Summer means road trips, and road trips mean long stretches of time that are best filled with captivating audiobooks that make the miles fly by.
The Audible team and the Amazon Editors joined forces to select these 18 best audiobooks"”fiction, nonfiction, and children's books"”that will turn your summer road trip into a thrilling adventure.
The Art of Racing in the Rain (Unabridged) by Garth Stein
Told from the point of view of Enzo, a canine with a philosopher's heart, this audiobook punctures our common wisdom about love, family, knowledge, and hope. An Audible customer favorite.
The Time Traveler's Wife (Unabridged) by Audrey Niffenegger
A love story wrapped in a gauzy sci-fi scarf, the tale of Henry"”who suffers from Chrono-Displacement disorder and therefore drops in and out of time"”and his patient wife, Clare, is told by two different skilled narrators, adding authenticity to being in the heads of Clare and Henry as they try to make their highly unusual marriage work.
To Kill a Mockingbird (Unabridged) by Harper Lee
This classic is required reading in most high schools, but if you missed it or want to revisit Harper Lee's story of coming of age in the deep south, Oscar-winning Sissy Spacek illuminates the souls of Lee's characters in an unforgettable performance.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Unabridged) by Douglas Adams
The marvelous Stephen Fry adds his voice and own dollop of eccentricity to the already wondrously strange and hilarious classic science fiction tale of Arthur Dent, who escapes Earth right before it's bulldozed to make a galactic freeway and learns far more about the galaxy and the meaning of life than he ever expected.
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: A Novel (Unabridged) by Rachel Joyce
Englishman and recent retiree Harold Fry receives an unexpected letter in the mail that an old friend is in hospice and dying. Spurred by a chance encounter, Harold sets off to walk the 600 miles between his house and the hospice, beginning a pilgrimage of heart and memory. Character actor Jim Broadbent (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) adds authenticity and depth to this marvelous debut novel.
Jurassic Park: A Novel (Unabridged) by Michael Crichton
Now is the perfect time to go back to the original novel and learn about the genesis of Jurassic Park. Filled with details that didn't make it into the first film of the blockbuster franchise, Crichton's novel proves again and again why it's become a modern classic.
H Is for Hawk (Unabridged) by Helen Macdonald
After the sudden death of her father, Helen Macdonald pursues a unique path in her healing process by honing her skills as"¦a falcon trainer. This unexpected hit from the UK is a poetically spun combination of memoir and nature writing, beautifully read by author.
The Girl with All the Gifts (Unabridged) by M. R. Carey
With The Girl with All the Gifts, M. R. Carey has created an utterly original apocalyptic landscape told from a highly unusual vantage point. Finty Williams (Judi Dench's daughter!) narrates, and will keep you and your fellow passengers on the edge of your seats guessing at what's really going on here.
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War (Abridged) by Max Brooks
A cast of actors"”including Alan Alda, John Turturro, Rob Reiner"”bring an additional dose of hard-hitting drama to the already thrilling story of a zombie apocalypse that swept over the world until it was beaten back.
Storm Front (Unabridged) by Jim Butcher
James Marsters (Spike, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) delivers wizard Harry Dresden's voice with a gruff edge and wry undertone that captures his persona perfectly as Chicago's only professional wizard tangles with supernatural forces and the local police force to solve who is murdering people in his town. If you're going on a really long road trip, take the next two books, Fool Moon and Grave Peril, with you as well, also voiced by Marsters.
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption (Unabridged) by Laura Hillenbrand
This heartbreaking but ultimately uplifting saga of World War Two soldier Louie Zamperini's survival against the odds after his plane plunges into the Pacific Ocean is augmented by the flawless reading of Edward Herrmann, whose voice brings gravitas and weight.
The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics (Unabridged) by Daniel James Brown
Another stellar performance by narrator Edward Hermann brings this true story of nine young men from working class backgrounds who, against the odds, first defeated their elite rivals in rowing and then reached the ultimate challenge of the Olympic Games, going head-to-head against the German rowing team in 1936.
Pirate Hunters: Treasure, Obsession, and the Search for a Legendary Pirate Ship (Unabridged) by Robert Kurson
In this thrilling, fast-paced nonfiction tale, underwater ship hunters Chatterton and Mattera throw themselves headlong into the quest to find the Golden Fleece, the sunken ship of pirate Joseph Bannister and, if found, will be only the second pirate ship to be discovered. But locating a ship that doesn't want to be found isn't so easy"¦.
The Wright Brothers (Unabridged) by David McCullough
Pulitzer Prize-winning author David MuCullough brings an easy, conversational style to his narration of the twisty and challenging path of the Wright brothers as they begin as humble bicycle makers and transform into the inventors of the first powered airplane during the history-making flight at Kitty Hawk.
No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission that Killed Osama Bin Laden (Unabridged) by Mark Owen
Owen's details of SEAL training and, more important, the mentality needed to become one of the toughest soldiers in the world would make this a fascinating listen even if it didn't include the build up to and the raid on Osama Bin Laden's compound.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Unabridged) by J. K. Rowling
Jim Dale's rich voice conveys an underlying level of wonder and humor that's just perfect for diving into the magical world of Harry Potter. Dale was nominated for a Grammy Award for this audiobook, and he won the Grammy a year later for the fourth book in the series, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Excellent for long-distance trips with kids in the car"”or with adults who want to be whisked back to Hogwarts again.
The Golden Compass: His Dark Materials, Book 1 (Unabridged) by Philip Pullman
Different actors read the various characters' voices, which is a huge help at the beginning of this complex story that spins up slowly but roars to life once 11-year-old Lyra goes on the run from the child-stealing Gobblers and befriends a myriad of strange creatures, such as witches and an exiled armored bear, in her quest to save her uncle imprisoned far in the frozen north.
The One and Only Ivan (Unabridged) by Katherine Applegate
This lovely based-on-a-true-story tale is written from the perspective of a silverback gorilla living at a highway rest-stop mall as a sideshow attraction. Sad and hopeful, silly and uplifting, this Newbery Medal winner is an absolute charmer for parents and kids alike.