My favorite audiobook narrators

Top Ten Tuesday

That Artsy Reader Girl has hosted Top Ten Tuesday since January of 2018. This is a fun meme with specific topics each week. If you like to make lists and talk about books be sure to check it out.

This week we have an audiobook freebie. I’m talking about my favorite audiobook narrators. It really helps me follow the story when the narrator has a clear, strong voice. These narrators all show that. They use their voices to bring the author’s characters to life.

I only have seven narrators listed here. These are just the narrators whom I remember long after I finish the book. I know there are many more great narrators out there. These are just my favorites based on the books I’ve listened to so far. And I like many more narrators, but I picked these for today! And I know it’s completely subjective…lol.

Favorite Narrators

R.C. Bray

 

R.C. Bray is the perfect voice for The Martian by Andy Weir. Mark Watney is a scientist and Bray does a great matter-of-fact portrayal of Watney and helps bring him to life for me. This is a thriller of the best kind for me–intelligent, human and smart–and Bray shows that Watney has what it takes to courageously face Mars alone and do everything he can to survive. He’s a scientist and a problem-solver and that comes through in Bray’s narration.

Simon Prebble

I’ve listened to two Dick Francis books–10 lb. Penalty and Proof. The books are not about the same characters, but I didn’t get mixed up at all. He’s got such a great voice and I feel his characters’ emotions when I listen to his narratives.

David Chandler

I’ve listened to six of the books in the Cork O’Connor series by William Kent Kreuger. David Chandler does such a great job narrating these books. He has a strong, clear voice and is the perfect narrator for this mystery series.

George Guidall

I’ve listened to nine of Craig Johnson’s Walt Longmire series narrated by George Guidall. I can hear some of the easygoing, relaxed western drawl in Guidall’s portrayal of Longmire.

Kathleen Gati

The lyrical language of the The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden shows so well in Kathleen Gati’s narration. Ms. Gati brings me into the fairytale world.

Richard Armitage

I love Richard Armitage’s voice! He’s also one of my favorite actors (watch North and South if you haven’t already!)

Classic Love Poems (William Shakespeare, Edgar Allen Poe, Elizabeth Barrett Browning) was a free Audible audiobook a few years ago. I think they gave it away on Valentine’s Day. It’s only 19 minutes long, but if I’d had Armitage to listen to when I was trying to understand poetry in school I would have understood some of the poets a lot better!

Katherine Kellgren

Rhys Bowen’s Her Royal Spyness is narrated by Katherine Kellgren. She does such a great job with all the voices in these books. I also listened to The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley. It’s definitely the same voice as Rhys Bowen’s series, but I was immediately immersed in The Firebird and not distracted by listening to the same voice as one of my favorite series.

Rosalyn Landor

The Winter Sea–another book by Susanna Kearsley–is narrated by Rosalyn Landor. I loved her narration. The narration really contributed to making this one of my very favorite books.

……………….

Do you like audiobooks? Do you have favorite narrators? Do you think listening to audiobooks can create more enjoyment than reading a print book?

Review: Blood Hollow by William Kent Kreuger

Blood Hollow by William Kent Kreuger

Blood Hollow by William Kent Kreuger

Series: Cork O’Connor #4

Genre: Mystery

Setting: Northern Minnesota

Source: Audiobook, Library (11 hours, 15 hours)

Narrator: David Chandler

Publishing Date: 2004

512 pages

Synopsis: When the corpse of a beautiful high school student is discovered on a hillside four months after her disappearance on New Year’s Eve, all evidence points to her boyfriend, local bad boy Solemn Winter Moon. Despite Solemn’s self-incriminating decision to go into hiding, Cork O’Connor, Aurora, Minnesota’s former sheriff, isn’t about to hang the crime on a kid he’s convinced is innocent. In an uphill battle to clear Solemn’s name, Cork encounters no shortage of adversity. Some — like bigotry and bureaucracy — he knows all too well. What Cork isn’t prepared for is the emergence of a long-held resentment from his own childhood. And when Solemn reappears, claiming to have seen a vision of Jesus Christ in Blood Hollow, the mystery becomes thornier than Cork could ever have anticipated. And that’s when the miracles start happening….

My thoughts

I read the first three of this series in 2017 and really liked them. I’ve meant to get back to the series and finally did. I listened to the audiobook and though it was 11 hours long it only took about three days to finish it! The narrator is great and the mystery is very good. It kept me guessing! Just like Cork I had many suspects throughout the course of the book!

The setting in the series is also one I really like. The books take place in northern Minnesota among lakes and forests. The main character is the former sheriff of his county and is part Irish and part Ojibwe Indian. The Ojibwe people and culture play a big part in these books and I love that. Cork O’Connor is very human, makes mistakes, but has strong ethical beliefs. He was raised Catholic, but no longer goes to church. Things happened in earlier books that caused him to doubt the existence of God. This book really explores different beliefs as well as miracles and spirituality. What is real when it comes to God? And how do we really know? How do we interpret “signs” from God? Are they real or not? Is God real? I like how this book talks about these things during the course of this mystery without preaching and without taking anything away from the mystery.

I also like that these books have lots about the relationships of the characters–especially Cork’s family. They have their ups-and-downs in and they’re not perfect, but they love each other. Cork has Ojibwe friends as well as white friends. There are tensions between the two groups of people in this book (as in earlier books), but Cork tries to have good relations with both groups.

I recommend this series if you like mysteries set in interesting places along with compelling characters and ideas.

My Rating: B+

Narrator Rating: B+

Awards

Anthony Award for Best Novel (2005)

Have you read any books by this author?

Reading Challenges

Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge hosted by Stormi @ Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My!

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge hosted by the POPSUGAR website — A book I borrowed (from the library)