The Indies Choice Awards celebrate the books that independent bookstores around the country are championing. The Audiobook of the Year category was added last year due to the growing popularity of audiobooks, and the first ever winner was Lincoln in the Bardo.
The 2019 Audiobook of the Year finalists were chosen by a jury of 3 indie booksellers–BrocheAroe Fabian from River Dog Book Co, Bob Sommer from Changing Hands, and Angie Tally from The Country Bookshop.
Booksellers from ABA member bookstores will choose the winner from among these six finalists by voting online between now and Wednesday, 4/24. Winners will be announced on Wednesday, 5/1. You can see finalists in other categories on our 2019 Indies Choice playlist.
Without further ado, here are the finalists for this year’s Indies Choice Audiobook of the Year!
By Madeline Miller, Read by Perdita Weeks, (Hachette Audio)
“This remarkable journey into mythology brings the ancient gods directly and viscerally into the present. Circe is a perfect mashup of elegant language, glorious storytelling, and exquisitely modern sensibilities. Miller’s telling left me awed and moved by Circe and her story, all while wishing I could invite her over for a glass of wine on the porch. How this amazing author so perfectly melds the human and the divine, creating a story both immediate and epic, is dazzling.”
Beth Albrecht, The Magic Tree Bookstore
By Tara Westover, Read by Julia Whelan, (Penguin Random House Audio)
“I loved this book! Tara Westover’s memoir is the kind that sounds like it should be a novel—and this book reads like one in the best way—and I think I found myself gasping and covering my mouth about once per chapter. Westover describes her upbringing in a fundamentalist Mormon, survivalist, anti-government, anti-medicine family, enduring neglect and abuse and never attending school, in a way that still somehow manages to make her family members seem sympathetic despite their actions. She is honest about her early beliefs and conflicts and addresses her own lapses in memory throughout the book, and when she finally leaves home to go to college and beyond, you can’t help but cheer for her. Julia Whelan does a fantastic job narrating the book, as well, giving each character a distinct personality, but in a way that isn’t distracting to the story being told. Her voice is alternately innocent and chilling and gives an added depth to a fascinating story.”
Elissa, Bank Square Books
By Kevin Hearne, Delilah S. Dawson, Read by Luke Daniels, (Penguin Random House Audio)
“Wildly unpredictable, tremendously goofy, and brilliantly inventive, Kill the Farm Boy is a laugh-out-loud fantasy trope extravaganza. A talking goat, a fierce warrior, a bumbling rogue, a wannabe dark wizard, and an enchanted bard set out on a quest full of adventure, mishaps, and lots of cheese. I can’t count the number of times I giggled, snorted, and chuckled at a clever quip or ludicrous joke. Fans of Monty Python and Robin Hood: Men in Tights will definitely find Kill the Farm Boy to their liking.”
Sami Thomason, Square Books
By Diane Setterfield, Read by Juliet Stevenson, (Simon & Schuster Audio)
“Listening to ‘Once Upon A River’ is a magical experience. Not only is the story one that takes you skillfully down different paths of individual character’s lives and motivations but also the narrator of the story Juliet Stevenson skillfully envelopes every character’s different rhythms with her voice in a wonderful way. I loved this storyline and look forward to reading Diane Setterfield’s other books.”
Suzie, Tattered Cover
By Thrity Umrigar, Read by Sneha Mathan, (HarperAudio)
“This wonderful novel — loosely a sequel to The Spaces Between Us—is the rich, moving story of an amazing friendship, one that would never have occurred under the old restrictions of India and in the new India feels its tentative way. The lives of Bhima and Parvati are ones of unbelievable poverty and struggle, but the dignity and richness their friendship manifests took my breath away. A bit Dickensian in the best ways, this novel had me in tears several times. These women are two I will not soon forget.”
Michael Coy, Third Place Books
By Tommy Orange, Read by Darrell Dennis, Shaun Taylor-Corbett, Alma Cuervo & Kyla Garcia, (Penguin Random House Audio)
“There There is the kind of book that grabs you from the start and doesn’t let go, even after you’ve turned the last page. It is a work of fiction, but every word of it feels true. Tommy Orange writes with a palpable anger and pain, telling the history of a cultural trauma handed down through generations in the blood and bones and stories of individual lives. He also writes with incredible heart and humor, infusing his characters with a tangible humanity and moments of joy even as they are headed toward tragedy. There There has claimed a permanent spot in my heart despite having broken it, or maybe because it did. I think this may be the best book I’ve ever read.”
Heather Weldon, Changing Hands