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Best audiobooks for driving
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The best audiobooks for driving

Long drives can be very boring, especially if you are driving alone, and if you’ve got children that want to be entertained it can be stressful too.

With the creation of audiobooks, long and boring car journeys are now a thing of the past and today there are familiar reading voices such as Stephen Fry and Hollywood megastar Kate Winslet reading your favourite books.

From mysteries and short stories to fantasy and poetry, there are audiobooks for everyone, and this guide includes books that come alive. Check out the best audiobooks you need to listen to.

The Harry Potter series

Author: J.K. Rowling

Narrator: Stephen Fry

Length: From 9 hours and 33 mins to 30 hours and 18 mins

 

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A list about audiobooks that doesn’t include the Harry Potter series would be wrong. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never read the books or you know them off by heart, the magic of the audio retelling of these books has seen it become one of the most popular series of audiobooks ever.

Sabina, the blogger behind the family, lifestyle and travel blog Mummy Matters, loves the series. She said: “As a family, we all love the Harry Potter series so we will often listen to the Harry Potter audiobooks. It means the children aren’t stuck to staring at screens whilst we are in the car and they relax. It also means they aren’t arguing so by the time we arrive at our destination, everyone is energised ready for the adventures to begin.”

These audiobooks tell the story of the young wizard Harry Potter and how he and his friends graduate through Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and the adventures they go on and perils they are faced with. It is regarded as a great tale for parents to share with their children.

A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire

Author: George R. R. Martin

Narrator: Roy Dotrice

Length: 33 hours, 47 minutes

 

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HBO’s hit series A Game of Thrones was based on the internationally best-selling series A Song of Ice and Fire. This fantasy epic is one of the best audiobooks for long drives as it is over 30 hours long!

If you’re on such a long journey it is advised you share the driving and add new drivers to your policy by taking out temporary car insurance, but something else that will keep you entertained is listening to this epic adventure.

In the first book of the story, you get introduced to all the fascinating characters such as Eddard Stark of Winterfell, his wife Catelyn, his sons Robb, Brandon, Rickon and Jon Snow and his daughters Sansa and Arya. There’s also King Robert Baratheon, his wife Cersei, his cruel son Prince Joffrey and the queen’s brothers Jaime and Tyrion as well as Prince Viserys and his sister Daenerys.

Rachel Bustin loves audiobooks such as Game of Thrones or The Chronicles of Narnia. She said: “Listening to audiobooks in the car is relaxing while stuck in traffic, it helps me to feel calm and not frustrated. If I’m in the car on my own I love to listen to Game of Thrones or The Chronicles of Narnia, which I can listen to much quicker than I can read the books!”

Full Throttle

Author: Joe Hill

Narrator: multiple narrators

Length: Whole series is over 15 hours

 

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Joe Hill is a New York Times best-selling author, and, in this collection, he has created a collection of 13 short stories.

The collection looks into timeless human struggles in 13 tales, including ‘In The Tall Grass’, which was one of two stories co-written with Stephen King and has since been made into a terrifying feature film for Netflix.

Victor Dima from The Audio Book Blog believes listening to these audiobooks is perfect if you are driving a short distance.

“As we are talking about listening to audiobooks while driving, the experience can be elevated and enriched depending on a few factors. If you are in the car for a short time, I suggest that you look at a collection of short stories, like Full Throttle by Joe Hill. Household names like Zachary Quinto, Will Wheaton, Kate Mulgrew, Neil Gaiman, George Guidall, Ashleigh Cummings, Joe Hill, Laysla De Oliveira, Nate Corddry, Connor Jessup and Stephen Lang bring each of the stories to life with their unique voices and accents in this extremely entertaining audiobook.”

The different stories that make up the Full Throttle series are below:

  • Throttle (co-written with Stephen King)
  • Dark Carousel
  • Wolverton Station
  • By the Silver Water of Lake Champlain
  • Faun
  • Late Returns
  • All I Care About Is You
  • Thumbprint
  • The Devil on the Staircase
  • Twittering from the Circus of the Dead
  • Mums
  • In the Tall Grass (co-written with Stephen King)
  • You Are Released

The David Walliams collection

Author: David Walliams

Narrators: David Walliams and guest narrators including Joanna Lumley

Length: 30 minutes to over 5 hours

 

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David Walliams is not just an English comedian, actor and television personality, he has become one of the best-loved children’s authors.

As part of his collection, he has written stories featuring bizarre characters with some of his most popular children books being Gangsta Granny, Ratburger, Mr Stink, and The Boy in the Dress. The books are perfect for children and adults alike to listen to together during a road trip.

Lauren Woolf runs the literacy site Changing the Tale and a hub for mums called That Little Outfit and she highly recommends The David Walliams Collection.

“We recently moved almost 50 miles from our family and friends, so audiobooks are absolutely essential in our car. We regularly visit the local library, who have a good selection for the children to choose from.

“We’ve recently just started listening to the David Walliams collection, which is great for older children and entertaining for the adults too! For us, audiobooks mean calm, happy children on the backseat so a peaceful, less stressful journey for us.

“As a literacy consultant, I also love the learning opportunity it gives them, in being able to hear speech patterns and rhythms that could otherwise be missed in print. It is fascinating to observe the vocabulary picked up from listening to audiobooks too. They are undoubtedly worth the investment or trip to the library!”

Spirits of the Western Wild

Author: David Schaub and Roger Vizard

Narrator: multiple narrators

Length: 3 hours

 

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This paranormal escapade follows Luther, a young man looking for adventure, as he jumps on a train for the Western Wilds.

He finds himself stranded in a little town where strange events and mysterious things begin to happen. In this story, you will be introduced to cowboys, a good and bad sheriff, train robbers, a beautiful bar worker and a Native American Indian with mystic powers.

Victor Dima from The Audio Book Blog added: “For those that are in need of a cool adventure to pass the time until they reach their destination, I highly recommend Spirits of the Western Wild. Mysterious, immersive, filled with adventures and extremely funny, Spirits of the Western Wild could one day become a great movie for teens and families. If you love Westerns and are looking for a good mystery to listen by yourself or with the entire family on a road trip, Spirits of the Western Wild is the perfect choice for your free time.”

Roald Dahl Audiobooks

Author: Roald Dahl

Narrators: celebrity readers including Kate Winslet, David Walliams, Chris O’Dowd and Peter Serafinowicz

Length: BFG (4 hours, 24 minutes), Matilda (4 hours, 18 minutes), The Twits (57 minutes)

Roald Dahl has written some of the most popular children’s books in the UK and these include The Twits, James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The BFG and Fantastic Mr Fox.

Now you can download the Roald Dahl Audiobooks app and listen to your favourite stories read by celebrities. By downloading the app, you can listen to free sample chapters from 19 stories and then download the full audiobook ahead of your journey.

Matilda is one of the most popular audiobooks in Roald Dahl’s collection and this story about the extraordinary child genius is read by Kate Winslet.

The Passage

Author: Justin Cronin

Narrators: Scott Brick, Abby Craden, Adenrele Ojo

Length: 38 hours

 

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At more than 30 hours long, this is one of the best audiobooks for long drives as it will keep you intrigued during your journey.

The Passage is the story of Amy, who was abandoned by her mother at the age of six, pursued and imprisoned by people behind a government experiment. Special Agent Brad Wolgast has been sent to track her down but is disarmed by the quiet girl and instead risks everything to save her.

The experiment goes wrong and Wolgast helps Amy escape as they know she is the only person with the power to save the ruined world.

Victor Dima says it is one of his favourite books: “Depending on everyone’s taste, you could be looking for a good thriller/horror in which case I suggest you try The Passage by Justin Cronin, read by one of the best narrators in the audiobook industry, Scott Brick. This is my absolute favourite trilogy from more than 1,200 audiobooks that I listened to in the last 15 years.”

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