Tomorrow the Audio Publishers Association will announce the nominees for the 2013 Audie Awards. Last year I judged the Literary Fiction category. As I was judging for the 2012 awards, I was thinking ahead for this year. Although I didn’t listen to them all, I tried to select audiobooks that I thought might be nominated in my category for 2013. I did this for two reasons: a) because it will be just as fun to see how close I can come to selecting the nominations as it is to seeing if the APA and I selected the same best audiobook and b) five audiobooks is a lot of listening (at my listening speed) between the time the nominations are announced and the week before the ceremony. If I am in luck, I will have given myself a head start for the 2013 season. Well, if I’m being honest, that would in actuality just give me the excuse I need to jump in and judge a second category.
If I were the APA, these are the audiobooks I would nominate for 2013 Audie Award for Literary Fiction (alphabetical by title):
A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash ~ This was my favorite audiobook experience of 2012. Mark Bramhall, Lorna Raver, and Nick Sullivan were simply perfect. I thank Jen from Devourer of Books for the recommendation every time I think of it. It’s a top notch audiobook that fits the category.
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter ~ I own this audiobook, but I haven’t yet listened to it. It has gotten an extreme amount of buzz all over the book-0-sphere, so I anticipate that it will be nominated in this category. It will be my first audiobook narrated by Edoardo Ballerini.
Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain ~ I just finished this audiobook this week. Oliver Wyman’s narration was incredible. My emotions were all over the map while listening. It really made me think hard about our troops and how civilians “honor” them. I would love to see it nominated here.
Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel ~ This series about Thomas Cromwell his view of Henry VIII’s England has renewed my love for Tudor fiction. Simon Vance’s narration was spot on as well. It was as if he was in the author’s brain, picking up every nuance. Mantel has won the Man Booker Prize for both novels thus far. An Audie nomination seems like a must to me.
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace ~ I have aspired to read this novel since I was in grad school. When Hachette Audio announced the first unabridged audiobook version, I was over the moon and scooped it up. This will be my first Sean Pratt audiobook. It’s a true commitment at just over 56 hours. I haven’t listened to it yet, but I truly hope to see it nominated here. If it is, of course, my dreams of judging a second category are all but dashed. Crossing a book off of my bucket list will be worth it, though.
Last year there were only 5 titles nominated in this category, so I predicted 5 above. I did listen to two other audiobooks that would not be out of place in the Literary Fiction category:
The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling and The Invisible Ones by Stef Penney were both excellent audiobooks. I easily could have included them above, but I have a good feeling about Beautiful Ruins and Infinite Jest. Either of these titles would make for great nominees, though.