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Best Attention-grabbing Audiobooks for a Road Trip

By: Craig

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Photo by Delano Ramdas on Unsplash

Road trips are awesome, but honestly, the long car rides can get pretty boring. There are only so many cornfields and cows one can see without them losing their luster. 

Audiobooks are a great solution for road trip boredom. Especially the ones that combine a great story and excellent narration. 

Here is a list of audiobooks that are sure to keep you entertained on your next road trip. It includes both non-fiction and fiction picks and also a section if you are traveling with your family.

Let’s start with the non-fiction books, which are some of our favorites.

Best Non-Fiction Audiobooks

Born a Crime – Noah Trevor

Born a Crime is the remarkable coming-of-age memoir set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed. The audiobook is narrated by Noah Trevor, which makes this audiobook a no-brainer for this list. 

Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother. During this time, such a relationship could result in five years in jail.

This is the story of a mischievous young lad who grows up to be a restless young man while he attempts to discover himself in an environment where he was never supposed to exist.

Trevor’s stories are so incredibly well told, weaving together his personal experience with South African history, politics, and culture. The book can be enjoyed on many different levels, and it can be enjoyed by both adults and older teens.

Becoming – Michelle Obama

Becoming is Obama’s deeply personal story recounting the experiences that have shaped her. These stories range from her South Chicago childhood, to balancing the demands of work and parenting, to her years spent at the White House.

This audiobook, narrated by Obama herself, is wonderful because it can be enjoyed by all people, even those who are not history buffs. Michelle Obama’s writing style will keep you entertained during her telling of this story of her life.

Still Foolin’ ‘Em – Billy Crystal

The Grammy-nominated Still Foolin’ ‘Em takes you on a journey through Crystal’s life from performing on Saturday Night Live, to hosting the Academy Awards, to making When Harry Met Sally.

This audiobook tells stories that are not only heartwarming but also hilarious.

Kitchen Confidential – Anthony Bourdain

Kitchen Confidential is Anthony Bourdain’s best-selling tell-all about life in the restaurant business.

Bourdain does not hold back on any aspect of his journey, from his start as a dishwasher to working for Les Halles and eventually becoming executive chef at Brasserie Les Halles. His memoir includes stories of drug abuse, sex, violence, and corruption. 

This audiobook is not for the faint of heart, but Bourdain’s narration will keep you interested throughout the audiobook!

Bossypants – Tina Fey

Listening to Tina Fey narrate her book Bossypants will have you laughing all the way through your road trip.

Bossypants is full of Fey’s trademark humor and wit as she takes the listener on a journey through topics like aging in Hollywood, feminism, and negotiating salary with the president of NBC.

Educated – Tara Westover

This audiobook is a memoir about Tara Westover’s upbringing in Idaho, her education at Brigham Young University and Harvard, and the life she built as a young woman.

Tara was born to survivalists who believed that Armageddon would come soon. She grew up with guns, self-sufficiency, and no doctors or hospitals.

Educated recounts Tara’s journey from self-education to higher education. It is beautifully narrated and encompasses the whole spectrum of emotion. You will most certainly find yourself hanging on every word!

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck – Mark Manson

Looking for your road trip to help you gain some perspective on life? Then listening to The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is a perfect choice for your road trip.

In this audiobook, Mark Manson steers away from the normal self-help narrative of affirmations and positivity. Instead, he focuses on how we can stop letting everyday events and frustrations get us down. 

And it’s in this art of not giving a F*CK that we can start to feel good about who we are and what we can accomplish.

Best Fiction Audiobooks

Daisy Jones and the Six – Taylor Jenkins Reid

In the late 1960s, a generation of young women was coming up fast in Hollywood and New York. They had their own ideas about how to live life as they pleased, including what to wear and who they wanted to be.

And then came rock ‘n’ roll and everything changed.

Daisy Jones & The Six tells the story of Daisy Jones, lead singer for an eponymous band that was so much more than just music. It was the voice of a generation fighting for creative freedom against all odds.

This narration in this audiobook makes you feel like you are listening to an episode of Behind the Music.

It’s a fascinating read that will keep you entertained during its entirety.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams, Eoin Colfer, Thomas Tidholm

Whether you’ve read this book before or it’s new to you, listening to the narration of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy on your road is sure to keep you entertained for miles.

This science-fiction classic has all the humor you would expect from Douglas Adams. This book is about Arthur Dent coming to terms with Earth’s destruction…by a bureaucratic alien race called Vogons.

The audiobook is engaging and provides the perfect balance of narration and dialogue.

The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas

The Hate You Give is a book that showcases the struggles of a young black girl, Starr, struggling to find herself as she navigates two very different worlds.

As she deals with the opposition of living in a poor black neighborhood while attending a mostly all-white high school, Starr must deal with adversity and find the courage to stand up for what’s right, even if it puts her life at risk.

The Hate U Give is not only a great road trip book, but it’s relevant to the times in which we live. It will have you laughing one minute and then thinking deeply about the world around you the next.

Everything I’ve Never Told You – Celeste Ng

Everything I’ve Never Told You is about a family that struggles with their eldest daughter Lydia’s death.

The story begins at the end of Lydia’s life and then works back to the very beginning. It follows her family’s journey to discover the truth about what happened.

This book is read by Nicole Chung who does a wonderful job with the narration and all of the characters. It will take you through a spectrum of emotions and leave you thinking deeply for days after!

The Lager Queen of Minnesota – J. Ryan Stradal

This audiobook made the list because of its amazing narration, as well as the cute and heartwarming story.

The Lager Queen of Minnesota follows two sisters and one farm as they struggle to make ends meet in a world where everything seems to be stacked against them.

And if you are a beer lover, it’s a fun story that follows a brewery from its humble beginnings to becoming one of the most successful breweries in the country.

Best Audiobooks for Families

Harry Potter Series – J.K. Rowling

The Harry Potter series is the most popular book series in the world. This makes it a great road trip listen, whether you’ve been curious as to what the hype is all about or want to experience the wonder of Harry Potter all over again.

The Harry Potter series is a great audiobook choice because it appeals to both adults and kids. Adults can enjoy novels that deal with themes like betrayal, coming of age, love, and death while children can read about magical spells, fantastic beasts, and adventures.

The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy – J.R.R. Tolkien

J.R.R Tolkien’s The Hobbit, as well as its follow-up trilogy The Lord of the Rings, is another great book to listen to on a road trip.

The two series are classic adventure stories that follow the journey of Bilbo and Frodo as they try to find a way to save Middle Earth from evil forces.

Like the Harry Potter series, these books are great because kids and adults will enjoy different aspects of them. Kids will be drawn to the stories’ fantastical worlds filled with wizards, fairies, dwarves, orcs, etc., while adults can appreciate the themes of adventure and bravery.

The Chronicles of Narnia Series – C.S. Lewis

C.S Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia series is another great series about a group of children and their adventures in an imaginary world known as Narnia.

The Chronicles of Narnia series is great for families because younger kids can enjoy the fantastic elements of it, while older siblings or parents can listen to more mature themes that are subtly added into the story.

All in all, this book is a great option for any traveling family.

The Hunger Games Series

If you’re looking for a slightly more mature audiobook, The Hunger Games series is a great option.

Suzanne Collins’ dystopian trilogy tells the story of Katniss Everdeen and her fight to save both herself and her home from corrupt government forces that control Panem through a yearly event known as the Hunger Games.

The story deals with mature themes of nationalism, corruption, and violence, which some parents may find objectionable for their children.

However, The Hunger Games series still appeals mostly to young adults and adults because of the survival story that takes place in a new world full of strange creatures and technology.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark – Alvin Schwartz

For some creepy yet mildly scary stories, look no further than Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. 

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is a collection of urban legends, ghost stories, and generally spooky tales. The collection has everything from walking corpses to witchcraft and everything in between.

The stories will keep children of all ages on the edge of their seats with suspense and excitement. Even adults will want to listen to these.

Protip: Make sure to look for the version narrated by George Irving as it’s much spookier than the Patton Oswald version.

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