A long day on the road doesn’t have to be coupled with boredom or stagnant silence. Consider changing things up beyond changing the radio dial. Tune in to an audiobook! Luckily, there’s no shortage of great options to fill the void and make the drive go by like a breeze. If you’re a fan of audiobooks, here are five great choices for a great listening experience while you cruise to your destination.
‘The Hobbit’ by J. R. R. Tolkien
Tolkien’s classic adventure story is a pleasure to read and perhaps even better to hear read aloud. You may have read “The Hobbit” as a kid, but it has lost none of its joy and excitement since then. Tolkien’s fantastical world of dragons, elves, dwarves, wizards – and yes, hobbits – has entertained readers for more than a generation. At about 11 hours long, Tolkien’s novel is perfect for any long drive. Once you listen to it read by the talented Rob Inglis, it’s likely you will want to listen to even more.
‘The Things They Carried’ by Tim O’Brien
This modern classic has become a regular in American history classes. O’Brien depicts a chillingly authentic image of soldiers serving in the Vietnam War. The audiobook edition is read by Bryan Cranston, whose astonishing performance delicately plays off the book’s emotional power. It also includes the author reading “The Vietnam in Me,” a recounting of his return to Vietnam in 1994, 25 years after his experience there as a soldier. At just under eight hours, “The Things They Carried” is sure to provide a gripping narrative while going down the highway. You are unlikely to be the same when O’Brien wraps up his narrative.
‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’ by Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou’s classic of learning about life, love, and kindness is a life-changing book to read. For those who are familiar with it, it might be difficult to imagine how ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’ could be more powerful. However, hearing it read by Maya Angelou herself makes it all the more compelling. Angelou describes her experiences of loss, abandonment, and prejudice, and how she overcame it all. Hearing the power she discovered in kindness even in the face of hatred will inspire you. At about 10 hours, this is the perfect choice for a quiet trip full of reflection and insight.
‘Everything That Rises Must Converge’ by Flannery O’Connor
O’Connor’s classic tragic comedy about pride, racism, and generational conflict comes packed with eight other short stories. As always, O’Connor’s stories have an uncanny ability to grab your attention until the very end. These stories provide nine hours of content broken up into multiple stories, ‘Everything That Rises Must Converge’ is a fantastic choice for trips with lots of stops or multiple parts. O’Conner’s depth of insight and jarringly real characters are sure to make every moment of your trip an exhilarating experience.
‘Born a Crime’ by Trevor Noah
The hysterical comedian and star of “The Daily Show,” Trevor Noah, offers fascinating insights into growing up in South Africa during the twilight of apartheid. Noah’s recounting of the freedom that followed and the cultural turmoil he experienced are riveting in their wit and poignancy. Noah tells his story with a talent for drama that never overshadows his honesty. At about eight hours and forty-five minutes, “Born a Crime” is the kind of audiobook with the power to turn a road trip into a full-fledged journey.