I am an audiobook addict. There, I’ve said it. I absolutely adore listening to books as I drive from here to there. Sometimes, arriving home from work at the end of the day, I’ll have to sit in my driveway for a few minutes because I absolutely need to hear the rest of the chapter I am listening to. If I finish one book during a trip, and have to listen to radio, it makes the car ride somehow seem longer; more frustrating. I wonder sometimes, if more drivers had a great book accompanying them on the road, would road rage incidents decrease? Maybe not, but I know for me, I seem to have a lot more patience and tolerance for traffic when I am otherwise entertained by an audiobook.
I started listening to audiobooks when I was a kid. My mother was never without a book on tape in the car, and as she shuttled me to and from school and extracurricular activities, I would become engrossed in her stories. So, from a young age I was hooked on audiobooks, not to mention a few authors that really weren’t writing for children, but I loved them nonetheless. Mom and I would drive around listening to Maeve Binchy, Rosamunde Pilcher, and Amy Tan, and as we listened together, we discussed together.
I really advocate trying audiobooks as a family. I know many parents spend a lot of time in the car, taking children from one activity to the next. It’s a great opportunity to share something as a family, by listening to a book together. Now, there is such a great variety of stories that will appeal to the whole family as well, since more young adult and children’s materials are available in audio format.
Here are my top picks to try listening to as a family:
5) Lemony Snicket’s “A series of Unfortunate Events” – This lengthy series kept me engrossed for weeks. My only complaint was the break in narration. The series began with narration by Tim Curry, switched to Lemony Snicket himself, and then returned back to Tim Curry.
4) Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson books – Beginning with the “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” series and now switching to the “Gods of Olympus” books, these stories appeal to a wide age range, and the narration is excellent.
3) J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Series – at this point, I realize it’s rare to find a family where nobody has read the Harry Potter books and seen the movies, but if you love Harry Potter as I do, do not deny yourself the genuine treat of Jim Dale’s narration.
2) Jacqueline Kelly’s “The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate” – I was so charmed both by the story itself, and its reader, Natalie Ross. This is a great option if you have family member who are fans of history or science.
1) The 39 Clues series – These books, written by many notable children’s and young adult authors, are flawlessly read by David Pittu, who really makes each character unique and distinguishable from the rest. Exciting, educational and full of suspense, this series is easy to enjoy.