Audio book awards announced

Not having a suitable niche elsewhere -- despite the halfhearted inclusion of spoken-word entries in the Grammy Awards -- the audio industry has been sponsoring its own annual awards for excellence in audio publishing.

Winners in the fifth annual competition were announced recently in Chicago at the annual publishing convention, BookExpo America:

  • Best unabridged-fiction title: the 32-hour Wally Lamb opus, "I Know This Much is True," read by George Guidall for Recorded Books.
  • Best fiction, unabridged: David Guterson's "East of the Mountains," read by Edward Herrmann for Bantam Doubleday.
  • Mystery fiction: Minette Walters' "The Breaker," read by Robert Powell.
  • Classic fiction: "The Screwtape Letters," by C.S. Lewis, performed by Monty Python's John Cleese, for Audio Reader.
  • Children's fiction: Philip Pullman's "The Golden Compass," by Listening Library.
  • Short-fiction: Malice Domestic 6, a collection featuring various authors and readers, produced by NewStar Media.
  • Unabridged nonfiction: Frank McCourt's autobiographical "'Tis," which he read for Simon & Schuster.
  • Abridged nonfiction: Caroline Alexander's "The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antactic Expedition," read by Michael Tezla and Martin Rubin for HighBridge.
  • Inspirational/spiritual category: "Reason for Hope," written by Jane Goodall with Phillip Berman and read by Goodall for Time Warner.
  • Best female-solo narration: Barbara Rosenblat for Recorded Books reading of "Bridget Jones' Diary," by Helen Fielding.
  • Best male-solo narration: Michael York for "The Fencing Master," by Arturo Perez-Riverte, for NewStar.

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