AUDIOBOOK OF THE YEAR

Project Hail Mary

by Andy Weir

narrated by Ray Porter, published by Audible Studios

Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission - and if he fails, humanity and the Earth itself will perish. Except that right now, he doesn't know that. He can't even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it. All he knows is that he's been asleep for a very, very long time. And he's just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company.

“The audio of Project Hail Mary did exactly what I want an audiobook to do, which is to use the medium to expand the story,” said judge Gayle Forman regarding the Audiobook of the Year recipient. She went on to add, “If this Sci-Fi book could make a fan out of me, a lover of contemporary realistic fiction, it could definitely win over any first-time audio listeners.”

Finalist Titles

A Promised Land, written and narrated by Barack Obama, published by Penguin Random House Audio

The Storyteller, written and narrated by Dave Grohl, published by HarperAudio

The Sweetness of Water by Nathan Harris, narrated by William DeMeritt, published by Hachette Audio

AUDIO DRAMA

Sherlock Holmes - The Seamstress of Peckham Rye

by Jonathan Barnes

performed by Nicholas Briggs, Richard Earl, Lucy Briggs-Owen, India Fisher, James Joyce, Anjella MacKintosh, Glen McCready, and Mark Elstob, published by Big Finish Productions

Autumn, 1900. The lives of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson are in a state of change. The doctor has moved out of Baker Street, waiting anxiously to marry his new love, the American actress, Genevieve Dumont. Holmes has been left restless and fretful, eager for mystery and distraction. A secret code and a brutal murder promise to bring the two men back into each other’s orbit. But there is more to the investigation than first appears to be the case. Something greater seems to be at work, moving dextrously behind the scenes: a force in the London underworld known only as the Seamstress of Peckham Rye.

Finalist Titles

Chonburi International Hotel and Butterfly Club by Shakina Nayfack, performed by Shakina Nayfack, Kate Bornstein, Annie Golden, Telly Leung, Jason Tam, Bianca Leigh, Ivory Aquino, Pooya Mohseni, Samy Figaredo, Angelica Ross, Liz Lark Brown, Ita Segev, and Dana Aliya Levinson, published by Audible Originals

The Coldest Case: A Black Book Audio Drama by James Patterson, Aaron Tracy, and Ryan Silbert, performed by Aaron Paul, Krysten Ritter, Nathalie Emmanuel, Beau Bridges, and a full cast, published by Audible Originals

The Fyodor Dostoevsky BBC Radio Drama Collection by Fyodor Dostoevsky, performed by Roy Marsden, Alex Jennings, Roger Allam, Paul Rhys, Nicholas Boulton, Paul Hilton, David Suchet, Barnaby Kay, and Lia Williams, published by BBC Audio/Penguin Random House UK

No-No Boy by Ken Narasaki, from the novel by John Okada, performed by Greg Watanabe, Kurt Kanazawa, Emily Kuroda, John Miyasaki, Ken Narasaki, Sharon Omi, Joy Osmanski, Sab Shimono, and Paul Yen, published by L.A. Theatre Works

AUTOBIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR

Somebody's Daughter

by Ashley C. Ford

narrated by Ashley C. Ford, published by Macmillan Audio

Through poverty, adolescence, and a fraught relationship with her mother, Ashley Ford wishes she could turn to her father for hope and encouragement. There are just a few problems: He’s in prison, and she doesn’t know what he did to end up there. She doesn’t know how to deal with the incessant worries that keep her up at night, or how to handle the changes in her body that draw unwanted attention from men. In her search for unconditional love, Ashley begins dating a boy her mother hates. When the relationship turns sour, he assaults her. Still reeling from the rape, which she keeps secret from her family, Ashley desperately searches for meaning in the chaos. Then, her grandmother reveals the truth about her father’s incarceration...and Ashley’s entire world is turned upside down.

Finalist Titles

Act Like You Got Some Sense, written and narrated by Jamie Foxx, foreword by Corinne Foxx, published by Hachette Audio

The Boys by Ron Howard and Clint Howard, narrated by Ron Howard, Clint Howard, and Bryce Dallas Howard, published by HarperAudio

Fits and Starts: A Memoir of Living with Epilepsy by Franziska Thomas, narrated by Tracy Wiles and Franziska Thomas, published by Almost Tangible

Listen Mama by M.S.P. Williams, narrated by JD Jackson, published by Souls Take Flight

BEST FEMALE NARRATOR

The Parted Earth

by Anjali Enjeti

narrated by Deepti Gupta, published by Novel audio

The story begins in August 1947. Unrest plagues the streets of New Delhi leading up to the birth of the Muslim majority nation of Pakistan, and the Hindu majority nation of India. Sixteen-year-old Deepa navigates the changing politics of her home, finding solace in messages of intricate origami from her secret boyfriend Amir. Soon Amir flees with his family to Pakistan and a tragedy forces Deepa to leave the subcontinent forever. The story also begins nearly seven decades later and half a world away, in Atlanta. While grieving both a pregnancy loss and the implosion of her marriage, Deepa’s granddaughter Shan begins the search for her estranged grandmother, a prickly woman who had no interest in knowing her. When she begins to piece together her family history shattered by the Partition, Shan discovers how little she actually knows about her ancestors and what they endured.

Finalist Titles

Hillary Huber for Before She Disappeared by Lisa Gardner, published by Brilliance Publishing

Julia Whelan for The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah, published by Macmillan Audio

Natalie Naudus for The Morning After by Lisa Jackson, published by Brilliance Publishing

Cynthia Erivo for Wild Swan: A Story of Florence Nightingale by Patti Callahan, published by Audible

BEST MALE NARRATOR

Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World

by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

narrated by Lin-Manuel Miranda, published by Simon & Schuster Audio

Ari has spent all of high school burying who he really is, staying silent and invisible. He expected his senior year to be the same. But something in him cracked open when he fell in love with Dante, and he can’t go back. Suddenly he finds himself reaching out to new friends, standing up to bullies of all kinds, and making his voice heard. And, always, there is Dante, dreamy, witty Dante, who can get on Ari’s nerves and fill him with desire all at once. The boys are determined to forge a path for themselves in a world that doesn’t understand them. But when Ari is faced with a shocking loss, he’ll have to fight like never before to create a life that is truthfully, joyfully his own.

Finalist Titles

John Lithgow for The Didomenico Fragment by Amor Towles, published by Audible Originals

Edoardo Ballerini for Legends of the North Cascades by Jonathan Evison, published by Workman Audio

Robert Bathurst for The Madness of Crowds by Louise Penny, published by Macmillan Audio

William DeMeritt for The Sweetness of Water by Nathan Harris, published by Hachette Audio

BUSINESS/PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

Machiavelli for Women

by Stacey Vanek Smith

narrated by Stacey Vanek Smith, published by Simon & Schuster Audio

Women have been making strides toward equality for decades, or so we’re often told. They’ve been increasingly entering male-dominated areas of the workforce and consistently surpassing their male peers in grades, university attendance, and degrees. So why, in the age of #MeToo and #TimesUp, is the glass ceiling still holding strong? And how can we shatter it for once and for all? Using The Prince as a guide and with charm and wit, Smith applies Renaissance politics to the 21st century, and demonstrates how women can take and maintain power in careers where they have long been cast as second-best. “Machiavelli For Women is the ultimate battle guide for our times.” (Claire Shipman, coauthor of The Confidence Code).

Finalist Titles

Badass Habits, written and narrated by Jen Sincero, published by Penguin Random House Audio

Carry On by John Lewis with Kabir Sehgal, foreword by Andrew Young, narrated by Don Cheadle, published by Hachette Audio

Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man, written and narrated by Emmanuel Acho, published by Macmillan Audio

What Happened to You?, written and narrated by Oprah Winfrey and Bruce D. Perry, published by Macmillan Audio

ESPAÑOL - SPANISH LANGUAGE

La casa de Bernarda Alba

by Federico García Lorca

narrated by Gloria Muñoz, Elena González, Rebeca Hernando, Carmen Mayordomo, Marta Poveda, Sol de la Barreda, Beatriz Melgares, Cristina Arias, and Antonio Martínez Asensio, published by Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial

Considerada la obra más madura de Lorca, La casa de Bernarda Alba cierra la llamada trilogía de la tragedia -formada también por Bodas de sangre y Yerma-. Su carácter realista y la opresión en el pecho que se siente ante la represión de unas mujeres atrapadas en un frío infierno de luto, celos, silencio y sueños truncados se ha interpretado como un presagio de los oscuros tiempos que se avecinaban y en los que el propio Lorca se convertiría en una víctima prematura. No obstante, la presente edición contrapone este texto tan magnífico como terrible a Los sueños de mi prima Aurelia, una comedia inacabada inspirada en la infancia del poeta y dramaturgo, que nos demuestra que no había abandonado la ironía y el sentido del humor.

Finalist Titles

25 cuentos populares de Perú para crecer juntos, tradición popular (popular tradition), edited by José Morán Orti, narrated by Nuria Mediavilla, Nerea Alfonso, Marcel Navarro, and Xavi Fernández, published by VOCA Editorial

Desierto Sonoro by Valeria Luiselli, narrated by Marina De Tavira, published by Penguin Random House Audio

Gabo y Mercedes: una despedida, written and narrated by Rodrigo García, published by Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial

Valentine: Amor y furia by Elizabeth Wetmore, narrated by Gabriela Guraieb and Patricia Loranca Ochoa, published by HarperAudio

FAITH-BASED FICTION OR NON-FICTION

The Gift of Black Folk

by W.E.B. Du Bois

narrated by Arnell Powell, published by Brilliance Publishing

In 1924, in response to the pursuit of increasingly racist policies in the United States, W. E. B. Du Bois published a groundbreaking collection of essays that challenged the existing prejudices about Black people and provided a fuller accounting of Black contributions to American life. The accomplishments that Du Bois chronicles here—in art, literature, economics, religion, industry, the military, and more—are stunning, especially considering the obstacles facing Black Americans. Du Bois makes the case that, collectively, Black Americans offer the fullest realization of the goal of democracy. Without these men and women, Du Bois argued, “America as we know it would have been impossible.”

Finalist Titles

Crazy Faith by Michael Todd, narrated by Aaron Goodson, published by Penguin Random House Audio

The Happiest Man on Earth by Eddie Jaku, narrated by Raphael Corkhill, published by HarperAudio

He Saw That It Was Good by Sho Baraka and Chris Broussard, narrated by Sho Baraka, Chris Broussard, Tedashii Anderson, and Nasia Danielle, published by Penguin Random House Audio

Home Sweet Road by Johnnyswim, narrated by Abner Ramirez and Amanda Sudano, published by Penguin Random House Audio

FANTASY

Rhythm of War

by Brandon Sanderson

narrated by Michael Kramer and Kate Reading, published by Macmillan Audio

After forming a coalition of human resistance against the enemy invasion, Dalinar Kholin and his Knights Radiant have spent a year fighting a protracted, brutal war. Neither side has gained an advantage, and the threat of a betrayal by Dalinar’s crafty ally Taravangian looms over every strategic move. Now, as new technological discoveries by Navani Kholin’s scholars begin to change the face of the war, the enemy prepares a bold and dangerous operation. The arms race that follows will challenge the very core of the Radiant ideals, and potentially reveal the secrets of the ancient tower that was once the heart of their strength.

Finalist Titles

The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri, narrated by Shiromi Arserio, published by Hachette Audio

Princess Floralinda and the Forty-Flight Tower by Tamsyn Muir, narrated by Moira Quirk, published by Recorded Books

The Sandman: Act II by Neil Gaiman and Dirk Maggs, narrated by Neil Gaiman, James McAvoy, Emma Corrin, Brian Cox, Kat Dennings, John Lithgow, Bill Nighy, Regé-Jean Page, and a full cast, published by Audible Originals

The Witch's Heart by Genevieve Gornichec, narrated by Jayne Entwistle, published by Penguin Random House Audio

FICTION

The Final Revival of Opal & Nev

by Dawnie Walton

narrated by Janina Edwards, Bahni Turpin, James Langton, Gabra Zackman, Dennis Boutsikaris, Steve West, André De Shields, Matthew Lloyd Davies, David Sadzin, Fiona Hardingham, George Newbern, Leon Nixon, Ines del Castillo, Jackie Sanders, Leon Nixon, Pete Simonelli, Priya Ayyar, and Robin Miles, published by Simon & Schuster Audio

Opal is a fiercely independent young woman pushing against the grain in her style and attitude, Afro-punk before that term existed. Coming of age in Detroit, she can’t imagine settling for a nine-to-five job - despite her unusual looks, Opal believes she can be a star. So when the aspiring British singer-songwriter Neville Charles discovers her at a bar’s amateur night, she takes him up on his offer to make rock music together for the fledgling Rivington Records. In early '70s New York City, just as she’s finding her niche as part of a flamboyant and funky creative scene, a rival band signed to her label brandishes a Confederate flag at a promotional concert. Opal’s bold protest and the violence that ensues set off a chain of events that will not only change the lives of those she loves, but also be a deadly reminder that repercussions are always harsher for women, especially Black women, who dare to speak their truth. Decades later, as Opal considers a 2016 reunion with Nev, music journalist S. Sunny Shelton seizes the chance to curate an oral history about her idols. Sunny thought she knew most of the stories leading up to the cult duo’s most politicized chapter. But as her interviews dig deeper, a nasty new allegation from an unexpected source threatens to blow up everything.

Finalist Titles

All the Lonely People by Mike Gayle, narrated by Ben Onwukwe, published by Hachette Audio

The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah, narrated by Julia Whelan, published by Macmillan Audio

The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles, narrated by Edoardo Ballerini, Marin Ireland, and Dion Graham, published by Penguin Random House Audio

The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner, narrated by Alana Kerr Collins and Jason Culp Published by Penguin Random House Audio

HISTORY/BIOGRAPHY

Clanlands: Whisky, Warfare, and a Scottish Adventure Like No Other

by Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish

narrated by Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish, published by Hodder & Stoughton

A road trip book with a difference. Stars of Outlander - Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish - explore Scotland, a land of raw beauty, poetry, feuding, music, history and warfare. From their faithful camper-van to boats, kayaks, bicycles and motorbikes, join stars of Outlander Sam and Graham on a road trip with a difference. Unlikely friends Sam and Graham begin their journey in the heart of Scotland at Glencoe and travel from there all the way to Inverness and Culloden battlefield, where along the way they experience adventure and a cast of highland characters. In this story of friendship, finding themselves and whisky, they discover the complexity, rich history and culture of their native country.

Finalist Titles

Music Is History, written and narrated by Ahmir Khalib Thompson (Questlove), published by Recorded Books

Somersett: Benjamin Franklin and the Masterminding of American Independence by Phillip Goodrich, narrated by Robert Petkoff, Joe Morton, Simon Jones, Euan Morton, Nicola Barber, and the author (reading the author's note and afterword), published by Blackstone Publishing and May Wuthrich Productions

The Code Breaker by Walter Isaacson, narrated by Kathe Mazur with Walter Isaacson, published by Simon & Schuster Audio

A Weekend with Pablo Picasso, written and performed by Herbert Sigüenza, published by L.A. Theatre Works

HUMOR

How Y'all Doing?

by Leslie Jordan

narrated by Leslie Jordan, published by HarperAudio

When actor Leslie Jordan learned he had “gone viral”, he had no idea what that meant or how much his life was about to change. On Instagram, his uproarious videos have entertained millions and have made him a global celebrity. Now, he brings his bon vivance to a new medium with this collection of intimate and sassy essays. Bursting with color and life, dripping with his puckish Southern charm, How Y’all Doing? is Leslie doing what Leslie does best: telling stories that make us laugh and lift our spirits even in the darkest days. Whether he’s writing about his brush with a group of ruffians in a West Hollywood Starbucks, or an unexpected phone call from legendary Hollywood start Debbie Reynolds, Leslie infuses each story with his fresh and saucy humor and pure heart.

Finalist Titles

Brackish Waters by Matt Boren, narrated by Christina Applegate, published by Audible Originals

A Carnival of Snackery by David Sedaris, narrated by David Sedaris and Tracey Ullman Published by Hachette Audio

The Life-Changing Science of Detecting Bullshit by John V. Petrocelli, narrated by Larry Herron, published by Macmillan Audio

The Seven Day Switch by Kelly Harms, narrated by Arielle DeLisle and Megan Tusing Published by Brilliance Publishing

LITERARY FICTION & CLASSICS

All Creatures Great and Small

by James Herriot

narrated by Nicholas Ralph, published by Macmillan Audio

Delve into the magical, unforgettable world of James Herriot, the world's most beloved veterinarian, and his menagerie of heartwarming, funny, and tragic animal patients. For 50 years, generations of readers have flocked to Herriot's marvelous tales, deep love of life, and extraordinary storytelling abilities. For decades, Herriot roamed the remote, beautiful Yorkshire Dales, treating every patient that came his way from smallest to largest, and observing animals and humans alike with his keen, loving eye.

Finalist Titles

Ariadne by Jennifer Saint, narrated by Barrie Kreinik, published by Macmillan Audio

Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau, narrated by Caitlin Kinnunen, published by HarperAudio

Matrix by Lauren Groff, narrated by Adjoa Andoh, published by Penguin Random House Audio

Moby Dick by Herman Melville, narrated by Jonathan Epstein, published by Alison Larkin Presents

MIDDLE GRADE

Playing the Cards You're Dealt

by Varian Johnson

narrated by Dion Graham, published by Scholastic Audio

Ten-year-old Anthony Joplin has made it to double digits! Which means he's finally old enough to play in the spades tournament every Joplin Man before him seems to have won. So while Ant's friends are stressing about fifth grade homework and girls, Ant only has one thing on his mind: how he'll measure up to his father's expectations at the card table. Then Ant's best friend gets grounded, and he's forced to find another spades partner. And Shirley, the new girl in his class, isn't exactly what he has in mind. She talks a whole lot of trash - way more than his old partner. Plus, he's not sure that his father wants him playing with a girl. But she's smart and tough and pretty, and knows every card trick in the book. So Ant decides to join forces with Shirley - and keep his plans a secret. Only it turns out secrets are another Joplin Man tradition. And his father is hiding one so big it may tear their family apart....

Finalist Titles

Class Act by Jerry Craft, narrated by Nile Bullock, Jesus Del Orden, Guy Lockard, Marc Thompson, Peyton Lusk, Rebecca Soler, Dan Bittner, January LaVoy, Phoebe Strole, Jordan Cobb, A.J. Beckles, Robin Miles, Ron Butler, Miles Harvey, Kim Mai Guest, Kyla Garcia, and Soneela Nankani, published by HarperAudio

Frankie & Bug by Gayle Forman, narrated by Stockard Channing, published by Simon & Schuster Audio

Stamped (for Kids) by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds, adapted by Sonja Cherry-Paul, narrated by Pe'Tehn Raighn-Kem Jackson, published by Hachette Audio

Temple Alley Summer by Sachiko Kashiwaba and Avery Fischer Udagawa (translator), narrated by Traci Kato-Kiriyama, published by Yonder: Restless Books for Young Readers

MULTI-VOICED PERFORMANCE

Heresy

by Melissa Lenhardt

narrated by Barrie Kreinik, Bailey Carr, Ella Turenne, Nikki Massoud, Natalie Naudus, Imani Jade Powers, and James Fouhey, published by Hachette Audio

Margaret Parker and Hattie LaCour never intended to turn outlaw. After being run off their ranch by a greedy cattleman, their family is left destitute. As women alone they have few choices: marriage, lying on their backs for money, or holding a gun. For Margaret and Hattie, the choice is simple. With their small makeshift family, the gang pulls off a series of heists across the West. Though the newspapers refuse to give the female gang credit, their exploits don't go unnoticed. Pinkertons are on their trail, a rival male gang is determined to destroy them, and secrets among the group threaten to tear them apart. Now, Margaret and Hattie must find a way to protect their family, finish one last job, and avoid the hangman's noose.

Finalist Titles

The Anatomy of Desire by L. R. Dorn, narrated by Santino Fontana, Shelby Young, Marin Ireland, JD Jackson, Dan Bittner, Vikas Adam, Gabra Zackman, Fred Berman, Darrell Dennis, Oliver Wyman, Jonathan Davis, Hillary Huber, Lisa Flanagan, and Sharahn LaRue, published by HarperAudio

Bourdain by Laurie Woolever, narrated by Laurie Woolever, Christopher Bourdain, José Andrés, Nigella Lawson, W. Kamau Bell, Adam Epstein, Alex Getmanov, Alex Lowry, Alison Mosshart, Amy Entelis, Ben Selkow, Beth Aretsky, Bonnie McFarlane, Chris Collins, Christiane Amanpour, Daniel Halpern, Dave McMillan, David Choe, David Rosenthal, Diane Schutz, Eileen Opatut, Fred Morin, Helen Cho, Helen Lang, Hilary Snyder, James Graham, Jared Andrukanis, Jason Rezaian, Jeff Allen, Jeff Formosa, Jeff Zucker, Joe Coleman, Joel Rose, John Lurie, Josh Ferrell, Karen Rinaldi, Kimberly Witherspoon, Laurie Barnett, Lenny Mosse, Lizzie Fox, Lolis Elie, Lydia Tenaglia, Maria Bustillos, Matt Goulding, Matt Walsh, Michael Ruhlman, Michael Steed, Mike Ruffino, Morgan Fallon, Mustafa Bhagat, Nari Kye, Natasha Phan, Nathan Thornburgh, Nick Brigden, Panio Gianopoulos, Pat Younge, Patrick Radden Keefe, Patti Jackson, Peter Meehan, Philip Lajaunie, Rennik Soholt, Rob Stone, Robert Vuolo, Robin Standefer, Roy Choi, Sally Freeman, Sam Goldman, Sam Sifton, Sandy Zweig, Shant Petrossian, Steven Tempel, Todd Liebler, Tom Vitale, Web Stone, Whitney Ward, Yeganeh Rezaian, Aspen Miller, Barbara Rosenblat, Billie Fulford-Brown, Cheryl Smith, Dan Bittner, Ewan Chung, Gabra Zackman, George Newbern, Hillary Huber, James Lurie, Jason Culp, Jean Brassard, Joe Knezevich, Oliver Wyman, Rob Shapiro, and Roger Wayne, published by HarperAudio

Four Hundred Souls, edited by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain, narrated by Joniece Abbott-Pratt, Amir Abdullah, Ryan Vincent Anderson, Kristen Ariza, Dashawn Barnes, Joshua Bennett, Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Andre Blake, Torian Brackett, Donte Bonner, Mahogany L. Browne, Ron Butler, Kellie Carter-Jackson, Brianna Collette, Karen Chilton, Sean Crisden, Keith David, Angela Y. Davis, William DeMeritt, Leonard Dozier, Robin Eller, Kevin R. Free, James Fouhey, Alicia Garza, Dion Graham, Danai Gurira, Jerome Harmann-Hardeman, Jamal Henderson, Ethan Herisse, Susan Heyward, Cary Hite, Dominic Hoffman, Sherrilyn Ifill, James Monroe Iglehart, JD Jackson, Zainab Jah, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Sullivan Jones, Peter Francis James, Terrence Kidd, January LaVoy, Adam Lazarre-White, Keylor Leigh, Nicole Lewis, Dennis Logan, Chanté McCormick, Desmond Manny, Jesus Martinez, Heather McGhee, Sheryl Mebane, Robin Miles, Karen Murray, Soneela Nankani, Leon Nixon, Soledad O’Brien, Leslie Odom, Jr., Adenrele Ojo, Genesis Oliver, Prentice Onayemi, Tovah Ott, Morgan Parker, Imani Parks, Lisa Renee Pitts, Imani Jade Powers, Rhett Samuel Price, Bill Quinn, Phylicia Rashad, David Sadzin, Joshua David Scarlett, Heather Alicia Simms, Shayna Small, Patricia Smith, Marisha Tapera, Tashi Thomas, Damian Thompson, TL Thompson, Ella Turenne, Bahni Turpin, Anita Welch, Jade Wheeler, Samira Wiley, Zenzi Williams, Mirron Willis, Andia Winslow, Kai Wright, and with co-editors Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain, published by Penguin Random House Audio

Twins by Varian Johnson, narrated by Ahnya O'Riordan, Grace Capeless, Mashari Bain, Malcolm Bowen, Antoinette Comer, André Blake, Armand Xavier, and Rufen-Blanchette, published by Scholastic Audio

MYSTERY

Later

by Stephen King

narrated by Seth Numrich, published by Simon & Schuster Audio

The son of a struggling single mother, Jamie Conklin just wants an ordinary childhood. But Jamie is no ordinary child. Born with an unnatural ability his mom urges him to keep secret, Jamie can see what no one else can see and learn what no one else can learn. But the cost of using this ability is higher than Jamie can imagine - as he discovers when an NYPD detective draws him into the pursuit of a killer who has threatened to strike from beyond the grave.

Finalist Titles

The Bucket List by Peter Mohlin and Peter Nystrom, narrated by Dion Graham, published by Recorded Books

Murder in Old Bombay by Nev March, narrated by Vikas Adam, published by Macmillan Audio

The Man in the Brown Suit by Agatha Christie, narrated by Gabrielle de Cuir, with John Lee, published by Blackstone Publishing and Skyboat Media

The Midnight Man by Caroline Mitchell, narrated by Emma Gregory and Elliot Fitzpatrick Published by Embla Books

NARRATION BY THE AUTHOR

A Promised Land

by Barack Obama

narrated by Barack Obama, published by Penguin Random House Audio

Obama takes readers on a compelling journey from his earliest political aspirations to the pivotal Iowa caucus victory that demonstrated the power of grassroots activism to the watershed night of November 4, 2008, when he was elected 44th president of the United States, becoming the first African American to hold the nation’s highest office. Reflecting on the presidency, he offers a unique and thoughtful exploration of both the awesome reach and the limits of presidential power, as well as singular insights into the dynamics of US partisan politics and international diplomacy.

Finalist Titles

All the Rage: A Partial Memoir in Two Acts and a Prologue, written and narrated by Brad Fraser, published by Penguin Random House Canada

Going There, written and narrated by Katie Couric, published by Hachette Audio

Stories to Tell, written and narrated by Richard Marx, published by Simon & Schuster Audio

The Truth About Lies, written and narrated by Aja Raden, published by Brilliance Publishing

Vulnerable AF, written and narrated by Tarriona Ball, published by Andrews McMeel Publishing

NON-FICTION

The Joy of Sweat

by Sarah Everts

narrated by Sophie Amoss, published by Penguin Random House Audio

Why is sweat salty? Why do we sweat when stressed? Why do some people produce colorful sweat? And should you worry about Big Brother tracking the hundreds of molecules that leak out in your sweat - not just the stinky ones or alleged pheromones - but the ones that reveal secrets about your health and vices? Everts’ entertaining investigation takes listeners around the world - from Moscow, where she participates in a dating event in which people sniff sweat in search of love, to New Jersey, where companies hire trained armpit sniffers to assess the efficacy of their anti-sweat products. In Finland, Everts explores the delights of the legendary smoke sauna and the purported health benefits of good sweat, while in the Netherlands she slips into the sauna theater scene, replete with costumes, special effects, and towel dancing.

Finalist Titles

Freedom, written and narrated by Sebastian Junger, published by Simon & Schuster Audio

Last Call by Elon Green, narrated by David Pittu, published by Macmillan Audio

The Menopause Manifesto: Own Your Health with Facts and Feminism, written and narrated by Dr. Jen Gunter, published by HighBridge Audio, a division of Recorded Books

The Premonition: A Pandemic Story by Michael Lewis, narrated by Adenrele Ojo, published by Audible Studios

This Is Your Mind on Plants, written and narrated by Michael Pollan, published by Penguin Random House Audio

ORIGINAL WORK

Heroine

by Mary Jane Wells

narrated by Mary Jane Wells, published by Author's Republic

On a dangerous mission inside a combat zone, Sgt Davis must work with the perpetrator of her sexual attack to get her squad home safely. Is peace possible? This audiobook is more of a fully realized radio drama, with fully immersive sound design from sound designer and foley artist Heather Andrews and narration from Audie award-winning narrator Mary Jane Wells. Heroine began as Wells' award-winning solo performance, winning a Scottish Theatre Arts Trust Award and a Made in Scotland Award on its world premiere at Assembly Rooms, at The Edinburgh Festival 2018. Heroine's USA debut was at The Kennedy Center, Washington, DC, in February 2020.

Finalist Titles

Beatrix Greene by Rachel Hawkins, Ash Parsons, and Vicky Alvear Shecter, narrated by Shiromi Arserio and Alister Austin Published by Realm

The Man She Never Met, written and narrated by Annie Hulley, published by Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

No One Goes Alone by Erik Larson, narrated by Julian Rhind-Tutt and Erik Larson, published by Penguin Random House Audio

Sunset Springs by Kacen Callender, narrated by Qamar Yochanan, published by Audible Originals

ROMANCE

Reel: Hollywood Renaissance, Book 1

by Kennedy Ryan

narrated by Eboni Flowers, Jakobi Diem, Nicole Small, and April Christina, published by Scribechick Media LLC, produced by Lyric Audiobooks

For months I stood by, an understudy waiting in the wings, preparing for my time to shine. I never imagined he would watch in the audience that night. Canon Holt. Famous film director. Fascinating. Talented. Fine. Before I could catch my breath, everything changed. I went from backstage Broadway to centerstage Hollywood. From being unknown to my name, Neevah Saint, on everyone’s lips. Canon casts me in a star-studded Harlem Renaissance biopic, catapulting me into another stratosphere. But stars shine brightest in the dead of night. Forbidden attraction, scandal, and circumstances beyond my control jeopardize my dream. Could this one shot - the role of a lifetime, the love of a lifetime - cost me everything?

Finalist Titles

The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochrun, narrated by Vikas Adam, Graham Halstead, and Cassandra Campbell, published by Simon & Schuster Audio

Mine to Protect by Kennedy L. Mitchell, narrated by Maxine Mitchell and Teddy Hamilton Published by Blue Nose Audio

Pause by Kylie Scott, narrated by Andi Arndt, published by Audible Originals

The Wrong Heart, written and published by Jennifer Hartmann, narrated by Stefanie Kay and Neill Thorne

SCIENCE FICTION

Project Hail Mary

by Andy Weir

narrated by Ray Porter, published by Audible Studios

Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission - and if he fails, humanity and the Earth itself will perish. Except that right now, he doesn't know that. He can't even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it. All he knows is that he's been asleep for a very, very long time. And he's just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company. His crewmates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, he realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Alone on this tiny ship that's been cobbled together by every government and space agency on the planet and hurled into the depths of space, it's up to him to conquer an extinction-level threat to our species. And thanks to an unexpected ally, he just might have a chance.

Finalist Titles

Day Zero by C. Robert Cargill, narrated by Vikas Adam, published by HarperAudio

Orphan Wars by Scott Moon and J.N. Chaney, narrated by Luke Daniels, published by Podium Audio

Pastel Pink (Book 1 of The Zadok Series), written and published by Nikki Minty, narrated by Khristine Hvam, James Patrick Cronin, and Jodie Harris

Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline, narrated by Wil Wheaton, published by Penguin Random House Audio

SHORT STORIES/COLLECTIONS

Blackout

by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon

narrated by Joniece Abbott-Pratt, Dion Graham, Imani Parks, Jordan Cobb, Shayna Small, A.J. Beckles, and Bahni Turpin, published by HarperAudio

A summer heatwave blankets New York City in darkness. But as the city is thrown into confusion, a different kind of electricity sparks.... A first meeting. Long-time friends. Bitter exes. And maybe the beginning of something new. When the lights go out, people reveal hidden truths. Love blossoms, friendship transforms, and new possibilities take flight.

Finalist Titles

The Best American Short Stories 2021, edited by Jesmyn Ward and Heidi Pitlor, narrated by Lisa Flanagan, Robin Eller, Tre Hall, Katy Tang, Emily Ellet, Ryan Vincent Anderson, Alex Meraz, Adan Rocha, Piper Goodeve, Frankie Maria Corzo, Sterling Sulieman, JD Jackson, Brittany Pressley, Robert Fass, Bahni Turpin, Jonathan Davis, Priya Ayyar, Graham Halstead, Michael Crouch, and Catherine Ho, published by HMH Audio (HarperCollins)

Binge by Douglas Coupland, narrated by Douglas Coupland, Anna Faris, Bret Easton Ellis, Michael Stipe, Chuck Klosterman, Jarvis Cocker, Jane Pratt, Will Ferguson, Genki Ferguson, Salvatore Antonio, Katie Ryerson, Andrew Moodie, Lorna Wilson, Victoria Carr, Stephanie Belding, Liz Dunn, Selena Dhillon, Charlotte Shaifer, and Caleb Stull, published by Penguin Random House Canada

How It Ends: A Novella by Rachel Howzell Hall, narrated by Joniece Abbott-Pratt, published by Audible Originals

Lyrics for Rock Stars by Heather Mateus Sappenfield, narrated by Michael Crouch, published by V Press LC

THRILLER/SUSPENSE

Local Woman Missing

by Mary Kubica

narrated by Brittany Pressley, Jennifer Jill Araya, Gary Tiedemann, and Jesse Vilinsky, published by HarperAudio

People don't just disappear without a trace.... Shelby Tebow is the first to go missing. Not long after, Meredith Dickey and her six-year-old daughter, Delilah, vanish just blocks away from where Shelby was last seen, striking fear into their once-peaceful community. Are these incidents connected? After an elusive search that yields more questions than answers, the case eventually goes cold. Now, 11 years later, Delilah shockingly returns. Everyone wants to know what happened to her, but no one is prepared for what they'll find....

Finalist Titles

The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave, narrated by Rebecca Lowman, published by Simon & Schuster Audio

Never Far Away by Michael Koryta, narrated by Robert Petkoff, published by Hachette Audio

The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell, narrated by Joanne Froggatt, published by Simon & Schuster Audio

Razorblade Tears by S. A. Cosby, narrated by Adam Lazarre-White, published by Macmillan Audio

YOUNG ADULT

Be Dazzled

by Ryan La Sala

narrated by Pete Cross, published by Dreamscape Media

Raffy has a passion for bedazzling. Not just bedazzling, but sewing, stitching, draping, pattern making - for creation. He's always chosen his art over everything - and everyone - else and is determined to make his mark at this year's biggest cosplay competition. If he can wow there, it could lead to sponsorship, then art school, and finally earning real respect for his work. There's only one small problem...Raffy's ex-boyfriend, Luca, is his main competition. Raffy tried to make it work with Luca. They almost made the perfect team last year after serendipitously meeting in the rhinestone aisle at the local craft store - or at least Raffy thought they did. But Luca's insecurities and Raffy's insistence on crafting perfection caused their relationship to crash and burn. Now, Raffy is after the perfect comeback, one that Luca can't ruin.

Finalist Titles

Firekeeper's Daughter by Angeline Boulley, narrated by Isabella Star LaBlanc, published by Macmillan Audio

The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni, narrated by Jeanette Illidge, published by HMH Audio (HarperCollins)

The Project by Courtney Summers, narrated by Therese Plummer and Emily Shaffer Published by Macmillan Audio

A Sitting in St. James by Rita Williams-Garcia, narrated by Machelle Williams, published by HarperAudio

YOUNG LISTENERS

I and I Bob Marley

by Tony Medina

narrated by Jaime Lincoln Smith and Tony Medina, published by Live Oak Media

"Author Tony Medina pays tribute to legendary musician, poet, and activist Bob Marley in this outstanding production narrated by Jaime Lincoln Smith.... Smith's Jamaican accent and spot-on delivery animate the words, lifting them above evocative soundscapes enriched with selections from Marley's music. Enjoying the picture book's vibrant illustrations by Jesse Joshua Watson or reading along with the text can enhance the listening experience. Still, the audio performance stands remarkably well on its own."—AudioFile Magazine

Finalist Titles

Boogie Boogie, Y'all, written and narrated by C. G. Esperanza, published by HarperAudio

The Couch Potato by Jory John, narrated by Kirby Heyborne, published by HarperAudio

Jasmine Toguchi, Mochi Queen by Debbi Michiko Florence, narrated by Allison Hiroto, published by OrangeSky Audio

Remember to Dream, Ebere, written and narrated by Cynthia Erivo, published by Hachette Audio