Looking for a good audio book that will keep me engaged and awake for my ride

In a couple of weeks I’ll be going on a cross country road trip (by myself..eek!) And am looking for a good audio book for my ride. Something that will keep me engaged and awake. Something with a good narrator. Any suggestions?

86 Answers

  • The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman series is good as an audiobook.

  • Harry Potter…Jim Dale is the most awesome reader ever…or…Yes Please by Amy Poehler…have a good trip!

    • Oooh…I didn’t know he read that one too…I don’t listen to very many books. I read The Night Circus and really liked it. Thanks for the heads up. I’ll look for the audio version for my next road trip.

  • Be a Frank With Me; Small Great Things; A Little Life; American Gods; The Girl Who Drank the Moon…all narrators are fantastic

  • I enjoyed Christopher Moore’s Fool.
    I’ve heard good things about Lincoln in the Bardo.

  • The James Patterson Women’s Murder Club books are good. Have a wonderful trip! How fun and exciting! I drove across the country last summer but with a baby, a five year old, and their sleepy mommy in the car. I loved it!

  • The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto is a great audiobook. Different narrators portray different characters throughout the book.

  • The Memory of Running by Ron McLarty – fiction about a man coming to grips with his life and he is on a cross country bike trip 🚲

  • Susan grafton her detective talks right to you as she says the story….. Some of Jack Reacher is first person. Hard Way and Echo Burning

  • If you want to try a podcast, and you don’t mind a little bit of foul language, S-Town is great to listen to! You can get it from NPR for free.

  • I rarely do non fiction or biography’s and tend to hate audio books because I can’t stand the way its read. But I REALLY enjoyed Ted Turner’s reading his biography (Call Me Ted). Very interesting life. More energy and accomplishments than about 10 other people.

  • Harry Potter and the Golden Compass have already been suggested and I second them. However my first suggestion is The Help!! This is the best audio book I have ever listened to!!!

  • Harry Potter – Jim Dale reading – for sure. Anything by Bill Bryson – read by himself. And we have enjoyed David Sedaris – his earlier books, also read by him. Be warned though – you could laugh yourself off the road! Happy trails!

    • i was going to suggest david sedaris. perfect for an audio book

  • Podcasts that I like –

    Hidden brain
    Freakonomics
    Car talk (hilariously funny!!)
    To the best of our knowledge (TTBOOK)
    America’s test kitchen
    Altonbrowncast

    And best of all Craftlit -it is like going to a literature class in college. http://craftlit.com/ I loved her series on Jane Eyre and pride and prejudice

    Also on overdrive you can find many full cast renditions put out by the bbc and these are fun. Like old timey radio theater.

    Have a great trip!

    • What an amazing coincidence! A friend from college, , is married to the host(ess) of CraftLit, Heather Ordover.

    • I forwarded a copy of your comment to to show to Heather. I suggested he let her know about this group!

  • Boys in the Boat, we both looked forward to it each day

  • If you can find the BBC audio production of Neil Gaimans Neverwhere then it’s a must. We listened to it on a 10 hour drive through France and it was amazing. It’s fully casted with the likes of James Mcavoy, Christopher Lee, Natalie Dormer and indeed Neil himself. Brilliant x

  • One of my favorite audio books is “The Forgetting Time”. Amazing story.

  • I loved Rob Reiner reading The Princess Bride & Fannie Flagg reading Fried Green Tomatoes (and Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series is a lot of fun too – just be careful not to drive off the road laughing!)

  • The list is endless! Test samples and see who’s voice you like from you TBR list. So many book series and long books! Take several in case your “moods” change with the scenery. ENJOY!!!

    • Good idea. For example, I love the Stephanie Plum books but when I tried to listen to them the reader’s voice just didn’t match what was in my head and it just didn’t work for me.

  • The All Girls Filling Station’s Last Reunion is a good one. Also Fried Green Tomatoes read by the author. (I always like it when the author is the reader!)

  • Rob Lowe’s “Stories I Only Tell My Friends” – i guess it depends on your age and if you are a fan …

  • Wake, Watch, and Wonder by Ralph J Sawyer.
    They are science fiction..sorta…but very plot-driven, with characters you grow to love. Beautifully narrated by several people.

    (The books are sometimes easier to find by putting ‘www.’ In front of them. I tried doing that here, but it kept adding unwanted links.)

    By the way, I got all 3 audiobooks through my library system.

    Happy travels

  • Interview with a vampire, I know the copy at my library had an excellent narrator!

  • A man called ove. The narrator definitely added something compelling to the story. The Rosie Project and The Nest also have good readers. Big Little Lies and My Husband’s Secret were also great experiences. Have fun!!!

  • and, Emily, no eek for a road trip on your own! a great adventure and be sure to sit at counters for meals so you can talk with people. please let us know how it goes!

    • Our library has a good number of these courses. Glad you mentioned them. Planning a summer car trip & would be a great opportunity to listen!

  • This is the funniest audiobook I’ve listened to…ever! Totally inappropriate around children so a solo road trip would be perfect. The author also narrates it which is ectra hilarious IMO.

  • Molly Harper’s Jane Jameson books and the spin-off Half Moon Hollow books will have you laughing the whole way. Amanda Ronconi’s narration is great.

    I also highly recommend the Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne. It’s a series I only do in audio because of how great Luke Daniel’s narration is. His reading of Oberon, the Irish wolfhound makes me laugh out loud.

  • I did not plan ahead once to secure the needed audio books for a road trip, and had to rely on our tiny library’s selection (ok, tiny for Los Angeles, if I had planned ahead I would have had access to just about anything. in this case, I was bound by the shelves at our small branch). One of the lucky finds was A Little Prince – which is a book I tried to read several times and could simply not get through. BUT! The audio book made all the difference. My kids and I loved it.

  • So many great suggestions here. I would also suggest sarah vowell’s Assassination Vacation

  • A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
    Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeywell

  • The Center of Everything by Laura Moriarty
    The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
    Bee Season by Myla Goldberg
    Shrill by Lindy West

  • I have particularly enjoyed Born a Crime, We Are Legion (We Are Bob), The Sellout, Dark Matter and the full cast production of The Graveyard Book

  • I am listening to 1984 by George Orwell, narrated by Simon Prebble. I am completely hooked. He does voices that are amazing!

  • Illuminae by jay kristoff and amie kauffman has sound effects!

  • Outlander series. I could listen to Divina Porter for days.

  • The Tea Girl of hummingbird Lane by Lisa See… & it’s a long book too😊

  • Cool! Good for you. You go girl! I was told that the audiobook for Outlander is very good.

  • For road trips, I prefer adventurous humor authors such as Carl Hiassen.

  • Hmm…I just like the idea of a road trip. Just sayin’…

  • Perfect timing, as I’m about to get in the car for 10 hours! Thanks for all the recommendations.

    • Those and Sarah Vowel are my favorite road trip audiobooks .

  • Best audiobooks I’ve listened to recently include Ready Player One (awesome and Spielberg is making into a movie), Unbroken, and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. All had great voice readers and were engaging and well written stories that I didn’t want to turn off.

  • Outlander!!! Davina Porter does an excellent job. And any/all of the follow-up books, too.

  • World War z in audio book is excellent. Great cast giving an oral history of the outbreak

  • Heartburn by Nora Ephron, read by Meryl Streep was great. I felt like the narrator was my best friend, sharing all her secrets! I also enjoyed Doris Kearn Goodwin’s historical account of Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt, entitled No Ordinary Time. It’s read by Edward Hermann, the actor who has portrayed FDR in some movies or TV mini series. I learned so much and gained respect for them. Enjoy the journey!

  • I only listened to one audio book in my life and it was a book I’ve already read and loved “The first fifteen lives of Harry August” by Claire North .. it’s a pretty long book (about 900 pages) and the narrator’s voice was really good.

  • If you like Maeve Binchy, A Week in Winter is narrated by one of my favorites, Rosalyn Landor. Also, The Other Daugther or That Summer by Lauren Willig, or Belgravia if you like Downton Abbey type stories.

  • And of course, my all time favorite The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is OUTSTANDING as an audio.

  • Will Patton expertly voices James Lee Burke’s Dave Robicheau mysteries. Your trip will fly by.

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