15 Audiobooks Behind the Award Season Nominees

15 Audiobooks Behind the Award Season Nominees


January 10, 2020
Like any new year, 2020 brings with it a wealth of opportunities and promise—and, of course, the glimmer and excitement of award season. If you’re anything like us, you’ve scoured the list of nominees for your favorite films, series, and actors and made your own predictions. But whether your picks win or are tragically snubbed, you won’t have to look far to find your next listen. One of the best feelings is finding out your new favorite show was based on a book—it gives you a whole new world of source material and extended universe to dive into. From classic novels to riveting nonfiction, sci-fi, and fantasy, we’ve gathered a list of the audiobooks that inspired a few of this year’s most praise-worthy releases and performances.
Alanna, Audible Editor
    • An Audible Original Drama
    • By: Louisa May Alcott
    • Narrated by: Emily Bauer, Laura Dern, Lauren Fortgang, Allison Hiroto, Carly Robins, Suzanne Toren
    • Series: Little Women
    • Length: 12 hrs and 15 mins
    • Release date: 12-23-19
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 1,120 ratings
    • Some fans may think Greta Gerwig’s bighearted yet subversive take on Louisa May Alcott’s classic was largely snubbed this awards season, but those who can’t get enough of the March family can take solace in a new rendition of the beloved novel. This Audible Original adaptation of Little Women is infused with the same beauty, wit, and nostalgia that makes the film so affecting. Laura Dern, who portrays March matriarch Margaret in the recent release, brings her signature warmth and depth to narrate the audio drama alongside a full cast of talent.
    • Frank Sheeran and Closing the Case on Jimmy Hoffa
    • By: Charles Brandt
    • Narrated by: Scott Brick
    • Length: 15 hrs and 12 mins
    • Release date: 11-18-08
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 2,698 ratings
    • Charles Brandt’s I Heard You Paint Houses, recently renamed The Irishman to match the film it inspired, has been hailed as a modern day epic of the dark underbelly of organized crime and of one of the most perplexing unsolved mysteries in American history—the disappearance of labor union leader Jimmy Hoffa. Film icon Martin Scorsese’s adaptation has been lauded by critics but this audiobook is just as praise-worthy, with a gritty, layered performance from Hall of Fame Narrator Scott Brick.
    • Executive Summary of the Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency's Detention and Interrogation Program
    • By: Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
    • Narrated by: full cast
    • Length: 18 hrs and 58 mins
    • Release date: 12-09-19
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 26 ratings
    • This special audio edition of the bombshell 2009 report that made public the clandestine inner-workings of abusive CIA interrogation tactics is enlivened by a full cast comprised of The Report’s stars—including Jon Hamm, Michael C. Hall, and Annette Benning (who received a Golden Globe nomination for her performance). For further insight into the groundbreaking tale of political intrigue behind the film, this listen also features an introduction from Daniel J. Jones, the lead investigator on the case.
    • A Novel
    • By: Maria Semple
    • Narrated by: Kathleen Wilhoite
    • Length: 9 hrs and 35 mins
    • Release date: 08-14-12
    • Language: English
    • 4 out of 5 stars 15,081 ratings
    • Cate Blanchett’s wily, mysterious portrayal of protagonist Bernadette Fox won her plenty of acclaim. But in this audio edition of Maria Semple’s quirky bestseller, it’s narrator Kathleen Wilhoite at the helm, expertly and enthusiastically navigating each of the story’s twists and turns (which unfold through varying documents, texts, and e-mails) while never straying far from the story’s heart: the bond between Bernadette and her whiz-kid daughter, Bee. The result is a lively and surprisingly moving listen that’ll stay with you long after it’s over.
    • By: Sam Wasson
    • Narrated by: Jim Meskimen
    • Length: 21 hrs and 23 mins
    • Release date: 11-05-13
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 152 ratings
    • Bob Fosse is practically synonymous with musical theater—his revolutionary choreography and life have made him a cultural mainstay decades after his death. It’s this comprehensive biography of Fosse by Sam Wasson that served as the inspiration for the FX drama Fosse/Verdon, which followed the tumultuous relationship (both professional and personal) between Fosse and actress-dancer Gwen Verdon. The show racked up three Golden Globe nominations and a win for Michelle Williams’s portrayal of Verdon, but there’s something special about the audiobook that inspired it—and the articulate, expressive, performance of narrator Jim Meskimen.
    • Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV
    • By: Brian Stelter
    • Narrated by: Brian Stelter
    • Length: 9 hrs and 50 mins
    • Release date: 04-23-13
    • Language: English
    • 4 out of 5 stars 119 ratings
    • Smash-hit Golden Globe nominee The Morning Show features Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon as a pair of rival television reporters sharing a desk at a fictional-but-recognizable daytime television show after a former host’s misconduct sends production into a tailspin. The timely and tense drama took inspiration from the inside-look Top of the Morning by journalist Brian Stelter, who also utilizes his background as a newscaster in his sharp, smart narration.
    • The Story of Two Detectives' Relentless Search for the Truth
    • By: T. Christian Miller, Ken Armstrong
    • Narrated by: Hillary Huber, T. Christian Miller, Ken Armstrong
    • Length: 10 hrs and 6 mins
    • Release date: 02-06-18
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 228 ratings
    • Unbelievable, previously published in 2018 as A False Report, is an account written by two Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists that follows the mishandling of sexual assault cases and the skepticism that survivors of rape often face at the hands of law enforcement. Like the Golden Globe-nominated Netflix series it inspired, this listen follows the case of an assaulted teenager who was charged with false reporting—and the detectives who faced a labyrinth of evidence and related cases in order to bring about justice. Audie nominee Hillary Huber brings a gentle starkness to her delivery of this painful but incredibly necessary tale.
    • An Olympic Bombing, the FBI, the Media, and Richard Jewell, the Man Caught in the Middle
    • By: Kent Alexander, Kevin Salwen
    • Narrated by: Paul Michael
    • Length: 14 hrs and 12 mins
    • Release date: 11-12-19
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 398 ratings
    • In the summer of 1996, all eyes were on the Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia, where a remotely detonated bomb killed two people and wounded more than a hundred others. According to authorities, however, that tragedy would have claimed hundreds if not thousands of lives, if not for the watchful eyes of Richard Jewell, a humble, vigilant security guard who spied the suspicious object before it exploded. The Suspect, one of the contributing sources that inspired the film Richard Jewell, unravels Jewell’s journey from hero to suspect, all told in the deliberate, authoritative twang of actor Paul Michael.
    • Killing Eve, Book 1
    • By: Luke Jennings
    • Narrated by: Laura Kirman
    • Series: Killing Eve, Book 1
    • Length: 6 hrs and 48 mins
    • Release date: 12-27-18
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 332 ratings
    • A favorite of fans and critics alike, Golden Globe nominee Killing Eve follows the elaborate cat-and-mouse game between sociopathic killer Villanelle and Eve, the MI5 officer dispatched to hunt her down. In Codename Villanelle, the first installment in the series that inspired the television adaptation, narrator Laura Kirman brings the pair to life, adding flair and nuance to the title character’s narration with her slow, deliberate delivery and realistic Russian accent.
    • By: Liane Moriarty
    • Narrated by: Caroline Lee
    • Length: 15 hrs and 55 mins
    • Release date: 07-29-14
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 49,332 ratings
    • Still waiting with bated breath to hear whether or not a third season of Big Little Lies is on the horizon? In the meantime, check out the audio adaptation of the story that inspired the HBO hit. Liane Moriarty’s tangled tale of deceit, violence, and tragedy set against the backdrop of excess, wealth, and projected perfection is exquisitely performed by actress Caroline Lee. Her prim, clipped delivery carries the same tone and spirit as her on-screen counterparts, enlivening a cast of characters as flawed as they are fascinating.
    • By: Joseph Heller
    • Narrated by: Jay O. Sanders
    • Length: 19 hrs and 58 mins
    • Release date: 08-29-17
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 2,041 ratings
    • Catch-22’s John Yossarian is a reluctant soldier, to say the least. Frustrated with constantly being plunged into death-defying dogfights, he tries his best to avoid battle whenever he can, whether by feigning illness or sabotaging his own missions. The Golden Globe-nominated television adaptation of Joseph Heller’s landmark satirical classic has been cheered for its sharp handling of the novel’s humor and its exceptional cast—traits shared by the audiobook, which features a dynamic, pitch-perfect performance by Jay O. Sanders.
    • A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1
    • By: George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated by: Roy Dotrice
    • Series: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1
    • Length: 33 hrs and 46 mins
    • Release date: 12-09-03
    • Language: English
    • 5 out of 5 stars 120,260 ratings
    • A bonafide cultural phenomenon, Game of Thrones was perhaps one of the most talked-about shows of 2019, inspiring worldwide watch parties for the final season. If you’re missing your favorite weekly fantasy show—or if you weren’t satisfied with the show’s conclusion—check out the story that inspired the sensation. George R.R. Martin’s ongoing epic series provides more than a full week of immersive audio entertainment. The refined, celebrated talents of English actor Roy Dotrice are on full display as he seamlessly shifts among the diverse cast of characters, giving each of them a unique cadence, spirit, and tone.
    • How the Brilliant, Bombastic Roger Ailes Built Fox News - and Divided a Country
    • By: Gabriel Sherman
    • Narrated by: Erik Singer
    • Length: 17 hrs and 36 mins
    • Release date: 01-17-14
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 359 ratings
    • Both The Loudest Voice and its lead, Russell Crowe, were up for Golden Globes this season—with good reason. The Showtime limited series is based on Gabriel Sherman’s biography, The Loudest Voice in the Room, which follows the meteoric rise of Roger Ailes and his influential television empire, Fox News. Dialect coach and voice actor Erik Singer brings a crispness to Sherman’s thorny world of media power, corporate corruption, and political collusion.
    • By: Christine Leunens
    • Narrated by: Steven Jay Cohen
    • Length: 10 hrs and 27 mins
    • Release date: 08-06-19
    • Language: English
    • 3.5 out of 5 stars 100 ratings
    • Taika Waititi’s irreverent anti-hate satire Jojo Rabbit was one of the year’s most unexpected successes, with critics hailing its mix of big laughs and gentle human moments. Waititi adapted his screenplay from Christine Leunens’s novel Caging Skies, which follows a young supporter of the Third Reich who faces a series of encounters that challenge his steadfast beliefs. Though Caging Skies is far bleaker and existential in tone, it carries the same glimpse of childhood innocence that its on-screen successor is built on, a spirit embodied by Steven Jay Cohen’s gentle, guileless narration.
    • Francis, Benedict, and the Decision That Shook the World
    • By: Anthony McCarten
    • Narrated by: John Lee
    • Length: 8 hrs and 47 mins
    • Release date: 01-29-19
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 26 ratings
    • Before he penned the screenplay for the adaptation of the same name, author Anthony McCarten turned his incisive eye to the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and the rise of his successor, Pope Francis. The Two Popes is a fascinating take on the shock announcement and rush to find a new supreme pontiff, focusing on the human aspects of the transition. Why did Benedict step down at the height of his reign? And how would the gentle, unostentatious Francis—the first non-European pope in more than 1,200 years—adjust to life in the Vatican? Audie Award-winning narrator John Lee lends his confident, authoritative tone to this listen, making this glittering narrative all the more engrossing.
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