Looking for book and/or audiobook recommendations
August 28, 2020 12:03 PM   Subscribe

There's two parts to what I'm looking for - great authors in specific genres, and specific accents on the part of the narrators.

Genre of books I enjoy:
  • suspense
  • mystery
  • 'chick-lit'
  • general fiction
Accents I want to listen to:
  • British
  • Scottish
  • Irish
  • Australian
  • New Zealand
  • Southern US
Authors I know and love:
  • Tana French (Irish)
  • Liane Moriarty (Australian)
  • Denise Mina (Scottish)
  • Julia Heaberlin (Southern US)
If it's important to know, I'm Canadian and have a basic West Coast accent.
posted by twilightlost to Media & Arts (13 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
For wonderful accents:

I'm currently working through Stephen Fry narrate his book Mythos. It's a delight.

Also delightful was Michael Caine narrating his own book Blowing The Bloody Doors Off, which just suckers one in to doing their own Michael Caine impression for hours and hours.

But more impressive was Christopher Plummer reading his memoirs In Spite of Myself. As obvious a point as it is, it still needs to be said -- Chris Plummer knows how to deliver a text. It's an involving story, and he does all the voices! It's amazing, simply amazing. And yes, I think he has an accent, a genteel old Montreal one that doesn't really exist anymore, tempered by years of Shakespeare.
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:16 PM on August 28, 2020

Eoin Colfer’s book Airman is read by John Keating with a lovely Irish accent. The book is ya adventure, which does involve suspense.
posted by soelo at 12:25 PM on August 28, 2020

I really love the audiobook for Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. There are two narrators, one with what I believe is a RP English accent, and one with a working class Scottish accent. It's suspenseful and emotional, and is as much about two girls finding their best friends as it is about WWII.
posted by zoetrope at 12:32 PM on August 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

I will never stop recommending True Grit by Charles Portis and read in the wonderful southern drawl of Donna Tartt. Everything about this is fantastic. And funny. To Kill a Mockingbird read by Sissy Spacek is pretty good too, although not as great as True Grit.
posted by jdroth at 12:43 PM on August 28, 2020 [2 favorites]

Perfect Little Children by Sophie Hannah, narrated by Laura Kirman (UK title: Haven’t They Grown)
  • plot: A woman catches sight of her estranged best friend after 12 years, but although her friend has aged normally, her two children look as though they are still 3 and 5, the ages they were when the narrator last saw them.
  • English author, book is set in England
  • mystery/suspense with a touch of humour
  • similar to Liane Moriarty
  • narrator has British accent

The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley, narrated by Gary Furlong, Elle Newlands, Morag Sims, Imogen Church, and Moira Quirk
  • plot: A group of university friends have their annual New Year’s party at a remote hunting lodge in Scotland, and one of them is murdered, throwing suspicion on all the surviving friends.
  • English author, book set in Scotland
  • mystery/suspense
  • similar to Tana French
  • narrators have Scottish and British accents

posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:45 PM on August 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

The audiobook of Normal People is read by Aoife McMahon, who is Irish.

There's an audiobook of The Heart is A Lonely Hunter read by Cherry Jones.
posted by needs more cowbell at 1:10 PM on August 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

I was gonna suggest Normal People as well. Sample here (YTL; listen past the intro).
posted by Sunburnt at 1:25 PM on August 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

Midnight Riot is the first book in Ben Aaronovich's Rivers of London series. They are supernatural police procedurals and full of dryly witty observations about (regular) police work. And the reader, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, has the BEST voice. He does a great variety of accents (the M.E. is Scottish, and of course the main character meets all kinds of folks) and his voice is just really wonderful.
posted by gideonfrog at 2:07 PM on August 28, 2020 [4 favorites]

David Oyelowo narrates John Le Carré's 2006 The Mission Song as the POV character, who's Irish and Congolese. He captures all the accents he hears and interprets while working as a translator for intelligence agencies.
posted by Jesse the K at 2:42 PM on August 28, 2020

Jane Harper's novels narrated by Stephen Shanahan! (Link is to the Jane Harper page at audible.com) Suspense/mystery novels set in Australia, good stories, good narration. I listen to a lot of audiobooks but am picky about narration - I'll tune out pretty easily and daydream if the narration isn't up to snuff, but these were good enough that I went looking for other books Shanahan narrated. (So I can tell you he's also done several of Candice Fox's books - more Australian mystery/suspense - but I haven't listened to these yet.)
posted by the primroses were over at 3:17 PM on August 28, 2020

I can vouch for the audio & regular book versions of two series:

Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody mystery series is narrated by the fabulous Barbara Rosenblatt. Female Victorian archaeologist protagonist; humor, romance, and light murder mystery. ~20 books and I adored them all. I love Rosenblatt's different voices for the increasingly vast cast of characters. She's American, but for me, she does a very passable and enjoyable variety of British accents.

Laurie R. King's Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes series begins with The Beekeeper's Apprentice has impeccable narration by Jenny Sterlin. A teenage girl meets the retired Sherlock Holmes and becomes his protegee and partner. The 16th book just came out and I'm eagerly awaiting it from my library.

Book recs only:

The super plot twisty, female-focused, multigenerational family historical fiction of Australian author Kate Morton, especially The Forgotten Garden and The Lake House

Anything and everything by Sarah Waters (historical/mystery/queer romance; the plot twists in Fingersmith had me gasping in amazement multiple times on a plane ride)
posted by wintersonata9 at 6:14 PM on August 28, 2020

Juliet Stevenson is THE best audiobook reader! Her renditions of Jane Austen novels are phenomenal. It's like listening to her perform a one-woman show. Anything she narrates is worth listening to.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 7:05 PM on August 28, 2020 [3 favorites]

Second Jenny Sterlin & the Mary Russell series. Love the books & Jenny is a great narrator. Have listened to them all more than once; sort of my comfort read. Jenny has many books to her narrating credit.
The Flavia de Luce series is fun to read (at least until she goes to Canada) and Jayne Entwistle is a terrific narrator. She is prolific, too, and reads many novels, including some by Sophie Kinsella.
I enjoyed listening to Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place read by Katherine Kellgren. The books are quite witty.
Wee Free Men & the rest of the Tiffany Aching series read by Stephen Briggs (except the last one?) appeal to me more than the print. Many accents.
The Rook by Daniel O'Malley is a good audio book; more than one narrator.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: A Novel is read by several narrators with different accents.
A Man Called Ove & Britt-Marie Was Here by Frederick Backman would be good pandemic reads--quite gentle stories with matching narration.
Erin Hart's Haunted Ground & other novels set in the Irish boglands are read by Jennifer McMahon. Listening to them is how I learned to pronounce Irish names. Jennifer is another busy narrator.
Skulduggery Pleasant is a fantasy YA series I found hilarious and fun to listen to by Irish author Derek Landry with various narrators.
(I like the River of London series, but haven't listened to any of them--will have to try.)

Enjoy your reading!
posted by Nosey Mrs. Rat at 5:07 PM on August 29, 2020

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