Picture of highway going through the desert

Summer Road Trip? Take an Audiobook!

Executive Editor Best Family Audiobooks, Book Buzz

Picture of highway going through the desertBest Audiobooks for Summer Road Trip 2012

Going on a road trip this summer?  So how will you pass all those miles in the middle of nowhere?  Sure you and family could each retreat to your individual electronic gadgets.  You could never talk to each other, look at each other, or even look out the window, but that does feel a little bit like cheating.  How can you claim to have taken a road trip without even seeing the scenery, playing the license plate game, and suffering just a little bit together as a family?  If you would like the shared experience, but with a little relief in the suffering department, consider an audiobook.

The Right Reader

The secret with an audiobook seems obvious, but I will state it anyway:  It has to be good.  The best book can be ruined by a dry and lifeless reader.  (You know the ones I am talking about; you would rather drive in silence through Nevada’s deserts than listen to a minute more of that voice.)  On the other hand, the right reader is magic and can transform an average book into something memorable.

Where to Get Audiobooks

Another consideration for audiobooks is whether to check-out from the local library or buy.  The library (love them!) is free, but you have may have to contend with a wait-list for the title you want, a due date if you are on an extended trip, and a scratched disc that can be oh-so -frustrating.  Some libraries now have audiobooks available for download and that solves some of the difficulties associated with  physical discs.

On the other hand, you can purchase the audiobook and in exchange for your cold, hard cash you can get what you want, for as long as you want, without scratches.  Moving beyond purchasing actual compact discs, you can download MP3 Files and sign-up for subscription services, which are economical if purchasing often.  If this is an option appeals to you, then you can click the banner at the bottom of this post for more information. (Note:  You will be leaving Compass Book Ratings’ site to visit a vendor site.)

Hand-Picked Recommendations

I am picky when it comes to my audiobooks.  For ever 10 audiobooks I check out of the library, I usually return 9 of them after only 15 minutes of listening.  Here are some personal gems that survived my rigorous standards and were a joy to listen to.  To see the book review and content analysis, click on the book’s cover.

Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Book Cover Chick-Lit with Class

Because this book’s format is a series of correspondence among characters by letters, the audio recording takes advantage of that by using different readers for the different letter-writers. You will feel like you are in England!

 

Alchemist, Book CoverThought-Provoking

If you want to arrive at your destination with a little bit of inspiration, take this one. Narrated by Jeremy Irons (perfect!), this book pulls you into another traveler’s journey. Under five hours in length, it is good for a mid-length trip.

 

Airborn, Book CoverEntire Family

This sound recording uses a complete cast with different readers for each part. Fabulous book and fabulous audio recording! Yes, you will find yourself sitting in the car to listen to “just a little more”.

 

The Lost Hero, Book CoverTweens and Teens

Joshua Swanson is the reader for this book and he nails it! A long audiobook, but you will enjoy every minute of it. The reader fully exploits Riordan’s humor and I had a 15 year old boy keep asking me “Could we listen to the book some more?”

 

Runaway Ralph, Book CoverYoung Kids

This audiobook is a little over two hours which is just right for younger kids, ages 4-8. A good example of how a good book becomes better in the hands of the right reader.

 

See Related Post:  Great Audiobook Picks for the Summer Family Road Trip 2013!