If you are a veteran of long road trips, you know that there comes a time when, despite the best of preparations, you get bored. You get sick of that wonderful playlist you carefully made. Your kids even get tired of playing their favorite video games. And another round of Twenty Questions? Forget about it.
Best audiobooks selection
That’s when it is time to pull out a game changer – an audiobook. Even if you don’t often listen to audio books, they are a great way to make the miles go by in the car. Whether you are traveling alone or with a car full of family members, they can help keep you engaged and content. Here is a selection of our favorites.
Best audiobooks – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling. Read by Jim Dale
Distinguished British actor Jim Dale gives a tour de force rendering of the Harry Potter series. He breathes life into all the characters with his remarkable voices. (Wait until you heart his Snape!) Even though you and your family may have read the book and seen the film a few times, you will enjoy hearing this modern classic read by such a talented man. (He reads all the other books in the series as well!)
Best audiobooks – The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. Read by Bill Homewood
Teens and adults will be riveted by this incredible reading of the Dumas classic. Before the masked superheroes so popular in today’s culture, there was Dumas’ daring hero, Edmond Dantès. Betrayed and arrested for treason on the eve of his marriage, the young sailor is imprisoned for many years in the forbidding Chateau d’If near Marseille. However, he carefully plans his escape and plots his revenge in this satisfying tale of adventure, romance and redemption.
Best audiobooks – Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt. Read by Frank McCourt
I read this fine book years ago, but hearing it read by the author himself breathes new life into this powerful autobiographical story. For one thing, you hear it read in an authentic Irish accent, which adds depth and meaning to the words. For another thing, you feel as if the author is right there in the car with you telling you his story. Parents please note: This critically acclaimed memoir of growing up in 1940s Ireland contains some adult subject matter.
Best audiobooks – Frindle by Andrew Clements. Read by Keith Nobbs
Here’s one for all ages. Andrew Clements’ 1996 children’s novel tells the charming story of fifth-grader Nick Allen who invents a new word for “pen.” When his word “frindle” catches on, the fun begins. American stage, film and TV actor Keith Nobbs lends his considerable talents to the narration.
Best audiobooks – The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. Read by Khaled Hosseini
This beautiful story of redemption and love takes on new meaning when you hear it in the author’s own voice. Like his protagonist Amir, Hosseini was born in Afghanistan but left the country in his youth. This story of the friendship between a rich boy and the poor son of his father’s servant will leave you contemplating good versus evil and the price we pay for indifference.
Best audiobooks – The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien. BBC Radio plays
These are superb audio dramatizations of Tolkien’s classics complete with expert voice characterizations, haunting music and sound effects. As you listen, you can close your eyes (unless you are driving of course!) and create your own detailed images of all the colorful characters and places in Middle Earth. With 13 hours of drama, this may be the only collection you need for your trip.