It’s that time of year again — as we head into the holidays, many of us are looking back at another great year in books. Likewise, AudioFile has released its picks for the best audiobooks of 2019. Here are the winners in Best Fiction, Poetry and Drama:

AKIN by Emma Donoghue, read by Jason Culp

Jason Culp’s near-perfect narration of the new literary drama from the author of ROOM matches its emotional intensity. Two lost souls from distant branches of the same family tree are thrown together. Culp uses an edgy tone to express the frustration of set-in-his-ways 79-year-old retired professor Noah Selvaggio as his planned trip to the French Riviera is upended when he reluctantly takes Michael, an abandoned 11-year-old great-nephew, on the journey.

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Watch a Video with Narrator Jason Culp

Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson, read by Jacqueline Woodson, Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Peter Francis James, Shayna Small, Bahni Turpin

Five talented narrators, including the author, differentiate shifting time periods and three generations of an African-American family. Bahni Turpin aids listeners in understanding the feelings of 16-year-old Melody, who is central to the story. Author Jacqueline Woodson delivers the third-person narrative, connecting the way the protagonists impact each other. Her spare but emotive text leaves lots of room for all these powerful interpretations.

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Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid, read by Jennifer Beals, Benjamin Bratt, Judy Greer, Pablo Schreiber, Ari Fliakos, January LaVoy, Julia Whelan and a Full Cast

This is—to state it plainly—a remarkable audiobook. It recounts the story of a seventies rock band’s meteoric rise to fame and mysterious fall from grace. Written as a transcribed oral history, it lends itself naturally to the audio format. Also, it’s narrated by a star-studded full cast. The result is a tapestry of memorable characters with electric chemistry and authentic-sounding relationships.

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The Testaments by Margaret Atwood, read by Ann Dowd, Bryce Dallas Howard, Mae Whitman, Derek Jacobi, Tantoo Cardinal, Margaret Atwood

Bear witness to the secretive lives of Gilead’s women 15 years after THE HANDMAID’S TALE’s conclusion. Narrator Ann Dowd, known for her role on the television adaptation, is formidable as Aunt Lydia. Hearing her resonant narration of diary entries allows listeners to feel the horror of early Gilead, be disturbed by the aunt’s complicity, and discover her secrets. Listening adds an entirely new dimension to a riveting tale.

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A Walk in the Woods by Lee Blessing, read by Alfred Molina, Steven Weber

The recorded performance of this provocative play from the Cold War era shines with wit. Alfred Molina’s vocalizing of a worldly-wise and weary Russian is especially effective—you can hear Moscow in his voice. Steven Weber’s earnest American—from Wausau, Wisconsin—aptly performs the foil/friend. A duologue, the play shows the irony of the pair’s woodland strolls as they discuss geopolitical negotiations in between long, very funny repartee.

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An American Sunrise by Joy Harjo, read by Joy Harjo

Teacher, saxophonist, and poet laureate of the United States, Joy Harjo does not just read her poems. She performs them with passion and music; some are literally songs, and she sings them. This collection focuses on the many trails of tears, from those of her Cherokee and Muscogee ancestors to those of Central American natives today. The poems are beautiful, made more beautiful by the author’s vivid and emotional interpretations.

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The Rest of the Best

AudioFile’s Best Audiobooks of 2019 rounds up the year’s great listening in nine categories that include Fiction, Poetry & Drama; Nonfiction & Culture; Memoir; Biography & History; Mystery & Suspense; Sci-Fi, Fantasy & Horror; Children & Family; Young Adult; and Romance. Check out all of the winners here.