Award Winning Audio Books That Are Worth a Listen

October 10, 2012

Each year the Audio Publishers Association (APA) pays tribute to the spoken word by honoring those who have advanced the medium. The Audies are awards given to exceptional audiobooks released during the year that feature both engaging written content and superb readings by voice actors. And with several categories covered, every listener can find new audio books to check out in genres that they prefer. So here are just a few of the incredible selections that were recognized for their superior accomplishment in 2012.

  1. Bossypants by Tina Fey – Biography/Memoir and Audiobook of the Year. The SNL alum and current mind behind the hit show 30 Rock delves into her childhood for this retrospective on the years leading up to her success as a comedienne. And there’s a little something for everyone to laugh at here. Those who have followed her career will enjoy behind-the-scenes reveals; women will relate to her quips on love and the pursuit of feminine beauty, and moms will delight in her tales of wayward motherhood. It’s no surprise that this audio book won not only the Biography/Memoir category, but nabbed the award for Audiobook of the Year, as well.
  2. Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank – Fiction. This riveting book was originally written in 1959, and the Cold War overtones cannot be missed. But the narrative, which focuses on the world after a nuclear attack, could not be more topical in this day and age. Read by the engaging and quietly penetrating Will Patton, this oldie has been brought to life for a new generation of listeners.
  3. Shatner Rules: Your Guide to Understanding the Shatnerverse, and the World at Large by William Shatner – Humor. Written and read by the man who first sat in the captain’s chair of the USS Enterprise as James T. Kirk, this audio book is a humorous look back at a life and career that may not have turned out exactly as the actor expected. Luckily, he is able to poke fun at his own fall from grace, so to speak, while peppering the narrative with tidbits pertaining to his personal rules on life. Listeners will not only laugh out loud, but take inspiration from the “say yes” mentality that led him down some strange roads, but ultimately made him the success he remains to this day.
  4. I, Claudius by Robert Graves – Audio Drama. Many are already familiar with Graves’ masterpiece about the improbable rise to power of Claudius, who became the 4th emperor of Rome. But thanks to a full cast of voice actors brought together for this BBC Radio production, listeners can rediscover this classic of intrigue in the Roman Empire.
  5. Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans by Kadir Nelson – Children’s Titles Ages 8-12. The tween demographic has become an important one in the literary marketplace. And while many writers are targeting this group through fiction and fantasy, Nelson has taken an altogether different approach to engaging the developing minds of our youth. Although the tale, which spans American history from colonial times up through the Civil War, is narrated by a fictional “everywoman”, still the narrative covers the high points of the African American struggle for freedom, including both the injustice and the inspiration that paved their path to citizenship.┬áThis book has garnered both an Audie and the Jane Addams Honor Book Award, making any child that hears it the real winner.

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