June always makes me happy — start of summer, my blogging anniversary and it’s AUDIOBOOK MONTH! I didn’t make that up — June really is National Audiobook Month!
Last week, to celebrate, I shared my top 12 audiobook recommendations that I find myself ALWAYS telling people to listen when they ask for good audiobooks to listen to.
Today I wanted to talk about the best audiobook narrators that I find myself ALWAYS gravitating to when I’m trying to choose what audiobook I want to listen to. Because, as a long time audiobook listener, I have accumulated a list of them.
My list happened really organically, early on in my audiobook days, because I would finish a performance and be like “oh I really liked that narrator” only to find they narrated another book or two that I had already listened to so then I’d find books on my reading list that they also narrated when I needed a new audiobook.
It’s one of the things I think helps get into audiobooks in the beginning. Pay attention to the narrators you like or dislike early on and see what else they’ve narrated. Because an audiobook narration can really make or break an experience and, potentially if you are new to audiobooks, can impact if you get into audiobooks or not.
So to make that easier, in addition to that post of my top audiobook recommendations, I feel like sharing some of my list of best audiobook narrators could help you in your journey to find some really great audiobooks rather than giving a specific book recommendation.
These audiobook readers never let me down so I feel very confident that whatever they narrate will be a win!!
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Do you know about the best Audible alternative that made me never look back??
Best Audiobook Narrators (According To Me)
Remember this is super subjective for many reasons!
Your narrating preferences could be different than mine but also, if we read vastly different genres, you might not be into the narrators I’m into and I may have not heard of some of your holy grail narrators.
(I’d love to hear your holy grail ones because I am a pretty eclectic reader and read across most genres! Always looking to expand my list of go-to narrators)
Also, interestingly, my list skews all female! I do have some male narrators that I love but I don’t know if it’s what I like to read or just there are more female narrators (I have no idea!) but just thought that was an interesting observation when I pulled together the narrators I gravitate to/seem to listen to the most.
If I only could listen to one audiobook narrator for the rest of my life, I’d feel highly confident in my choice of Julia Whelan. She’s just a fantastic narrator but also I’m really drawn to the types of books she tends to pick out.
She used to narrate a lot of young adult books but has since shifted to doing more adult fiction and barely any YA which is fine because my reading has shifted a bit. She does almost every Taylor Jenkins Reid book (some of my all time faves), Emily Henry and Linda Holmes as well. I’d say mostly commerical fiction is what she does and a whole backlist of YA books.
Check out all the books Julia Whelan narrates here.
Some favorite Julia Whelan performances to check out:
- Yerba Buena by Nina LaCour (Check LibroFM | Check Audible)
- I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson (Check LibroFM | Check Audible)
- Book Lovers by Emily Henry (Check LibroFM | Check Audible)
- The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue (Check LibroFM | Check Audible)
- The Giver of Stars (Check LibroFM | Check Audible)
- Girl At War (Check LibroFM | Check Audible)
- Educated by Tara Westover (Check LibroFM |Check Audible)
- The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (Check LibroFM | Check Audible)
I first found January LaVoy when I wanted to binge re-read Libba Bray’s Diviners series, because I couldn’t remember anything in anticipation for the last book, so I decided to do it via audio and that was a FANTASTIC choice as her range with all the characters is incredible.
Those books are thick so that was a lot of hours I spent marveling at how great January was! You have to REALLY love an author to do a binge listen of a thick series.
Since then I’ve listened to a couple more and have really enjoyed January’s performances and look forward to keeping an eye on what she’s working on. She has some great full cast contributions too!
Check out all the books January LaVoy narrates here.
Some favorite January LaVoy performances to check out:
I was first introduced to Marin Ireland’s work with her standout work in Nothing To See Here. It was such a dynamic performance and I was certain I probably wouldn’t had loved the book as much had I not listened to it. Since then I’ve listened to other’s of hers and become a big fan!
Check out all the books Marin Ireland narrates here.
Some favorite Marin Ireland performances to check out:
- Nothing To See Here by Kevin Wilson (Check LibroFM |Check Audible)
- Anxious People by Fredrick Backman (Check LibroFM | Check Audible)
- The Push by Ashley Audrain (Check LibroFM | Check Audible)
- The Golden Couple (Check LibroFM | Check Audible)
- Remarkably Bright Creatures (Check LibroFM | Check Audible)
- Beartown by Fredrick Backman (Check LibroFM | Check Audible)
- The Lincoln Highway (Check LibroFM | Check Audible)
Barrie Kreinik is a newer add to this list to me but I’ve been going full force with her performances. She has RANGE — like in both her performance abilities and in the different genres she has seemed to do so far.
Check out all the books Barrie Kreinik narrates here.
Some favorite Barrie Kreinik performances to check out:
- The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth (Check LibroFM | Check Audible)
- Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy (Check LibroFM | Check Audible)
- Perfect on Paper by Sophie Gonzales (Check LibroFM | Check Audible)
- The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post (Check LibroFM | Check Audible)
- Ariadne by Jennifer Saint (Check LibroFM | Check Audible)
Emily Woo Zeller
I listened to The Bride Test when it came out (love that series!) and really enjoyed it on audio. I felt like the narrator felt familiar but I didn’t recognize her by name so I went perusing and realized I totally have listened to a bunch of YA books she narrated and really enjoyed them (Susan Dennard’s Something Strange and Deadly and some of Maurene Goo’s books).
Went on a little Emily Woo Zeller binge after that which was fun and she totally ended up on my list after that and I can’t wait to see what else she narrates.
Next on my list of hers is definitely going to be The Poppy Wars series!
Check out all the books Emily Woo Zeller narrates here.
Some favorite Emily Woo Zeller performances to check out:
Imogen Church has been my go-to these days when I am in the mood for a thriller/mystery. That’s not all that she narrates but she has a good collection of them in addition to other genres. I’m always excited when I see Imogen Church’s name as narrator on a book I want to read!
Check out all the books Imogen Church narrates here.
Some favorite Imogen Church performances to check out:
- The Death of Mrs. Westaway (Check LibroFM | Check Audible)
- The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter (Check LibroFM | Check Audible)
- One by One by Ruth Ware (Check LibroFM | Check Audible)
- The Glittering Hour by Iona Grey (Check LibroFM | Check Audible)
- The Woman in Cabin 10 by Paula Hawkins (Check LibroFM | Check Audible)
Bahni Turpin has been in some of my favorite full cast performances but she really does shine on her own no matter the genre! I’m actually currently listening to You Made A Fool Out of Death With Your Beauty with her narration and it’s fantastic
Check out all the books Bahni Turpin narrates here.
Some favorite Bahni Turpin performances to check out:
Brittany Pressley has a little bit of everything under her belt — which as an eclectic reader I appreciate — and some really great additions to full cast performances as well!
Check out all the books Brittany Pressley narrates here.
Some favorite Brittany Pressley performances to check out:
There are some audiobook narrators I’ve been enjoying and keeping an eye on to see if they make their way on to my faves as I listen to more things they narrate!
A lot of them I’ve listened to in some full cast performances but only one or two solo performances (or with one other narrator).
- Ramon de OCampo
- Robin Miles
- Dion Graham
- Edoardo Ballerini
- Erin Mallon
- Natalie Naudus
- Michael Crouch
- Jeanette Illidge
- Emily Shaffer
Who are the audiobook readers you’ve put on your own best audiobook narrators list?
P.S. Check out this list full of audiobooks read by celebrities and famous actors!