On March 4, the winners were announced for the 27th annual Audie Awards. Winners are announced in 25 categories, including best female narrator, best audiobook in Spanish, and best multi-voiced performance. As a judge for an earlier round of the awards, I’ve loved seeing what audiobooks made it to the last round and am delighted to see all of the different winners. To get you started on your listening extravaganza as you make your way through these incredible audiobooks, here are some highlights from this year’s Audie Awards!
Audiobook of the Year & Science Fiction: Hail Mary by Andy Weir
Narrated by Ray Porter
When Ryland Grace, the last survivor of a mission to save Earth, realizes that he is the only astronaut left on his crew, he desperately begins running the numbers to try to find a way to complete his mission. Narrator Ray Porter perfectly narrated Grace’s point of view, making this a delightful listening experience from start to finish.
Autobiography/Memoir: Somebody’s Daughter by Ashley C. Ford
Narrated the Author
In one of the most incredible memoirs of 2021, Ashley C. Ford shares the story of her girlhood, examining her life from several different angles. As the daughter of a single mom and an incarcerated father, Ford tries to understand how the woman she is today came from the girl she used to be. Plus, her performance reading the audiobook edition is phenomenal.
Best Female Narrator: The Parted Earth by Anjali Enjeti
Narrated by Deepti Gupta
In present day Atlanta, Shan begins searching for more information about her ancestors who lived through the partition of India and Pakistan in the late 1940s. Jumping back and forth between these two timelines, Anjali Enjeti weaves together an incredible story of the ties that bind a family across the decades. Deepti Gupta performs this incredible story, creating such an emotional journey for listeners.
Best Male Narrator: Aristotle and Dante Dive Into the Waters of the World by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Narrated by Lin-Manuel Miranda
I adored Lin-Manuel Miranda’s performance reading Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, so I was thrilled that Miranda was back to narrate Benjamin Alire Sáenz’s sequel. In Aristotle and Dante Dive Into the Waters of the World, our protagonists again face the world, this time together, and their love will be tested as they head into adulthood.
Narration by the Author(s): A Promised Land by Barack Obama
Narrated by the Author
In the first volume of his autobiography, President Barack Obama tells the story of his career and first term as President of the United States. His performance adds so much depth to his memoir as listeners can hear the former President tell his story in his own words.
Original Work: Heroine by Mary Jane Wells
Narrated by Mary Jane Wells
Inspired by true events, Mary Jane Wells performs her play based on the life of a woman’s experience in the military before and after her sexual assault. The whole experience of Wells’s performance and the crafting of this narrative created a moving experience unlike anything I’ve listened to before. I was incredibly impressed by this audiobook — don’t let it pass you by!
Romance: Reel by Kennedy Ryan
Narrated by Eboni Flowers, Jakobi Diem, Nicole Small
Actress Neevah Saint has been waiting for her chance to shine in the spotlight. Canon Holt, a famous film director, finally casts Neevah in the role of a lifetime. Neevah resists her attraction at first, but when she wonders if what she’s feeling might be love, is she willing to risk it all? The narrators create a different feel for every point of view, giving listeners an incredible audiobook performance.
Short Stories/Collections: Blackout by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, Nicola Yoon
Narrated by Joniece Abbott-Pratt, Dion Graham, Imani Parks, Jordan Cobb, Shayna Small, A.J Beckles, Bahni Turpin
An all-star group of young adult writers joined forces to create this collection of intertwined short stories. A team of incredible audiobook narrators perform the anthology, giving each story a unique feel and helping listers move from one story to the next.
History/Biography: Clanlands: Whiskey, Warfare, and a Scottish Adventure Like No Other by Sam Heughan, Graham McTavish
Narrated by the Authors
Travel literature at its finest, Clanlands takes listeners on a journey through Scotland and celebrates Scottish culture. Outlander actors Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish are the perfect tour guides for this audio expedition into the highlands.
To see even more winners from this year’s Audie Awards, check out the list over on AudioFile Magazine’s website.