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Announcing the Armchair Audies

There once was a time when I lived for the award season. I wanted to know who was nominated and what they wore on the red carpet. Then I fell in love with audiobooks and discovered The Audies. Now I can’t be bothered to watch any awards ceremonies. I even jumped off Twitter on the night of the Oscars because I just didn’t care. I would rather be pouring over the Audie nominations.  Last year I had a good time watching the tweets go by announcing the winners. This year I’m actually going to be in NYC when the event is held. Even though I may not be at the ceremony itself, I want this year to be as special as possible. How?

If you were like me, you were overwhelmed by the complete list of Audie Nominees this year.There are 28 categories, each with 5 nominated audiobooks. As I looked through the list, I wondered how in the world I could even make a dent in the ginormous list of all of those audiobooks. At posting, I will have only listened to two of the nominees:

Okay, so that gives me an audiobooks/narrators to cheer for in 2 of the 28 categories.* Even if I spot listened through the other categories, what’s the point (other than to catch some good reads)? I won’t be really any closer to having an educated opinion than I was when I began.

So, through discussions with several inspiring people on Twitter, especially Tanya, I came up with the perfect solution. Instead of hop, skipping, and jumping through random audiobooks in random categories, I’m going to listen to each of the books in a single category before the awards. By listening to each of the 5 books, I’ll be able to judge for myself which book I think should win the Audie. Even if I’m wrong, the preparation will make the reveal that more interesting.

After reviewing the list, I selected Literary Fiction. Here are the nominees in alphabetical order:

This category fits best into my personal reading tastes and gives me the excuse to reread The Marriage Plot. With the exception of Cassandra Campbell, who co-narrates Emily and Einstein, all of the narrators in this category will be new to me. I think this little project will be a great deal of fun. My Armchair Audies begins tomorrow morning with STATE OF WONDER by Ann Patchett, narrated by Hope Davis from Harper Audio.

I’m not the only one. Bob from The Guilded Earlobe will be embarking on this journey with me. He’ll be exploring his favorite audiobook haunts: Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Paranormal.

Would you like to join us? We’d love to have you play Armchair Audies with us. Just pick a category and start listening. By all means, share your progress on Twitter, too. Use hashtag #ArmchairAudies. Please feel free to let me or Bob know if you have any questions. We’d be happy to help in any way we can.


*Alright, you caught me. I will vote for Simon Vance in each of his categories, so that’s actually 5 categories out of 28.

15 Comments

  • At 2012.03.08 09:22, bermudaonion (Kathy) said:

    This is a great idea! I’d pick a category and join along if I didn’t have so much going on in my life right now.

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    • At 2012.03.08 09:38, Jenn's Bookshelves said:

      What a fantastic idea!

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      • At 2012.03.08 10:05, dog eared copy said:

        My post will go up tomorrow! I’m calling it “The Bad Employee/Bad Wife Edition!” :-D

        • At 2012.03.08 12:26, Cassandra said:

          I will have to get in on this. I’ll put some thought into which of the categories I want to cover. Hmmm….

          • At 2012.03.08 12:33, Alex (Sleepless Reader) said:

            It’s a great project. Cassandra Campbell is great and Simon Vance is Audiobook God. Question: would a new recording of an old book be considered for the awards, or only new books?

            I’ve recently posted about my favorite audiobook narrators, but meanwhile I’d also add Davina Porter. I’ve heard her read The Mists of Avalon and The Ladies of Grace Adieu and she’s amazing, the type to make you want to read everything she’s ever narrated.
            http://thesleeplessreader.com/2012/01/31/listopia-favorite-audiobook-narrators/

            Until when are you doing Armchair Audies? I’m afraid of being too late to start :(

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            • At 2012.03.08 13:18, dogearedcopy said:

              The 2012 Audies finalists are audio books that were produced from October 16th, 2010 to October 15th, 2011; so yes, if a backlist title was produced during that time, then the book would qualify :-)

            • At 2012.03.08 13:38, Sandy said:

              Oooh I am definitely interested! My only issue might be actually GETTING the audios. I’m going to look into this. Considering the categories Mystery, Thriller/Suspense, or Author Narrated. What is our deadline?

              • At 2012.03.08 17:22, Literate Housewife said:

                The deadline will be the last week of May. I will post more tonight.

              • At 2012.03.08 18:17, Melanie said:

                Love it! I’m in for sure.

                I’ve listened to 9 of the nominations (okay, that’s 7 books – Bossypants & Beauty Queens are upping my numbers). I wouldn’t have expected it, but that leaves me with only 2 titles to complete the NARRATED BY THE AUTHOR(S) category, so I’ll finish that. I’m going to tackle TEENS as well (why not let Beauty Queens keep doing double-duty for me, after all?) I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get ahold of The Pick-Up Game, but everything else is available from one of my libraries.

                I’m hoping by the end of May to have at least one horse in the race for 10 of the categories, which should make me terribly judgmental and pretentious about the entire ceremony. And that’s how I have fun!

                • At 2012.03.10 20:11, Jennifer said:

                  Excellent, Melanie! I’ll write you down for both Narrated by Author(s) and Teens!

                • At 2012.03.08 19:29, Marg said:

                  Seems like a very sensible solution!

                  • At 2012.03.08 21:58, Michelle said:

                    This is a great idea! I can’t believe I’ve actually listened to four of the nominees. I’ll be cheering you both on from the sidelines!

                    • [...] I discovered an event that looks perfect to get me out of the closet as a huge audiobook fan: The Armchair Audies. It’s organized by Jennifer (The Literate Housewife) and Bob (The Guilded Earlobe) and [...]

                      • At 2012.03.09 08:13, Beth F said:

                        I’ve listened to 4 or 5 of the nominees. I have too many obligations to participate but I love the idea.

                        • At 2012.03.11 20:21, justmom said:

                          What a fun idea! If I had any self-discipline and thought I could do it, I would choose the memoir category!

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