Best of 2021

Best of 2022 – Top 12 Narrators

I’ve always loved audiobooks and these days, I listen to more books than I read. The talent field of narrators continues to be extraordinary and I don’t see that changing. The best bring great stories to life and can make an “okay” story much better. Here’s my list of narrators who managed to transport me away and into their stories this year!



1. Narrator
: Jan Cramer – DI Kim Stone Series

Cramer continues to be one of the reasons why DI Kim Stone is on my list of most favorite series. She’s mastered the regional dialect and given distinct voices to the major characters. And, she’s a fantastic storyteller.

 


2.
Narrator: Emily Sutton-Smith – Tracy Crosswhite Series 

I love Sutton-Smith’s voice for Tracy and the rest of the major characters. I’ll always listen to this series because of her talent and excellent storytelling skills.

 


3. Narrators: Patrick Lawlor & Melanie Ewbank – Troubleshooters Series

I started a reread of this series with a Goodreads group but this time on audio. These two narrators are giving me a fresh, inspired new listening experience of a beloved series.

 


4. Narrators: Daniel Philpott, Aysha Kala, Rachel Adedeji & Sid Sagar  – The Appeal

Using multiple narrators when the story demands it just makes my ears happy. This team made an interesting epistolary story utterly outstanding.

 


5. 
Narrators: Barrie Kreinik, Caroline Lee, Jessica Douglas-Henry & Zoe Carides  – The Younger Wife

Each of these narrators mastered the interpretation of their characters, making a clever story even more complex.

 


6. Narrator: Susie Riddell – First Born

Oh, she was very, very good! She’s also largely responsible for my misdirection because of her stellar performance.

 

 


7.
NarratorAdam Lazarre-White – Blacktop Wasteland 

Oh. My. Goodness! Pick a superlative and it applies to this performance. He was Bug!

 


8. Narrator: David Pittu – My Lovely Wife

I’m not sure they could have found anyone more perfect to narrate this story. He could make Ted Bundy sound rational as he simultaneously made this character come across as someone you wanted to save and fear at the same time.

 


9.
Narrator: Cassandra Campbell – Dear Edward

The writing is lovely and I appreciated how the narrator’s style seemed to honor that, focusing on getting the storytelling right versus dramatic voice interpretations. She was masterful in her delivery.

 



10.
Narrators: Marin Ireland & Michael Urie – Remarkably Bright Creatures

Both narrators gave wonderful performances, capturing the essences of their respective characters. I have to admit, however, that I was utterly captivated by Michael Urie’s interpretation of Marcellus. It was perfection.

 



11.
Narrators: Stacey Glemboski, Melissa Redmond & Byron Wagner – A Quiet Life 

I enjoyed all three narrators and found their performances significant in that they didn’t succumb to drama in representing their characters, even Ella’s story, though I heard her fragility. While the story would be profound in any format, listening to them made it even more poignant.

 


12. Narrator: Hillary Huber – Nora Goes Off Script 

I enjoyed Hillary Huber’s performance (I always do) but really loved her voice for Nora. Before she was even described as being like Carole King that was who I’d envisioned in terms of style and personality because that’s what I heard. She nailed her as well as everyone else.

 


Who were some of your favorite narrators this year?

18 thoughts on “Best of 2022 – Top 12 Narrators”

    1. Suzanne, I have quite a few favorites that have the power to push me to listen to a book when I’m on the fence. Julia Whelan tops my list, though tying with January LaVoy. Brittany Pressley, Cassandra Campbell, Hillary Huber and Robert Petkoff will always guarantee you an excellent listening experience.

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  1. I love Barrie Kreinik! I agree, My Lovely Wife on audio is fantastic! A narrator can truly make or break a story, I’m not sure I would have loved the Diviners series as much if I had read it or if it had been narrated by anyone other than January LaVoy.

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        1. Exactly! She’s an actress and I actually saw her once in a Major Crimes episode! Same for Julia Whelan…saw her in one of theirs, too (could have been The Closer). Robert Petkoff is also a master at making you think there are several others narrating the story with him.

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        2. That name didn’t ring a bell, but I see he was part of the Daisy Jones cast, so I do know his voice. I have a book narrated by him on my Scribd list, I’ll bump it up!

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  2. I was amazed at the huge pool of talented narrators I listened to this year. I am going to keep y0ur list handy as I am always trying to decide if I should listen or read a book. I am not sure if I have listened to Robert Petkoff, but I will watch for him. Wonderful list.

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    1. Carla, are you noticing that more attention is being given now by the publishers to who is assigned to narrate a book? That wasn’t always the case.

      Petkoff narrates all of Michael Koryta’s books and he narrates Kresley Cole’s series. He’s absolutely amazing.

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  3. I loved Ray Porter’s narration of Project Hail Mary! And I just listened to Exiles by Jane Harper on audio and the narrator saved the day ….I think the story wouldn’t have engaged me in print. I actually don’t love too many audio books because I fall asleep, but when it works for me it’s an awesome experience!

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