Billy Crystal takes top honors at the Audie Awards

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Image Credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

At tonight’s Audie Awards Gala, Billy Crystal took top honors, winning Audio Book of the Year for his comedy memoir Still Foolin’ ‘Em.

The judges called his work “a seamless blend of single voice narration and live performances [that] does for the audiobook medium what Billy Crystal’s opening acts have done for the Oscars, which is to bring in a larger audience. From Mickey Mantle to Muhammad Ali with the inside story on Meg Ryan’s infamous scene in When Harry Met Sally thrown in for good measure, Crystal’s life story will have listeners hanging on every word…In a word: ‘Mahvelous.’”

American folk singer and activist Pete Seeger posthumously won the award for Distinguished Achievement in Production for his multi-genre audiobook Pete Seeger: The Storm King, featuring a mixture of stories, narratives, poems, and music. The judging panel was very moved by Seeger’s closing rendition of “Where Have All the Flowers Gone,” and appreciated his “intimate, seemingly unscripted commentary…in which he regales listeners with stories about his childhood, family life and career.” The project was produced with Jeff Haynes, a Grammy Award-winning percussionist who plays throughout the recording, complimenting Seeger’s spoken word pieces. Sounds like a great collector’s item for any Seeger fans.

The evening was hosted by Libba Bray, the best-selling young adult author of The Gemma Doyle trilogy and The Diviners series. Bray won an Audie Award in 2012 for her novel Beauty Queens and noted that recording was not an easy gig. “In the booth, I discovered that my New Zealand accent stinks, my English accent isn’t any better, and by hour eight or nine, even my American accent wasn’t too keen,” she said. “Also, in the future, I will only be writing three-word sentences. I’m sorry for all the tongue twisters, audiobook recording people. Much respect.”

Here’s the complete list of winners:

AUDIOBOOK OF THE YEAR: Still Foolin’ ‘Em, by Billy Crystal; Read by Billy Cystal

DISTINGUISHED ACHIEVEMENT IN PRODUCTION: Pete Seeger: The Storm King, by Pete Seeger, edited by Jeff Haynes; Read by Pete Seeger

NON-FICTION: David and Goliath, by Malcolm Gladwell; Read by Malcolm Gladwell

BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR: The Elephant Whisperer, by Lawrence Anthony; Read by Simon Vance

HISTORY: Devil in the Grove, by Gilbert King; Read by Peter Francis James

INSPIRATIONAL/FAITH-BASED NON-FICTION: Keeping Hope Alive, by Dr. Hawa Abdi; Read by Robin Miles

BUSINESS/EDUCATIONAL: Leadership Skills of the Salvation Army, by Robert Watson; Read by Bob Souer

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT: You Are a Badass, by Jen Sincero; Read by Jen Sincero

HUMOR: Still Foolin’ ‘Em, by Billy Crystal; Read by Billy Crystal

FICTION: Doctor Sleep, by Stephen King; Read by Will Patton

LITERARY FICTION: The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt; Read by David Pittu

CLASSIC: The Complete Sherlock Holmes, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; Read by Simon Vance

INSPIRATIONAL/FAITH-BASED FICTION: A Story of God and All of Us, by Mark Burnett and Roma Downey; Read by Keith David and the Authors

SHORT STORIES/COLLECTIONS: Sherlock Holmes in America, by John L. Lellenberg et al.; Read by Graham Malcolm

ROMANCE: The Longest Ride, by Nicholas Sparks; Read by Ron McLarty and January LaVoy

EROTICA: Carrie’s Story: An Erotic S/M Novel, by Molly Weatherfield; Read by Shana Savage

SCIENCE FICTION: Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance, by Lois McMaster Bujold; Read by Grover Gardner

PARANORMAL: Reviver, by Seth Patrick; Read by Ari Fliakos

FANTASY: Wisp of a Thing, by Alex Bledsoe; Read by Stefan Rudnicki

MYSTERY: Unleashed, by David Rosenfelt; Read by Grover Gardner

THRILLER/SUSPENSE: The Hit, by David Baldacci; Read by Ron McLarty and Orlagh Cassidy

PACKAGE DESIGN: Clockwork Angels: The Watchmaker’s Edition, by Kevin J. Anderson; Read by Neil Peart

CHILDREN’S TITLES FOR AGES UP TO 8: Hooray for Anna Hibiscus, by Atinuke; Read by Mutiyat Ade-Salu

CHILDREN’S TITLES FOR AGES 8-12: Matilda, by Roald Dahl; Read by Kate Winslet

TEENS: Viva Jacquelina, by L.A. Meyer; Read by Katherine Kellgren

AUDIO DRAMA: Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens, adapted by Paul McCusker; Read by Joe Holgate, Henry Goodman, Bill Sykes, Geoffrey Palmer, Roy Hudd, Finty Williams, and full cast

MULTI-VOICED PERFORMANCE: World War Z: The Complete Edition, by Max Brooks; Read by Max Brooks and full cast

ORIGINAL WORK: Thirteen, by Scott Harrison & Various; Read by Barnaby Edwards & Various

NARRATION BY THE AUTHOR or AUTHORS: Still Foolin’ ‘Em, by Billy Crystal; Read by Billy Crystal

SOLO NARRATION–FEMALE: The Twelve Clues of Christmas, by Rhys Bowen; Read by Katherine Kellgren

SOLO NARRATION–MALE: The Goldfinch, By Donna Tartt; Read by David Pittu

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