The Audies 2009

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The results of The Audies 2009, the award for audio books, were announced recently. I love listening to audio books, but until recently I have only been able to listen to them in the car. Then last week my lovely husband bought me an iPod for my birthday, so now I can listen to them while I do my housework.

It is quite hard to find good audio books, as it takes more than a great book to make an entertaining listening experience. For this reason I am going to concentrate my 2009 audio book listening on the Audie list.

I didn’t realise that the Audies gave out so many different awards, so I can’t name them all, but here are the ones which caught my attention.

Audio Book of the Year
The Graveyard Book – Neil Gaiman

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Thriller/Supense Winner
Child 44 – Tim Rob Smith

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Literary Fiction Winner
Elmer Gantry – Sinclair Lewis

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Multi-Voiced Performance Winner
Mudbound – Hilary Jordan

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Fiction – Winner
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows

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The only one of these I’ve actually listened to is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society  and I loved it! The fact the book is written entirely in letter form makes it perfect for listening to, and I think it makes character recognition a lot easier, especially in the early stages of the book.

I have read Mudbound, it was one of my favourite reads of 2008, so I won’t be listening to it, but if you haven’t read it yet, then why not seek out the audio book version?

I’ve tracked down a copy of Child 44 at a library not far from me, so I plan to listen to that soon, and then I’ll try to find The Graveyard Book somewhere. Hopefully you’ll see a lot more audio book reviews on this blog now. I’m looking forward to listening to some great books!

Have you listened to any of these books?

What is your favourite audio book?

 


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22 Comments

  1. Samantha says:

    I haven’t listened to many audio books but the ones I tend to seek out are the unabridged versions. Do the Audies accept both abridged or unabridged? I like the unabridged as I hate to think I’ve missed out on “something” that the book contained ;-) The one I liked most was a version of Middlemarch.

  2. Violet says:

    I read about Neil Gaiman’s book winning the award on his blog and he said this was one award he felt really good about :)

  3. Jackie says:

    Samantha – The Audies accept both abridged and unabridged versions, but I admit to only listening to unabridged ones too. I like to know everything as well!

  4. Jackie says:

    Violet – Neil Gaiman read his own book, which is one thing I love to see. I’m really looking forward to listening to it.

  5. Claire says:

    Jackie, I haven’t listened to many audio books but I am gradually giving them more of a chance. In actual fact I am listening to Stephen Fry read Harry Potter and the Half Blood as we speak!

    Neil Gaiman is an amazing reader and I have listened to sections of The Graveyard Book read in person (on Hallowe’en, no less) so I am sure you will enjoy that. I have listened to him reading Fragile Things and The Blueberry Girl and both were great.

  6. Simon S says:

    Jackie I have sadly stopped listening to audiobooks. I used to listen to them loads when I was younger and commuting now I just like to curl up with a good book, maybe not curl up on the tube but you kow what I mean. I do listen to The Archers on my iPod when am doing the weekly shop though so maybe i could fit a book in then instead?!?

  7. Beth F says:

    Neil Gaiman is one of the few authors who does an awesome job reading his own books. I haven’t yet read or listened to Graveyard Book, but it’s sure to be a winner.

    The audio of Guernsey was better than the print version, in my opinion.

    There is lots of fantastic audio out there. You’ll start to develop a taste for certain readers and may even find yourself picking a book because of the narrator.

  8. Rebecca Reid says:

    I really liked Simon Winchester’s narrations. I also enjoyed the narrator of Stiff. Both were nonfiction; I think I like nonfiction on audio most often. I just generally like audiobook narration in general! Usually pretty well done.

  9. Claire – I heard Neil Gaiman read a few extracts of Coraline on TV. He was amazing, so I’m really looking forward to listening to The Graveyard Book.

    Simon – In the last few days I have listened to audio books while cooking the dinner, hanging out the washing and cleaning the house. It is amazing how many extra books you can fit in by listening at times when you can’t hold a book. I’m a convert!

    Beth – I agree, although I haven’t read the book I think the audio version must be better. I don’t normally like books in letter form, but they came alive when read aloud. I look forward to the time when I’m as knowledgeable about audio books as you!

    Rebecca – I’ve never listened to a non-fiction book before. Perhaps I should give that a go too!

  10. Alyce says:

    I haven’t listened to any of these books, although I have read the Guernsey book and love it!

    My favorite audio book so far is Life of Pi by Yann Martel. I don’t know how far I would have made it through the book had I been reading it because the beginning is a little bit dry. But with the audio book I was a captive audience in my car, and it is actually one of my favorite books of the past few years. There was so much to think about. I also loved that the reader had a slight Indian accent, which made it feel more authentic.

  11. Louise says:

    I’ve never listened to any book, although I see them at the library all the time. I have thought about it for longer car- or bus rides, since it makes me very nauseous to read in a bus or a car. But never got around to do anything about it :)

  12. Care says:

    I haven’t listened to a book in over 10 years – don’t recall what book it was, either. I did attempt to check one out at the library a month or two ago but realized I no longer have a cassette player in my car and the book was only on tape. Most of the titles you list here on my tbr so maybe I should actually BUY one in audio.

  13. Petunia says:

    I haven’t listened to The Graveyard Book but I have listened to Coraline. I can tell you that if it is read by the author then it is sure to be a great listen. His reading sounds like the perfect father-reading-to-his-children voice, and he gets all the right inflections and voices. I would love to listen to The Graveyard Book, especially since it won this award. Thanks for sharing.

  14. jo says:

    I can’t listen to books. I’ve tried and I find myself drifting off and thinking about other things so I miss chunks of what’s going on! I think the Guernsey Literary and Potato peel Society would probably be really good on audio though.

  15. Jackie says:

    Alyce – I loved Life of Pi. I wouldn’t have thought it would make a good audio book, so it just shows that the narrator can make a massive difference. I haven’t really thought about the accent of the narrator before, but I can see why it would only add to the atmosphere of the book.

    Louise – You should give them a try. I can’t read when travelling either. I found them really good even for short trips and once you can listen to them in the house you’ll be addicted too!

    Care – Go for it! You can borrow them from the library too. I have discovered that they are quite expensive, so it is often worth me driving to libraries a bit further from home to get an audio book I want.

    Petunia – I’m going to have to go and get it this week – I am so excited about listening to it now!

    Jo – I sometimes find myself drifting off, but that is the sign of a bad audio book. You need to find an entertaining one, and give it a try. The good ones catch and hold your attention. I hope you find a good one, and become a convert too!

  16. Kathy says:

    I haven’t listened to any of these books. My favorite audio books have been Little Pink House by Jeff Benedict and Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy by Gary Schmidt.

  17. Shannon says:

    I’ve never heard of this award, but it sounds wonderful. The only audio books I’ve ever listened to were some of David Sedaris’s essays. I like when the author reads their own books, especially when they’re particularly good at it, like David Sedaris is.

  18. Jackie says:

    Kathy – I haven’t heard of those books – I’ll have to have a quick look for them now – thanks for the recommendation!

    Shannon – David Sedaris was short listed for the audies this year with ‘When You Are Engulfed in Flames’. I am really tempted to buy a copy, as I have never tried one of his books before.

  19. Lahni says:

    I’ve been listening to the Artemis Fowl books and they are fantastic.

  20. Jackie says:

    Lahni – Thank you for the recommendation – I can see why they’d be good on audio.

  21. Trish says:

    As you know from my post last Sunday, I’m new to audiobooks, so I’m so glad you posted about The Audies! I’ve been wanting to read Mudbound, so maybe I’ll just have to check out the audio. I’m listening to one now with multiple narrators and really like it, so hopefully that one will be great as well.

    Thanks for the suggestions!

  22. Guernsey was wonderful on audio! I also listened to Coraline by Neil Gaiman on audio and loved his narration. I would pick up another of his just to hear him read it.