoh, Rachel Atkins, and Carl Prekopp, published by Audible Studios

THRILLER/SUSPENSE

Cross Justice

by James Patterson

Narrated by Ruben Santiago Hudson and Jefferson Mays, published by Hachette Audio

When his cousin is accused of a heinous crime, Alex Cross returns to his North Carolina hometown for the first time in over three decades. As he tries to prove his cousin's innocence in a town where everyone seems to be on the take, Cross unearths a family secret that forces him to question everything he's ever known.

Chasing a ghost he believed was long dead, Cross gets pulled into a case that has local cops scratching their heads and needing his help: a grisly string of socialite murders. Now he's hot on the trail of both a brutal killer and the truth about his own past - and the answers he finds might be fatal.

Finalist Titles

The Fall of Moscow Station by Mark Henshaw, narrated by Eric G. Dove, published by Dreamscape Media, LLC

Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes, narrated by Santino Fontana, published by Simon & Schuster Audio

Home by Harlan Coben, narrated by Steven Weber, published by Brilliance Publishing

The Short Drop by Matthew FitzSimmons, narrated by James Patrick Cronin, published by Brilliance Publishing

YOUNG ADULT

Salt to the Sea

by Ruta Sepetys

Narrated by Jorjeana Marie, Will Damron, Cassandra Morris, and Michael Crouch, published by Listening Library

In 1945, World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia, and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, almost all of them with something to hide. Among them are Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in each other tested with each step closer to safety.

Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country nor culture nor status matters as all 10,000 people aboard must fight for the same thing: survival.

Finalist Titles

The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough, narrated by Susan Hanfield, published by Scholastic Audio

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, narrated by Carla Corvo, Steve West and various, published by Listening Library

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows, narrated by Katherine Kellgren published by HarperAudio

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco and James Patterson, narrated by Nicola Barber, published by Hachette Audio

Winter by Marissa Meyer, narrated by Rebecca Soler, published by Macmillan Audio

YOUNG LISTENERS (up to age 8)

28 Days: Moments in Black History That Changed the World

by Charles R. Smith, Jr.

Narrated by Dion Graham, William Jackson Harper, Zainab Jah, January LaVoy, Robin Miles, Lizan Mitchell, Jonathan Earl Peck and Carter Woodson Redwood, published by Live Oak Media

The 28 days of Black History Month are commemorated with descriptions of the men, women, and events that have been vital in defining our understanding of African American history. From Crispus Attucks to Barack Obama, Harriet Tubman to Malcolm X, Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe, the entries move chronologically from 1770 to the present and encompass all walks of life, from the armed forces and performing arts through sports and civil rights activism. Spectacular poetry and prose celebrate these important individuals and decisions that framed our country's history. A final 29th day challenges listeners to make their own historical contributions.

Finalist Titles

Island Treasures: Growing up in Cuba by Alma Flor Ada, narrated by Trini Alvarado, published by Recorded Books

The Quentin Blake and John Yeoman Collection by Quentin Blake and John Yeoman, narrated by Stephen Thorne, published by Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots by Beatrix Potter, narrated by Helen Mirren, published by Listening Library

Voice of Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford, narrated by Janina Edwards, published by Dreamscape Media, LLC

The Wooden Prince: Out of Abaton by John Claude Bemis, narrated by Ralph Lister, published by Oasis Audio