At the Library: The voices behind those audio books

At the Library: The voices behind those audio books

The Westerly Sun

There are certain performers that I look for as narrators and listen to even if the book is something I would have never picked up and read. Some of the characteristics that make a great narrator? In my opinion, those include whether he/she can voice both male and female characters, whether they can do convincing accents, and whether you can feel the emotion in their voice. Mostly, it’s what appeals to the individual. Even if the story is great, if I don’t feel a connection with the narrator I give up on it usually pretty quickly. Fortunately, it doesn’t take that long to determine whether or not the narrator is clicking with your sensibilities.

A fabulous narrator who you may already be familiar with is Dan Stevens. Stevens starred in the first couple of seasons of “Downton Abbey” as Matthew. His narration of “Murder on the Orient Express” by Agatha Christie was one of the most enjoyable audiobook experiences I’ve had. His Poirot was terrific, but he also embodied all the other characters completely. I’m now on a mission to listen to anything and everything he’s narrated!

Scott Brick is one of my favorites. I’ve seen his voice referred to as “mellow,” but he adds depth and emphasis when necessary. I’ve also read some reviews by listeners who absolutely cannot stand listening to anything he narrates, calling his voice “sinister,” which I find a really curious description. The lesson here is that you may find a narrator that others loathe, so don’t listen to other people’s opinions. If you’d like to listen to my opinion, “Dead Wake,” about the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915, is a good place to try out Brick’s style.

Other narrators I would recommend are Neil Gaiman (he narrates his own books), Bahni Turpin, who did a terrific job in “Dread Nation” by Justina Ireland, and Johnny Heller who was so enjoyable in “The Closer” by Erich Wurster. Fortunately, you can try out as many narrators as you like for free at the library with audiobooks as well as our downloadable books on eZone!

Top-requested books■1. “The Perfect Couple” Elin Hilderbrand■2. “The President is Missing” by Bill Clinton & James Patterson■3. “All We Ever Wanted” by Emily Giffin■4. “The Great Alone” by Kristin Hannah■5. “The Death of Mrs. Westaway” by Ruth Ware■6. “The Summer Wives” by Beatriz Williams■7. “The Woman in the Window” by A. J. Finn■8. “Shelter in Place” by Nora Roberts■9. “Educated: A Memoir” by Tara Westover■10. “Dark Sacred Night” by Michael Connelly

Top-requested movies■1. “A Quiet Place”■2. “Chappaquiddick”■3. “The Leisure Seeker”■4. “Book Club”■5. “Rampage”■6. “Ready Player One”■7. “I Feel Pretty”■8. “Tully”■9. “Blockers”■10. “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”

Top billingFor All Ages■MONDAY –– 9:30-10:30 a.m., Book Club: The First Rule of Punk (ages 8-12) – Preregistration is required for participation in this club; 10-11 a.m., Toddler Music (Ages Birth-5) – An interactive music program for parents and kids; 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., Free Summer Lunches – There will be free meals for any child under the age of 18; 3:30-5:30 p.m., Video Game Battle Royale (Teen Led Program) – Teens, come duke it out in a video game battle, for the chance to win prizes; 6-7:45 p.m., Shoreline Robotics Practice – For teens interested in STEM and Robotics.■TUESDAY –– 10-11 a.m., Fiddle ‘n Fun: Interactive Music Education @ Craig Field – Have a blast with various instruments. Intended for ages 5-12; 10 a.m.-12 p.m., Animation Nation Club (Ages 8-12) – Preregistration is required; 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., Free Summer Lunches – Free meal for any child under 18; 2:30-3:30 p.m., Art Therapy for Teens – Experiential therapy session with Katie Ziskind; 5:30-7:30, Knit & Crochet Club – Bring your project, work on a project with others, or swap yarn and ideas with fellow yarnies; 6-7:45 p.m., Quilters Corner – Bring your current project and join us for a casual and crafty get-together in the Makerspace.■WEDNESDAY –– 9:15-10 a.m., Storytime at the Watch Hill Library – For parents and children ages 3+; 10-11 a.m., Paint Party! With Rebecca Killian *FULL* – For children ages 5-12; 10 a.m.-12 p.m., Dungeons and Dragons – A Teen-led program! No experience with the game necessary; 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., Free Summer Lunches – Free meal for any child under 18; 2-3 p.m., Bullet Journaling – Learn the basics of bullet journaling and leaving with your own journal (registration required); 5-7:45 p.m., Barbara Ackerman and Rory Brayman Art Exhibit – Join us in the Hoxie Gallery for the opening reception of the new art exhibit.■THURSDAY –– 10-11 a.m., Fiddle‘n Fun: Interactive Music Education @ Cimalore Field – Have a blast with various instruments. Intended for ages 5-12; 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Storytime and Craft with Children’s Workshop – A fun and crafty program for ages 3+; 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., Free Summer Lunches – Free meal for any child under 18; 4-5:15 p.m., Teen SRP: Cooking! – Prepare (and consume!) quesadillas, guacamole and salsa; 5:30-7:30 p.m., Chess Club – All ages and experience levels are welcome, no sign-up required; 6-7:30 p.m., Literature of the Sea Series, Registration Required – Retired Navy Academy professor Bob Madison presents this 6-week course on sea literature.■FRIDAY –– 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Magic the Gathering (new group) – This is a teen-led program for those who enjoy playing Magic, or are interested in learning!; 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., Free Summer Lunches – Free meal for any child under 18.■SATURDAY –– 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m., Adult Writers Workshop – A group-led prose writing workshop; 2-3:30 p.m., Native Plants in the Teen Space Community Garden - Teens will take the lead to teach about various native plants. Program is also open to adults and children.

Caroline Badowski is a reference librarian at the Westerly Library.


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