206 Books in 2017 (part 3) + 5 Best Audible Narrators

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206 Books in 2017 (part 3) + 5 Best Audible Narrators

I double lapped my goal of reading 100 books in 2017.

As of today, I’m at 206 books with a stretch goal of 217.

Audible is my secret. Although I can’t listen as fast as my eyes can read, listening allows me to “read” at every opportune moment such as during the 5 minutes I’m waiting for a friend to arrive.

Why scroll through twitter or instagram when I can uncover another clue in my latest mystery!

I’ve also lost my interest in television… the only shows I’ve liked this year are based on books. This is probably a good thing.

There are still a few shows I’ll follow on Hulu/Netflix/Amazon, but there hasn’t been much that’s interested me lately. Even if you only watched 1 hour of television per day, together that’s 1 audible per week.

I’m also an expert multi-tasker: I listening to engaging stories while doing mundane chores like folding laundry or cleaning my home (it makes it more tolerable too!). I can also listen in the car without getting carsick, listen in bed without falling asleep, and I can listen while I “relax” knitting or puzzling. All this adds up fast!

FYI: I tend to buy “daily deals” which are $3/book or less. (There’s also a library of free books for Amazon Prime members.) I do this to keep the costs low but also to force myself into trying new books or genres I normally wouldn’t seek out. I’ve had some shocks of my life as a result (I’ll detail below) so I’m thankful for deals!

My 2017 200 Books List

I meant to do a post at 150 books… forgot… and now that I’m at 200… it’s too much work to list them all (sorry guys!) but you can see ALL of the 200+ books I’ve read in 2017 on Goodreads here.

I leave star ratings and short reviews for everything, including suggestions of what type of reader would enjoy (or hate) that book. I did a blog post review for the first 100 books here.

My Top 25 picks for 2017

I’m preparing my “awards” post, but for now… here are my top narrators.

5 Best Audible Narrators (2017)

#1 JIM DALE

Someone left this review of Dale and it’s perfect:

“Calling Jim Dale a narrator is like calling Monet a painter.”

There is no one else in the world that can compare to Jim Dale as a narrator. When I say who my favorite male narrator is, or even who my favorite narrator is in general, I have to preface it with “excluding Jim Dale”.

#2 Cassandra Campbell

Cassandra is my favorite female narrator. There have been other females who have given outstanding performances, but none compare to her brilliance. Cassandra can also deliver a wide range of accents and voices so you can listen to two books narrated by her back-to-back without knowing it.

Here are some of my favorite books/performances by Cassandra Campbell:

Everything I Never Told You (her best performance)
The Help (second best performance)
Henrietta Lacks
Small Great Things

#3 Bahni Turpin

Second favorite lady narrator. I’ve read several books by her and have found her performance added to the book every time. If I read any book by or about people of color, I look for a version read by Turpin.

#4 Scott Brick

Brick’s a go-to guy for “guy” novels (Tom Clancy, Michael Crichton, Gregg Hurwitz, Robert Ludlum, Issac Asimov, David Baldacci) and I’ve developed a crush on Brick’s voice.

Let’s put it this way: If I’m 50/50 on any given book, if it’s ready by Campbell OR Brick, I’ll buy it.
My crown jewel of 2017 (the book I kept saving and saving) was by one of my favorite authors (Gregg Hurwitz) with Brick AND Campbell. Holy trifecta.

Here are some of my favorite books/performances by Scott Brick:

#5 BBC Radio

Full ensemble casts (performance table reads) are great! Recently I’ve started a habit where I listen to shorter programs for an hour or two on Sunday… the way people used to listen to stories on the radio. It’s deeply pleasurable.

Here are a few “ensemble” audible books I loved:

12 Angry Men
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
Mansfield Park

Famous Screen Actors

I love when famous actors or actresses narrate.

If you missed all my other posts: I am obsessed with Zachary Quinto and his performance in The Dispatcher 😉 Claire Danes also rocked the Handmaid’s Tale if you haven’t read the book yet.

Here are other actors I’ve liked as narrators:

Joe Mantegna
Will Patton
Alan Cumming
Benedict Cumberbatch
Wil Wheaton
Octavia Spencer (I wish she’d narrate more!)

Here are a few other non-actor narrators I’ve read a few times, though haven’t developed a deep, one-sided relationship with yet:

Penelope Rawlins
George Newborn
Luke Daniels
Steve Weber
Andi Arndt
Fiona Hardingham*

*Fiona is currently my favorite non-US accent female narrator. If you’d like a second opinion on narrators, check out these articles:

Audible also recently started a “hall of fame” and I was thrilled to see Jim Dale, Cassandra Campbell, Scott Brick, Bahni Turpin & Alan Cummings were inducted!

 

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