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I can’t say that I think about audiobook narrators too much when I’m listening to stories. So long as I can understand what they’re saying and they inflect appropriate emotions into a scene, I can adjust to just about any reading style.
It’s sort of like listening to someone tell a story. The way they tell it might be a little (or even very) different from how I’d do it, but that’s a good thing.
These discussions are often better when people do have strong opinions on the matter, so my fingers are crossed that some of you are much more opinionated on the matter.
Here are a few audiobook narrators I think it would be cool to listen to.
1) The Author Themself
They know exactly how that scene unfolded in their mind, so that might give the author an advantage when it comes to reading the audiobook and emphasizing (or not emphasizing) certain words.
2) Morgan Freeman
He has such a distinctive and recognizable voice!
3) Robin Williams (may he Rest in Peace)
What a great narrator he would have been for a children’s picture book or a comedic story.
4) Bilingual or Multilingual People
People who can speak two or more languages can sometimes have such memorable insight into the idiosyncrasies of a language. I love listening to their thoughts on idioms or how best to translate something when the literal translation doesn’t quite work for whatever reason.
5) Patrick Stewart
I could listen to him speak for hours.
6) James Earl Jones
I find his voice so soothing.
I wasn’t expecting this list to have so many men on it. Who are your favourite famous women out there who have amazing speaking voices?
68 Responses to Top Ten Tuesday: Audiobook Narrators I’d Love to Listen To
Oh Morgan Freeman is such a good choice. He has such a great voice.
I wonder if Morgan Freeman has ever narrated a book? I’d love to listen to his voice.
That’s a good question. I looked it up, and apparently he has. I had no idea.
James Earl Jones is on my list as he narrates an audio version of the Bible that I have. What a voice.
Robin Williams would’ve been a great narrator!
Great list – several of the names on my list were authors reading their own books which is often such a privilege.
These are some of my favourite audiobook narrators!
Thanks for stopping by, Michael!
Your blog is one of the ones I can’t seem to leave comments on, but I do try every week!
These would be great choices! I only listen to memoirs as audiobooks because otherwise, I seem to just not pay attention. Since I don’t listen to many I didn’t even do this topic and just did a monthly post I made. LOL
Thank you, Leslie. And, yeah, I sometimes have that same problem.
You’re totally right about multilingual people being nice to listen to. I’ve listened to a few books where most of it is English but a few characters speak Spanish and it adds so much to the book for me, even if I don’t always understand what they’re saying.
That’s awesome! And glad to hear it.
I liked the reader of Six of Crows.
These would be great audiobook narrators!
I think it’s neat when ana uthor can pull off their own audio. I bet it’s harder than it sounds!
I’m sure it is!
Morgan Freeman and James Earl Jones would both be great. I want to say that Patrick Stewart has, but I might be wrong there. I just love that guy though so I might be projecting. Hahaha.
Here is our Top Ten Tuesday. Thank you!
Ooh, has he? I had no idea, and I’m excited at the prospect of listening to any audiobooks he’s done.
Omg Patrick Stewart, YES! 😍 And Morgan Freeman too, for sure. I love their voices and can definitely listen to them speak all day. Great picks, Lydia!
Thank you, Dini! I commented on your post before finding this comment here. 🙂
I listened to Patrick Stewart narrate the final Narnia book, and he was so fun to listen to. He also narrated a “sonnet a day” (Shakespeare’s sonnets) early on in the COVID pandemic, and that was a great listen as well, in addition to being a much needed break during all the stress of those uncertain days. I think they’re on YouTube if you want to check them out?
My TTT: https://bookwyrmknits.com/2023/04/25/top-ten-tuesday-favorite-audiobook-narrators/
Yeah, I remember those sonnets! They were lovely, but I only heard a few. I will look up the rest.
Oh, and I commented on your site right before seeing yours here. 🙂
I’m not one for audiobooks, but autobiographies narrated by the author interest me! I hope you find some audiobooks you enjoy soon.
I enjoy your list! Here is my post-https://paigesofnovels.com/2023/04/25/top-ten-tuesday-favorite-musicals-at-the-moment/
Oh, Morgan Freeman and James Earl Jones would be amazing narrators indeed!
Yes I know a few authors that do a really good job of narrating their own books, but I guess not all of them would do so well.
It’s a skill for sure!
Great list! I also love when the author narrates their own book, and James Earl Jones has a fantastic voice for narration. Morgan Freeman also could do a wonderful job with his distinctive voice. And you hit the nail on the head with Robin Williams. We lost an incredible talent there.
Thank you. And agreed. 🙂
These are some fun ones! I really love hearing the author narrate their own memoirs, they know the story best and it’s great hearing it in their own voice
I love Patrick Stewarts voice too
Yay! Yeah, it’s awesome.
I bet Robin Williams would have been great.
Great choices! My husband and I are listening to SURRENDER by Bono right now and I love listening to him both speak and sing. I find his voice super soothing.
Patrick Stewart and James Earl Jones would be fabulous narrators. And, of course, Robin Williams. If only.
Thank you! I’ll have to look that book up.
Patrick Stewart would be really good. I’ve had two authors I had to dnf on the audio. Writing it and performing it don’t always go hand in hand for me at least! Good post.
Thank you. Yeah, they’re two different skills for sure.
I like your tweak on today’s prompt. Yes, Morgan Freeman would be a fabulous person to narrate!!
Thank you! 🙂
I had the same reaction to my list – where’s the women?? Haha. I find the female voices I most like are YouTubers, not actresses. Not sure why that happens to be.
These are all great choices! I do love when an author narrates their own books — if they’re good at it. Sadly, I’ve listened to a few of these where it just didn’t work (but I guess they get points for trying!). In terms of multi-lingual people, I listened to a YA book narrated by Lin-Manuel Miranda, and it was fabulous listening to him do the English and Spanish so beautifully. Hmmm, women with great speaking voices… I’m thinking Helen Mirren for some reason!
Ooh, I’ll have to look them up. Thanks.
Lots of authors narrate their own memoirs and I really like that because it’s cool listening to the person tell you their life story. Robin Williams would have been a fabulous audiobook narrator I’m sure and James Earl Jones has a very distinctive voice, so I can definitely see how he’d be good at it. I’ve not listened to many celebrity women narrate audiobooks, I’ve listened to a lot of audiobooks with female narrators but they’re usually less well known voice actors or people who specifically narrate audiobooks so aren’t exactly famous. Lauren Graham was fabulous narrating her essay collections. Fenella Woolgar from Call The Midwife did a great job narrating Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life. Ooh and Carey Mulligan narrated Matt Haig’s The Midnight Library and was fabulous doing that.
I’m looking up your suggestions now. Thank you!
Great point about the author reading their own book! They’d know exactly the emotion of the scene or character. I think some do read their own books, but maybe it’s more in autobiographical genre. Either way, I hope you find some great recommendations! 🙂 Thanks for visiting my website this week.
Yeah, a lot of writers do tend to narrate their own books if it’s a memoir or autobiography. You’re right about that.
Love when the authors narrate the story, it feels special.
That the reason why i listening to Hollywood autobiographies
It’s very common there for sure!
You’ve got some great voices on that list!
Thanks for stopping by my blog!
while I am not one for audiobooks (not yet anyway), I agree with your choices for those who can make great narrators!! and thanks for stopping by my TTT earlier
You’re welcome. Thank you.
A great list of people!
Have a good week.
Thanks. You, too!
You’re so right about Robin Williams! He would have been perfect for a children’s book. I always thought Kathleen Turner had a soothing and distinctive voice. Happy reading, Lydia!
Thank you. I’ll have to look Kathleen Turner up. Happy reading to you as well.
Very late to this post but I really enjoyed it!
#4 is a great point. I’ve definitely chosen some of my reads as audiobooks (Love in English; Don’t Date Rosa Santos; Butterfly Yellow*) specifically because the characters peppered in a lot of their non-English first language into both the dialogue and interior thoughts, and it’s so much more fulfilling to hear how it’s supposed to be pronounced. I don’t know if the narrators themselves were all bilingual in those cases, but I imagine that must at least be something companies look for when selecting a narrator.
*this one’s MC is Vietnamese, and that made the audio particularly incredible
I’ve found self-narration kind of hit-or-miss — Jenny Lawson’s memoirs, for instance, are self-narrated in the audiobook and that did not work for me; I can’t really explain why but it had the feeling of how a self-published novel differs from a traditionally published and edited one, where it’s technically competent, there’s nothing really wrong with it, but there’s something…not fully polished, either.
Though on second thought, I guess all the other ones I’ve heard were written by actors, who are pretty much guaranteed to have the skill needed for voice work.
Thank you, RS!
I’ll keep an eye out for Butterfly Yellow. It sounds really good.
I didn’t know Jenny Lawton’s memoirs were self-narrated. Good to know about that one.