This week, the Audio Publishers Association announced the finalists for the 2021 Audie Awards, with winners formally being announced during the virtual gala on March 22.
The Audie Awards are recognized as the most prestigious award in audiobook and spoken word entertainment. The rights holders and publishing industry enters titles of audiobooks in 25 competitive categories for recognition of achievement.
On March 22, one winner will be named for each category, which includes Audiobook of the Year, Best Female Narrator and Best Male Narrator. General categories include genres like Fiction, Mystery, Fantasy, Humor, Memoir and Original Work.
I’ve had the joy of being a judge for the Audie Awards for the past several years, and it never fails to astonish me the production value and talent that go into the creation of bringing the written word to life for audio listening.
For the first time in my years of judging, I’ll actually be able to attend the Awards Gala, due to it being streamed live on YouTube, making the live event available worldwide. The red carpet starts at 8:30 p.m., and awards begin at 9 p.m.
This year should be especially amazing, with actor and author John Leguizamo hosting, and a range of celebrity judges, including David Sedaris, Jennifer Egan, Tommy Orange, Melissa de la Cruz, Jerry Craft and V.E. Schwab. I hope you’ll take this opportunity with me to see all the stars of the literary and audiobook world come together virtually and celebrate the best audiobooks of the year.
Learn more about the awards and the Audio Publishers Association at www.audiopub.org/members/audies. The books below are the finalists in the Audiobook of the Year category. Find your copy on CD on the Delaware County District Library catalog, or download it for free with your library card on the Hoopla or Libby app.
“The Decision: Overcoming Today’s BS for Tomorrow’s Success” written and narrated by Kevin Hart. Superstar stand-up. Blockbuster actor. Celebrity-powerhouse. Kevin Hart is about to add one more significant title to his already impressive resume: Your life coach. Yes, you. Kevin goes all-in on getting you mentally fit by skillfully breaking down and sharing the same tools and rules he’s developed to elevate his own life, to inspire and help transform yours. Candid, raw, and authentic to the core.
“More Myself” written and narrated by Alicia Keys. The 15-time Grammy Award-winning music artist traces her journey from self-censorship to full expression, describing her complicated relationship with her father, the people-pleasing nature that characterized her early career and her struggles with gender expectations.
“The Mountains Sing” by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai, narrated by Quyen Ngo. Years after a family is forced by Vietnam’s Communist Land Reforms to abandon their farm, a granddaughter comes of age as her loved ones depart for the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
“Piranesi” by Susanna Clarke, narrated by Chiwetel Ejiofor. Living in a labyrinthine house of endless corridors, flooded staircases and thousands of statues, Piranesi assists the dreamlike dwelling’s only other resident throughout a mysterious research project before evidence emerges of an astonishing alternate world.
“We’re Better Than This” by Elijah Cummings with James Dale, narrated by Nancy Pelosi, Laurence Fishburne, and Maya Rockeymoore Cummings. A memoir by the late Congressman details how his experiences as a sharecroppers’ son in volatile South Baltimore shaped his life in activism, explaining how government oversight can become a positive part of a just American collective.