By January 19, 2009 0 Comments Read More →

Barack Obama:The Audiobook Connection


Tomorrow will be a day of celebrating firsts, as Barack Obama is inaugurated as President of the United States. There’s another first to add to the list that you may not know about: Obama is the first standing president to have won TWO Grammy Awards for Best Spoken Word recording, the Grammy for best audiobook. In 2006, he won the Grammy for Dreams from My Father, an abridged recording of his memoir. In February 2008, Obama’s The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream topped two former presidents in the 2008 Grammy audiobook race: Bill Clinton for Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World, and Jimmy Carter for Sunday Morning in Plains: Bringing Peace to a Changing World.

However, Presidents Clinton & Carter have both won other Spoken Word Grammy Awards in their post-presidency years: Jimmy Carter for Our Endangered Values: America’s Moral Crisis and Bill Clinton for both My Life in 2004 and as one of the the readers on Prokofiev’s Peter And The Wolf in 2003. Obama’s Democratic rival, now Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton had won her Spoken Word Grammy for It Takes a Village in 1996.

So if you are creating a library display marking the Inauguration, be sure to include Obama’s audiobooks in the mix. And perhaps use this easy-to-read list of Spoken Word Grammy Awards for both adult & children’s titles to spark interest in the category in a Grammy Awards display prior to the February 8, 2009 award ceremony!

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About the Author:

Mary Burkey is an independent library consultant in Columbus (OH). An enthusiastic audiophile, she has served on all four of ALA's audiobook award committees as well as the Audies. In addition to writing the "Voices in My Head" column for Booklist, she is the author of Audiobooks for Youth: A Practical Guide to Sound Literature (ALA, 2013). Follow her on Twitter at @mburkey.

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