AudioFile - Find your next great audiobook
Get our Newsletter
blog post image
Get to Know the Audiobooks of Golden Voice Kate Reading

Kate Reading’s ability to transform the written word into a compelling listen has made her one of my favorite narrators. I’ll often choose an audiobook simply because she is narrating. So, I did a happy dance when I heard that she has been named an AudioFile Golden Voice. She joins an esteemed group of actors known for their skill and versatility in vocal performance. Reading’s rich, warm voice, attentive pacing, and ability to inhabit anyone from a young girl to an old man make for transporting listening experiences.

Reading, whose real-life name is Jennifer Mendenhall, was born in Brooklyn, New York, but moved with her family to England when she was an infant. Returning to the United States for college, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in French and Drama and stayed to begin her acting career in the D.C. area. Since adding audiobook performance to her repertoire, she has earned six Audies and 46 Earphones Awards. In addition, she and her husband, narrator Michael Kramer, recently launched their own audiobook publishing company, Madison Productions, which works with independent authors and books in the public domain.

A Tempest at SeaOne of my favorite audiobooks this year was Reading’s performance of A TEMPEST AT SEA, the seventh in Sherry Thomas’s Lady Sherlock series. If you didn’t know that Sherlock Holmes is actually Charlotte, you do now. This time, a murder is committed aboard the ship on which she’s traveling incognito—make that double-incognito. I warn you that the series, narrated by Reading since its inception, is compulsively listenable. Prepare to be diverted from everything else once you press play.

The Sweet Blue DistanceReading’s resonant voice has a timeless quality well suited to historical fiction. Her recent performance of THE SWEET BLUE DISTANCE won plaudits from our reviewer. Midwife Carrie Ballentyne travels to New Mexico Territory in 1857 via train, steamer, stagecoach, and horseback encountering a panoply of Mexican, Indigenous, and European characters. Reading creates memorable mini-portraits without embellishment, and her crispness keeps us calm through Carrie’s adventures.

The Souvenir MuseumAs for fiction set in the present day, Reading’s narration of THE SOUVENIR MUSEUM by Elizabeth McCracken is a treasure. In these hysterical, heartrending, delightfully weird tales of love and perseverance, Reading transforms herself as needed—an adolescent American boy, an aging male radio host, a female ventriloquist, and more. It’s a wise and wonderful listen that I have been pressing on friends ever since its 2021 publication.

RunelightReading’s chameleon voice also works beautifully in the fantasy genre, where characters are not always human. Our reviewer praised her performance of JA Andrews’s new RUNELIGHT, Book 1 in The Aenigma Series. In it, Kate, a magic-wielder, and her brother have spent years searching for answers after a family tragedy. When her brother disappears, Kate joins forces with a surly elf to find him. Reading’s smooth performance highlights characters as she guides listeners through the fantastical world.

DawnshardReading and her husband Michael Kramer have long been the vocal powerhouse behind Brandon Sanderson’s immensely popular Stormlight Archive series, an epic fantasy that blends science fiction with myths, gods, and warrior troops. In the newest novella, DAWNSHARD, a wheelchair-using shipowner must navigate a deadly permanent storm to aide her magical pet. Our reviewer applauded the narrators’ engaging delivery and character development. 

Rhythm of WarIn RHYTHM OF WAR, the most recent novel in the series, new technology by Dalinar and his Knights Radiant creates an arms race that challenges Radiant culture and threatens to reveal secrets about their source of strength. Our reviewer delighted in the “perfect balance of emotion, dialogue emphasis, and a wide range of accents and character profiles.”

Reading has commented that, “There's something really sexy about being alone with a microphone. It is unbelievably intimate. You, your breath, no watchers. You go as far as you can stand it and then you go further.”

The Counterfeit ScoundrelThat brings me, finally, to Reading’s narrative mastery of the romance genre. In Lorraine Heath’s THE COUNTERFEIT SCOUNDREL, a fiery game of deception erupts between Daisy, an undercover investigator, and Bishop, London's most scandalous gentleman. Our reviewer celebrated Reading’s “sharp and alluring narration [that] will pull listeners into the unexpected danger and intrigue that surrounds this passionate affair.” Whew! Don’t panic when you finish. More Lorraine Heath & Kate Reading romances await. 

Ten Things I Hate About the DukeAnd don’t miss Reading’s performance of Loretta Chase’s Difficult Dukes series. In Book 2, TEN THINGS I HATE ABOUT THE DUKE, Reading brings a velvet voice and range of English accents to a delight Regency romance interpretation of Shakespeare’s TAMING OF THE SHREW.

Check Kate Reading’s narrator page to learn more about her and much more about all the audiobooks that I didn’t have room to mention.


Kate Reading photo by DJ Corey.

AudioFile is your #1 source for audiobook reviews. 

Share This
More From Audiofile
blog post image
AudioFile's Golden Voices: The Golden 50

This year, we celebrate the golden number of 50 Golden Voices! How do we even begin to talk about the talent of these 50 exceptional narrators? Here’s my riff on some of

blog post image
12 Must-Listen Audiobooks for June from AudioFile's Editors

Lots of big-name authors with big audiobooks this month, and plenty of winning author-narrator partnerships, too. Jacqueline Winspear and Orlagh Cassidy deliver the final

blog post image
Kate Reading on A Study in Scarlet Women

Not your grandfather's Holmes . . . AudioFile goes Behind the Mic to talk with narrator Kate Reading. We learn something surprising and delicious about the new Lady

The latest audiobook reviews, right in your inbox.

Get our FREE Newsletter and discover a world of audiobooks.


AudioFile Newsletter

Let us recommend your next great audiobook!

No algorithms here!
We pick great audiobooks for you.
Sign up for our free newsletter with audiobook love from AudioFile editors.

If you are already with us, thank you! Just click X above.


Thank you for signing up.



Thank you for contacting us!

Our group will review and follow up within 72 hours.
Thanks for your interest!

Back Home ×


Thank you for signing up!

Our group will review and follow up soon.

Back Home ×