Audiobooks, narrators lauded by group

The Audio Publishers Association reported double-digit sales increases again last year. Despite the influence of the pandemic on commuter listeners, sales increased by 12% for a total of $1.3 billion. The APA’s survey of consumers found that 67% of listeners said one of the reasons they use audiobooks is to reduce screen time. They reported that their children are listening to more audiobooks too; it jumped to 49% from 35% in the previous year. The majority of audiobook listeners are younger than 45. And publishers are making more too. They produced 71,000 titles last year which is 39% more than the previous year.

Huntington Memorial Library has thousands of books on CD to choose from across the Four County Library System, but we also have streaming services if you need a quick fix. With both Libby/Overdrive and Hoopla you can download an audiobook to your computer or device whenever it’s most convenient. If you don’t have a library card, you can get one on our website that gives you access to all of our electronic resources. If you find a narrator you love, simply search their name in Libby/Overdrive or Hoopla to find more books they’ve read.

The 2021 Audie Awards are posted at audiopub.org/winners/2021-audies. The Audiobook of the Year is “Piranesi” by Susanna Clarke. It is narrated by Chiwetel Ejiofor. The judges say that Ejiofor has the perfect tone of naiveté and wonder that best tells this story. The finalists in the category are “The Decision: Overcoming Today’s BS for Tomorrow’s Success,” written and narrated by Kevin Hart, “More Myself” written and narrated by Alicia Keyes, “The Mountains Sing” by Nguyen Phan Que Mai and narrated by Quyen Ngo, and “We’re Better Than This” by Elijah Cummings with James Dale and narrated by Nancy Pelosi.

For me, the narrator makes or breaks the book. The winner of the Best Female Narrator award went to “The City We Became” by N.K. Jemisin and narrated by Robin Miles. The finalists in this category are “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker and narrated by Samira Wiley, “The Lying Life of Adults” by Elena Ferrante and narrated by Marisa Tomei, “One by One” by Ruth Ware and narrated by Imogen Church, and “Such a Fun Age” by Kiley Reid and narrated by Nicole Lewis.

The winner of the Best Male Narrator went to “The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley” by Malcolm X and Alex Haley and narrated by Laurence Fishburne. Finalists are “All the Devils Are Here” by Louise Penny and narrated by Robert Bathurst, “The Glimme” by Emily Rodda and Marc McBride and narrated by Andrew Scott, “A Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman and narrated by J.K. Simmons, and “Squeeze Me” by Carl Hiaasen and narrated by Scott Brick.

The winner in the Thriller/Suspense category is “When No One is Watching” by Alyssa Cole and narrated by Susan Dalian. The winner in Science Fiction is “The Deep” by Rivers Solomon, Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, Jonathan Snipes and narrated by Daveed Diggs. The winner in the Mystery category is “Fair Warning” by Michael Connelly and narrated by Peter Giles. In the Humor category, “A Very Punchable Face” written and narrated Colin Jost won. Happy listening!

 Library Hours: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday.

Tina Winstead is director of Huntington Memorial Library in Oneonta. Her column appears in the community section of The Daily Star every Tuesday. Her columns are also at www.thedailystar.com/communwity/library_corner.

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