October 16, 2013 by Heidi
I’ve observed lately that even more than usual, I’m going on narrator kicks. Some readers get stuck in a genre, some get hooked on an author, me? I’m a total sucker for a great narrator. In recent weeks I’ve found myself searching through lists of books these women have narrated–books I would have otherwise ignored, or books I’ve read a number of times but never had read to me by them–and these are the books I’ve been plugging into my ears.
And so, as any good book pusher, it has occurred to me that it is my duty to thrust these women upon you and insist that you go listen and go listen now!
If you like somewhat cheeky British fair from the streets to the poshest of parties–Katherine is your woman. Katherine highlights a book’s whimsy and flair for the dramatic in a way that makes me jump at anything fanciful (particularly middle grade) read by her.
Bahni Turpin has a bright soulful voice that simply brings to life any character she reads. She can do the bright-eyed wonder of children, and the no-nonsense strait talk of any adult. It may not sound like much, but it’s hard for many narrators to do children and adult books with equal quality–Bahni manages it.
Jenna Lamia has one of the most believable young girl voices out there–seriously, if there is a YA or MG book she narrates, I’m signing up, because she’s excellent. Her voice has this quality that makes her perfect for the roles she plays
My number one go-to narrator this year has been none other than Kate Reading. My addiction came largely from listening to all of Lauren Willig’s Pink Carnation series, and while there could be no more-perfect narrator for any Regency era piece with the requisite British charm, Kate is far from a one-trick pony. She is excellent at various British and American accents, and slides into fantasy just as well as she does historical fiction.
Of course the moment I found out she read one of my all-time favorite books, I tracked down a copy. I’ve also already read Antigoddess, but I’d be very interested to see how Reading reads this type of book–it’s very different than the epic fantasy and historical fiction I’ve listened to previously.
These four may be my favorites, but there are some other fantastic female narrators out there that I want to hear more of! These include Devon Sorvari (Ask the Passengers by A.S. King), Lorelei King (Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs), Amanda Ronconi (Molly Harper books), and Robin Miles (The Freedom Maze by Delia Sherman). All of these women were fantastic in the books where I listened to them, but being as I’ve only listened to a small sample of each it’s hard to rate them as favorites.
Please let me know, who are some of your favorite female narrators? Someone I desperately need to discover?