Monday, June 13, 2016

Summer Reading in the Car

I decided just to take this pile of summer reading questions in order, and this second one is a request for favorite audio books for the car.

Can anything beat making the trip shorter like listening to stories as the miles slide by? They keep the driver awake and the children quiet. I haven’t traveled much in the past few years, but when I do, make a trip to the local library to check out six or eight choices, hoping to have something to please everyone, making sure we don’t run out, or come to one of those annoying scratched CDs that ruins the story.

(Here’s a summer question for you: why do those skips always happen at the climax of the book?)

It’s a funny thing, but some books have become permanently associated with specific road trips in my memory. So, in no particular order, here are some that come to mind that our family has enjoyed:

The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

Because of Winn Dixie by Kate Di Camillo

Rifles for Watie by Harold Keith

100 Cupboards by N. D. Wilson

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall

Mary Poppins by P. L. Travers

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Madeleine Takes Command by Ethel Claire Brill

Bridge to Terebithia by Katherine Paterson

And for Mom, Dad, and older kids:

Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Reading on the road makes all travel well.

For the joy of reading,



  1. We haven't been on a long road trip in years, but I remember one twelve hour trip that seemed short because of Chesterton's Father Brown.

  2. Great lists and I put a link on my blog. Also love Rosamund Pike. Not sure that is the reader for our copy or if we have P&P on audio. Thanks for the suggestions.

  3. Great lists and I put a link on my blog. Also love Rosamund Pike. Not sure that is the reader for our copy or if we have P&P on audio. Thanks for the suggestions.

  4. I do have the Guernsey Literary Society and love how they did the audio.

  5. What a great list! I LOVE the Guernsey book, and it's one of my favorite audios of all time. The Harry Potter books are perennial favorites, here, too, as well as the Hobbit. We also really liked the Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander, and the James Herriot books. I love audio books and depend on them as I spend a lot of time being a chauffeur at this stage of my life. There are lots of new suggestions for me on your list! Thanks!

    1. Beth,

      Great to hear from you and glad these oldies may be new to you. Will miss you at CMI.


  6. The Guernsey book looks so good! :) Thanks for sharing these! A friend and I are looking for a good audio book to listen to on our 6 hour drive to LER--lots to choose from here! :)

    1. Catie,

      Enjoy the book, the trip, your friend, and that wonderful conference.


  7. We recently invested in a smartphone for a long trip and loved having audio files on it (Audible and Librivox). No skips or scratches! Plus you can switch between books more easily than with CDs. We're probably going to cancel the call/text plan now that our trip is over, but we'll still be able to download the books on the Wifi at home for continued listening.

    Favorite audio books here are the Chronicles of Narnia, all the Little House books, The Green Ember, Rikki-tikki-tavi, and The Tale of Despereaux. (I actually hate reading Narnia books out loud myself, but love listening to them along with the kids.)

    1. Technology can be a gift, especially for listening to stories, but also saves space in the car--no more stacks of cumbersome CD boxes, lost CDs, and no pause to switch CDs!