I really do love the sound system in my Kia. Audiobooks are my favorite thing to pass the time with on my commute (and they’re great to craft along to, by the way). Not only do I love audiobooks as a personal pastime, part of my job as a Librarian is selecting which audiobooks my library will carry. Here is a list of this librarian/audiobook lover’s favorite titles to listen to in the car:
- World War Z by Max Brooks is my favorite audiobook. Inspired by Studs Terkel’s The Good War, WWZ shares first person accounts outlining the events of The Zombie War, from the initial outbreak of the zombie epidemic to international panic to humanity’s near-extinction and recovery efforts. Only recently released for the first time in unabridged form, the audiobook features multiple narrators performing each first person account of the war. Performers include the likes of Alan Alda, Kal Penn, Simon Pegg, Maz Jobrani, Common, Mark Hammil, and Martin Scorsese. (A movie based on the book comes out this week coincidentally.)
- If you enjoy traditional storytelling, The Round House by Louise Erdrich might be a good choice for you. TRH won the 2012 National Book Award for fiction, highlighting legal and social issues surrounding the rape of Native women on reservations. The book is set in my home state of North Dakota, and Erdrich has long been one of my favorite authors (probably no coincidence there). The audiobook is voiced by Gary Farmer, a Canadian First Nations member and actor. His performance of the story, told from the perspective of the rape victim’s teenage son, is really moving. This audiobook is on my go-to recommendation list for the same reason as World War Z: the casting is so spot on for the story being told. That becomes important to those of us who listen to a lot of audiobooks.
- Each audiobook in the Game of Thrones series is excellent. With each book clocking in at around 30-40 hours apiece, they make for a great road trip companion. Now, with the HBO show in existence and quite popular, I don’t think I’ll waste your time describing the crazy plot. Let me instead regale you with how awesome Roy Dotrice, the narrator of all five audiobooks is. SO AWESOME. GoT has roughly a zillion unique characters, each in need of his own voice, and Dotrice delivers. Fun fact: Dotrice even has a spot in the Guiness Book of World Records for his voicing of 224 unique characters in the first GoT audiobook. You can also catch the 90-year-old’s work on screen in the GoT TV series playing Grand Maester Pycelle. PS: Please, please, please don’t die before George R.R. Martin gets around to finishing the GoT series, Mr. Dotrice. I‘m begging you.
So those are my top 3 picks. I had originally thought about sharing a longer list, but those three books are far and away my favorite audiobooks. My runners up for this list, in case you’re hungry for more, were: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, Room by Emma Donoghue, Life After Death by Damien Echols, and Gabby by Gabrielle Giffords, Mark Kelly & Jeffrey Zaslow. Betcha didn’t know how excited I get about audiobooks, did you?
This post is sponsored by Kia.