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Mary Burkey, a teacher, librarian, and audiobook addict, writes about listening, learning, and the joy of headsets

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Friday, October 16, 2009 8:51 am
Love a Great Audiobook Narrator?
Posted by: Mary Burkey


Nominate them for NPR’s 50 Great Voices TODAY! Do you choose your audiobooks by reader rather than author? Then you know the power of the perfect voice! Deadline for nomination is TODAY Oct. 15th. Here are the details from the NPR website <>:

In January 2010, NPR will launch a year-long exploration of 50 of the great voices in recorded history. With the series, we’re hoping to discover and re-discover awe-inspiring vocalists from around the world and across time. Through archival material, interviews and music, NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered will spend the year delving into the lives and legacies of these voices. But we don’t know yet whose voices they’ll be.

Between Oct. 5 and Oct. 16, we’re asking you — NPR listeners and readers — to tell us who in the whole world possesses the most beautiful, singular voice you have ever heard. Leave your picks, along with a sentence defending each choice and a link to an audio clip if possible, in the comments below, or email

We’ll compile your nominations, along with those of our panel of experts, academics and public-radio critics. At that point, we’ll name the nominees and ask you to help us winnow them down to the 50 great voices we’ll profile in the coming year. We’re relying on you to remind us of those voices we may have forgotten or never got the chance to hear; those voices that may sound strange to Western ears; vocalists silenced by politics or history; the singers who are only really embraced by critics and those who are heroes of the everyday listener. No voice is too outlandish, too old or too compromised. It’s All Voices Considered here, and we can’t wait to see and hear what you send us.

Thanks to Ellen Myrick for the tip!

5 Responses to “Love a Great Audiobook Narrator?”
  1. Claudia Reilly Says:

    I nominate Lloyd James as best narrator of recorded books. I wish he’d get to record more classics. He was terrific on WASHINGTON SQUARE and another Henry James.

  2. Kat Logan Says:

    I would like to nominate Michael Shanks who is the narrator of the Dresden Files. He has fantastic voices for each of the characters and beautiful inflections throughout the book.

  3. Laura Kinsale Says:

    Lysette Lecat makes every character in the #1 Ladies Detective Agency series not only real but charming. I’d never have known how the names were pronounced and she makes them so exotic and just plain fun. Audio clip at

  4. Laura Kinsale Says:

    oh lol wrong place to leave comment doh.

  5. Mary Says:

    Love seeing your favorites here, but be sure to send your OFFICIAL nominations to NPR using the email address

    Guess I could have been clearer in my post ;-)

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