Simon Vance ~ Baby, It’s Cold Outside!

Pic for LHSimon Vance
is a multiple Audie Award winning narrator with numerous Earphones and Best Voice awards from AudioFile Magazine. He has also been named a Voice of Choice by Booklist Online. Currently there are over 430 of his audiobooks available for download on Audible. Simon is the narrator who made audiobooks come alive for me. When I think of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy, I think just as much about the reading world it opened to me through audiobooks as I do about the story itself. I have since listened to and have even met other narrators who are perfectly capable of doing the same thing for new audiobook readers (see the Baby, It’s Cold Outside calendar). Through him getting to know him, I discovered how charming, open, often hilarious, and giving audiobook narrators are. In fact, had he not reached out and asked me to wait for him to narrate The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, Baby, It’s Cold Outside may never have existed. Since Lisbeth Salander brought us together, I’ve interviewed him twice – once over the phone – and had the great good fortune to meet him in person. I like to think of myself as Simon’s CEB – Chief Evangelizing Blogger, but I am but one of many dedicated fans.

Where do I begin with recommendations? In addition to the Millennium trilogy, my favorite Simon Vance audiobooks have been Paul is Undead by Alan Goldsher, Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel, Dust and Shadow by Lyndsay Faye, The King’s Speech by Mark Logue and Peter Conradi, Chris Ewan’s Safe House and The Good Thief’s Guide series, and Bleak House by Charles Dickens. At this time of year, A Christmas Carol is a must and I loved Simon’s version. During an audiobook challenge, I developed a thing for James Bond while listening to Simon narrate all of Ian Fleming’s novels. This winter, I plan on listening to Winter King: The Dawn of Tudor England by Thomas Penn. Simon recently narrated Rod Stewart’s autobiography, Rod. These books barely scratch the surface. As I’m not a science fiction/fantasy reader, there are whole other worlds to explore there.

You can find out more about Simon on his website and his AudioFile Magazine bio. He is also on Twitter, where he frequently gives me a hard time.



After returning from a trip to England, Simon prepares his home for the holidays while answering a few questions from yours truly.

What Simon didn’t mention in the video is that Christmas and his birthday are intertwined. In fact, he created his video the day and took the picture above on and around his birthday.

In honor of Simon’s birthday, I’d like to give a shout out to The Urban Farmers, a volunteer, non-profit organization that serves the hungry in the East Bay area by harvesting organic fruit and vegetables to feed the needy. This organization is near and dear to Simon and his family, who hope to one day harvest their own home grown produce for the organization. He shared their Christmas newsletter with me. It is sad but true that there are those who would ask for nothing more than a good meal for Christmas. Just as Grover Gardner demonstrated last week, it brings joy to donate your time, talent, or treasure to organizations who help those in need during the Christmas season and throughout the year. Please keep The Urban Farmers or similar organizations local to your community in mind when you plan your holiday giving.


  • At 2012.12.17 11:03, Sandy said:

    OMG he is just so damned CHARMING! I love that video. He is like a practiced actor, going about his activities and talking to you! That was certainly the highlight of my day.

    • At 2012.12.17 11:50, Jennifer said:

      He is, isn’t he? I enjoyed knowing that this was how I would be starting my new week. BTW, what do you think of my new title? Should I add it to my business cards? LOL!

      • At 2012.12.17 13:17, Dee said:

        I really liked his narration of the Millenium trilogy – as well as the Van Veeteren series (Hakan Nesser) and J. Maarten Troost’s travelogues (Sex Lives of Cannibals and Getting Stones with Savages)

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        • At 2012.12.17 23:04, Jennifer said:

          I downloaded Sex Lives of Cannibals ages ago. I need to give it a listen. Another of Simon’s narrations that I neglected to mention was the quirky Chemistry for Beginners.

        • At 2012.12.17 13:42, Siamack said:

          Thanks for the shout out. The Urban Farmers wish for Christmas is to have more friends like Simon and Cynthia. Next time, for some heavenly taste, plan your visit to their home in August when their peaches are ripe.

          • At 2012.12.17 23:07, Jennifer said:

            You are most welcome. I hope you find many more such volunteers. I would love to try some of their peaches. I can only imagine how heavenly they are straight off the vine. Perhaps if I ever do make it to the San Francisco area I can volunteer for a harvest. I think it sounds like a lovely way to give back to others.

          • At 2012.12.17 14:48, Serena said:

            As much as you rave about Vance, I still have yet to listen to one of his audios. I will have to get to it in the new year. This video is just too cute.

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            • At 2012.12.17 23:33, Jennifer said:

              Serena! We really must rectify this situation, STAT! How are you with zombies? Check out my review of Paul Is Undead (linked in this post) and let me know. I’ve got a hard copy of that here somewhere. Funny, don’t you think there’d be a shrine? LOL!

            • At 2012.12.17 16:30, Rebecca said:

              Simon Vance is my favorite narrator. I am very A.D.D. but his voice and his inflections keep me focused and entertained. I really liked his little video. So cute the way he answered your questions while he went about his holiday decorating and cooking. I’ve never had a mincemeat pie.

              • At 2012.12.17 23:12, Jennifer said:

                I loved the way his video turned out. When I sent those questions as a backup, I had no idea what he would do with them. I just realized that, in a way, Simon has now narrated my very own words. Woot!

                Maybe we can convince Simon to invite us over for mincemeat pies. With the plane tickets it would make for a rather expensive dinner, but you can’t take it with you in the end. You might as well enjoy it, right?

              • At 2012.12.17 23:28, JANET SILVERS said:


                JANET SILVERS
                VENICE, FLORIDA

                • At 2012.12.17 23:38, Jennifer said:

                  Take heart, Janet. You’ll always have the audiobooks. 🙂

                • At 2012.12.21 14:30, Emma @ Words And Peace said:

                  that guy is something else, and not just his voice! thanks so much for this great great video

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                  • At 2012.12.23 09:59, Tavia Gilbert said:

                    So lovely to see you, my friend! Hope you and your wonderful family have the sweetest Christmas. xo

                    • At 2012.12.28 09:38, Natalie ~ the Coffee and a Book Chick said:

                      Simon Vance is one of my favorite male voices to listen to. I wasn’t a fan of the story of Dr. No, for example, however it was only because of Simon Vance that I continued to listen to it. Now, I’m listening to him narrate Sarah Waters’ The Little Stranger and it’s just as amazing as I expected. He’s got a great voice, wonderful vocal delivery, and character differentiation.

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