Audie Awards recognize best in audiobooks

Catherine Coles
Coles Notes

If you have ever considered giving audiobooks a try, but don’t know what to choose – I suggest starting with the best. Enter: the Audie Awards!

The Audie Awards, sponsored by the Audio Publishers Association (APA), recognizes distinction in audiobooks and spoken-word entertainment. There is no question that an audiobook narrator can make or break your experience with the book you are listening to — and it requires a lot of time (and talent!) to produce something that is quality — so it is great that this award exists to recognize excellence in audiobook production. It is a format that is getting more popular each year, so I see the Audie Awards growing in relevance alongside consumer trends.

The library has three audiobook options available:

– Talking Books/Books on CD – If you have a CD player or your car has a CD deck, this format will be an option for you. You’ll also be able to play talking books using your computer’s CD drive. They are physical items that can be borrowed directly from your local library branch.

– Overdrive audiobooks – Overdrive is one of our platforms for digital content like e-books and audiobooks. You can download an audiobook to your computer or, using your Overdrive or Libby app (both are free), you can download to your mobile device. You can listen from your device with or without headphones or you can use Bluetooth to listen to the book in your car.

– Hoopla audiobooks – Hoopla is another platform for digital content. You can stream Hoopla audiobooks or download them to your free Hoopla app. Like Overdrive/Libby, it will work with Bluetooth. Hoopla titles are available on demand and there are plenty to choose.

Now on to a small selection of the 2018 Audie Award winners…

In the male narrator category, the winner was Born a Crime. Trevor Noah’s hilarious and thoughtful memoir could not have possibly been narrated by anyone else! Noah takes listeners about growing up in South Africa as a biracial child during apartheid. We have this title available as a talking book (book on CD) as well as a downloadable Overdrive audiobook.

Best female narrator went to The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, which was narrated by Bahni Turpin. It beat out another heavy hitting audiobook: The Alice Network. The Hate U Give is an acclaimed young adult novel that is both character-driven and issue-driven. It follows sixteen year old Starr who, after witnessing her friend’s death at the hands of a police officer, has her life further complicated when she is intimidated by police and the local drug lord. We have the talking book and Overdrive audiobook available.

The winner in the Best Fiction category went to Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. It follows a lonely and socially inept 30 year old woman based in Glasgow. It’s witty and character-driven, but also a bit sad.

It is a great choice for readers who like quirky characters who go on emotional journeys (think The Storied Life of AJ Fikry or The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry). We have it in both Overdrive audiobook and talking book formats.

Finally, the “Best Picture” of the Audie Awards (aka Audiobook of the Year) went to George Saunders’ Lincoln in the Bardo.

The acclaimed short story writer’s first full-length novel boasts an amazing star-studded cast of 166 narrators! Nick Offerman, David Sedaris, Lena Dunham, Ben Stiller, Susan Sarandon, Megan Mullally, and Don Cheadle are among the celebrities who have all lent their voices to narrate this experimental story that follows Abraham Lincoln mourning his son Willie in a graveyard full of ghosts. Lincoln and the Bardo also won the Booker Prize so it is definitely among the most acclaimed books in recent years. It is available as a downloadable audiobook via Overdrive/Libby.

If you are still convinced that audiobooks are not you’re thing (fair enough!), please note that all of the titles above are also available to borrow from the library in print format. For more information on Overdrive or Hoopla, please visit our website at

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