Penguin Random House Audio

PRH Audio’s READY PLAYER ONE First-Ever NY Times #1 Audio Fiction Bestseller

The Random House Audio edition of Ernest Cline’s READY PLAYER ONE is making publishing history as the first #1 Audio Fiction Bestseller on the first-ever New York Times Bestseller List devoted separately and solely to Audio titles. The debut rankings appear in the Sunday, March 18 print edition of The New York Times Book Review, now available online, and will henceforth appear monthly, reporting combined physical and digital audio sales for the top 15 fiction and nonfiction audiobooks respectively. 

In all, Penguin Random House Audio placed an industry-leading eight titles on the inaugural lists:

Audio Fiction

  1. READY PLAYER ONE by Ernest Cline, narrated by Wil Wheaton (Random House Audio)
  2. BEFORE WE WERE YOURS by Lisa Wingate, narrated by Emily Rankin and Catherine Taber (Random House Audio)
  3. ORIGIN by Dan Brown, narrated by Paul Michael (Random House Audio)
  4. LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE by Celeste Ng, narrated by Jennifer Lim (Penguin Audio)
  5. STILL ME by Jojo Moyes, narrated by Anna Acton (Penguin Audio)

Audio Nonfiction

  1. THE POWER OF HABIT by Charles Duhigg, narrated by Mike Chamberlain (Random House Audio)
  2. ENLIGHTENMENT NOW by Stephen Pinker, narrated by Arthur Morey (Penguin Audio)
  3. WHEN by Daniel Pink, narrated by the author (Penguin Audio)
In their announcement, New York Times Book Review editor Pamela Paul said, “The vibrant growth of audiobooks in the industry has created a need for an impartial, reliable source for tracking and reporting the top-selling audiobooks across the country.”   Amanda D’Acierno, EVP, Publisher, Penguin Random House Audio, said, “This recognition by the New York Times of the increasing popularity and vitality of audiobooks is enormously welcome by all of us who love to create and to listen to them. We are thrilled by the performance of our titles on their debut lists, which has given us a benchmark to constantly try to improve upon.”

12 Penguin Random House Audio Titles are 2018 Audie Awards Finalists


The Audio Publishers Association has announced its 2018 Audie Awards finalists, including 12 Penguin Random House Audio titles.  This year’s honorees were revealed via a social media campaign, with each category’s finalists announced by a notable author, narrator, or media outlet. Three PRH Audio authors nominated this year participated in the announcement. George Saunders revealed the Short Stories/Collections category on his Facebook (30.21K followers), John le Carré revealed the Mystery category on his Twitter  (6.4K followers), and Libba Bray revealed the Middle Grade category on her Twitter (55.8K followers).  

Winners in all categories will be revealed during the Audies Gala on May 31 in New York during BookExpo 2018. Our Audie Awards finalists: Fiction ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE by Gail Honeyman, read by Cathleen McCarro (Penguin Audio) Thriller Suspense A LEGACY OF SPIES by John le Carré, narrated by Tom Hollander (Penguin Audio) Mystery THE GIRL WHO TAKES AN EYE FOR AN EYE by David Lagercrantz, narrated by Simon Vance (Random House Audio) Multi-Voiced Performance LINCOLN IN THE BARDO by George Saunders, narrated by George Saunders, Nick Offerman, David Sedaris, and 163 others (Random House Audio) Nonfiction AMERICAN WOLF: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West by Nate Blakeslee, narrated by Mark Bramhall (Random House Audio) SHATTERED: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, narrated by Kimberly Farr (Random House Audio) Inspirational Faith-Based Nonfiction WAKE UP TO THE JOY OF YOU: 52 Meditations and Practices for a Calmer, Happier Life, written and narrated by Agapi Stassinopoulos (Random House Audio) Science Fiction BATTLEFRONT II: Inferno Squad (Star Wars) by Christie Golden, narrated by Janina Gavankar (Random House Audio) Young Adult BEFORE THE DEVIL BREAKS YOU by Libba Bray, narrated by January LaVoy (Listening Library) YOU BRING THE DISTANT NEAR by Mitali Perkins, narrated by Sneha Mathan, Shivali Bhammer, Priya Ayyar, and others (Listening Library) Middle Grade THE EPIC FAIL OF ARTURO ZAMORA, written and narrated by Pablo Cartaya (Listening Library) SEE YOU IN THE COSMOS by Jack Cheng, read by Kivlighan de Montebello and Various (Listening Library) View the complete list of 2018 Audie Awards finalists here.

Our Audio Group and Texas Monthly Partner to Record Magazine Features on Audio for the First Time

Acclaimed magazine Texas Monthly  has partnered with Penguin Random House Audio to record more than 20 features from the magazine’s archives on audio for the first time. This collaboration offers listeners thought-provoking stories perfect for the length of a commute, similar to a podcast, but recorded with the high production quality listeners have come to expect from full-length audiobook programs.  

Since 1973, Texas Monthly has chronicled life in Texas on topics ranging from politics, crime, and education to industry and the environment. Texas Monthly editors worked with Penguin Random House Audio to select 21 of the most popular features from the magazine’s history, both classic and recently published, including stories from longtime contributors Mimi Swartz (“The Cheerleader Murder Plot,” National Magazine Award‒winner “Mothers, Sisters, Daughters, Wives”), Skip Hollandsworth (“The Last Ride of Cowboy Bob,” National Magazine Award‒winner “Still Life”), and many others. Each audio is narrated by a native Texan and evokes the Lone Star state—though these unforgettable stories, from true crime narratives to larger-than-life profiles, are full of drama and compelling detail that will appeal to every listener. Amanda D’Acierno, Publisher of Penguin Random House Audio, says, “As a native Texan, Texas Monthly is near and dear to my heart. It is the realization of a dream to bring these incredible stories to the audio format. The features are the ideal length for a commute, a workout, or for simply relaxing and absorbing an unforgettable tale from some of our state’s best writers and their subjects.” “This partnership represents a big step forward in our efforts to evolve from a print-centric operation to one that meets readers where they are,” says Tim Taliaferro, editor in chief of Texas Monthly. “We are thrilled to be partnering with Penguin Random House Audio to take the best of Texas Monthly and extend it to a new medium and a wider audience. It’s such a sensible match of two elite storytelling brands, and the best part is that readers and listeners are who stand to gain the most.” Starting in January 2018 and continuing throughout the spring, the stories will be available exclusively as digital audio downloads both individually and as four collections around a common theme: True Crime from Texas Monthly, Social Studies from Texas Monthly, Texas Business and Culture from Texas Monthly, and National Magazine Award‒Winning Features from Texas Monthly.

Penguin Random House Audio Launches “Transform Your Commute” in NYC

Lemon commuteTo celebrate the kickoff of “June is Audiobook Month,” Penguin Random House Audio is launching its “Transform Your Commute” campaign in New York City. To encourage more listeners to turn a sour commute sweet with audiobooks, Penguin Random House Audio is offering a week of free downloads to NYC-area commuters from Monday, June 5 to Friday,

June 9, via special “lemonade stands” (see locations and full schedule below) serving up fresh audio treats every day, from Mindy Kaling’s IS EVERYONE HANGING OUT WITHOUT ME? (And Other Concerns) to Charles Duhigg’s THE POWER OF HABIT: Why We Do What We Do in Power and Business. “Audiobooks are the perfect way to relieve stress after a tough day or to make your commute time more productive,” says Amanda D’Acierno, Senior Vice President and Publisher, Penguin Random House Audio. “Listening to a great book read by a talented narrator can tune out the noise of a crowded train or make a bus ride feel so much faster.” Here is a commuter guide to Penguin Random House Audio’s lemonade stand locations, and what audiobook treats are being served, with a different listen each day, from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Transform Your Commute_humor copyJune 5: Union Square, Broadway between 17th & 18th Streets BETTER THAN BEFORE: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin, narrated by the author June 6: Jersey City, J. Owen Grundy Park DEEP STORM by Lincoln Child, narrated by Scott Brick June 7: Downtown Brooklyn, Willoughby Plaza IS EVERYONE HANGING OUT WITHOUT ME? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling, narrated by the author June 8: Lower Manhattan, Bowling Green THE POWER OF HABIT: Why We Do What We Do in Power and Business by Charles Duhigg, narrated by Mike Chamberlain June 9: Columbus Circle, 60th Street and Central Park West A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS by George R.R. Martin, narrated by Harry Lloyd Listeners unable to visit the lemonade stands can redeem a free download of Jane Austin’s PRIDE AND PREJUDICE by clicking here. Penguin Random House Audio is also spreading the “Transform Your Commute” message throughout the New York Metro area with ads sharing listening suggestions like John Grisham’s CAMINO ISLAND, Alan Alda’s If I UNDERSTOOD YOU, WOULD I HAVE THIS LOOK ON MY FACE?, Jeffrey Tambor’s ARE YOU ANYBODY? and Jill Santopolo’s THE LIGHT WE LOST on the subway, Long Island Rail Road, Metro North, New Jersey Transit and PATH trains. This campaign complements Penguin Random House’s 2016 partnership with the MTA and Transit Wireless to create ‘Subway Reads,’ an in-transit reading experience for all New York City subway riders. The joint program provided commuters with access to six free Penguin Random House e-shorts, as well as extensive samples from more than 175 full-length books, to enjoy while on the subway. The content was categorized by read time, allowing Subway riders to choose excerpts that suited the length of their individual commutes.

Celebrating Our 4 Audie Awards Winners

2017 audie awardsPenguin Random House won 4 Audies last night at the 22nd annual Audie Awards® in New York. The Audio Publishers Association (APA) annually presents the premier awards program for audiobooks in the United States, recognizing excellence in audiobooks and spoken word entertainment.

Here are our winners in the following categories: LIT-FIC_HomegoingMULTIVOICE_SmallGreatThingsMulti-Voiced Performance SMALL GREAT THINGS by Jodi Picoult; read by Audra McDonald, Cassandra Campbell and Ari Fliakos; produced by Orli Moscowitz  (Random House Audio) Literary Fiction & Classics HOMEGOING by Yaa Gyasi; read by Dominic Hoffman; produced by Kelly Gildea  (Random House Audio) Science Fiction YOUNGADULT_SaltToTheSeaSCIENCEFICTION_StarWarsSTAR WARS: The Force Awakens by Alan Dean Foster; read by Marc Thompson; produced by Aaron Blank (Random House Audio) Young Adult SALT TO THE SEA by Ruta Sepetys; read by Jorjeana Marie, Will Damron, Cassandra Morris and Michael Crouch; produced by Sarah Jaffe  (Listening Library) Resounding congratulations to our authors, readers, producers, publishers, and everyone on the Penguin Random House Audio team. View the complete list of 2017 Audie Awards winners here.
Load more

Random House Audio Releases Walt Whitman Novel, Narrated by Jon Hamm

WWhitmanJackEngleAudiobookTnailWalt Whitman’s newly discovered novel, LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF JACK ENGLE, published prior to LEAVES OF GRASS, is now available for the first time as an audiobook.  Narrated by Jon Hamm, the title was released by Random House Audio on Tuesday (5/30), just in time to celebrate what would have been Whitman’s 198th birthday on May 31. 

LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF JACK ENGLE is a rollicking story full of colorful New York characters, originally serialized in the Sunday Dispatch anonymously in 1852. Mr. Hamm’s performance of the many salty characters, from Irish street sweeper Barney Fox, to faux-French aristocrat Madame Seligny, conniving Quaker lawyer Covert, and the bootstrapping orphan Jack Engle himself, brings out the wry humor woven throughout the tale. Mr. Hamm, who previously narrated Frank O’Hara’s New York Stories, said of the recording, “I had been a fan of Whitman’s work, so it was an easy choice for me. And this is a lost work. It’s exciting to read something new by someone who’s been dead over 100 years.” Scholar Zachary Turpin of the University of Houston narrates an afterword describing how he followed clues in Whitman’s papers leading him to the Library of Congress, whose newspaper archives contained the only known surviving copy of JACK ENGLE. Mr. Turpin consulted on the audio recording, advising on correct historical pronunciations of the characters’ names and accents. Mr. Hamm’s nuanced portrayal of the high-powered, advertising executive Don Draper on AMC’s award-winning drama series, Mad Men, firmly established him as one of Hollywood’s most talented and versatile actors. He has earned numerous accolades, including an Emmy Award in 2015 for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series, and Golden Globe Awards in 2016 and 2008.

Nearly 60 Colleagues Featured on George Saunders’ LINCOLN IN THE BARDO Random House Audio Title

george saunders2An unprecedented cast of 166 different voices narrate the Random House Audio edition of LINCOLN IN THE BARDO, the first novel by George Saunders, bestselling author of TENTH OF DECEMBER and a National Book Award nominee. Nearly 60 Penguin Random House colleagues (scroll down to see the list of names) are featured as part of the audiobook cast, led

by such award-winning actors as Nick Offerman, Carrie Brownstein, Lena Dunham, Ben Stiller, Julianne Moore, Susan Sarandon, Bill Hader and Rainn Wilson. A number of musicians, fellow authors, Saunders’ family and friends also participated. Kelly Gildea directed and produced this audiobook. Random House publishes the hardcover and eBook editions. lincolnUnfolding in a graveyard over the course of a single night and narrated by a dazzling chorus of voices both living and dead, LINCOLN IN THE BARDO is an exploration of struggle, death, love and the powers of good and evil. On February 22, 1862, a grief-stricken Abraham Lincoln visits the crypt where his eleven-year-old son was just laid to rest so that he might hold his boy’s body once more. LINCOLN IN THE BARDO is a story told in a thrilling new form that features a theatrical panorama of voices, which reflect how varied the America of that time was by using high diction and low diction, along with beautifully articulate 19th century letters and obscene rants. The audiobook simulates that diversity of voice intended within the book. “I love the idea that by casting actors and non-actors,” Saunders says, “we were able to simulate that ‘I hear America singing’ notion.” Watch  this video: George Saunders on the LINCOLN IN  THE BARDO Audiobook Here is the complete list of participating Penguin Random House colleagues, preceded by the characters (in order of appearance) they gave voice to: DAVID VON DREHLE – Benjamin Dreyer MRS. KATE O’BRIEN – Barbara Fillon ANN BRIGHNEY – Mika Kasuga BERNADETTE EVON – Dhara Parikh DOLORES P. LEVENTROP – Molly Turpin I.B. BRIGG III – Greg Kubie ALBERT TRUNDLE – Lane Jantzen MAXWELL FLAGG – Richard Romaniello TYRON PHILIAN – Jeff Kenyon A SPRINGFIELD NEIGHBOR – Amanda D’Acierno SIMON WEBER – Michael Goldsmith SIMON IVERNESS – Joe Scalora BENJAMIN BROWN FRENCH – Andy Hughes MR. MAXWELL BOISE – Andy Ward JASON TUMM – Dan Musselman SOLDIER (from Bell/Trust) – Noah Eaker C.R. DEPAGE – Louise Quayle JAYNE COSTER – Hilary Redmon JAMES R. GILMORE – Ben Greenberg MARTIN P.S. RINDLAUB – Aaron Blank ROBERT WILSON – Robert Guzman F.B. CARPENTER – Peter Mendesund JOHN S. BARNES – Simon Katz JOHN WIDMER – Michael Gentile THE UTICA “HERALD” – Richard Wylde ORLANDO B. FICKLIN – Phil Stamper-Halpin JAMES MINER – Mike Murray A JOURNALIST (from Piatt) – Sean Baker HORACE WHITE – Cesar Guadamuz SENATOR JAMES HARLAN – Eric Lovaas NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE – David McLaughlin CORDELIA A.P. HARVEY – Susan Kamil CHARLES A. DANA – Patrick Billard ABRAHAM M. GORDON – Oliver Mundy EDWARD J. KEMPF – Tom Russell REV. GEORGE C. NOYES – Simon Tepas CLARK E. CARR – Bill Rood COLONEL THEODORE LYMAN – Bob Quinto W.A. CROFFUT – Henry Williams ALLEN THORNDIKE RICE – Thomas Perry DAVID LOCKE – Dan Zitt LARRY TAGG – David Weller GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN – Hugo Bressin EDWARD EVERETT – Pat Stango CONGRESSMAN CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS – David Haase TOBIAN CLEARLY – David Phethean JAMES SPICER – Greg Wilson B. MILLBANK – Robin Schiff THEODORE BLASGEN – Michael Rotondo MAUREEN H. HEDGES – Jennifer Rubins ELIZABETH TODD GRIMSLEY – Alaina Waagner LEONARD SWETT – Sam Nicholson “LINCOLN LORE” – Leigh Marchant THOMAS J. CRAUGHWELL – Jeff Weber EMILY WEDGE – Caitlin McKenna MATHILDE WILLIAMS – Avideh Bashirrad MRS. ANTOINETTE BOXER – Kelly Gildea

18 Penguin Random House Audio Titles are 2017 Audie Awards Finalists

audie-awardsThe Audio Publishers Association has announced the finalists for its 2017 Audie Awards and 18 of them are Penguin Random House Audio titles. The honorees were revealed via a social media campaign, with each category’s finalists named by a notable author, narrator, or media outlet. Three Penguin

Random House Audio authors nominated this year participated in the announcement. Ruta Sepetys revealed the Audio Drama category on her Twitter (9.7K followers); Amie Kaufman revealed the Mystery category on her Twitter (11.6K followers); and Colson Whitehead revealed the Autobiography & Memoir category on his Twitter (188k followers). The hashtag #Audies2017 is trending nationally. Our Penguin Random House Audie Awards finalists are presented below in the following categories: Autobiography/Memoir audiesWHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR by Paul Kalanithi, read by Sunil Malhotra and Cassandra Campbell (Random House Audio) Best Female Narrator THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD by Colson Whitehead, read by Bahni Turpin (Random House Audio) History/Biography VALIANT AMBITION by Nathaniel Philbrick, read by Scott Brick (Penguin Audio) Humor THE BASSOON KING: My Life in Art, Faith, and Idiocy by Rainn Wilson, read by the author (Penguin Audio) YOU CAN’T TOUCH MY HAIR by Phoebe Robinson, read by Phoebe Robinson, Jessica Williams and John Hodgman (Penguin Audio) Literary Fiction & Classics audies2HOMEGOING by Yaa Gyasi, read by Dominic Hoffman (Random House Audio) THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD by Colson Whitehead, read by Bahni Turpin (Random House Audio) Middle Grade THE ENCHANTED FILES: Hatched by Bruce Coville, read by Matthew Frow, Jeremy Gumbs and a full cast (Listening Library) THE INQUISITOR’S TALE by Adam Gidwitz, read by Adam Gidwitz and a full cast (Listening Library) Multi-Voiced Performance SMALL GREAT THINGS by Jodi Picoult, read by Audra McDonald, Cassandra Campbell and Ari Fliakos (Random House Audio) Narration by Author or Authors audies3IN SUCH GOOD COMPANY by Carol Burnett, read by the author (Random House Audio) Nonfiction EVICTED: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond, read by Dion Graham (Random House Audio) Paranormal STAKED by Kevin Hearne, read by Luke Daniels (Random House Audio) Science Fiction SLEEPING GIANTS by Sylvain Neuvel, read by a full cast (Random House Audio) STAR WARS: The Force Awakens by Alan Dean Foster, read by Marc Thompson (Random House Audio) Young Adult audies4GEMINA by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, read by Carla Corvo and a full cast (Listening Library) SALT TO THE SEA by Ruta Sepetys, read by Jorjeana Marie, Will Damron, Cassandra Morris and Michael Crouch (Listening Library) Young Listeners THE TALE OF KITTY-IN-BOOTS by Beatrix Potter, read by Helen Mirren (Listening Library) Congratulations to all of our honorees and everyone involved with creating these exemplary titles. View the full list of this year’s Audie Awards nominees here. The winners will be announced at the Audies Gala at the Alliance Français in New York on June 1.

Celebrate Audiobook Month by Sharing Why You #LoveAudiobooks

audiobookPenguin Random House Audio and the Audio Publishers Association are celebrating June as Audiobook Month with a new awareness campaign: “A Good Audiobook Speaks Volumes,” featuring video PSAs with prominent authors. Dozens of bestselling authors from across the industry are creating videos sharing why they love audiobooks, including Chelsea Clinton, Whoopi Goldberg, Stephen King, Tyler Oakley, James Patterson, and many more.

Videos with Penguin Random House Audio authors Justin Cronin, Terry McMillan, Delia Ephron, Jazz Jennings, Faith Salie, Jennifer Niven, David Levithan, Julie Berry, Julie Buxbaum and Jon Scieszka will be rolling out over the coming weeks (check out all the videos on the APA website: Chelsea Clinton’s PSA was revealed on on June 9 and focuses on how audiobooks support literacy (did you know more than 85% of what we learn is learned by listening?): Additional author videos will be revealed throughout the month and into the summer, supported by a robust online ad campaign. The APA is also inviting all audiobook listeners to join in, sharing why they #loveaudiobooks on social media and hosting a sweepstakes for a chance to win a year’s supply of audiobooks, a $250 American Express gift card and a pair of Bose SoundLink Bluetooth headphones. While the audiobook format is experiencing rapid growth, there are still many avid readers who haven’t tried listening—and summer is the perfect time of year to take audiobooks for a test drive on your next road trip, to catch up on reading during the school break with audiobooks, or simply listen while lounging by the pool. Please help our Penguin Random House Audio team spread the word about the campaign by sharing why you #loveaudiobooks on social media, or resharing one or more of the author videos.