Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2022) Nominations Round-Up, Fall

Amazing Audiobooks Fall Quarterly Round-Up books Cover Art (not all titles are pictured)
Due to the large number of nominees, not all titles are shown here. See full list below.

Each quarter, the Selected Lists teams compile the titles that have been officially nominated to date. These are titles that have been suggested by the team or through the title suggestion form, read by multiple members of the team, and received approval to be designated an official nomination. At the end of the year, the final list of nominations and each Selected List’s Top Ten will be chosen from these titles.
*Prices shown are for Library Digital Download.

Ace of Spades. By Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé. Read by Jeanette Illidge & Tapiwa Mugweni. Macmillan Audio, $59.99 (9781250808332).

Devon and Chiamaka are the only Black kids at their school. The anonymous Aces starts a text message smear campaign on both of them. As they try to save themselves, the conspiracy of Aces is revealed to be much deeper and darker than imagined. Dual narrators make this an excellent listen.

Any Way the Wind Blows: Simon Snow Trilogy, Book 3. By Rainbow Rowell. Read by Euan Morton. Macmillan Young Listeners, $69.99 (9781250803122).

In this conclusion of the trilogy, Simon, Baz and Penny are back in England — Penny with the demon-marked American she brought home, Simon attempting to reclaim a human life and rid himself of his tail, and Agatha learning about the significance of the Watford goats. Morton’s voicing of these characters brings them to life.

Blackout. By Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon. Read by Joniece Abbott-Pratt, Dion Graham, Imani Parks, Jordan Cobb, Shayna Small, A.J. Beckles, and Bahni Turpin. HarperCollins Publishers Inc./Quill Tree Books,  $54.05 (9780063088122).

Six stories about Black love during a blackout in New York City written by a supergroup of Black women and narrated by a supergroup of Black narrators. Each story weaves into the next with one story threaded throughout.

The Cat I Never Named: A True Story of Love, War and Survival. By Amra Sabic-El-Rayess and Laura L. Sullivan. Read by Leila Buck. 2020. Recorded Books, LLC, $98 (9781705017708). 

Growing up in Bosnia during the 1990s war, Muslim teen Amra lived through unfathomable horrors. As war looms, then goes from bad to worse, a cat saves her brother. They keep it around, much to their benefit over time. Buck’s narration artfully brings forward the emotions, dramatics, and voices through this heartbreaking tale.

Crownchasers. By Rebecca Coffindaffer. Read by Reba Buhr. 2020. HarperCollins Publishers Inc./Harper Audio, $69.50 (9780063033160).

Alyssa Farshot’s space exploration is cut short when her emperor uncle dies. Rather than name her the heir apparent, he initiates a crownchase, a high stakes race to claim the throne. Reba Buhr elevates this story with her interpretation of a galaxy of memorable characters.

Dancing at the Pity Party. By Tyler Feder. Read by Amanda Dolan. Recorded Books, LLC, $23 (9781705033715). 

This audiobook adaptation of Tyler Feder’s graphic novel about how she coped with the death of her mom when she was a young adult and continues to cope is presented to a new audience by capable narrator Amanda Dolan.

The Girls I’ve Been. By Tess Sharpe. Read by Tess Sharpe. Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group/Listening Library, $63 (9780593400401).

Nora and her two friends are being held hostage inside a bank, but Nora isn’t an ordinary girl. She grew up with a con-artist and knows how to survive and protect those she cares about. The narration portrays the emotional range of the characters in this action-packed, killer story.

Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating. By Adiba Jaigirdar. Read by Reena Dutt and Shubhangi Karmakar. Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group/Listening Library, $63.00 (9780593413692).

Hani comes out as bisexual and is told that she can’t be bi if she’s only dated guys, so she lies that she’s in a relationship with unpopular Ishu. Ishu agrees to fake date Hani if she helps her to win head girl. Dual narrators take this story to the next level.

In the Wild Light. By Jeff Zentner. Read by Michael Crouch. Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group/Listening Library, $69 (9780593399040).

Cash and Delaney are barely surviving in their small Appalachian town. Cash is being raised by his grandparents after his mother’s drug overdose, and Delaney is in an unstable home. A scientific discovery gives them both places at a prestigious boarding school. Crouch’s narration demonstrates Cash’s uncertainty, gentleness, and grief.

Jay’s Gay Agenda. By Jason June. Read by Mark Sanderlin. HarperCollins Publishers Inc./HarperTeen, $69.50 (9780063015180).

Jay has a whole list of romantic firsts he wants to acheive, but being the only out gay boy in his rural town makes this impossible. His family suddenly moves to Seattle and now Jay sees opportunities all around and can’t wait to get started. Sanderlin voices Jay’s hilarious romantic shenanigans perfectly.

K-Pop Confidential. By Stephan Lee. Read by Joy Osmanski. 2020. Scholastic Inc./Scholastic Audio, $74.99 (9781338673401). 

Candace Park’s secret dream of being a K-Pop star comes true, but she quickly learns firsthand the responsibilities of becoming an idol, the vastly different expectations of female stars, and the weight of being the face of a Korean corporate empire. Joy Osmanski engagingly handles the characterization, language, and singing.

Middletown. By Sarah Moon. Read by Hope Newhouse. Dreamscape Media, LLC, $64.99 (9781662083211).

Just under six hours, the audiobook engages the listener in struggles with relationships and addiction. Narrator Hope Newhouse captures the pacing and progression of the story well.

The Mirror Season. By Anna-Marie McLemore. Read by Jennifer Jill Araya. Recorded Books, LLC, $79 (9781705039366).

Two teens learn they were both sexually assaulted at the same party. They slowly become friends, but in order to truly heal they must find out what happened that night. Brilliant narration for an important story by Jennifer Jill Araya.

My Contrary Mary. By Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows. Read by Fiona Hardingham. HarperCollins Publishers Inc./Harper Audio, $69.50 (9780063087903).

Mary, Queen of Scots, may be a mouse, but her courage in the face of duplicitous predators who want to control her and oppress her people, saves the day. Fiona Hardingham employs impeccable comedic timing and multiple accents in service to this worthy companion to the Jane series.

Not My Problem. By Ciara Smyth. Read by Sarah Jane Drummey. HarperCollins Publishers Inc./HarperTeen, $69.50 (9780063089761).

Aideen helps(?) Meabh by … pushing her down the stairs.  The twisted ankle gets Maebh out of her hectic schedule. As word gets around that Aideen “fixes” problems, she ends up trading favors, for better and worse. Drummey’s accent places the book properly in Ireland in this funny yet poignant listen.

Pumpkin. By Julie Murphy. Read by Chad Burris. HarperCollins Publishers Inc/Balzer & Bray, $54.05 (9780063088764).

Waylon is an openly gay teen in a small Texas town. His plan is to move to Austin and embrace his fabulous self. When he gets dumped, Waylon records an audition tape for his favorite reality show about drag queens. The attention he receives gets him nominated for prom queen.

Rise to the Sun. By Leah Johnson. Read by Lexi Underwood and Alaska Jackson. Scholastic Inc./Scholastic Audio, $83.99 (9781338774702).

Olivia and Toni spend the weekend at a music festival after tragedy strikes both of them. After they meet and decide to work together, they learn to count on each other. Underwood and Jackson capture the tone of two teens falling in love while healing from past mistakes.

Sixteen Scandals. By Sophie Jordan. Read by Moira Quirk. Recorded Books, LLC, $60 (9781980077589).

After Primrose’s mother informs her that her debut into London society is being postponed a year, Prim and her best friend go on an adventure through London.  When they get separated, Prim is rescued by a handsome stranger. Quirk’s mastery of English accents helps to root the listener in the story.

Some Girls Do. By Jennifer Dugan. Read by Nora Hunter and Bailey Carr. Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group/Listening Library, $63 (9780593397879).

What is your local closeted bisexual supposed to do when a very queer, very out track star moves to town? Dual narrators gracefully capture Morgan and Ruby’s struggles as their feelings grow despite their different desires about being out.

Switch. By A.S. King. Read by A.S. King. Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group/Listening Library, $45 (9780593397855).

Time stopped on June 23, 2020. Truda’s father is building bigger and bigger boxes in her house around a mysterious switch. As her world is literally turned upside down, Truda uses a crowbar and a javelin to break through. King’s narration of her darkly strange tale has a great cadence and character voice.

The Taking of Jake Livingston. By Ryan Douglass. Read by Kevin R. Free and Michael Crouch. Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group/Listening Library, $63 (9780593411513).

Jake Livingston deals with bullies and racist teachers at school. He also sees dead people. The ghosts are unsettling, especially Sawyer Doon who shot and killed six students and himself. Now it’s a matter of life and death. Free and Crouch are veteran narrators who give power to this book.

That Weekend. By Kara Thomas. Read by Phoebe Strole and Kristen Sieh. Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group/Listening Library, $63.00 (9780593399101).

A prom weekend camping trip with her best friends goes very wrong when Claire turns up with head trauma and no idea how she ended up with Kat’s keys, but no Kat. Phoebe Strole embodies Claire well, with Kristen Sieh providing the perfect counterpoint as Kat.

This Is Not The Jess Show. By Anna Carey. Read by Suzy Jackson. Blackstone Audio, Inc., $47.95 (9781094032528).

Jess is living in the 90s dealing with everyday teenage drama. When her younger sister ends up in the hospital, it sparks Jess to uncover a deep secret about the town. Jackson perfectly portrays Jess’s emotional roller-coaster from everyday girl, to an angry teenager hellbent on finding the truth.

Time Travel for Love and Profit. By Sarah Lariviere. Read by Kristen Sieh. Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group/Listening Library, $56 (9780593294024).

Nephele wants a do-over of her disastrous freshman year of high school. Inspired by the book Time Travel for Love and Profit, she creates an app that throws her into a time loop. Kristen Sieh creates the perfect voice for a memorable character.

A Universe of Wishes. Edited by Dhonielle Clayton. Read by Vikas Adam, N’Jameh Camara, Frankie Corzo, Kevin R. Free, Kyla Garcia, Deepti Gupta, Rosie Jones, Nikki Massoud, Anthony Lee Medina, Ali Nasser, Anthony Rey Perez, Shayna Small, Michael Crouch, Guy Lockard and Nancy Wu. 2020. Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group/Listening Library, $69 (9780593345733).

This anthology of fantasy and sci-fi stories takes listeners all over the universe and beyond.  Each story has its own narrator, giving them a distinct voice. Includes writing from Samira Ahmed, Dhonielle Clayton, Zoraida Córdova, Kwame Mbalia, Tochi Onyebuchi, Mark Oshiro, V. E. Schwab, Nic Stone, and more.

We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This. By Rachel Lynn Solomon. Read by Carly Robbins. Simon and Schuster, $59.99 (9781797123639).

All summer long harpist Quinn and caterer Tarek find themselves running into each other as they manage wedding disasters left and right. Carly Robbin’s voice artfully captures and deepens the reader’s investment in Quinn’s dilemmas.

The Witch King. By H.E. Edgmon. Read by Dani Martineck. HarperCollins Publishers Inc./Harlequin, $69.50 (9781488211249).

Wyatt (a transgender witch) is dragged from Texas back to his home Fae kingdom where he is betrothed to the prince. To avoid marriage, he makes an alliance with an enemy, potentially destroying the kingdom forever. Martineck’s narration fits the voices of these colorful and fascinating characters perfectly.

Want to suggest a title? The Title Suggestion Form is open!

Want a printable version of this round-up? Download the Fall nominations round-up.

Want to see them all so far? Here are the Spring and Summer round-ups.