AUDIOBOOK OF THE YEAR

Children of Blood and Bone

by Tomi Adeyemi

Narrated by Bahni Turpin, published by Macmillan Audio

Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. 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. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers - and her growing feelings for an enemy.

The judging panel praised Adeyemi’s work and Bahni Turpin’s captivating narration. “There's something magical about the timbre of Turpin’s voice that's perfectly tuned to the fantastical nature of this novel. I felt transported into the world of Children of Blood and Bone, said Ron Charles. “Turpin's superb accents allow us to visualize each character distinctly. Her dramatic pacing builds suspense and then explodes in moments of crisis. When she cries out in agony or despair, I pretty much stopped breathing. This is world-building entirely through the spoken word and the audiobook succeeds on the power of Turpin's dramatic performance.”

Finalist Titles

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones, narrated by Eisa Davis and Sean Crisden, published by HighBridge Audio, a division of Recorded Books

Beastie Boys Book by Michael Diamond and Adam Horovitz, narrated by the authors and a full cast, published by Penguin Random House Audio

Calypso, written and narrated by David Sedaris, published by Hachette Audio

The Good Neighbor by Maxwell King, narrated by LeVar Burton, published by Oasis Audio

I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara, narrated by Gabra Zackman, Gillian Flynn, and Patton Oswalt, published by HarperAudio

AUDIO DRAMA

The Martian Invasion of Earth

by HG Wells, dramatised by Nicholas Briggs

Narrated by Richard Armitage and Lucy Briggs-Owen, published by Big Finish Productions

A curiosity falls to Earth on Horsell Common, and a nightmare begins. England is laid waste by huge fighting machines, armed with devastating heat rays. Humanity brings its own weapons to bear upon the invaders, but can they be any match?

Trapped in a war of two worlds, one couple battles to survive. Herbert and Amy bear witness to… The Martian Invasion of Earth.

“Bravo to the writer and director Nicholas Briggs who adapted the novel and has thought carefully how to make this drama relevant to the modern world. This is a fitting update of Wells with a great awareness that this is no simple war story.”—SFCrowsnest

Finalist Titles

Alien: Sea of Sorrows by James A. Moore, adapted by Dirk Maggs, narrated by John Chancer, Stockard Channing, Tony Gardner, Lorelei King, Laurel Lefkow, and a full cast, published by Audible Studios

Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar, narrated by Geoffrey Arend, Behzad Dabu, Hari Dhillon, Sameerah Luqmaan-Harris, and Emily Swallow, published by L.A. Theatre Works

Emma by Jane Austen, adapted by Anna Lea, narrated by Emma Thompson, Isabella Inchbald, Joanne Froggatt, Joseph Millson, Morgana Robinson, and a full cast, published by Audible Studios

Girls & Boys by Dennis Kelly, narrated by Carey Mulligan, published by Audible Studios

Steal the Stars by Mac Rogers, narrated by a full cast, published by Macmillan Audio

AUTOBIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR

Educated

by Tara Westover

Narrated by Julia Whelan, published by Penguin Random House Audio

Tara’s memoir is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It’s a tale of fierce family loyalty, and of the grief that comes with severing the closest of ties.

Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was 17 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.

“Narrator Julia Whelan’s performance is outstanding.”—AudioFile magazine

Finalist Titles

Failing Up: How to Take Risks, Aim Higher, and Never Stop Learning, written and narrated by Leslie Odom, Jr., published by Audible Studios

In Pieces, written and narrated by Sally Field, published by Hachette Audio

Letter to Louis by Alison White, narrated by Eve Webster, published by Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

Small Fry by Lisa-Brennan Jobs, narrated by Eileen Stevens, published by Blackstone Publishing

BEST FEMALE NARRATOR

Educated

by Tara Westover

Narrated by Julia Whelan, published by Penguin Random House Audio

Tara’s memoir is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It’s a tale of fierce family loyalty, and of the grief that comes with severing the closest of ties.

Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was 17 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.

“Narrator Julia Whelan’s performance is outstanding.”—AudioFile magazine

Finalist Titles

Barracoon by Zora Neale Hurston, narrated by Robin Miles, published by HarperAudio

Girls & Boys by Dennis Kelly, narrated by Carey Mulligan, published by Audible Studios

The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar, narrated by Juliet Stevenson, published by HarperAudio

Transcription by Kate Atkinson, narrated by Fenella Woolgar, published by Hachette Audio

BEST MALE NARRATOR

Watchers

by Dean Koontz

Narrated by Edoardo Ballerini, published by Brilliance Publishing

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...

“Edoardo Ballerini does a top-notch job of narrating this story. He creates a balance of warmth and suspense that reflects the heartwarming, yet at times frightening, aspects of the plot.”—AudioFile magazine

Finalist Titles

The Devil's Half Mile by Paddy Hirsch, narrated by Euan Morton, published by Macmillan Audio

Harry Clarke by David Cale, narrated by Billy Crudup, published by Audible Studios

Pet Sematary by Stephen King, narrated by Michael C. Hall, published by Simon & Schuster Audio

Stuff and Nonsense: Threadbare, Book 1 by Andrew Seiple, narrated by Tim Gerard Reynolds, published by Podium Publishing

BUSINESS/PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

How to Be Heard

by Julian Treasure

Narrated by Julian Treasure, published by Blackstone Publishing

Have you ever felt like you’re talking, but nobody is listening? Renowned five-time TED Talk speaker and author Julian Treasure reveals how to speak so that people listen - and how to listen so that people feel heard. As this leading sound expert demonstrates via interviews with world-class speakers, professional performers, and CEOs at the tops of their fields, the secret lies in developing simple habits that can transform our communication skills, the quality of our relationships, and our impact in the world.

Julian Treasure offers an inspiring vision for a sonorous world of effective speaking, listening, and understanding.

“Apart from his clear-toned voice and flawless delivery, what makes this audiobook so seductive is the visceral way the author’s narration pulls in listeners and kindles interest in his thinking. These are crafty, practical insights that will elevate the way listeners connect with others, whether they’re giving a professional talk, persuading a colleague, or deepening a personal relationship.”—AudioFile magazine

Finalist Titles

Courage to Be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi & Fumitake Koga, narrated by Noah Galvin, Graeme Malcolm, and January LaVoy, published by Simon & Schuster Audio

The Dichotomy of Leadership, written and narrated by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin, published by Macmillan Audio

Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st Century Economist, written and narrated by Kate Raworth, published by Chelsea Green Publishing

The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning by Margareta Magnusson, narrated by Juliet Stevenson, published by Simon & Schuster Audio

The Opposite of Hate, written and narrated by Sally Kohn, published by HighBridge Audio, a division of Recorded Books

FAITH-BASED FICTION & NON-FICTION

The Man on the Mountaintop

by Susan Trott, adapted by Libby Spurrier, published by Audible Studios

Narrated by Stanley Tucci, Toby Jones, Clare Corbett, Rachel Atkins, Jeff Harding, and David Thorpe

Adapted from Susan Trott’s best-selling novels, The Holy Man and The Holy Man’s Journey, The Man on the Mountaintop tells the story of Holy Man Joe, a humble and unassuming 72-year-old man who lives in a hermitage at the top of a mountain. Thousands of hopefuls line the single-file path leading to his door, seeking his wisdom. The pilgrims bring a multitude of modern-day problems, sorrows, and grievances. From the arrogant and wealthy man intent on cheating his way to the front of the line to the alcoholic who gradually builds the physical and mental strength needed to quit his addiction, The Man on the Mountaintop is an uplifting parable full of life lessons, powerfully told with compassion, wit, and humor.

“Tucci’s direct and gentle narration keeps this superb full-cast performance on track and flowing. A rare blend of down-to-earth wisdom mixed with fine acting and an engaging story – what a treat.”—AudioFile magazine

Finalist Titles

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

Goliath Code by Suzanne Leonhard, narrated by Gabrielle de Cuir, published by ACX/Audible

Pull it Off, written and narrated by Julianna Zobrist, published by Hachette Audio

The Rogue: Planets Shaken, Book 1 by Lee W. Brainard, narrated by Therese Plummer, published by Podium Publishing

FANTASY

Spinning Silver

by Naomi Novik

Narrated by Lisa Flanagan, published by Penguin Random House Audio

Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders, but her father’s inability to collect his debts has left his family on the edge of poverty - until Miryem takes matters into her own hands. Hardening her heart, the young woman sets out to claim what is owed and soon gains a reputation for being able to turn silver into gold. When an ill-advised boast draws the attention of the king of the Staryk, Miryem’s fate, and that of two kingdoms, will be forever altered.

“Novik updates the story of Rumpelstiltskin with a wildly original fantasy tale that has all the markings of a future classic. Lisa Flanagan’s steady narration, especially her accents and inflections, elevate the story wonderfully. Every character benefits from a distinct and engaging voice, particularly the raspy growl of the fire demon.”—AudioFile magazine

Finalist Titles

European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman by Theodora Goss, narrated by Kate Reading, published by Simon & Schuster Audio

Jade City by Fonda Lee, narrated by Andrew Kishino, published by Hachette Audio

Kill the Farm Boy by Kevin Hearne and Delilah S. Dawson, narrated by Luke Daniels, published by Penguin Random House Audio

Second Hand Curses by Drew Hayes, narrated by Scott Aiello, Marc Vietor, and Tavia Gilbert, published by Audible Studios

FICTION

The Tattooist of Auschwitz

by Heather Morris

Narrated by Richard Armitage, published by HarperAudio

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.

In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, was forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discovered he spoke several languages, he was put to work as a Tätowierer (the German word for "tattooist"), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners.

Imprisoned for more than two and a half years, Lale witnessed 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.

“Richard Armitage is a superb narrator whose performance here is among his best. Armitage’s performance captures every emotion from fear to trepidation to hope and even to love with understated warmth.”—AudioFile magazine

Finalist Titles

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green, narrated by Kristen Sieh and Hank Green, published by Penguin Random House Audio

The Clockmaker's Daughter by Kate Morton, narrated by Joanne Froggatt, published by Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah, narrated by Julia Whelan, published by Macmillan Audio

Life of Pi by Yann Martel, narrated by Vikas Adam, published by Audible Studios

Sanctuary by Judy Nunn, narrated by John Derum, published by Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

HISTORY/BIOGRAPHY

Darkest Hour

by Anthony McCarten

Narrated by John Lee, published by HarperAudio

May 1940. Britain is at war, Winston Churchill has unexpectedly been promoted to prime minister, and the horrors of Blitzkrieg 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, 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.

“Lee is a powerful performer, and his impeccable portrayals of Winston Churchill and other heads of state are second to none.”—AudioFile magazine

Finalist Titles

The Good Neighbor by Maxwell King, narrated by LeVar Burton, published by Oasis Audio

Indianapolis by Lynn Vincent and Sara Vladic, narrated by John Bedford Lloyd, published by Simon & Schuster Audio

Robin by Dave Itzkoff, narrated by Fred Berman and Dave Itzkoff, published by Macmillan Audio

We Were Soldiers Once… and Young by Harold G. Moore and Joseph L. Galloway, narrated by Jonathan Davis, published by Tantor Audio, a division of Recorded Books

HUMOR

The Greatest Love Story Ever Told

by Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally

Narrated by Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally, published by Penguin Random House Audio

The year: 2000. The setting: Los Angeles. A gorgeous virtuoso of an actress had agreed to star in a random play, and a basement-dwelling scenic carpenter had said he would assay a supporting role in the selfsame pageant. At the first rehearsal, she surveyed her fellow cast members, as one does, 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. The players were Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman, and the resulting romance, once it ignited, was... epic.

Eighteen years later, they’re still very much in love, and have finally decided to reveal the philosophical mountains they have conquered in an audiobook. Featuring anecdotes, hijinks, interviews, and a veritable grab bag of tomfoolery, this is not only the intoxicating audiobook 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.

Finalist Titles

Calypso, written and narrated by David Sedaris, published by Hachette Audio

Everything's Trash, But It's Okay, written and narrated by Phoebe Robinson, published by Penguin Random House Audio

How Not to Get Shot, written and narrated by D.L. Hughley, published by HarperAudio

Noir by Christopher Moore, narrated by Johnny Heller, published by HarperAudio

LITERARY FICTION & CLASSICS

Bleak House

by Charles Dickens

Narrated by Miriam Margolyes, published by Audible Studios

Dickens’ unassuming heroine, Esther Summerson, along with the equally benevolent owner of Bleak House, John Jarndyce, attempts to guide the young lovers, Richard and Ada, to live their lives unaffected by the court proceedings. But with the introduction of some typically Dickensian characters such as Grandfather Smallweed and Mr Tulkinghorn, trouble soon ensues for all who cross their paths.

“Such a miraculously good new audio version of this great novel is cause for hats in the air. Margolyes clearly loves this material and brilliantly displays Dickens’s genius for plotting, nailing human foibles, and shining light on social cruelties. It’s a gobsmacking performance, on a par with Jim Dale’s protean work on the Harry Potter novels. Ms. Margolyes contains multitudes.”—AudioFile magazine

Finalist Titles

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, narrated by James Anderson Foster, published by Brilliance Publishing

Housegirl by Michael Donkor, narrated by Adjoa Andoh, published by Macmillan Audio

Miguel Street by V.S. Naipaul, narrated by Ron Butler, published by Blackstone Publishing

Musashi by Eiji Yoshikawa, narrated by Brian Nishii, published by Blackstone Publishing

Split Tooth, written and narrated by Tanya Tagaq, published by Penguin Random House Canada Ltd.

MIDDLE GRADE

Sunny

by Jason Reynolds

Narrated by Guy Lockard, published by Simon & Schuster Audio

Ghost. Patina. Sunny. Lu. Four kids from wildly different backgrounds, with personalities that are explosive when they clash. But they are also four kids chosen for an elite middle school track team - a team that could qualify them for the Junior Olympics. They all have a lot of lose, but they all have a lot to prove, not only to each other but to themselves. Sunny is the main character in this novel, the third of four books in Jason Reynolds’ electrifying middle-grade series.

Sunny is just that - sunny. Always ready with a goofy smile and something nice to say, Sunny is the chillest dude on the Defenders team. But Sunny’s life hasn’t always been sunbeamy-bright. You see, Sunny is a murderer. Or at least he thinks of himself that way. His mother died giving birth to him, and based on how Sunny’s dad treats him, Sunny thinks he’s to blame.

“Lockard captures Sunny’s humor and joy when he dances and his adoration of language, especially, the sounds that flavor his witty writing.”—AudioFile magazine

Finalist Titles

Finding Langston by Lesa Cline-Ransome, narrated by Dion Graham, published by Dreamscape Media

Grenade by Alan Gratz, narrated by Todd Haberkorn and Andrew Eiden, published by Scholastic Audio

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: Book VI by Maryrose Wood, narrated by Fiona Hardingham, published by HarperAudio

Louisiana's Way Home by Kate DiCamillo, narrated by Cassandra Morris, published by Penguin Random House Audio

The Secret of Nightingale Wood, written and narrated by Lucy Strange, published by Scholastic Audio

MULTI-VOICED PERFORMANCE

Dreamland Burning

by Jennifer Latham

Narrated by Pyeng Threadgill and Luke Slattery, published by Hachette Audio

When 17-year-old Rowan Chase finds a skeleton on her family’s property, she has no idea that investigating the brutal century-old murder will lead to a summer of painful discoveries about the present and the past.

Nearly 100 years earlier, a misguided violent encounter propels 17-year-old Will Tillman into a racial firestorm. In a country rife with violence against blacks and a hometown segregated by Jim Crow, Will must make hard choices on a painful journey towards self-discovery and face his inner demons to do what’s right the night Tulsa burns. Through intricately interwoven alternating perspectives, Jennifer Latham’s lightning pace brings the Tulsa race riot of 1921 to blazing life and raises important questions about the complex state of US race relations - both yesterday and today.

“A solid production with excellent performances from both Slattery and Threadgill.”—AudioFile magazine

Finalist Titles

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones, narrated by Eisa Davis and Sean Crisden, published by HighBridge Audio, a division of Recorded Books

Any Man by Amber Tamblyn, narrated by Glenn Davis, Ben Foster, Marc Maron, Jason Ritter, John Roberts, Russ Tamblyn, Amber Tamblyn, January LaVoy, Phoebe Strole, Robin Miles, Thérèse Plummer, Dan Bittner, James Fouhey, and Michael Crouch, published by HarperAudio

Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen, narrated by F. Murray Abraham and an ensemble cast, published by Penguin Random House Audio/Listening Library

Sadie by Courtney Summers, narrated by Dan Bittner, Rebecca Soler, Gabra Zackman, and Fred Berman, published by Macmillan Audio

There There by Tommy Orange, narrated by Darrell Dennis, Shaun Taylor-Corbett, Alma Cuervo, and Kyla Garcia, published by Penguin Random House Audio

MYSTERY

The Punishment She Deserves

by Elizabeth George

Narrated by Simon Vance, published by Penguin Random House Audio

Inspector Thomas Lynley of Scotland Yard and his pugnacious and deeply loyal detective sergeant Barbara Havers find themselves up against one of the most sinister murder cases they have ever encountered.

The cozy, bucolic town of Ludlow is stunned when the local deacon, Ian Druitt, is accused of a serious crime. Then, while in police custody, Ian is found dead. Did he kill himself? Or was he murdered? Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers finds that all the evidence points to suicide. But she can’t shake the feeling that she’s missing something. She decides to take a closer look at the seemingly ordinary inhabitants of Ludlow – mainly elderly retirees and college students – and discovers that almost everyone in town has something to hide.

Both a gripping listen and a deeply complex story of revenge and redemption, this novel will be remembered as one of George’s best.

“Let’s face it, Simon Vance is a rock star. His performance of this complex and multifaceted murder mystery is vivid and perfectly paced. A clever puzzle, brilliantly read.”—AudioFile magazine

Finalist Titles

Lethal White by Robert Galbraith, narrated by Robert Glenister, published by Hachette Audio

The Mystery of Three Quarters by Sophie Hannah, narrated by Julian Rhind-Tutt, published by HarperAudio

The Tuscan Child by Rhys Bowen, narrated by Jonathan Keeble and Katy Sobey, published by Audible Studios

Wild Fire by Ann Cleeves, narrated by Kenny Blyth, published by Macmillan Audio

NARRATION BY THE AUTHOR or AUTHORS

The Secret of Nightingale Wood

by Lucy Strange

Narrated by Lucy Strange, published by Scholastic Audio

The year is 1919. Mama is ill. Father has taken a job abroad. Nanny Jane is too busy to pay any attention to Henrietta and the things she sees - or thinks she sees - in the shadows of their new home, Hope House. All alone, with only stories for company, Henry discovers that Hope House is full of strange secrets: a forgotten attic, ghostly figures, mysterious firelight that flickers in the trees beyond the garden.

One night she ventures into the darkness of Nightingale Wood. What she finds there will change her whole world....

“Author Lucy Strange narrates her debut novel with the sensitivity that comes from having written it. A passion for words is always evident, and lyricism provides emotional respites in this difficult story.”—AudioFile magazine

Finalist Titles

How Not to Get Shot, written and narrated by D.L. Hughley, published by HarperAudio

In Pieces, written and narrated by Sally Field, published by Hachette Audio

My Pride, written and narrated by Alton White, published by Blackstone Publishing

The Poet X, written and narrated by Elizabeth Acevedo, published by HarperAudio

Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose, written and narrated by Joe Biden, published by Audible Studios

NON-FICTION

The Perfectionists

by Simon Winchester

Narrated by Simon Winchester, published by HarperAudio

The revered New York Times best-selling author traces the development of technology from the Industrial Age to the Digital Age by exploring the single component crucial to advancement - precision.

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? 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?

Finalist Titles

The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist by Radley Balko and Tucker Carrington, narrated by Robert Fass, published by Hachette Audio

Dopesick, written and narrated by Beth Macy, published by Hachette Audio

Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter by Ben Goldfarb, narrated by Will Damron, published by Chelsea Green Publishing

Heartland, written and narrated by Sarah Smarsh, published by Simon & Schuster Audio

Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? by Martin Luther King, Jr., narrated by J.D. Jackson, published by Beacon Press Audio

ORIGINAL WORK

Spin

by Harvey Edelman and Neil Fishman, adapted for audio by David B. Coe

Narrated by Jim Dale, Barrett Leddy, Lisa Livesay, Nicola Barber, Khristine Hvam, Nick Sullivan, John Brady, and Johnny Heller, published by HarperAudio

Here's a witty musical re-imagining of Grimm’s fairy tale, Rumpelstiltskin, created by Broadway veterans, narrated by Jim Dale, and featuring a cast of Broadway musical stars. The story takes place in a Nice Little Kingdom, and ignites when a foolish miller brags that his daughter, Jane, can spin straw into gold. Since she cannot perform such a miracle, Jane desperately enlists the powers of a magical being... Rumpelstiltskin... in exchange for a promise with dire consequences. A fun, fractured fairy tale for the entire family.

“With jokes that kids will laugh at and adults will knowingly smile at, this audio production has something for everyone as a musical rendering of “Rumpelstiltskin." Vocal performances brim with the energy of a live performance, and the music is catchy.”—AudioFile magazine

Finalist Titles

Fandango at the Wall, written and narrated by Kabir Sehgal, published by Hachette Audio

Loki Ragnarok, written and narrated by Mark Binder, published by Light Publications

Magus Elgar by Kennedy Phillips, narrated by Ricardo Cabral, William Violenus, Christopher Moore, Sandra Espinoza, Randy Nazarian, David Autovino, Kellen Goff, Brian Stivale, Kalinda Gray, Mandanna Wright, Kennedy Phillips, and Andrew Cornell, published by Kennedy Phillips, MelodyGun

The Old Cart Wrangler's Saga by Brian Price, narrated by David Ossman, published by Blackstone Publishing/Great Northern Audio

Splat! A Quirky Cat Audio Book by Adele Park, narrated by Eric Comeau, Luke Randall, Jove Trip-Thompson, Kent Hayes, Sherri Aldred, Garry Morris, Allie Boman, Adele Park, and Cindy Clemens, published by Straight to Audio Productions

ROMANCE

His Viking Bride

by Olivia Norem

Narrated by Greg Patmore, published by Olivia Norem

When Aestrid Karisson escapes for an afternoon of adventure, she never suspects to alter her destiny forever. Captured by Veleif Kollsvein and his fearsome warriors, Aestrid is mistaken as a slave. It isn’t until they reach Veleif’s stronghold that her true identity is discovered.

Determined to torment him until he returns her to her home, this vixen wages a personal war with the dark and dangerous Viking prince. When Veleif’s high council decides the two must marry, he embarks on a campaign of his own. Can the wicked heat in Veleif’s game of temptation melt Aestrid’s combative heart? Or will the Viking prince find himself tamed by his rebellious bride?

“Patmore fully engages in the antagonistic dialogue between the characters, giving the production a lively flow. Delivering the prose like a winter wind, he vibrantly captures ancient Viking culture.”—AudioFile magazine

Finalist Titles

Hello Stranger by Lisa Kleypas, narrated by Mary Jane Wells, published by HarperAudio

Possession by Jessica Hawkins, narrated by Christian Fox, published by 518 Books, Inc.

Shadow and Ice by Gena Showalter, narrated by Melissa Moran and Leo Barnabas, published by HarperAudio

Wanderlust by Lauren Blakely, narrated by Richard Armitage and Grace Grant, published by Audible Studios

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory, narrated by Janina Edwards, published by Penguin Random House Audio

SCIENCE FICTION

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: Hexagonal Phase

by Eoin Colfer and Douglas Adams

Narrated by John Lloyd, Simon Jones, Geoff McGivern, Mark Wing-Davey, Sandra Dickinson, Susan Sheridan, Samantha Béart, Toby Longworth, Andy Secombe, Mitch Benn, Jane Horrocks, Ed Byrne, Jon Culshaw, Jim Broadbent, Professor Stephen Hawking, Lenny Henry, Tom Alexander, Philip Pope, Theo Maggs, Phillipe Bosher, and John Marsh, published by Penguin Random House UK Audio

Forty years on from the first-ever radio series of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Arthur Dent and friends return in six brand new episodes, in which they are thrown back into the Whole General Mish Mash in a rattling adventure involving Viking Gods and Irish Confidence Tricksters, with our first glimpse of Eccentrica Gallumbits and a brief but memorable moment with The Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal.

“This entertainingly absurd audiobook is the latest in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series and yet another example of the brilliance of the BBC’s audio programs. Fast-paced and at times laugh-out-loud funny.”—AudioFile magazine

Finalist Titles

Artemis by Andy Weir, narrated by Rosario Dawson, published by Audible Studios

Black Star Renegades by Michael Moreci, narrated by Dan Bittner, published by Macmillan Audio

Head On by John Scalzi, narrated by Wil Wheaton, published by Audible Studios

Planetside by Michael Mammay, narrated by R.C. Bray, published by HarperAudio

SHORT STORIES/COLLECTIONS

Heads of the Colored People

by Nafissa Thompson-Spires

Narrated by Adenrele Ojo, published by HighBridge Audio, a division of Recorded Books

A stunning new talent in literary fiction, Nafissa Thompson-Spires grapples with black identity and the contemporary middle class in these compelling, boundary-pushing vignettes.

Each captivating story plunges headfirst into the lives of new, utterly original characters. Some are darkly humorous - from two mothers exchanging snide remarks through notes in their kids’ backpacks to the young girl contemplating how best to notify her Facebook friends of her impending suicide - while others are devastatingly poignant - a new mother and funeral singer who is driven to madness with grief for the young black boys who have fallen victim to gun violence, or the teen who struggles between her upper-middle-class upbringing and her desire to fully connect with black culture.

“Narrator Adenrele Ojo switches effortlessly between humor, anger, and despair, mirroring the characters’ range of emotional experiences. Her tone is knowing, arch, and calculated--as smart as most of the characters.”—AudioFile magazine

Finalist Titles

Eveningland: Stories by Michael Knight, narrated by Scott Sowers, published by Recorded Books

The Flame by Leonard Cohen, narrated by Margaret Atwood, Seth Rogen, Michael Shannon, Will Patton, Rodney Crowell, John Doe, Jim Fletcher, Ari Fliakos, Maggie Hoffman, Ross Marquand, and Neela Vaswani, published by Macmillan Audio

The Grass Harp by Truman Capote, narrated by Cody Roberts, published by Tantor Audio, a division of Recorded Books

You Think It, I'll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld, narrated by Emily Rankin and Mark Deakins, published by Penguin Random House Audio

THRILLER/SUSPENSE

Crimson Lake

by Candice Fox

Narrated by Euan Morton, published by Macmillan Audio

Six minutes in the wrong place at the wrong time - that’s all it took to ruin Sydney detective Ted Conkaffey’s life. Accused but not convicted of the brutal abduction of a 13-year-old girl, Ted is now a free man - and public enemy number one. He flees north to keep a low profile amid the steamy, croc-infested wetlands of Crimson Lake.

There, Ted’s lawyer introduces him to private investigator Amanda Pharrell, herself a convicted murderer. Perhaps it’s the self-isolation and murderous past that makes her so adept at tracking lost souls in the wilderness, but her latest target, missing author Jake Scully, has a life more shrouded in secrets than her own. Not entirely convinced Amanda is a cold-blooded killer, Ted agrees to help with her investigation, a case full of deception and obsession, while secretly digging into her troubled past.

“Narrator Euan Morton’s gravelly voice and Australian accent embody Ted Conkaffey, who is consumed by anger and paranoia. His excellent pacing and gripping delivery maintain tension, and listeners will hope for more of Morton as Conkaffey.”—AudioFile magazine

Finalist Titles

The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware, narrated by Imogen Church, published by Simon & Schuster Audio

Macbeth by Jo Nesbo, narrated by Euan Morton, published by Penguin Random House Audio

The Outsider by Stephen King, narrated by Will Patton, published by Simon & Schuster Audio

The Terminal List by Jack Carr, narrated by Ray Porter, published by Simon & Schuster Audio

Their Lost Daughters by Joy Ellis, narrated by Richard Armitage, published by Audible Studios

YOUNG ADULT

Sadie

by Courtney Summers

Narrated by Dan Bittner, Rebecca Soler, Gabra Zackman, and Fred Berman, published by Macmillan Audio

Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister, Mattie, in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water. But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him.

When West McCray - a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America - overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late.

“Soler excels as the tortured, stuttering Sadie, and Bittner wrings every drop of compassion from radio producer West McCray. This is a production that will not be forgotten.”—AudioFile magazine

Finalist Titles

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, narrated by Bahni Turpin, published by Macmillan Audio

Far from the Tree by Robin Benway, narrated by Julia Whelan, published by HarperAudio

The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee, narrated by Moira Quirk, published by HarperAudio

The Poet X, written and narrated by Elizabeth Acevedo, published by HarperAudio

The Stars at Oktober Bend by Glenda Millard, narrated by Candice Moll and Ron Butler, published by Brilliance Publishing

YOUNG LISTENERS (up to age 8)

Before She Was Harriet

by Lesa Cline-Ransome; illustrated by James E. Ransome

Narrated by SiSi Aisha Johnson, January LaVoy, Lisa Renee Pitts, and Bahni Turpin, published by Live Oak Media

A lush and lyrical biography of Harriet Tubman, written in verse. An evocative poem and opulent watercolors come together to honor a woman of humble origins whose courage and compassion make her larger than life.

Throughout her lifetime Harriet Tubman was known by many names -- as General Tubman she was a Union spy, as Moses she led hundreds to freedom on the Underground Railroad and as Minty she was a spirited slave. The reverse-chronological approach to the details of her life unfolds through memorable verse and lavish illustrations in this unique, evocative biography of an American icon.

Finalist Titles

Dreamers by Yuyi Morales, narrated by Adriana Sananes, published by Dreamscape Media

Esquivel!: Space-Age Sound Artist by Susan Wood, narrated by Brian Amador, published by Live Oak Media

Her Right Foot by Dave Eggars, narrated by Dion Graham, published by Recorded Books

We Found a Hat by Jon Klassen, narrated by Johnny Heller and Christopher Curry, published by Weston Woods Studios Inc.