Audio Books Annual Awards

Audio books which excel are recognized by the Audio Publishers Association (APA) each year in a ceremony known as ‘The Audies’. The Audies is the audio books equivalent to The Oscars awards for films, and this year takes place in Los Angeles at the end of May.

The APA recognizes the best audio books from over 30 categories and in 2008 they have introduced an additional category, namely, The Achievement in Abridgment Award. There is also an Audiobook of the Year award.

The audio books which have been selected for nomination will be announced in early February 2008.

A selection of Audie award winners for last year 2007 is as follows:

Category: Mystery

For excellence in narration, direction, engineering, mix and abridgment when applicable of an unabridged or abridged mystery audiobook,usually featuring a protagonist trying to solve a crime, usually a murder committed early in the story.

The 2007 winner was Echo Park, Publisher: Hachette Audio, Author: Michael Connelly, and Narrator: Len Cariou.

Echo Park synopsis:

In 1993, Marie Gesto disappeared after walking out of a supermarket in Hollywood. LAPD detective Harry Bosch caught the case, but the young woman never turned up, dead or alive, and it was an investigation Bosch couldn’t close. Now Bosch works in the Open-Unsolved Unit, where he still keeps the Gesto file on his desk, when he gets a call from the DA. A man accused of two heinous killings is willing to come clean about several others in a deal to avoid the death penalty. One of these is the murder of Marie Gesto.

Bosch is now tasked with taking the alleged killer’s confession to make sure he is not scamming the authorities to avoid a date with death. In doing so, Bosch must get close to a man he has sought – and hated – for thirteen years. When Bosch learns that he and his partner missed a clue back in 1993 that could have led them to Gesto’s killer – and that would have prevented all the murders that followed – his whole being as a cop begins to crack.

Michael Connelly’s enthralling new novel in audio book format pits the detective. People magazine calls “one of the most complex crime fighters around” against the most brilliant and sadistic killer he has ever confronted. And it proves once again that “in suspense… Connelly has no superiors” (Washington Post).

Category: Solo Narration – Male

For excellence in the solo reading of an audiobook by a male, any category.

The 2007 winner was Peter and the Shadow Thieves, Publisher: Brilliance Audio, Authors: Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, and The Narrator was: Jim Dale.

Peter and the Shadow Thieves synopsis:

In this riveting and adventure-packed follow-up to the award-winning New York Times bestseller Peter and the Starcatchers, Peter leaves the relative safety of Mollusk Island – along with his trusted companion, Tinker Bell – for the cold,damp, dangerous streets of London.

On a difficult journey across the sea, he and Tink discover the dark and deadly slithering part-man/part-creature Lord Ombra, who is intent on recovering the missing starstuff – celestial dust that contains unimagined powers. In London, Peter attempts to track down the indomitable Molly,hoping that together they can combat Ombra’s determined forces. But London is not Mollusk Island; Peter is not the boy he used to be; and LordOmbra – the Shadow Master – is unlike anything Peter, or the world, has ever seen.

Category: Solo Narration – Female

For excellence in the solo reading of an audiobook by a female, any category.

The 2007 winner was Telegraph Days, Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio, Author: Larry McMurtry and the

Narrator: Annie Potts.

Telegraph Days Synopsis:

When Nellie Courtright and her brother Jackson are unexpectedly orphaned by their father’s suicide, they make their way to the nearby town of Rita Blanca. Once there, Jackson manages to secure a job as a sheriff’s deputy, while the ever resourceful Nellie becomes the town’s telegrapher.

Together, they inadvertently put Rita Blanca on the map when young Jackson succeeds in shooting down all six of the ferocious Yazee brothersin a gunfight that brings him lifelong fame but which lie can never repeat because his success came purely out of luck. Nellie almost conquers the heart of Buffalo Bill, the man she will love most in her long life, and goes to meet, and witness the exploits of Billy the Kid, the Earp brothers, and Doc Holliday.

A big, brilliant saga full of life, love, shootings, real Western heroes and villains, Telegraph Days is Larry McMurtry at his epic best.

Category: Narration by the Author or Authors

For excellence in the reading of an audiobook by the author or authors of that audiobook, any category.

The 2007 winner was The Tortilla Curtain, Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc., Author: T.C. Boyle and the

Narrator: T.C. Boyle.

The Tortilla Curtain Synopsis:

Topanga Canyon is home to two couples on a collision course. Los Angeles liberals Delaney and Kyra Mossbacker lead an ordered sushi-and-recycling existence in a newly gated hilltop community: he is a sensitive nature writer, she an obsessive realtor. Mexican illegals Candido and America Rincon desperately cling to their vision of the American Dream as they fight off starvation in a makeshift camp deep in the ravine.

From the moment a freak accident brings Candido and Delany into intimate contact, these four and their opposing worlds gradually intersect in what becomes a tragicomedy of error and misunderstanding.

Looking forward to the announcement of the audio books selected for the 2008 Audies awards nominations. These are due to be released February 4th 2008.