Hear Outstanding Audiobook Narration on the 2023 Listen List

By Jennifer Rubins | February 9 2023 | Audiobook News

How many of these outstanding titles have you recommended? The Listen List highlights extraordinary narrators and listening experiences that merit special attention by a general adult audience and the librarians who advise them. Join us in celebrating BOT’s 7 standout winners, click on the covers to head over to the product page and listen to clips, and recommend to the listeners looking for their next great listen at your library!

View all 13 of this year’s winners here. Click here to view a collection of all 7 of the winners listed below.

Here’s what the Listen List selected and why, as well as BOT listen-alikes suggested by the committee:

Book Lovers cover By Emily Henry
Read by Julia Whelan

When sisters from New York take a vacation to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina, literary agent Nora gets to experience her own small-town romance after a history of being dumped for rural rivals—just like the trope. Julia Whelan delivers spot-on characterizations and a slow burn steamy enough to entice the most jaded of genre savvy listeners.

The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston, narrated by Eileen Stevens
Meant to Be by Emily Giffin, narrated by Caroline Hewitt and Robert Petkoff

Also the Winner of the Carnegie Medal for Nonfiction!

An Immense World cover Written and read by Ed Yong
AN IMMENSE WORLD explores life as perceived by animals on land, sea, and air, from mantis shrimp to elephants. The author’s passion for the topic shines through in his writing, illuminating the conundrum of attempting to understand (and coexist with) species whose sensory experience is very different from ours. Informative, with a touch of humor, Ed Yong’s engaging narration will appeal to a wide audience.

Iona Iverson's Rules for Commuting cover By Clare Pooley
Read by Clare Corbett
Iona has been an advice columnist for years but feels adrift in her own life. She and her fellow passengers don’t engage until a medical emergency on the train brings their lives colliding together. Clare Corbett gives this audiobook a full cast feel with her clever differentiation of characters, highlighting the novel’s quirkiness and charm.

The Lost Ticket by Freya Sampson, narrated by Katharine Lee McEwan and Helen Lloyd

Also an Alex Award Winner!
A Lady's Guide to Fortune-Hunting cover By Sophie Irwin
Read by Eleanor Tomlinson

Kitty Talbot takes part in the London season with the goal of marrying a husband whose fortune will save her family from ruin. However, Lord Radcliffe, elder brother of her first target, threatens to upend her plans. Eleanor Tomlinson’s dexterous narration adds to the characters’ dimensionality and a lively recreation of nineteenth-century ambiance.

A Rogue of One’s Own by Evie Dunmore, narrated by Elizabeth Jasicki

Take My Hand cover By Dolen Perkins-Valdez
Read by Lauren J. Daggett

Civil, an idealistic young Black nurse in 1970s Alabama, is tasked with giving birth control shots to two sisters, just eleven and thirteen years old. Then, horrified by the forced sterilization of poor women of color, she sues her former federal employer. Narrating with heart and empathy, Lauren J. Daggett brings out the raw emotion of this story inspired by true events.

The Making of Her by Bernadette Jiwa, narrated by Aoife McMahon
Memphis by Tara M.Stringfellow, narrated by Karen Murray, Adenrele Ojo, and Tara M. Stringfellow

Unlikely Animals cover By Annie Hartnett
Read by Mark Bramhall and Kirby Heyborne

A chorus of ghosts observe their New Hampshire town with fond lamentation for life unlived. Born healer Emma Starling returns home as her father’s illness advances but can no more cure him than she can her brother’s opioid addiction. Narrating ghosts, town, and the fractured Starling family, Mark Bramhall performs distinct, authentic characters and Kirby Heyborne convincingly narrates the journals of real naturalist (and meddlesome spirit) Ernest Harold Baynes in this darkly whimsical tale.

Joan Is Okay by Weike Wang, narrated by Catherine Ho

River of the Gods cover By Candice Millard
Read by Paul Michael

In the 1850s, British frenemies John Hanning Speke and Richard Burton risk their lives competing to locate the source of the Nile. Their guide, Sidi Mubarak Bombay, a previously uncredited star of the expeditions, is instrumental in their survival and success. Paul Michael’s pacing builds tension and heightens the adventure while incorporating individual voices for each historical figure, making this nonfiction sound like a novel.

Madhouse at the End of the Earth by Julian Sancton, narrated by Vikas Adam