Book Riot recently posted 36 audiobook recommendations for books narrated by women, in support of Women’s History Month. It is a great list, but we here at Literary Hoarders noticed that none of the audiobooks listed were among those we considered to be standouts. Therefore, please find our own list of “Recommendations for Audiobooks Narrated by Women.” These 21 voice talents tremendously enhanced the reading experience for us and represent a mixture of seasoned audiobook narrators, celebrities and women authors.
LITERARY HOARDER RECOMMENDATIONS
We’ll start off the list of audiobook recommendations by sharing those that received double the love, since both Elizabeth and Penny enthusiastically recommend these narrators:
Fenella Woolgar: for her sublime narration of Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life. Gorgeous. Perfect. The Hoarders would listen to her read just about anything.
Linda Lavin: Lavin WAS The Boston Girl. She transformed this quiet read into something exceptional. You can somehow hear Ms. Lavin’s bright smile with the reading of each passage – what a delightful performance! The reading of The Boston Girl made the Hoarders adore the story.
Rebecca Lowman: Lowman was dee-lightful and dee-lovely with her narration of Katey Kontent in The Rules of Civility.
Juliet Stevenson: her beautiful narration for The Signature Of All Things greatly enhanced the story (in Elizabeth’s opinion) and her narration is what saved The Paying Guests (in Penny’s opinion).
Ruth Ozeki: Ozeki both wrote and narrated A Tale for the Time Being and both were incredible! She convincingly conveyed the voices of a teenage Nao, Ruth, Old Jico…that she was over-looked for an Audie Award nomination for her performance was criminal.
Jemma Lamia: Her narration of Sarah Grimke’s character in The Invention of Wings was wonderful.
Nicola Barber will get her own shout-out here, as she’s a go-to narrator for Elizabeth! The narration skills of Ms. Barber had Elizabeth purposely seeking her name when perusing audiobooks for quite awhile. The Tapestry, Shadows Of The Workhouse, The Crown and Call The Midwife were all gorgeously performed. Bravo!
Tavia Gilbert: Language Arts had Elizabeth swooning. The emotion that was brought to the story via the impeccable voices of Ms. Gilbert made it necessary to have a box of tissues handy by the story’s close. Each voice was sheer perfection, from Charles Marlow to Mrs. Braxton to Charles’ childhood classmate Dana. Award-worthy performance!
Lindsay Duncan: The Children Act was read in a voice that was perfectly contained, and perfectly controlled. This embodied the story’s protagonist beautifully, as Fiona Maye took herself gravely seriously. We would expect nothing less from a High Court Judge in London, but the measured tones that Ms. Duncan used to narrate the story were right on the mark.
Anne Twomey: Elizabeth still marvels how this narrator wrapped herself around some of the scientific jargon that was found in The Sixth Extinction.
Kathleen Wilhoite: The quirky Where’d You Go, Bernadette was made even more enjoyable by the wildly entertaining narration. It takes a special talent to take on the character of Bernadette, and if you want to read this novel – Elizabeth strongly suggests the audio version.
Joshilyn Jackson: Elizabeth still recalls the story of Shine Shine Shine like it was yesterday. The story itself is marvelous, and the audiobook enhances the entire experience. Maxon, Summer and Bubber are still among Elizabeth’s most adored literary characters, and this is thanks in part to the incredible talent of Joshilyn Jackson. Maxon and Bubber were not your typical protagonists, and Ms. Jackson did them justice by reading their voices with great affection.
Tania Rodrigues: Slade House, the companion novel to The Bone Clocks, is a genre-bending whirlwind. Rodrigues reads the heroes with unbridled passion, and the villains with disturbing darkness. *shudder*
Morven Christie: Christie’s narration in Code Name Verity had Penny hustling to track down the audio for Burial Rites, and her narration in both does not disappoint. There is special love for her narration in Code Name Verity as her voice was exceptional as captured prisoner Julie/Queenie/Verity and she even sang songs!
Hillary Huber: Huber’s voice was wonderful in Dear Mr. Knightley. She is the narrator for the Elena Ferrante novels and will be making sure the audiobooks are the way that series is read.
Anna Bentinck: Bentinck’s narration in Elizabeth is Missing is nothing short of a pure treat to the ears. She has the ability to age her voice to become Elizabeth in her elderly age, and then to make her voice young again when we are pulled back into Elizabeth’s past. It was remarkable and effortless. Her narration also helped to follow the musings and mindset of an elderly woman descending into dementia – it was definitely one of those experiences where the story was transformed because of the narration.
Edwina Wren: Wren’s narration of People of the Book strongly reminded of the transformative listening experience found in Atkinson’s Life After Life.
Mary Jane Wells: Wells’ narration was completely perfect in Silence for the Dead and had me hoping for her return to narrate all of Simone St. James’ novels. She was just as excellent reading The Anchoress.
Karen White: White’s fantastic narration coupled with Mayhew’s gorgeous writing in The Dry Grass of August made for one excellent reading experience. I’ve been anxious to find more audiobooks performed by Karen White.
Kyra Sedgwick: Oh! Sedgwick’s narration in Anita Shreve’s Sea Glass has left me constantly begging for her to narrate again and again. It’s been an impossible search and I’m still left wanting!
Sissy Spacek: I don’t think there could have been any other person alive that could/should have narrated To Kill a Mockingbird. Spacek was wonderful. Another celebrity voice that should be tapped to narrate more audiobooks!
So there you have it. Penny and Elizabeth’s list of adored audiobooks that were narrated by women. We look forward to adding new voice talents and new titles to this list as the year continues! Until then, treat yourself to any of the recommendations listed here, and then find yourself taking the long way home as you listen to their brilliance.
Linda Lavin reading The Boston Girl…pure delight. Frankly, she could read the classified ads to me. Lovely.
Right?!?! So agree! She MADE that book, she was the Boston Girl. Truly a lovely audiobook. So pleased to hear you agree!