Top Ten Tuesday #331

Hi all! I hope you’ve all had a good week since I last did one of these, mine was fairly quiet, which was nice after a busy couple of weekends. I do have some fun stuff coming up this week though, I have a riding lesson tomorrow and I’m meeting up with friends on Friday, so I’m looking forward to both of those things.

Anyway, it’s Tuesday, so it’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is meant to be Fictional Crushes, but as a 24 year old who reads a lot of YA, I felt a little weird about the idea of a list full of 16-18 year olds, so instead I’ve decided to share a list of my Top Ten Favourite Audiobook Narrators. I got back into audiobooks about two years ago, and I’ve discovered so many narrators I love since then, so I thought I’d share those today:

  1. Saskia Maarleveld (Books Listened To: The Rose Code, The Alice Network, The Last Bookshop in London)

Saskia Maarleveld definitely seems to have a genre niche as all the books I’ve listened to her narrate have been WWII fiction! Anyway, I love her so much as a narrator, she’s a really animated performer, she switches between accents flawlessly and she definitely makes every character feel and sound very different. I was going to read both The Alice Network and The Last Bookshop In London anyway, but I specifically chose to get the audios over e-books or physical copies because her narration of The Rose Code was so good.

2. Andrew Cotter (Books Listened To: Olive, Mabel and Me)

Andrew Cotter is a sports commentator, so naturally he’s good at audio work, and I knew when I saw that he was releasing a book about his two Labradors Olive and Mabel (who became famous over lockdown after he posted videos of them with him doing sports style commentary over the top) that I had to get it in audio. I was not disappointed: Andrew’s relaxing Scottish tones whilst relaying his dogs antics was the recipe for a perfect listening experience.

3. January LaVoy (Books Listened To: The Diviners Series)

January LaVoy is another audiobook narrator who really performs the book to the full! She captured the creepy atmosphere of The Diviners series so well that I honestly couldn’t imagine having experienced the books any other way. She’s wonderful at switching between voices too, which was so important in a book with such a sprawling cast of characters, and she even sings when there’s songs included in the book. I highly recommend listening to the audiobooks if you’re considering The Diviners, because it really made it an experience for me!

4. Neil Gaiman (Books Listened To: Coraline)

Neil Gaiman has the kind of voice that is perfectly suited for bedtime stories, and I honestly can’t describe it any better than that (think people like David Tennant or David Attenborough-it is just a coincidence I went with two Davids for this, they just have the kind of voice that when you listen to it, you can almost hear it reading you a bedtime story) which is perfect for Coraline really, because it’s definitely the kind of book I can imagine asking my Dad to read me when I was a kid. He narrates a lot of his own audiobooks and I definitely want to try more!

5. Santino Fontana (Books Listened To: You)

Yes, Hans from Frozen, or if you want a more niche reference Original Greg from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend also narrates audiobooks. I’d actually watched the series before listening to the audiobook, so I did already have Penn Badgley’s voice in my head for Joe, but Santino made me forget that pretty quickly. He captures Joe’s creepy douchebaggery so perfectly, does brilliant accents and definitely heightened the book for me because there were times where I wasn’t really enjoying it, but his listening kept me going.

6. Laura Bates (Books Listened To: Men Who Hate Women)

Not every author is a good narrator, though I have had good luck with author narrated books I’ve read so far. Laura is clearly super knowledgeable about her subject (and I’m both massively impressed and slightly terrified that she went undercover with these extreme misogynists) and explained everything really clearly and succinctly. I learned so much about the online communities that these extreme misogynists are part of and though it was terrifying, I definitely feel better informed now!

7. Jordan Cobb and AJ Beckles (Books Listened To: A Song of Wraiths and Ruin)

This was the first book I listened to with multiple narrators, and it was definitely a good choice to have different voices for Malik and Karina, it allowed you to get into both characters heads better and made sure that both characters had a distinctive voice. Cobb and Beckles both did a really great job at engaging me in the story and making me feel connected to Malik and Karina.

8. Nicola Barber (Books Listened To: Hunting Prince Dracula, Escaping From Houdini, Capturing The Devil)

Nicola Barber was such a great narrator for this, she really captured the atmosphere of the books, and I fell so much more in love with Thomas Cresswell after hearing her accent for him. She does really great accents (as you can tell from this list, accents are really important for me!) and her voice is generally just lovely and soft and soothing. I would definitely happily listen to her narrate more books.

9. Carey Mulligan (Books Listened To: The Midnight Library)

Carey Mulligan has such a good voice for audiobooks, it’s so easy to listen to. Her performance was the highlight of this book for me because I actually didn’t love the story as much as I would have hoped to. I would definitely listen to Carey Mulligan do more audiobooks though.

10. Soneela Nankani (Books Listened To: The Kingdom of Copper and The Empire of Gold)

I finished the Daevabad trilogy in audio due to the sheer length of the sequels (and the first book wasn’t exactly short!) and I’m glad I did because I really enjoyed Soneela Nankani’s narration. She definitely has a really dramatic voice, which made the book feel engaging even when it was fairly slow paced.

So there we go, those are some of my favourite audiobook narrators. How about you? Have you listened to any of these? Do you have any particular favourite audiobook narrators? What makes a good narrator for you? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s topic is meant to be Books That Make Me Smile, but since it’s a topic I did last year, I’ve decided to go for a different topic again (I swear I will get back to the regularly scheduled topics at some point). So instead I’m making up my own topic, and I’m going to share my Favourite Books With Characters In Their Late Teens/Twenties (so basically 18+) as I’ve definitely been getting into reading more adult books in the last few years and I want to share some of my favourites.

34 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday #331

  1. hasnitasinghauthor 31/08/2021 / 9:13 pm

    I love Soneela Nankani. The Knockout and The Trouble with Hating You are both great audiobooks

  2. Diana @ chasingchpters 31/08/2021 / 11:29 pm

    Unfortunately, I haven’t read a lot of audiobooks. But I will dedinitely check out some of the books in this list!

  3. 1girl2manybooks 31/08/2021 / 11:32 pm

    I’ve been getting more into audiobooks and the narrator is everything. I’ll have to make note of some of these.

    • iloveheartlandx 07/09/2021 / 6:44 pm

      Definitely, they make or a break a book. I hope you enjoy some of these if you try them!

  4. masterspj 01/09/2021 / 12:43 am

    I listened to The Midnight Library, and I enjoyed the narrator as well. I agree; she made the book better. A couple of other narrators I’ve enjoyed are Lorelei King (the Charley Davidson series, the Sunshine Vicram series), and Jim Broadbent (The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry)

    When you get the chance, I hope you can stop by my post and check it out:

    • iloveheartlandx 07/09/2021 / 6:43 pm

      Yes she definitely did. Ooh I didn’t realise that Jim Broadbent did audiobooks, I’d love to listen to something he narrated.

  5. Greg 01/09/2021 / 5:34 am

    I don’t read a lot of audio but people say the right narrator can really make a book. That has me wanting to try more audiobooks, honestly, because I do think a great narratr could really enhance the experience. And yes David Attenborough’s voice- i love listening to anything by him! πŸ™‚

    • iloveheartlandx 07/09/2021 / 6:41 pm

      It really does, the best ones are kind of like a live performance in your ears! Yes David Attenborough has the loveliest voice πŸ™‚

  6. Marianne Maurer 01/09/2021 / 9:30 am

    That’s a nice idea to do narrators. I know a lot of people with a lovely reading voice. Unfortunately, I can’t concentrate on audiobooks.

    Thanks for visiting my TTT earlier.

    • iloveheartlandx 07/09/2021 / 6:31 pm

      Thanks! Ah that’s a shame, they’re not for everyone.

  7. FangirlFlax 01/09/2021 / 11:59 am

    This is an interesting take! I keep wanting to get into audiobooks, but they just do not resonate with me, haha.

    • iloveheartlandx 07/09/2021 / 6:30 pm

      Thank you! Fair enough, they aren’t for everyone. I’m very audio-oriented as a person, so audiobooks work really well for me.

  8. Tanya Atkinson 01/09/2021 / 1:31 pm

    I really like January LaVoy. She narrated at least one of my favorites from Kennedy Ryan and really made the characters come to life.

    • iloveheartlandx 07/09/2021 / 6:30 pm

      She’s so good! I hope I find some more books she’s narrated that I’m interested in soon.

  9. Epsita 01/09/2021 / 1:53 pm

    This is a great list! I am keen to listen to The Midnight Library by Carey Mulligan and Coraline by Neil Gaiman too!

  10. Louise 01/09/2021 / 4:17 pm

    I definitely have a few favourite narrator’s who I’d be willing to try books I otherwise might not.

  11. thebookishlibra 02/09/2021 / 1:44 am

    This is such an interesting post. I’m still so new to audiobooks that I don’t really have any favorite narrators yet. I’ll have to check some of these out.

  12. Susan 02/09/2021 / 2:03 am

    I’ve never been into the whole book boyfriends thing either. I’m glad you did this audiobook topic! Other than Gaiman, I’ve never heard of any of these authors, so I will definitely check them out.

    Happy TTT!


    • iloveheartlandx 07/09/2021 / 6:28 pm

      Ah thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed it. I hope you find some great reads from here πŸ™‚

    • iloveheartlandx 07/09/2021 / 6:24 pm

      Thank you! Oh I didn’t realise Peter Capaldi had narrated audiobooks.

  13. Rissi 07/09/2021 / 4:07 am

    I’ve never been able to get into audio books. I remember I listened to one (it was an Austen re-telling I think) that I did fully enjoy but the rest have been so-so. I wish I could like them more (I always feel like it’s me rather than the narrator :D), because it’d be nice to listen to a book when I walk or if I’m doing something like organizing, etc. But oh, well! I have given it a chance. πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for visiting Finding Wonderland on this week.

    • iloveheartlandx 07/09/2021 / 6:23 pm

      Audiobooks aren’t for everyone! I’ve always been a very audio-oriented person, I tend to hear the dialogue in my head when I read anyway, so audio works really well for me.

  14. Annemieke 07/09/2021 / 6:47 am

    Neil Gaiman is a fun narrator I believe. I don’t listen to audiobooks but I just like his voice. Maarleveld sounds Dutch/Belgian so it doesn’t surprise me that she might have a niche in WW2

    • iloveheartlandx 07/09/2021 / 6:20 pm

      He does have a great voice. And yes, Saskia Maarleveld’s father is Dutch. She’s from New Zealand, but I’ve never actually heard anything she’s done in her native accent as all the books I’ve heard from her have been read in either a British or American accent.

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