A Few Good Women: My Favorite Female Narrators


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!

Katherine Kellgren

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.

Katherine Kellgren 1

Katherine Kellgren 2I’ve already read both Austenland and Blackout, but I loved both enough for a reread–and what better way to reread than to have it read to you by one of your favorite narrators?

Bahni Turpin

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.

Bahni Turpin 1

Bahni Turpin 2


Jenna Lamia

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

Jenna Lamia 1

Jenna Lamia 2

Kate Reading

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.

Kate Reading 1

Kate Reading 2
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?


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  1. So do you have any favorite male narrators?

    • Alyssa says:

      Sorry, I have to answer this one as well. I don’t really enjoy female narrators, I find them to be too jarring, but I LOVE male narrators. The best ones for me so far are Neil Gaiman, Jim Dale, and Nick Podehl :)

  2. Bonnie says:

    A good narrator is key to whether I enjoy the book or not. Listening to clips is vital because I’ve chanced it too many times without trying it out. Love these recommendations!! I have so many of these audiobooks you listed. I’m excited to actually get around to them now! I listened to a clip of Austenland and when i do get around to reading that it’ll definitely be on audio. Also, I’ve been dying to get around to Stacia Kane’s series because I have no doubt I’d love it… may have to try that out on audio too. :)

  3. I need to up my audiobook count and this post is just perfect! I’ve been meaning to read so many of the books you mentioned, so thanks for the recs, Heidi! Wonderful post, my friend!(:

  4. I can so relate to this post. I definitely follow narrators! I have a few favorites, but the top of the list for me is Emma Galvin, and Khristine Hvam and Rebecca Soler are fantastic too.

    I don’t think I’ve listened to Kate Reading yet, though now I want to try Antigoddess.

    Thanks for sharing your recs!

  5. Sarah says:

    This is fabulous! I’m a relatively new audio booker, and I’ve definitely gotten hooked on specific narrators, who can really make a book. (My favorite thus far is Kristine Hvam.) I haven’t listened to books by any of these narrators, so I’m definitely going to keep my eyes out for them.

  6. I’ll definitely be checking these out! A good narrator makes all the difference in an audiobook.

  7. What an interesting way to find new books to read by stalking the narrators!

  8. Alyssa says:

    Okay! I think I will try some of these narrators, you have convinced me. Especially with the soulful voice of Bahni Turpin! :)

  9. Johannah says:

    I haven’t read antigodess yet! I can’t wait to cause I loved Anna Dressed in Blood!

  10. morganpdx says:

    Juanita McMahon is BRILLIANT. I’ve listened to books just because she’s the narrator, and listened to the whole thing even though I ended up disliking the story!

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