Need a Great Father’s Day Gift? Easy to Stream Well-Loved Audio Books

Audio books are easy to give, last a long time and complement the gift that so many of our dads gave us: the love of books. Classics and thrillers he'll love.

The Art Of Racing In The Rain Audio Books
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. Photo: Amazon
Ava Chavonetz And Her Dad

Ava Chavonetz and her dad. Photo: Ava Chavonetz

Our dads taught us to love reading. Now, you can return the favor.

Memories of reading with our fathers are priceless: Crawling up in his lap to listen to him read a story or falling asleep as he read your favorite book at bedtime. It makes you wistful for childhood.

Now, as an adult, it might be time to introduce Dad to how we like to read: With audio books. Father’s Day is a great time to gift Dad, the busy man that he is, with a new way to read since he may not be able to set aside time in the day for a quiet read.

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Classic Titles That are Easy to Give and Easy to Stream

And, these are easy to give; simply send him a link. Books can be streamed or downloaded and it’s say to get started; Amazon’s Audible subscription comes with a free trial.

Thinking about books and topics that dads love, I compiled a list of suggestions that I know my dad loves and I bet your dad will too: war novels, familiar classics and dystopian thrillers that have been or are being turned into film adaptations. He can enjoy these on road trips, between business conferences, or on his morning commute.

The Things They Carried Audio Books

The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. Photo: Amazon

War Novels

Balancing between fiction and reality, Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, details a graphic war story centering around multiple accounts pieced together to create a literary masterpiece. The novel’s protagonist, named after O’Brien himself, provides his readers with short stories focused on the gruesome truth of what transpired during the Vietnam War. Drawing from personal experience during his time serving as a soldier in the 23rd Infantry Division from 1960 to 1970, O’Brien places his readers in a position of emotional vulnerability when narrating the intense and unapologetic situations of a serviceman’s commentary of what war does to the human psyche. The semi-autobiographical and historical-fiction text is currently being adapted into a film directed by Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman and Ghost in the Shell) and starring Tom Hardy (Venom, Mad Max, and Peaky Blinders), Bill Skarsgård (IT and John Wick), and Pete Davidson (The King of Staten Island and The Suicide Squad).

A war classic and recent film adaptation with the same name, Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front follows Paul Bäumer and his enlistment in the Imperial German Army during World War I. As a gut-wrenching and assertive tale, Remarque emphasizes the horrors of warfare and the destruction wrought on those who fought on the Western Front. The tragedy of losing childlike innocence is a recurring theme that originates from Remarque’s time as a German soldier during The Great War. The movie, All Quiet on the Western Front (2022), allows the book to come to life as a four-time Academy Award winner, directed by Edward Berger.

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Dune Audio Books

Dune by Frank Herbert. Photo: Amazon

Familiar Classics

The 1966 winner of the Hugo Award and Nebula Award, Frank Herbert’s Dune took the science-fiction genre by storm. The classic’s main protagonist, Paul Atreides, faces many trials before him as he navigates the sheer brutality of his world. From those who betrayed his family to the unfamiliar trials he now has to confront, Paul embarks on a journey of avenging his noble name and, on the way, discovers powers he never knew he had. A gripping tale with five sequels to follow, Dune promises to be an exhilarating adventure that will keep readers on the edge of their seats. The most recent movie adaptation of this classic came to theaters in 2021 and was directed by Denis Villeneuve (Arrival and Blade Runner 2049). Its sequel, Dune: Part Two, will be released in November later this year and stars Timothée Chalamet (Little Women and Wonka), Zendaya (from the Marvel Spiderman series), and Austin Butler (Elvis).

Most everyone has encountered The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkien in some way, whether it was seeing the film adaptations or deciding to explore the world of The Hobbit in more depth. A fascinating presentation of Tolkien’s mind, The Lord of the Rings has widely influenced the fantasy genre in innovative ways. Originally created as a sequel to The Hobbit which follows Bilbo Baggins, Frodo Baggins (his cousin) inherits a mysterious ring believed to be the one lost by the powerful and diabolical Sauro, the main antagonist. Frodo navigates his world with the ring in his possession, bringing him a perilous journey and newfound friends as well as enemies.

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The Road Audio Books

The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Photo: Amazon

Dystopian Thrillers

Cormac McCarthy’s The Road is a haunting though compelling story about a father and son navigating a post-apocalyptic world. Under the threat of starvation and in the face of danger, humanity is revealed to be capable of doing anything for survival. After the United States faces an unprecedented disaster leading to a mass extinction, the main characters trek along a road toward the south in order to endure the harsh winter conditions. A tragic tale full of bitter realities and gruesome violence, The Road is proven to be worth the listen.

A dystopian classic, George Orwell’s 1984 explores themes of governmental oppression and the mass repercussions of totalitarianism. Winston Smith, the novel’s protagonist, breaks the rigid social and political norms by keeping a private diary and getting involved with a rebellious group known as the Brotherhood. In a brutal and constantly surveilled society, Winston has to be careful and strategic as he navigates a world in which freedom of expression has been stripped away and denied as a basic human right. Dauntingly close to past historical events and global dynamics, 1984 is proven to be a provocative critique of governmental dominion and whether or not it can be taken too far.

Philip K. Dick released a multitude of science-fiction novels when he was alive but The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch has proven to be among his best. Despite being released in 1964, the book is surprisingly predictive in its portrayal of technological advancements in a dystopian civilization. Be warned, a list of the terms made up by Philip K. Dick will most likely be needed. It takes place in a world where the global temperatures have overheated the surface so much that the government begins to draft its citizens to establish colonies on other planets. In these intergalactic settlements, a drug known as Can-D allows its users to escape reality by being “translated” into a fantasy realm where anything can happen. The catch? It’s a highly addictive experience that can make it difficult to distinguish between what is real and what is fake.

Contemporary Tales

The Art Of Racing In The Rain Audio Books

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. Photo: Amazon

New York Times bestseller, The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein, is a family-friendly tale about a man’s best friend and is the perfect audiobook to listen to in the car with children who want entertainment. Danny Swift, a competitive race car driver, forms a lifelong bond with his dog, Enzo (named after the founder of Ferrari). A good-hearted man, Danny’s mind is always set on his next race. Well, at least until Eve catches his attention. After the birth of their daughter, Zoe, Danny has a chore in balancing out his dream job, his family, and Enzo who’s always up for a bit of playful and energetic attention. The book came to the big screen in 2019, starring the talented Milo Ventimiglia (Gilmore Girls and This Is Us), Amanda Seyfried (Mamma Mia and Dear John), and narrated by Kevin Costner (The Untouchables and 3 Days to Kill) who voices the inner thoughts of Enzo.

An afflicting and shockingly authentic memoir, Beautiful Boy by David Sheff follows a father as he navigates his son’s drug addiction. As recovery is never linear, this book will have listeners in a whirlwind of emotions as the gripping story is shared. Sheff’s son, Nic, has had his share of time spent in rehabilitation centers focused on regaining what has been overtaken by the wreckage of drugs. As the memoir progresses, Sheff has to confront his concern about accountability and whether or not it can be placed on him as Nic’s parental guardian. This book explores the effects of addiction not only on the individual but on the ones who love them as well. In 2018, it was adapted into a movie of the same name starring Steve Carrell (The Office) as David Sheff and Timothée Chalamet (Bones and All and Lady Bird) as Nic.

An action-packed thriller and fast-paced novel, Jack Carr’s The Terminal List has made its mark on literary protagonists and their feat for revenge. Similar to Peppermint (2018) and Marvel’s The Punisher (2017-2019), The Terminal List follows James Reece, a Navy Seal, and his quest for vengeance after the wrongful deaths of his family and military comrades. A political conspiracy involving those in the highest positions of power in the American government, Reece will not be silenced. Despite The Terminal List first being published in 2018, Carr has published an additional five sequels to Reece’s retribution. The series has gained a cult following after being turned into a TV show for Amazon Prime, starring Christ Pratt (Jurassic World and Guardians of the Galaxy) as James Reece.

These audio books are all great ideas that are easy to gift – no wrapping necessary. And, now I’m thinking maybe I’ll enjoy a quick escape through the simple push of a button, too. Happy Father’s Day!

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Ava Chovanetz attends Baylor University and will graduate with her Bachelor’s degree in December, 2023. She plans to pursue... More about Ava Chavonetz