The Year’s Best Audiobooks: 2016 Audie Award Finalists

AudiobookerA total of 135 audiobooks in 25 categories, from classics to erotica, business to paranormal, and every genre for every age. The Audio Publishers Association honors distinction in audiobook and spoken-word entertainment with the Audies, the only awards program in the United States devoted solely to the audio format. The audiobook field is the fastest-growing segment in publishing, and as a judge in this year’s deliberations, I was overwhelmed by the quantity and quality of my judging category in the tsunami of Audies submissions. If you’re curious about exactly how the system works, check out the APA Audies Judging Process & Criteria. The winners will be announced at the annual Audies Gala, the Oscars of the audiobook world. I’ll be at the fabulous formal event hosted by Paula Poundstone on May 11, at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, where you can join in by watching the live stream. If you are interested in all things Audies, you can watch a recording of the 2015 Audies gala and see past winners here.

AudiesBelow you’ll see the complete list of this year’s finalists, which does not reveal the titles under consideration for the
premier level of recognition: Audiobook of the Year, which is awarded based upon a balance of three factors, marketing (40%), sales (35%), and quality (25%). The finalists for this award will be announced in March, along with those for three newly added Industry Awards for Excellence: one each for design, marketing, and production. These awards will be given at the annual Audio Publishers Association Conference on May 10 in Chicago, and recognized during the Audies Gala. Congratulations to all of the producers and narrators who have created the very best in literary listening! 

UPDATE: Here’s the full list of winners 

The Year’s Best Audiobooks: 2016 Audie Award Winners

 Audies FinalistsTitleAuthorNarratorPublisher
Audio DramaAmokSebastian FitzekFull CastAudible Studios
 Christmas Eve, 1914Charles OlivierFull CastAudible Studios
 Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book: The Mowgli StoriesRudyard KiplingFull CastAudible Studios
 The Sleeper and the SpindleNeil GaimanJulian Rhind-Tutt, Lara Pulver, Niamh Walsh, Adjoa Andoh, Peter Forbes, John Sessions, and Michael MaloneyHarperAudio
 The Starling ProjectJeffery DeaverAlfred Molina and a full castAudible Studios
Autobiography / MemoirBorn with TeethKate MulgrewKate MulgrewHachette Audio
 The Courage to Act: A Memoir of a Crisis and Its AftermathBen S. BernankeGrover GardnerBrilliance Publishing
 Ghost BoyMartin PistoriusSimon BubbThomas Nelson/ HarperAudio
 I Must SayMartin ShortMartin ShortHarperAudio
 Keep MovingDick Van DykeDick Van DykeBlackstone Audio
 TravelsMichael CrichtonChristopher LaneBrilliance Audio
Best Female NarratorAll the Stars in the HeavensAdriana TrigianiBlair BrownHarperAudio
 The Boston GirlAnita DiamantLinda LavinSimon & Schuster Audio
 Lair of DreamsLibba BrayJanuary LaVoyListening Library/ Penguin Random House Audio
 The Lost LandscapeJoyce Carol OatesCassandra CampbellHarperAudio
 The NightingaleKristin HannahPolly StoneMacmillan Audio
 Wild Rover No MoreL.A. MeyerKatherine KellgrenListen & Live Audio
Best Male NarratorBreakfast of ChampionsKurt VonnegutJohn MalkovichAudible Studios
 Classic Love PoemsVariousRichard ArmitageAudible Studios
 Dead WakeErik LarsonScott BrickBooks on Tape/ Penguin Random House Audio
 The English SpyDaniel SilvaGeorge GuidallHarperAudio
 Finders KeepersStephen KingWill PattonSimon & Schuster Audio
 Jurassic ParkMichael CrichtonScott BrickBrilliance Audio


Act Like a Lady, Think Like a ManSteve HarveyMike HodgeHarperAudio
 A Curious MindBrian Grazer with Charles FishmanNorbert Leo ButzSimon & Schuster Audio
 Get Big Things Done, The Power of Connectional IntelligenceErica Dhawan and Saj-nicole JoniChristina MooreRecorded Books
 Talking to CrazyMark GoulstonL.J. GanserAudible Studios
 Wake up Happy: The Dream Big, Win Big Guide to Transforming Your LifeMichael Strahan and Veronica ChambersMichael StrahanSimon & Schuster Audio
EroticaBeg Tease SubmitCD ReissJo RaylanFlip City Media
 BetaJasinda WilderSummer Roberts and Tyler DonneACX/Seth Clarke
 Control Burn ResistCD ReissJo Raylan and Christian FoxFlip City Media
 Curing Doctor VincentRenea MasonNoah Michael Levine and Erin deWardRenea Mason
 TrustElla FrankShannon GunnAudible Studios
FantasyAscension: The Trysmoon Saga, Book 1Brian K. FullerSimon VancePodium Publishing
 The Cycle of ArawnEdward W. RobertsonTim Gerard ReynoldsPodium Publishing
 The Fifth SeasonN.K. JemisinRobin MilesHachette Audio
 Nice Dragons Finish LastRachel AaronVikas AdamAudible Studios
 Son of the Black SwordLarry CorreiaTim Gerard ReynoldsAudible Studios
FictionCitizens CreekLalita TademyBahni Turpin and J. D. JacksonBrilliance Audio
 A God in RuinsKate AtkinsonAlex JenningsHachette Audio
 Kitchens of the Great MidwestJ. Ryan StradalAmy Ryan and Michael StuhlbargPenguin Audio / Books on Tape
 The Last Bus to WisdomIvan DoigDavid Aaron BakerRecorded Books
 The NightingaleKristin HannahPolly StoneMacmillan Audio
 The SelloutPaul BeattyPrentice OnayemiAudible Studios


In Search of Sir Thomas BrowneHugh Aldersey-WilliamsSimon VanceHighBridge Audio / Recorded Books
 A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo AstronautsAndrew Chaikin and Tom HanksBronson Publishing
 Operation NemesisEric BogosianEric BogosianHachette Audio
 PacificSimon WinchesterSimon WinchesterHarperAudio
 Texas RisingStephen L. MooreP.J. OchlanHarperAudio
HumorAlmost InterestingDavid SpadeDavid SpadeHarperAudio
 Car Talk Classics: No Factory Recalls, So FarTom and Ray MagliozziTom and Ray MagliozziHighBridge Audio

/Recorded Books

 Furiously HappyJenny LawsonJenny LawsonMacmillan Audio
 Modern RomanceAziz Ansari with Eric KlinenbergAziz AnsariBooks on Tape/ Penguin Random House Audio
 Texts from Jane EyreMallory OrtbergAmy Landon and Zach VillaTantor Media
 Why Not Me?Mindy KalingMindy KalingBooks on Tape/ Penguin Random House Audio
Inspirational / Faith-Based FictionCome to Me AliveLeah AtwoodPamela AlmandACX
 Her Brother’s KeeperBeth WisemanClifton HarrisThomas Nelson/ HarperAudio
 The Pursuit of Tamsen LittlejohnLori BentonKate ForbesRecorded Books
 Secrets She KeptCathy GohlkeMorgan Hallett and Suzy JacksonRecorded Books
 To Win Her FavorTamera AlexanderMelba SibrelZondervan/ HarperAudio
Inspirational / Faith-Based Non-FictionAnd Then There Were NunsJane ChristmasElizabeth WileyPost Hypnotic Press
 Boy Born DeadDavid RingPaul Michaelchristianaudio
 Glory DaysMax LucadoBen HollandThomas Nelson/ HarperAudio
 The Pastor’s WifeSabina WurmbrandSadie Alexandruchristianaudio
 Through the Eyes of a LionLevi LuskoLevi LuskoThomas Nelson/ HarperAudio
Literary Fiction & ClassicsThe FishermenChigozie ObiomaChukwudi IwujiHachette Audio
 KidnappedRobert Louis StevensonKieron ElliottRecorded Books
 Little Big ManThomas BergerScott Sowers, cameo by David Aaron BakerRecorded Books
 SweetlandMichael CrummeyJohn LeeHighBridge Audio/Recorded Books
 Til the Well Runs DryLauren Francis-SharmaRon Butler and Bahni TurpinTantor Media
Middle GradeEchoPam Munoz RyanMark Bramhall, David deVries, MacLeod Andrews, and Rebecca SolerScholastic Audio
 The Enchanted Files: Diary of a Mad BrownieBruce CovilleFull CastListening Library/ Penguin Random House Audio
 The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: Book VMaryrose WoodKatherine KellgrenHarperAudio
 Jump Back, Paul: The Life and Poems of Paul Laurence DunbarSally DerbyDion Graham, Bahni TurpinBrilliance Publishing
 Stella by StarlightSharon M. DraperHeather Alicia SimmsSimon & Schuster Audio
Multi-Voiced PerformanceClockwork LivesKevin J. Anderson and Neil PeartMorgan Hallet, George Guidall, Richard Poe, Jim Jenner, Tandy Cronyn, Pete Bradbury, Barbara Rosenblat, and Brian HutchisonRecorded Books
 EchoPam Munoz RyanMark Bramhall, David deVries, MacLeod Andrews, and Rebecca SolerScholastic Audio
 How It Went DownKekla MagoonCherise Boothe, Shari Peele, Kevin R. Free, Avery Glymph, Patricia R. Floyd, and Brian HutchisonRecorded Books
 IlluminaeAmie Kaufman and Jay KristoffOlivia Taylor Dudley, Lincoln Hoppe, and Jonathan McClainListening Library / Penguin House  Audio
 Just Kids from the BronxArlene AldaAlan Alda, Arlene Alda, Christina Delaine with Milton Glaser, Regis Philbin, Robert Klein, Gabrielle Salvatto and Carlos SerranoMacmillan Audio
 With Lee in VirginiaG.A. HentyBrian Blessed, Sean Astin, Kirk Cameron, and a full castHeirloom Audio Productions
MysteryAll the Old KnivesOlen SteinhauerAri Fliakos and Juliana Francis KellyMacmillan Audio
 Career of EvilRobert GalbraithRobert GlenisterHachette Audio
 CorruptedLisa ScottolineKate BurtonMacmillan Audio
 Gun Street GirlAdrian McKIntyGerard DoyleBlackstone Audio, Inc.
 Malice at the PalaceRhys BowenKatherine KellgrenAudible Studios
 The Nature of the BeastLouise PennyRobert BathurstMacmillan Audio
Narration by AuthorThe Art of AskingAmanda PalmerAmanda PalmerHachette Audio
 Born with TeethKate MulgrewKate MulgrewHachette Audio
 Furiously HappyJenny LawsonJenny LawsonMacmillan Audio
 I Must SayMartin ShortMartin ShortHarperAudio
 Thirteen Ways of LookingColum McCannColum McCannBooks on Tape/ Penguin Random House Audio
Non-FictionThe Dorito EffectMark SchatzkerChris PattonDreamscape
 GhettosideJill LeovyRebecca LowmanBooks on Tape/ Penguin Random House Audio
 I Wasn’t Strong Like This When I Started OutLee GutkindTavia GilbertTantor Media
 MissoulaJon KrakauerMozhan MarnoBooks on Tape/ Penguin Random House Audio
 Song MachineJohn SeabrookDion GrahamHighbridge Audio / Recorded Books
Original WorkCarmillaJ. Sheridan Le FanuRose Leslie and David TennantAudible Studios
 Drunken FireworksStephen KingTim SampleSimon & Schuster Audio
 Locke & KeyJoe HillHaley Joel Osment, Tatiana Maslany, and a full castAudible Studios
 NPR American Chronicles: First Ladies


National Public RadioCokie RobertsHighBridge Audio / Recorded Books
 The Starling ProjectJeffery DeaverAlfred Molina and a full castAudible Studios
 StoryCorps: Outloud: Voices of the LGBTQ Community from Across AmericaDavid IsayAri Shapiro and a full castHighBridge Audio / Recorded Books
ParanormalThe Dead HouseDawn KurtagichCharlotte Parry and Christian CoulsonHachette Audio
 HounacierSeth SkorkowskyR.C. BrayAudible Studios
 Lycan Fallout 2: Fall of ManMark TufoSean RunnettePodium Publishing
 Seven YearsDannika DarkNicole PooleTantor Media
 White Trash Zombie Gone WildDiana RowlandAllison McLemoreAudible Studios
RomanceThe Duke’s HolidayMaggie FentonSue PitkinBrilliance Audio
 The HighwaymanKerrigan ByrneDerek PerkinsTantor Media
 Never Judge a Lady by Her CoverSarah MacLeanJustine EyreHarperAudio
 The Secrets of Sir Richard KenworthyJulia QuinnRosalyn LandorHarperAudio
 A Sorceress of His OwnDianne DuvallKirsten PotterTantor Media
Science FictionAncillary MercyAnn LeckieAdjoa AndohHachette Audio
 AuroraKim Stanley RobinsonAli AhnHachette Audio
 Golden Son: Book II of the Red Rising TrilogyPierce BrownTim Gerard ReynoldsRecorded Books
 Jurassic ParkMichael CrichtonScott BrickBrilliance Audio
 Star Wars: Return of the Jedi: Beware the Power of the Dark Side!Tom AnglebergerMarc ThompsonListening Library / Penguin Random House Audio


Blue LabyrinthDouglas Preston and Lincoln ChildRene AuberjonoisHachette Audio
 The Patriot ThreatSteve BerryScott BrickMacmillan Audio
 The President’s ShadowBrad MeltzerScott BrickHachette Audio
 Season of FearBrian FreemanJoe BarrettBlackstone Audio, Inc.
 SignalPatrick LeeAri FliakosMacmillan Audio
Young AdultAll the Bright PlacesJennifer NivenKirby Heyborne, Ariadne Meyers, and Jennifer NivenListening Library / Penguin Random House Audio
 Lair of DreamsLibba BrayJanuary LaVoyListening Library / Penguin House Audio
 The Sleeper and the SpindleNeil GaimanJulian Rhind-Tutt, Lara Pulver, Niamh Walsh, Adjoa Andoh, Peter Forbes, John Sessions, and Michael MaloneyHarperAudio
 Unbroken (The Young Adult Adaptation)Laura HillenbrandEdward HerrmannListening Library / Penguin Random House
 The Winter HorsesPhilip KerrJames LangtonTantor Media
X: A NovelIlyasah Shabazz and Kekla MagoonDion Graham and Ilyasah ShabazzBrilliance Audio
Young Listeners

(up to age 8)

Appleblossom the PossumHolly Goldberg SloanDustin HoffmanListening Library / Penguin Random House Audio
 Brother Hugo and the BearKaty Beebe and S.D. SchindlerGildart JacksonDreamscape
 Dory FantasmagoryAbby HanlonSuzy JacksonRecorded Books
 The Eloise CollectionKay ThompsonBernadette Peters, with music by Anthony de MareSimon & Schuster Audio
 Little Shop of MonstersR.L. Stine and Marc BrownJack BlackHachette Audio
 Nino Wrestles the WorldYuyi MoralesAdriana SananesDreamscape




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.

4 Comments on "The Year’s Best Audiobooks: 2016 Audie Award Finalists"

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  1.' Alcides says:

    Wow, great audio collection indeed! Will you release a post with each category winner once the results are announced?

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