Roadtrips require four things: yummy snacks, fun travel buddies, good music, and even better audiobooks. As much as I love my playlists and CDs, some road trips are just too long for music to be enough – 12 hours might be a bit too long to listen to Billie Eilish on repeat. But with such a vast library of audiobooks to choose from online, how do you know where to start? Here is a list of our top audiobooks to listen to during your next road trip.
1. “Born A Crime” by Trevor Noah
“Born A Crime,” read by the author, comedian, and “Daily Show” host himself, is one of the most heartwarming and funny audiobooks I’ve read this year. Filled with personal stories of Noah’s childhood in South Africa during apartheid, “Born A Crime” is both humorous and touching and will have you hooked from the very beginning. A twelve-hour car ride will seem like twelve minutes as you listen to Noah tell the stories of his childhood, swapping between English, Xhosa, and Zulu.
2. “Bossypants” by Tina Fey
When I say this is one of the funniest audiobooks I’ve ever listened to, I mean that this is one of the funniest audiobooks I’ve ever listened to. In “Bossypants,” Tina Fey talks about all the funniest, most relatable, and most candid stories of her life, from her energetic childhood to her days on “Saturday Night Live.” If you’re looking for a funny story that will have all your road trip buddies laughing their butts off and gasping for air, then Tina Fey’s “Bossypants” is the perfect on-the-road audiobook for you.
3. “Circe” by Madeline Miller
One of my favorite audiobooks of 2020, “Circe” encompasses all of the things we love about books: friendship, personal identity, love, and (of course) Greek gods. Miller’s retelling of the Greek myths surrounding the sea witch Circe is emotional and poignant, full of heartbreak and rejection, but also deeply moving and full of truths about where our true value comes from–spoiler alert, it’s always inside us. “Circe” is twelve hours long, making it the perfect long road trip audiobook, and the best choice for some feminist empowerment on any girl’s trip.
4. “Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe” by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
There are two main reasons “Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe” makes it onto my list of favorite audiobooks: one, the book is a heartwarming love story and coming of age novel (and we love those). Two, it’s read by Lin Manuel Miranda, the creator and star of the Broadway hit “Hamilton.” It’s easy listening and will have you roped in from the first chapter, invested in the beautiful love story of the titular characters.
5. “Educated” by Tara Westover
One of the most interesting audiobooks I listened to last year, “Educated” is a memoir telling the childhood and life story of Tara Westover. Tara tells the story of growing up with her survivalist Mormon family, and her novel is emotional, personal, and deeply riveting. Honestly, when I first started “Educated,” I didn’t really expect to like it. But once I really got into it, I couldn’t stop listening, it was that good. It’s a story about overcoming personal obstacles and learning to stand on your own two feet, surviving adversity, and coming out better on the other side–a relatable message we all learn as we grow older.
6. “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine” by Gail Honeyman
For anyone looking for relatable audiobooks with likable characters and a heartwarming story goes, “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine” is an amazing choice. Eleanor is a young woman who struggles with navigating society and suffers from social anxiety, causing her to be afraid to live outside of what she knows and understands. However, everything changes when she meets Raymond, leading to an uplifting story of learning, changing, and growing into who you are supposed to be.
7. “Nothing Much Happens” by Kathryn Nicolai
Funny audiobooks are amazing, and detailed stories can be a great way to spend a long car ride – but what if you want a story where, well, nothing much happens. Kathryn Nicolai’s book is all about finding calm and peace through all our favorite classic bedtime stories. It is the epitome of “easy listening,” but be warned – sometimes it can be a bit too calming, and you might find yourself being lulled to sleep with this book’s chill vibes.
8. “Sherlock Holmes” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
For those looking for audiobooks centered around the classics, Audible’s “Sherlock Holmes” (narrated by Stephen Fry) is the perfect choice for you. The classic novel that has readers on the edge of their seats for decades is now being brought to you in an easy audio format, making it perfect for long car rides or when you suddenly get the urge to deep clean your whole house. You might already know the stories, but you don’t know them like this.
9. “They Both Die At The End” by Adam Silvera
I’m going to start by saying this is one of the most emotional audiobooks I’ve ever listened to. I didn’t cry, but I definitely wanted to. Should you go into this thinking it’s a chill, laid-back book that will have you laughing all the way through? No. Will you be hooked from the very beginning, unable to stop as you watch two kids try to traverse a new friendship while saying goodbye on their death days? Yes, absolutely. This book has easily become one of my favorites of all time, and I highly suggest it for anyone looking for audiobooks that make them happy, sad, angry, and every emotion in between.
10. “The Path Made Clear” by Oprah Winfrey
Who’s better for easy listening audiobooks than the great Oprah Winfrey? The answer: no one. Winfrey’s “The Path Made Clear: Discovering Your Life’s Direction and Purpose” is perfect for anyone looking for audiobooks that offer a little more wisdom and guidance. Oprah offers all her best guidance for shaping a life of significance and finding your true purpose, which is really all you need in your life.
11. “The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett
This is one of the audiobooks that I started listening to after someone suggested it. My friend read it, loved it, and immediately told me I needed to read it. I listened to it instead, but it was still just as amazing of a story. A thrilling mystery centered on family, disappearances, lies, love, and deception, Bennett’s story covers all the most interesting topics. No one in the car will see the ending until it comes, making it the perfect way to pass the time on a road trip.
12. “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens
If you ever wanted to know what living in the South sounds like, “Where the Crawdads Sing” is the perfect way to find out. Not only is it one of the best-written and most interesting stories I’ve read this year–it’s also one of those audiobooks that really picked the perfect narrator for the story. Cassandra Campbell does a great job of not only telling the story but also selling the vibes and energy that make “Where the Crawdads Sing” as amazing as it is.