Readers' Favorite

May 26, 2012

Audio Books for Summer Road Trips

by Donna Huber

This weekend kicks off the start of summer for those of us in the U.S. Growing up, my family took trips by car. My mother refuses to fly. I think the longest trip was the one to Pennsylvania - 16 hours straight through. While I always packed books, we often traveled at night to avoid traffic. Audiobooks weren't as easy to come then either (I'm older than I look).

I've listened to several great audiobooks lately and since they weren't for formal review, I thought I would just give you a rundown of them. There is something for everyone and I was able to get them at the digital download library.

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For Families:

book cover of middle grades novel 13 Gifts by Wendy Mass

13 Gifts
(11 Birthdays #3) by Wendy Mass
Published October 2011 by Scholastic
ISBN13: 9780545354073
Listened May 2012
Get it: Goodreads, IndieBound, Powell's Books, Amazon

I really like listening to YA books. They are fun and do not take a lot of concentration (since I usually listen while at work this is an important factor). I was not familiar with Wendy Mass, but I liked the cover and the description sounded good. And it definitely was a great listen. I think this is something the whole family will enjoy listening to while in the car. It won't be distracting to the driver but will give extra family time. If your trip is quite long, you can pick up the first 2 books in audio as well. 

I enjoyed the bit of mystery that was woven through this coming-of-age tale. I have not read or listened to the previous books in the series. I don't think it is absolutely necessary to, but reading the first two will give you back story on the other characters in the story.

For road trips with your girlfriends or women in your family:

book cover of women's fiction novel The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs

The Friday Night Knitting Club
(Book 1) by Kate Jacobs
audiobook, narrator Carrington MacDuffie
Published June 2007 by Blackstone Audio
ISBN13: 9781433283796
Listened May 2012
Get it:  Goodreads, IndieBound, Powell's Books, Amazon

Are you planning a trip with your girlfriends this summer or perhaps mothers, daughters, and sisters are traveling together? This would make a great listen. A group of women of different ages and different backgrounds find each other among the warm wools and cool cottons of Walker & Daughter Yarn Shop. While each comes to the shop for different reasons, they are looking for the same thing. Camaraderie, acceptance, direction. By working through a sweater pattern, these ladies who never would have met otherwise become close friends. There are laughs, but also tears along the way as each muddle there way through not only the pattern but also their lives. Learning mistakes don't end the project and lending support and aid to each other when life gets too tough to handle alone. 

I don't like to do spoilers, but I must caution if you get emotional while reading it would be best not to listen to chapters 31 to the end while driving. 

For mixed company:

book cover of mystery The First Patient by Michael Palmer
The First Patient by Michael Palmer
audiobook, narrator Phil Gigante
Published February 2008 by Brilliance Audio
Listened April 2012
Get it: Goodreads, IndieBound, Powell's Books, Amazon

I'm always hesitant to listen to mysteries. I worry I'll either miss something crucial or get so involved in the story I can't focus on my work. The First Patient was a great mystery audiobook. I was intrigued enough to keep listening and there was repetition (which had I been reading the book, would have driven my mad) so that I didn't have to be fully engaged. 

There is a little bit of everything in the book that should appeal to both guys and gals. It could also provide conversation topics when you stop for meals or the night. While it seems like a straightforward political mystery, an unexpected turn is taken towards the end. I can assure you the butler didn't do it!

For other audiobooks I've reviewed click here.

Your turn: I know I have several people here who regularly listen to audio books, what are your recommendations for filling the long hours in a car?

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  1. I love audiobooks and two picks for a lengthy trip would be:
    -Skippy Dies by Paul Murray
    -11.22.63 by Stephen King

    I haven't reviewed them yet but I'd rate them both very very highly.

    Thanks for the suggestions about The First Patient - I'll check that out!


  2. I love audio books for roadtrips! Bit this last one my hubby boight a DVD player... which was great for the passengers but not me, the driver! I've listened to almost all of Sue Grafton's alphabet mysteries. When I was a truck driver I lostenrd to all those classics like Moby Dick.

  3. I haven't listened to audiobooks since they were on cassette. Now I'm going to cut my teeth by doing a review of "Animal Attraction" by Jill Shalvis. I'm looking forward to it. If you have any suggestions, I can always use the help.


  4. Mrs B keeps trying to get me into audiobooks. I should probably start them really.

    My TBR pile would go down quicker.

    Great post. Thanks for the recommendations :)