The Best Audio Books for Your Next Road Trip
Hitting the road? Spare yourself fights over the radio by queuing up these worthwhile audiobooks. Whether traveling solo, with friends, or with family, the hours (and miles) will fly by.
If You Want to Get Ahead on Your Book Club. . .
- Me Before You by JoJo Moyes, Read by Susan Lyons, Anna Bentink, Steven Crossley, Alex Tregear, Andrew Wincott, and Owen Lindsay
Grab the tissues (and mind the road) while listening to this tragic love story. When Louisa lands a job as a caretaker for a wealthy man left wheelchair bound after an accident, little does she know that her biggest task will be showing him that life is still worth living.
To buy: $34, audible.com.
- A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, Read by George Newbern
According to Ove, a curmudgeonly 59-year-old widower, rules are meant to be followed, signs are meant to be obeyed, and BMWs are simply not acceptable. When his new neighbors, a young couple with two kids and a third on the way, accidentally flatten his mailbox, Ove finds himself entwined in the lives of his neighbors and community in this feel-good debut novel.
To buy: $35, audible.com.
- Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, Read by Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey and India Fisher
If you feel like you’re one of the few who hasn’t read this runaway hit, the bestselling psychological thriller makes for an equally compelling audiobook, with three different voice actors taking on the roles of Paula Hawkins’ unreliable narrators. Give it a listen before the movie (starring Emily Blunt) hits theaters October 7.
To buy: $28, audible.com.
If You Want a Good Laugh. . .
- Bossypants, Written and read by Tina Fey
Get ready to work your abs for five-and-a-half hours as you laugh along to Tina Fey’s reading of her hilarious memoir Bossypants. You will be regaled with childhood memories of her dad, the inimitable Don Fey, her life on the road with Chicago’s Second City improv troupe, her time as head writer on SNL, and motherhood. She even includes solid advice on how to be a fearless female leader.
To buy: $21, audible.com.
- Me Talk Pretty One Day, Written and read by David Sedaris
As if reading David Sedaris wasn’t laugh-out-loud funny enough, hearing his wry delivery is even more enjoyable. Let the essayist entertain you with stories of his attempts to learn French, his brother’s proclivity for speaking in hip-hop slang, and his father’s penchant for eating molding produce.
To buy: $20, audible.com.
- Is It Just Me?, Written and read by Miranda Hart
The British comedian hasn’t fully crossed the pond to the States yet, but she is the star of her hilarious, self-titled sitcom, Miranda, on the BBC in the U.K. In Is It Just Me?, Hart delivers a memoir that is part self-help book, part one-woman show, and totally hilarious. Her joie de vivre comes through as she shares numerous awkward moments from her life, including a pantless meeting with a group of BBC development execs.
To buy: $26, audible.com.
If You Want to Catch Up on Classics. . .
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Read by Rosamund Pike
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that a good audiobook can make a long drive (or laundry or a workout) more bearable. English actress Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) finds the subtleties of each character in her performance and manages to make even the social-climbing Mrs. Bennett a treat to listen to. You'll fall in love with this classic tale of overcoming first impressions all over again.
To buy: $25, audible.com.
- Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, Read by Jeremy Irons
“Lo. Lee. Ta.” It only takes a few sentences of Jeremy Iron’s gorgeous reading of the controversial classic to be totally entranced. Listening to the novel, about a grown man falling in love with a precocious 12-year-old girl, brings Nabokov’s masterful word play to life. And, thanks to Iron’s subtle performance, it allows new insight into Humbert Humbert’s longing and shame.
To buy: $23, audible.com.
- Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, Read by Gary Sinise
Steinbeck’s tale of the elusive American Dream continues to resonate. Join migrant farm workers George and Lennie as they strive to earn enough money to one day buy land of their own. Gary Sinise, who played George in the 1992 film version, brings the characters so vividly to life that you’ll feel like you’re roaming the California countryside yourself.
To buy: $17, audible.com.
Keep Kids in Their Seats
- The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling, Read by Jim Dale
Even if you have read (and re-read) J.K.’s magical series about a boy who learns he is a wizard, do yourself a favor and listen to Jim Dale’s colorful performance. With the books running between 8.5 (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone) and 21.5 hours (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows), there’s plenty of material to captivate your children for a long family road trip.
To buy: Starting at $30, audible.com.
- Matilda by Roald Dahl, Read by Kate Winslet
Kate Winslet doesn’t hold back (she even lets a big belch rip!) portraying each character in the Roald Dahl classic about a feisty girl standing up to the bullying Mrs. Trunchbull. Children (Ages 8 and up) and adults alike will enjoy this memorably magical tale.
To buy: $21.00, audible.com.
- The Ramona Quimby Audio Collection by Beverly Cleary and Tracy Dockray, Read by Stockard Channing
All eight Ramona books are packaged in this 19-hour compilation. Follow rambunctious and imaginative Ramona Quimby from age 4 to 10 as she navigates the world, including braving the school bus alone, standing up to bullies, and supporting her dad when he loses his job. Beautifully narrated by actress Stockard Channing, your kids will find something to relate to.
To buy: $43, audible.com.