Awards & Recognition RUSA’s 2014 Listen List

Audio experts and new listeners are sure to find an audiobook that will “enthrall, delight and inspire” them on this year’s Listen List, including four outstanding BOT titles.

In RUSA’s own words, “The Listen List highlights extraordinary narrators and audio experiences that merit special attention by general adult listeners and the librarians who work with them. Titles are selected because they are a pleasure to listen to and make one reluctant to stop listening… This juried list, designed for avid listeners and those new to the joys of being read a story, includes fiction and nonfiction and features voices that enthrall, delight and inspire.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Happy listening!

View the entire 2014 Listen List here. Learn more about the RUSA Listen List and view past winners here.

HEARTBURN by Nora Ephron
Read by Meryl Streep

RUSA says, “Streep narrates celebrity chef Rachel Samstat’s account of her husband’s betrayal with all the unflagging energy of a pregnant woman scorned, aggrieved, and bereft. Her superb performance, flavored by her wryly snarky and campy yet intimate narration, gives voice to Ephron’s unique brand of smart humor and social commentary.”

Listen Alike: BACK WHEN WE WERE GROWNUPS by Anne Tyler, read by Blair Brown

LONGBOURN by Jo Baker
Read by Emma Fielding

RUSA says, “Fielding narrates Baker’s extraordinary revisionist take on Pride and Prejudice with a quiet, shimmering assurance, as she exposes the upstairs-downstairs dynamics of the Bennet family. Her elegant delivery and mastery of pitch, rhythm, and emphasis turn each sentence into a seduction.”

VAMPIRES IN THE LEMON GROVE by Karen Russell
Read by Various

RUSA says, “Quirky, innovative, and brightly new, Russell’s collection of short stories blurs the line between horror, fantasy, and myth. Her impressive scope is well matched by the diverse narrators voicing the collection–all of whom fully realize her eerie eclecticism in accent, mood, pace, and quiet terror.”

WORLD WAR Z: THE COMPLETE EDITION
By Max Brooks
Read by an all-star cast including Alan Alda, Max Brooks, Mark Hamill, Nathan Fillion, Alfred Molina, Simon Pegg, Martin Scorsese, John Turturro and more!

RUSA says, “Melancholy in tone and rich in social insights rather than action-packed disaster, this futuristic apocalyptic ‘mockumentary’ of life after the zombie wars features vivid characterizations and smart, provocative commentary. The well-staged interviews performed by an all-star cast of 40 skilled narrators project a you-are-there feel.”

Listen Alike: ZONE ONE by Colson Whitehead, read by Beresford Bennett

Listen List selections now available from Penguin Audio:

THE BOYS IN THE BOAT by Daniel James Brown
Read by Edward Herrmann

RUSA says, “Herrmann’s lively and emotionally connected reading captures the excitement and detail of this real-life Cinderella story of the U.S. rowing team’s journey to the 1936 Berlin Olympics. His masterful command of language and cadence, combined with his deft characterizations, makes this inspiring story a must-listen.”

Listen Alikes:
SEABISCUIT by Laura Hillenbrand, read by George Newbern
WILT, 1962 by Gary M. Pomerantz, read by Stephen Hoye

RIVER OF STARS by Guy Gavriel Kay
Read by Simon Vance

RUSA says, “While barbarians attack the decadent government of Kitai, a fantasy world resembling ancient China, a young man emerges from the provinces to save the empire and becomes a legend. Vance manages the sweeping plot, including a large cast and action-rich details, while masterfully conveying the lyrical, elegiac tone that pervades the novel.”

Listen Alike: THE KILLER ANGELS by Michael Shaara and Jeff Shaara, read by Stephen Hoye

THE SIGNATURE OF ALL THINGS by Elizabeth Gilbert
Read by Juliet Stevenson

RUSA says, “Stevenson’s sublimely melodious, richly inflected voice brings myriad characters, places, and even plants and animals to life in this story of a fictional 19th century botanist. Alma Whittaker’s goal of finding a connection between all living things takes her on a solo quest to exotic places on this journey of serendipitous self-discovery.”

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