Awards & Recognition Celebrating four phenomenal titles named to the 2017 RUSA Listen List for Outstanding Audiobook Narration

This past weekend at the RUSA (Reference & User Services Association) Book and Media Awards at ALA Midwinter, we were thrilled to hear the reveal of the 2017 Listen List. This award highlights extraordinary narrators and listening experiences that merit special attention by a general adult audience and the librarians who advise them. Here are some fun facts shared on the RUSA Update blog: the 2017 committee listened to 1,919 hours of audiobooks; evaluated over 200 titles; debated 45 nominations; and ultimately narrowed it down to twelve winners.

Also look out for the listen-alike picks below which mirror the appeal, tone, or production style of the winners. The Listen List committee is looking for titles where the narration creates a new experience with an outstanding performance and offers listeners something they could not create by their own visual reading. According to their mission statement, this juried list is designed for both avid listeners and those new to the pleasures of stories read aloud, includes fiction and nonfiction, and features voices that enthrall, delight, and inspire.

We are excited to share our four BOT Listen List picks. See what the Listen List had to say about each production, and be sure to check your physical and digital audio shelves for these titles, plus the listen-alike selections listed below. Happy Listening!

EvictedEVICTED by Matthew Desmond
Read by Dion Graham

Also a 2017 Carnegie Medal Winner and Notable Book

The Listen List says: Listeners will experience a shift in their world view as this significant work of ethnography reveals the impact of eviction on poverty in America’s society and culture. Graham’s sobering, empathetic narrative captures the personalities of eight struggling families and two landlords while conveying author Desmond’s painstaking data collection and intimate

Available as an audio download only.
Also available in hardcover and ebook from Crown. Paperback coming February 2017.

Listen-Alike: The Divide by Matt Taibbi, read by Ray Porter

Razor Girl RAZOR GIRL by Carl Hiaasen
Read by John Rubinstein

The Listen List says: With endless energy, unfailingly deadpan delivery, and spot-on comedic timing, Rubinstein skillfully distinguishes a large cast of characters as they ricochet through interweaving story arcs. In this briskly paced work of beautiful absurdity, a series of offbeat hijinks connect impeccably voiced characters, including a Cajun country reality star, a mafia kingpin, Arabic immigrants, a sexy con woman, and the hero Yancy, a disgraced detective now on roach patrol.

Available in CD, audio download, and large print.
Also available in hardcover and ebook from Knopf. Paperback coming May 2017.

Listen-Alike: Insane City by Dave Barry, read by the Author

Sleeping GiantsSLEEPING GIANTS by Sylvain Neuvel
Read by a Full Cast

The Listen List says: The discovery of a giant metallic hand prompts a team of scientists, government agents, and researchers to scour the planet for clues. The vocally versatile ensemble constructs a beyond-the-book experience, nimbly interpreting Neuvel’s non-linear approach of using dialogue-driven exchanges through interviews, news stories, and journal entries.

The cast of narrators includes: Andy Secombe, Eric Meyers, Laurel Lefkow, Charlie Anson, Liza Ross, William Hope, Christoper Ragland, Katharine Mangold, and Adna Sablyich

Available as an audio download only.
Also available in hardcover, paperback, and ebook from Del Rey.

By Colson Whitehead
Read by Bahni Turpin

Also a 2017 Carnegie Medal Winner and Notable Book

The Listen List says: Whitehead’s haunting literary tale of Cora, escaping abuse and enslavement in antebellum South, is propelled by the magical realism of a subterranean railway in an alternate American history. Turpin’s faultless, fully-voiced narration embodies authentic dialects and accents; her sonorous, dramatic tone and commanding presence intensify the somber power of the author’s words.

Available in CD, audio download, and large print.
Also available in hardcover and ebook from Doubleday.

ListenListFullWinnersMore Listen-Alike picks on the list:

Listen-Alikes for Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson
Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue, read by Prentice Onayemi
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, read by the Author
Swing Time by Zadie Smith, read by Pippa Bennett-Warner

Listen-Alike for The Bazaar of Bad Dreams: Stories by Stephen King
Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood, read by the Author, Rob Delaney, Mark Bramhall, Lorna Raver, Arthur Morey, Emily Rankin, and Bernadette Dunne

Listen-Alike for Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld, read by Cassandra Campbell

Listen-Alike for Julian Fellowes’s Belgravia by Julian Fellowes
The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson, read by Fiona Hardingham

Click here to view our 2017 Listen List collection.
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