If you're planning a road trip this summer with your friends or family, now's your chance to stock up on audiobooks to help pass the time in the car. With our great deal from Audible.com, you can get your first three months for half off, making it just $7.49/mo. Stumped on what to download? Check out our favorite summer picks below.
Trips with Friends:
A Game of Thrones and the rest of A Song of Ice and Fire, by George R.R. Martin
This popular (and long!) series of books has recently been made into a popular HBO show, which just finished its second season. The books might be appropriate for older teens, but parents should be careful to read or listen ahead, as they have some fairly adult themes and scenes. For adults-only trips, the complicated political intrigue will make the miles fly by, and the books are long enough for cross-country trips or months of listening on a commute.
A Game of Thrones is the first volume in the series, which currently contains five books, including A Clash of Kings, A Song of Swords, A Feast For Crows, and A Dance With Dragons. The audiobooks for the first three volumes are narrated by British actor Roy Dotrice, who recently appeared in a small role in the second season of the HBO series.
Bossypants by Tina Fey
This memoir by well-known female comedian and actress Tina Fey has been wildly popular in the last year, with critics raving about her critical thinking, sharp prose, and spot-on sense of humor. The audiobook version is narrated by Fey herself, and has become one of the best-selling options on Audible.com.
The book takes Fey from her childhood up through success in the entertainment industry, including her time on Saturday Night Live, her hit film Mean Girls, and the runaway success of TV's 30 Rock.
Trips with Kids:
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum
Audible.com currently offers an audiobook version of this beloved children's classic narrated by A-List Hollywood actor Anne Hathaway. Audible members can watch a video of the narration process on the Audible website and listen to a sample before ordering. Hathaway brings a vibrant cast of creative voices to her reading performance, portraying the famous story in a fun new light.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a great choice for kids of all ages, and will entertain adults as well. For those who have seen the movie version, the book will be a familiar adventure. If the wizard is a hit with your family, there's a long series of sequels available to continue the magic.
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
This wonderful novel is the first in a series of books about the Murry family, and has won the Newbery Medal, the Sequoyah Book Award, and the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award. It was also a runner-up for the Hans Christian Andersen Award. Following the great adventure of siblings Meg and Charles Wallace Murry as well as their friend Calvin O'Keefe, the book takes the children to a magical world where their father has been trapped by a nefarious force. As does much of L'Engle's work, the universe of A Wrinkle in Time sits on the edge between science and magic.
Reviewers praise the audiobook's narration, done by film actor Hope Davis. This book will entertain kids and adults alike, and those who enjoy it have a wide world of Madeleine L'Engle novels for everyone from kids to adults ahead of them.
Trips with Teens:
Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Recently made into a popular movie, the Hunger Games series has been a big hit with teens and adults alike. This first volume is written from the perspective of 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives in post-apocalyptic Panem, the country that used to be North America. When Katniss is chosen to fight in the Hunger Games, she has to make a huge sacrifice for her family and her friends to fight in the competition.
These books explore some serious themes, but they do it in a way suitable for most teenagers. Parents may want to read a quick summary to ensure they're comfortable sharing these with their teens. The audiobook versions of the entire series are available on Audible.com and have been some of the site's top sellers in recent months.
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
One of the best-known classics of the sci-fi genre, Ender's Game follows young Ender Wiggin in his training at Battle School. An exploration of tactics, human interactions, and war, Ender's Game will keep the reader or listener guessing till the end. A film adaptation is slated to come out in November of 2013, so now could be a great time to get familiar with the books.
If you and your teen like Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card wrote a number of sequels, which are also available from Audible.com, as well as an interview with the author. This book is also a great introduction to the world of science fiction, and with Audible's tools to let you search by genre, age-appropriateness, and popularity, you could soon find yourself with an iPod full of similar titles for the road.