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2021 AudioFile Earphone Awards

AudioFile Magazine gives Earphones Awards to the best new audiobooks: listens that combine blow-you-away narrations with standout writing. AudioFile is the best independent source of audiobook reviews and recommendations—with clear focus on the performance and audio experience.

Playlist Tags: awards: audiofile earphones awards

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The Nine

The True Story of a Band of Women Who Survived the Worst of Nazi Germany

By Gwen Strauss
Narrated by: Juliet Stevenson
Length: 13 hours 33 minutes

The Nine follows the true story of the author’s great aunt Hélène Podliasky, who led a band of nine female resistance fighters as they escaped a German forced labor camp and made a ten-day journey across the front lines of World War II from Germany back to Paris.

This program includes a bonus conversation with the author, as well as an archival...

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The Chosen and the Beautiful

By Nghi Vo
Narrated by: Natalie Naudus
Length: 8 hours 52 minutes

The Chosen and the Beautiful

“What would you give up to have it all? Magical and queer as hell, Jordan Baker takes readers through Jazz Age New York as her snark, rage, and feelings for Daisy keep us turning pages until early morning. Like one of Gatsby’s cursed parties, this book was one I wanted to never end.”

The Briar Patch image Abby Rice, The Briar Patch
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The Paper Palace

A Novel

By Miranda Cowley Heller
Narrated by: Nan McNamara
Length: 12 hours 37 minutes

The Paper Palace

“Elle and her family gather each summer at the ‘Paper Palace’ family cabins; but this one day will be anything but a relaxing vacation retreat. This will be the buzz of book clubs and a perfect traveling companion for summers by the seaside.”

Valley Bookseller image Pamela Klinger-Horn, Valley Bookseller
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Six Crimson Cranes

Six Crimson Cranes: Book #1

By Elizabeth Lim
Narrated by: Emily Woo Zeller
Length: 12 hours 53 minutes

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A princess in exile, a shapeshifting dragon, six enchanted cranes, and an unspeakable curse... Drawing from fairy tales and East Asian folklore, this original fantasy from the author of Spin the Dawn is perfect for fans of Shadow and Bone.

"A dazzling fairytale full of breathtaking storytelling." --Stephanie Garber,... Read more »

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Hell of a Book

A Novel

By Jason Mott
Narrated by: JD Jackson & Ronald Peet
Length: 9 hours 39 minutes

2021 National Book Award Longlist


One of Entertainment Weekly's 15 Books you Need to Read This June | On Entertainment Weekly's "Must List" | One of The NY Post's Best Summer Reading books | One of GMA's 27 Books for June | One of USA Today's 5 Books Not to Miss | One of Fortune's 21 Most Anticipated... Read more »

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No Hiding in Boise

By Kim Hooper
Narrated by: Devon Sorvari, Stephanie Willing & Hillary Huber/Stephanie Einstein/Madeleine Maby/Nick Mondelli/Michael Brusasco/Patrick Lawlor/Adam Barr/Pete Cross/Neil Hellegers
Length: 9 hours 37 minutes

No Hiding in Boise

“Following three women and their connection to a shooting, No Hiding in Boise is an excellent novel for recognizing growth in difficult circumstances and the human connection that lies beyond tragedy. All the feels.”

Wild Geese Bookshop image Addy Bowman, Wild Geese Bookshop
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A Weekend with Pablo Picasso

By Herbert Sigüenza
Narrated by: Herbert Sigüenza & Matthew Wolf
Length: 1 hours 22 minutes

In this one-man tour-de-force based on Picasso's writings, writer/performer Herbert Sigüenza (Culture Clash) takes on the role of the legendary artist, inviting the listener into Picasso's private studio for an intimate and revealing weekend as he prepares to deliver six new works to a buyer on Monday morning.

Includes a conversation with Herbert...

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Tower of Babel

By Michael Sears
Narrated by: Richard Poe
Length: 12 hours 18 minutes

Shamus Award–winning author Michael Sears brings Queens, New York, to literary life. Queens, New York—the most diverse place on earth. Native son Ted Malloy knows these streets like the back of his hand. Ted was once a high-powered Manhattan lawyer, but after a spectacular fall from grace, he has found himself back on his home turf, scraping by... Read more »

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Billy Summers

By Stephen King
Narrated by: Paul Sparks
Length: 16 hours 55 minutes

#1 New York Times Bestseller

From legendary storyteller Stephen King, whose “restless imagination is a power that cannot be contained” (The New York Times Book Review), comes a thrilling new novel about a good guy in a bad job.

Billy Summers is a man in a room with a gun. He’s a killer for hire and the best in the business. But he’ll do the job... Read more »

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The Forest of Vanishing Stars

A Novel

By Kristin Harmel
Narrated by: Madeleine Maby & Kristin Harmel
Length: 11 hours 21 minutes

The Forest of Vanishing Stars

“A little girl is kidnapped from her parents and raised in the wilderness. As a young woman, she uses her skills to help Jewish refugees survive in the forests of Poland. From the first page, I didn't want to put the book down.”

A Likely Story image Jill Gregory, A Likely Story
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The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois

An Oprah’s Book Club Novel

By Honoree Fanonne Jeffers
Narrated by: Adenrele Ojo, Karen Chilton & Prentice Onayemi
Length: 29 hours 48 minutes

If you enjoyed Pachinko (National Book Award Finalist), then you’ll love The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois.

“This book really won me over with its brilliant writing and entrancing story. Honestly, I was intimidated by the length and title (especially as someone who doesn't love poetry) but the blurb was so good and it sounded right up my alley. The narrators, Adenrele Ojo, Karen Chilton & Prentice Onayemi, all have gorgeous voices and immediately draw you in. It took a bit for me to get fully invested in the story but holy cow, Jeffers weaves an IMPRESSIVE tale. It was both too long and too short; I savored every word and was sad it when it was over. There is true talent in being able to hold your attention for 816 pages, especially for a slow burn of a literary novel and this one is well worth it in the end. With rich language, multi-generational family history, borderline poetic (and yet not intimidating poetic), this book is for fans of Pachinko, Homegoing, Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, or any work of Jesmyn Ward's.”

Buttonwood Books and Toys image Kimi, Buttonwood Books and Toys
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Island Queen

A Novel

By Vanessa Riley
Narrated by: Adjoa Andoh
Length: 20 hours 49 minutes

Island Queen

“Both sweeping and intimate, beautiful and painful, this novel based on the life of Dorothy Kirwan Thomas is exquisite. Riley’s research is palpable in the detail of each chapter, and readers will find themselves compulsively turning the pages until the end.”

East City Bookshop image Destinee Hodge, East City Bookshop
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Painting the Light

A Novel

By Sally Cabot Gunning
Narrated by: Eva Kaminsky
Length: 10 hours 24 minutes

From the critically acclaimed author of Monticello and The Widow’s War comes a vividly rendered historical novel of love, loss, and reinvention, set on Martha’s Vineyard at the turn of the nineteenth century.

Martha’s Vineyard, 1898. In her first life, Ida Russell had been a painter. Five years ago, she had confidently walked the halls of...

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Great Circle

A novel

By Maggie Shipstead
Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell & Alex McKenna
Length: 25 hours 16 minutes

Great Circle

Great Circle is about two women 100 years apart: pilot Marian Graves and Hadley Baxter, the actress cast to play the famous pilot. This epic novel is fascinating, adventurous, and well-written, with great characters, historical details, and fantastic settings. Don’t miss this journey!”

Newtown Bookshop image Kathy Morrison, Newtown Bookshop
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The Anthropocene Reviewed

Essays on a Human-Centered Planet

By John Green
Narrated by: John Green
Length: 10 hours 3 minutes

If you enjoyed Why Fish Don't Exist, then you’ll love The Anthropocene Reviewed.

“A lovely lovely listen read by the author. This is the perfect book to take on a long walk or drive that will make you look at the world in a fresh way. Drawing on personal anecdotes, history, literature and science, Green embraces both small and big ideas and makes you grateful for things you might have once overlooked. 5/5 stars for this audiobook!”

Bank Square Books image Katie, Bank Square Books
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Finding the Mother Tree

Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest

By Suzanne Simard
Narrated by: Suzanne Simard
Length: 12 hours 13 minutes

NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • From the world's leading forest ecologist who forever changed how people view trees and their connections to one another and to other living things in the forest—a moving, deeply personal journey of discovery

Suzanne Simard is a pioneer on the frontier of plant communication and intelligence; she's been compared to... Read more »

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Seven Days in June

By Tia Williams
Narrated by: Mela Lee
Length: 10 hours 32 minutes


“Tia Williams’ book is a smart, sexy testament to Black joy, to the well of strength from which women draw, and to tragic romances that mature into second chances. I absolutely loved it.”— Jodi Picoult, #1 NYT bestselling author of The Book of Two Ways and Small Great Things

Seven days to fall in love, fifteen...

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The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu

By Tom Lin
Narrated by: Feodor Chin
Length: 9 hours 37 minutes

The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu

“A raucous romp through a nearly lawless post-Civil War American West. Ming Tsu’s story is captivating and impossible to put down; the cast of characters is just too unique to forget or dismiss. A blood-crusted gem of a tale.”

Flyleaf Books image Jamie Fiocco, Flyleaf Books
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Napoleon's Theft of Veronese's Feast

By Cynthia Saltzman
Narrated by: Suzanne Toren
Length: 9 hours 54 minutes

Cynthia Saltzman's Plunder recounts the fate of Paolo Veronese's Wedding Feast at Cana, a vast, sublime canvas that the French, under the command of the young Napoleon Bonaparte, tore from a wall of the monastery of San Giorgio Maggiore, on an island in Venice, in 1797. Painted in 1563 during the Renaissance, the picture was immediately hailed... Read more »

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The Woman They Could Not Silence

One Woman, Her Incredible Fight for Freedom, and the Men Who Tried to Make Her Disappear

By Kate Moore
Narrated by: Kate Moore
Length: 14 hours 36 minutes

The Woman They Could Not Silence

“As this country waged war against slavery, a quiet heroine fought for the rights of women. A must read for all!”

Titcomb's Bookshop image Fran Ziegler, Titcomb's Bookshop
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