Saturday, September 19, 2015

2015 Audie Award Winners

Here are the best audio books of 2015 according to Audio Publishers Associations Audies Awards. I am going to highlight a few of my favorite winners of this distinguished award.

Audio Book of the Year goes to Mandela: An Audio History it was written by Nelson Mandela and is narrated by Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tuto and Joe Richman. This truly amazing documentary tells the story of Apartheid in addition to Nelson Mandela's life story. You will hear Nelson answer tough questions and learn why he decided to stand against apartheid even though this meant he would be imprisoned for treason. It includes the radio broadcast of his 1964 trial which led to his conviction. This book is a well written and well-read documentary that will make you feel like you are a part of historic moments in South Africa's history.

One of my favorite authors, especially when I choose to listen to an audiobook is Neil Gaiman.  Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book has earned three Audie Awards. One award for The Best Children's Titles for Ages 8-12, the second award is for Distinguished Achievement in Production and the third is for Multi-Voiced Performance. This is the first book that Neil allowed others to narrate. I personally love listening to Neil Gaiman read his stories but it was fantastic to listen as a full cast of narrators brought this story to life.  If you have listened to The Graveyard Book before, you will not want to miss this new version.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr won the Audies Award for Fiction. The narrator, Zach Appelman, brings this wonderful story to life.  This novel goes beyond ordinary as it describes what it may have been like during Hitler's reign for those who chose to join Hitler's ranks. Ordinary children who were selected to be German soldiers life was fraught with fear. The German hierarchy led by being bullies and making regular citizens afraid to stand up for their friends and neighbors. Werner was an ordinary boy who had an extraordinary gift. Marie-Laurie was a child who at the age of 6 lost her vision.  As the stories of Werner and Marie-Laurie merge one hopes that everyone will have the courage these two showed.  This is a beautifully written, wonderfully narrated, heart wrenching story that will make you want to stay where ever you are until the story reaches its final conclusion.

Brandon Sanderson took the Fantasy Audies Award with his book, The Words of Radiance. This is the second book in the Storm Light Archive, which is a fantastic series.  If you have not read The Way of Kings carve out some time and read it before you begin this one. It is worth every minute. Narrators Michael Kramer and Kate Reading share the work in this character driven novel. Kramer's and Reading's portrayals help readers follow the intertwined plot lines of this epic fantasy novel. They transport readers into the world of Roshar bringing the world's past and present together. 

The Audie Award for Humor goes to Yes Please! by Amy Poehler. Poehler's memoir is full of charm and life lessons but what's really fun is how out of the box this audiobook production is. Listeners will enjoy Poehler's 'audio booth' at the base of Mt. Rushmore where many of her friends come to visit. Poehler is warm, funny and you'll hear her as she converses with her friends Seth Meyers, and Mike Schur. It's like overhearing their private conversation. Add in cameos from Carol Burnett, Kathleen Turner and Patrick Stewart and the cast of narrators make this comedic memoir an audiobook that should not be missed.



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