Hello guys and welcome to Blogmas day 13! I see road trips in the near future for many of you. And it doesn’t take psychic ability to predict that becoming immersed in a new page-turner is immeasurably preferable to listening to your family members belt out the top 20 hits for hours on end. Enter audiobooks.
In the not-so-distant past, I had a 3-hour daily work commute. I credit audiobooks with saving my sanity. Don’t get me wrong, I love listening to music, but after a while anything will get stuck in your head. I preferred really long audiobooks for driving to and from work. It was great listening to a detailed story unfold over a month’s time. On a few occasions, whilst in the middle of a really good one, I actually looked forward to my long drive to the office.
While most everybody’s travel plans are different, never fear, there is a perfect audiobook out there for your ride/flight/hitchhike/etc. Here are some that I recommend:
Car/Train/Flight, Medium Duration, No Kids (or headphones if you’re not the driver):
- The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, 5 hrs 48 min, Fiction;
- The Girl on the Train: A Novel by Paula Hawkins, 10 hrs 59 min, Suspenseful Fiction-extremely hard to put down/pause;
- Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson (of The Bloggess), 8hrs 20 min, Hysterically Funny-warning, you may end up laughing so hard other passengers/drivers fear for your sanity/their safety–but once you get into this book you’ll no longer care;
- Dreams And Shadows by C. Robert Cargill, 13 hrs 46 min Modern Fantasy/Supernatural;
- Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman, 11 hrs 1 min, Short Stories-also brilliant for shorter journeys. I love listening to Neil Gaiman’s books because, besides being a brilliant storyteller, he narrates most of them. I think the narrator makes an enormous difference in the quality of an audiobook. So much so that I’ve chosen books by narrator (more about Davina Porter below).
Car, Medium Duration, Children Present (no headphones):
- Anything Harry Potter (by J.K. Rowling), most well under 20 hrs. These audiobooks are very well done, plus–I feel Harry Potter counts as Christmas reading.
- The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, 7 hrs 47 min-Okay, I realize this book is a little bit macabre, with the majority of the characters being dead and all, but hey, there are ghosts in A Christmas Carol. Another thing–it’s probably better for older children, since it kind of begins with a multiple murder. . . So, why am I recommending it for family car trips? Because Neil Gaiman again delivers an unforgetable story with excellently developed characters, involved in fantastical situations, that ultimately leave me in a just-watched-a-Speilberg-movie state of awe. And I do believe that this one is classified as a children’s book; it chronicles the main character’s unconventional childhood. Just trust me on this one, read or listen–it’s worth it!
Walking to Destination and Google Maps Says “Travel Time 1 Week”:
Now I realize that most of you don’t have a 40+ hour trip looming ahead, but just in case, I’ve included some recommendations for really long audiobooks.
- The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon, 40+ hours each-Historical Fantasy. If you’re looking for a longterm audiobook travel companion and are partial to time travel, late 18th century historical fiction, and well written romance, look no further. Diana Gabaldon does not leave the reader wanting for anything. After you’ve finished one of these behemoths, you really feel a sense of camaraderie with her characters. They are also narrated by (in my opinion) the best in the business, Davina Porter. Her rhythm and tone of voice are impeccable and her characters are spot on. I have to admit that I could not have watched Showtime’s Outlander series if the actors hadn’t sounded like Davina Porter (and they did).
- The Game of Thrones series by George R. R. Martin, most books 40+ hours-Fantasy. This series was amazing to listen to (and I’d read most of them first). I don’t know if I should admit this, but I’ve actually listened to The World of Ice & Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones more than once. Warning-you may not want to read about the Red Wedding whilst operating heavy machinery (cars included).
I hope these suggestions prove helpful! See you tomorrow for Blogmas day 14.