Audiobook of the Year & Distinguished Achievement in Production finalists announced

AudiesCompetition

The Audio Publishers Association has announced the finalists for recognition as the top audiobooks of the year, to be announced at the 2014 Audies Award Gala, the “Oscars of Audiobooks.” Check out this Audiobooker post for the nominees in all 29 award categories. Here are highlight’s of today’s press release about the premier Audies awards:

Titles competing for Audiobook of the Year are distinguished by excellence in production as well as their ability to create new interest in the audiobook format through exceptionally creative and innovative marketing. The three titles competing for Audiobook of the Year, along with comments from the judges, are:

· Still Foolin’ ’Em; written and narrated by Billy Crystal; Macmillan Audio. “A seamless blend of single voice narration and live performances does for the audiobook medium what Billy Crystal’s opening acts have done for the Oscars, which is to bring in a larger audience. In a word: ‘Mahvelous.’”

· The Testament of Mary; by Colm Tóibin; narrated by Meryl Streep; Simon & Schuster Audio. “Sometimes a great narrator can enrich and elevate even a critically acclaimed title. Meryl Streep does that here, transforming Colm Tóibin’s imaginative, provocative, and poignant novella into a masterpiece.

· The Things They Carried; by Tim O’Brien; narrated by Bryan Cranston; Audible, Inc. “Brought to life by Emmy winner Bryan Cranston, Tim O’Brien’s modern classic The Things They Carried immediately transports the listener to the steamy jungles of Vietnam and the chilly waters of Lake Superior.”

The Distinguished Achievement in Production award recognizes a production that represents the best the format has to offer in listening excellence. This year’s judges identified three finalists:

· Ender’s Game Alive; by Orson Scott Card; narrated by a full cast; Audible, Inc. “A full cast lead by luminaries such as Scott Brick, Kirby Heyborne, and Janis Ian create an electric presentation of Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game. Featuring a script written specifically by Card for this production, Ender’s Game Alive is sure to create more fans for this science fiction classic through its intriguing plot, spot-on music and sound effects, and charismatic performances.”

· Matilda; by Roald Dahl; narrated by Kate Winslet; Penguin Audio. “Celebrate the 25th anniversary of Roald Dahl’s classic novel, Matilda, with Kate Winslet’s pitch-perfect narration of the audiobook. From the clever and precocious Matilda and her schoolmates to the awful overbearing Miss Trunchbull and the sweet Miss Honey, Winslet delivers a performance that captures the characters and the spirit of the book.”

· Pete Seeger: The Storm King; by Pete Seeger, edited by Jeff Haynes; read by Pete Seeger; Hachette Audio. “A sterling mixture of stories, narratives, poems, and music, this outstanding audio features intimate, seemingly unscripted commentary from Seeger in which he regales listeners with stories about his childhood, family life, career, and much more.”

Young adult author Libba Bray will host this year’s Audie Awards Gala. The New York Times bestselling author  is also the recipient of a 2012 Audie Award for Best Narration by the Author for her novel Beauty Queens.

This year the APA will present a Special Achievement Award to George Guidall, an audiobook narrator of exceptional stature and accomplishment.

I’ll be in NYC on May 29th for the ceremony, and will update you with the winners as soon as they are announced!

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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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