Road trips can be tough. It’s easy to get bored or lose motivation to get back in the car after a restroom or snack break. Audio books may help during your next long drive.
I’m a huge reader. My Kindle is my best friend. Also, I drive many miles every day for work. While I’m in the car, I’m listening to a book. This list has some of my favorites. Some may be familiar, but they are all entertaining. I’m the first to tell you that I’m not an official book critic. I only know good books, because I read so much. I think I know the difference between an awesome book and a really bad one. However, this list is purely my opinion.
With each book I have included the length of the production to help you plan which one may be best for your hours in the car. I also tried to indicate if the audio is appropriate for little ears. You might want to invest in earphones!
by Caitlin Moran
8 hours, 45 minutes
This is one of the funniest books I have ever listened to. Caitlin Moran reads with such humor and depth that I wished I could go out for drinks with her. She nails so many aspects about being a woman. As much as I enjoyed this book, my husband probably wouldn’t want to be stuck in a car with it playing for 8 hours. This is a good one for a girls’ weekend to the winery.
by J.K. Rowling
8 hours, 33 minutes
I’m sorry….this just had to be on the list. Even if you’ve read the Harry Potter books a million times, it’s a completely different experience on audio. Jim Dale, the narrator, makes J.K. Rowling’s world come to life. This is a great one to listen to with the kids in the car. Everyone in the family can enjoy all the adventures in and out of Hogwarts.
by Lawrence Wright
17 hours, 27 minutes
Faith can be a crazy, crazy thing. Going Clear takes an in-depth look at Scientology and makes it sound utterly psychotic. There are stories about disappearances and loads of money. It’s a glimpse inside another world. For a non-fiction book about religion, this one will get you a long way down the road.
by Kathryn Stockett
18 hours, 19 minutes
I love it when an audio book has a theatrical component. It keeps you in the story. It keeps you from stopping every 50 miles to pee. The Help has that. There are four different narrators who tell the story. Each one of them has a distinct, Southern drawl. Just another wonderful touch to the production.
by Jim Gaffigan
7 hours, 17 minutes
If you love food, Jim Gaffigan’s chapters will make your mouth water. He talks about so many restaurants all across the country. You may want to change your travel plans, just to hit a few. The author reads the book, which makes it even funnier. If you don’t know the comic, you should search “hot pocket comic.” He pops right up, and he’s kind of kid-friendly. My tip is to take your Lipitor before listening, just in case.
by George R.R. Martin
9 hours, 47 minutes
I listened to the whole series, “A Song of Ice and Fire”, long before the wildly popular, HBO series started. Even if you know the story, listening to George R. R. Martin’s words gives you a different impression of the characters. The twists and turns are just as good too. You can binge listen to the next one on the way home!
by Erika Johansen
14 hours, 30 minutes
I’m a sucker for a good, young adult book. However, even though that’s the genre of The Queen of the Tearling, that is not what it is. There is some crazy violence and sex going on in this book! I love this one for the girl power it promotes. The main character, Kelsea, is not your usual, Disney Princess. Also, the narrator is very dramatic, which I loved.
by Erik Larson
If you’re into architecture and murder, this is one for you. Odd combo, but it works. The descriptions of the World’s Fair of 1893 and Chicago are counterbalanced with the story of a con man/killer, in the city, at the same time. A mad man built a hotel to kill in…..Oh, and it’s non-fiction. It all really happened!
by Robert Galbraith
15 hours, 54 minutes
Who doesn’t like a good mystery? Who doesn’t like a damaged, private investigator? Who does like sexual tension between the boss and the secretary? Who doesn’t like J.K. Rowling using the name “Robert” as a pen name? Need I say more….
by Debbie Nathan
9 hours, 39 minutes
Sybil, the best-seller about the woman with all the personalities, came out in 1973. This book exposes the fraud behind the whole story. The interesting part is how Sybil changed some many lives, but the book was really fiction. The tale leads you through the strange relationship between a doctor and her patient and how they used that bond to make money.
by Paula Hawkins
10 hours, 59 minutes
I know this one has been on every list. Well, it should be…I loved it too! This is another audio book that has multiple narrators, and they’re all British! I’m a sucker for accents or dialects. The plot is intriguing and keeps you guessing until the end. So many layers come out with each narrator. Also, the characters are so messed up that they might make you feel better about your daily life.
by Ken Jennings
5 hours, 2 minutes
Ken Jennings, the Jeopardy champion, wrote a book, and it’s about a bunch of childhood myths. It’s fascinating to hear the author explain the science behind “You can’t swim for 30 minutes after eating.” Every kid out there has always wondered what that directive was about. I found myself wishing that the smarty-pants would explain more to me!
by Rebecca Skloot
12 hours, 30 minutes
Who was Henrietta Lacks? She was a poor, black woman who died of cancer. That’s not all. Her aggressive, cervical cancer cells had been taken. As the years went by, those cells were used to develop modern science and medicine. The sad part is what happened to her family after her death. She’s one of those historical figures that no one knows.
by Chris Colfer
8 hours, 59 minutes
You may know this author. He sang his heart out on the hit show Glee. Not only can he act, he can write a book series and read it with style. The plot of this book is a spin on many, well-known fairy tales. All those familiar characters come together in an interesting way. This is another one that you can listen to with the kids.
by Bill Bryson
9 hours, 47 minutes
Bill Bryson is a great story-teller. He also has a corky voice that lends itself to all his books. A Walk in the Woods is his story about hiking the Appalachian Trail. It makes you want to jump out of the car and go on a hike. If you like this one, he has several books about travel and random things in your home, like to origin of the salt shaker….good stuff.