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2020 National Book Award Finalists

2020 National Book Award Finalists

The list of National Book Awards Finalists is packed full of talent. Here are some of their audiobooks for your listening pleasure.

Playlist Tags: awards: national book award

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Leave the World Behind

A Novel

By Rumaan Alam
Narrated by: Marin Ireland
Length: 7 hours 26 minutes

Leave the World Behind

“I tore through LEAVE THE WORLD BEHIND, a breath-taking stunner that slyly becomes a heart-thumping thriller. Alam examines race, class, and family relationships subtly and this is where his storytelling shines. 5 of 5 stars!”

Avid Bookshop image Rachel, Avid Bookshop
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The Secret Lives of Church Ladies

By Deesha Philyaw
Narrated by: Janina Edwards
Length: 4 hours 6 minutes

If you enjoyed The Vanishing Half, then you’ll love The Secret Lives of Church Ladies.

“Beautiful short stories of strong Black women, secret longings, new love, and forbidden affairs. I loved the audiobook! I'm going to be giving this book to friends and urging them to read it!”

A Great Good Place for Books image Mike, A Great Good Place for Books
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Interior Chinatown

A Novel

By Charles Yu
Narrated by: Joel de la Fuente
Length: 4 hours 20 minutes

Interior Chinatown

“This satirical work is written in the form of a TV script that focuses on the 'generic Asian man.' It provides a deep, thought-provoking and brilliant social commentary that brings to light and challenges Asian stereotypes in Hollywood and on a larger scale. I really enjoyed this listening experience!”

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The Undocumented Americans

By Karla Cornejo Villavicencio
Narrated by: Karla Cornejo Villavicencio
Length: 4 hours 53 minutes

NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST • One of the first undocumented immigrants to graduate from Harvard reveals the hidden lives of her fellow undocumented Americans in this deeply personal and groundbreaking portrait of a nation.

“Karla’s book sheds light on people’s personal experiences and allows their stories to be told and their voices to be... Read more »

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Unworthy Republic

The Dispossession of Native Americans and the Road to Indian Territory

By Claudio Saunt
Narrated by: Stephen Bowlby
Length: 11 hours 36 minutes

In May 1830, the United States formally launched a policy to expel Native Americans from the East to territories west of the Mississippi River. Justified as a humanitarian enterprise, the undertaking was to be systematic and rational, overseen by Washington’s small but growing bureaucracy. But as the policy unfolded over the next decade,... Read more »

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King and the Dragonflies

By Kacen Callender
Length: 5 hours 3 minutes

King and the Dragonflies

“Kingston (King) James and his parents are grieving the loss of Khalid-- King's older brother. When Khalid was alive and the two shared a bedroom, he would talk in his sleep, telling his younger brother stories about the universe and its magic. King continues to see Khalid in his dreams, and is convinced Khalid has transformed into a dragonfly. The Louisiana bayou provides the backdrop for both a colorful landscape and a tense, fearful place where racism festers. When King's former friend, Sandy, who is white, and the son of the racist police chief, goes missing, King ends up helping hide Sandy from his abusive father. Woven seamlessly into this wise story is King's slow awakening of his sexuality, brought to the fore by his renewed friendship with Sandy, who is known to be gay. Callender's writing is so authentic and their characters are so tenderly portrayed by Ron Butler's superb narration I mourned its conclusion. The whole package is a crowning achievement.”

Bear Pond Books image Jane, Bear Pond Books
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We Are Not Free

By Traci Chee
Narrated by: Scott Keiji Takeda, Dan Woren, Ryan Potter, Ali Fumiko, Sophie Oda, Andrew Kishino, Chris Naoki Lee, Grace Rolek, Erika Ishii, Brittany Ishibashi, Kurt Sanchez Kanazawa & Terry Kitagawa
Length: 10 hours 26 minutes

* NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST * PRINTZ HONOR BOOK * WALTER HONOR BOOK * ASIAN/PACIFIC AMERICAN AWARD FOR LITERATURE HONOR BOOK *

From New York Times best-selling and acclaimed author Traci Chee comes We Are Not Free, the collective account of a tight-knit group of young Nisei, second-generation Japanese American citizens, whose lives are...

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Every Body Looking

By Candice Iloh
Narrated by: Candice Iloh
Length: 2 hours 53 minutes

A Finalist for the National Book Award

When Ada leaves home for her freshman year at a Historically Black College, it’s the first time she’s ever been so far from her family—and the first time that she’s been able to make her own choices and to seek her place in this new world. As she stumbles deeper into the world of dance and explores her... Read more »

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When Stars Are Scattered

By Victoria Jamieson & Omar Mohamed
Narrated by: Faysal Ahmed, Barkhad Abdi, Victoria Jamieson, Omar Mohamed, Robin Miles, Ifrah Mansour, Bahni Turpin, Hakeemshady Mohamed, Sadeeq Ali, Dominic Hoffman, Christine Avila, JD Jackson & Various
Length: 3 hours 42 minutes

An Odyssey Honor audiobook and National Book Award Finalist, this remarkable graphic novel—adapted for audio—is about growing up in a refugee camp, as told by a former Somali refugee to the Newbery Honor-winning creator of Roller Girl.

Omar and his younger brother, Hassan, have spent most of their lives in Dadaab, a refugee camp in Kenya. Life... Read more »

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The Way Back

By Gavriel Savit
Narrated by: Allan Corduner
Length: 10 hours 53 minutes

NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST • A SYDNEY TAYLOR NOTABLE BOOK

Perfect for readers of Neil Gaiman and Philip Pullman, a sweeping historical fantasy that follows two teens on a journey through the Far Country, a Jewish land of spirits and demons.


For the Jews of Eastern Europe, demons are everywhere: dancing on the rooftops in the darkness of... Read more »

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Tokyo Ueno Station

A Novel

By Yu Miri
Narrated by: Johnny Heller
Length: 3 hours 58 minutes

WINNER OF THE 2020 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD IN TRANSLATED LITERATURE

A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR

A surreal, devastating story of a homeless ghost who haunts one of Tokyo's busiest train stations.


Kazu is dead. Born in Fukushima in 1933, the same year as the Japanese Emperor, his life is tied by a series of coincidences to the Imperial... Read more »

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