21 Audio Books Perfect for Your Next Road Trip

These are are our faves, from best sellers to celebrity bios, self improvement and family classics, many read by the author or a celebrity narrator.

Best Crossover Suv Subaru Outback Road-Trip
Road-tripping in our new Subaru Outback Photo: Terri Marshall

Planning a fall road trip? Consider taking along a few audio books.

Fall road trips are always a favorite. Having the windows down, with a cool breeze blowing through the car is so refreshing. The vibrant colors of the leaves as they explode into color. And listening to a good audio book (or two, or five) to compliment scenery and smell of freshly fallen leaves. (And don’t forget the snacks!) If you are planning a fall road trip, here some of our favorite audio books.

Celebrity Memoirs and Biographies

You hear about them, people talk about them; but finding the time to curl up and read can be a challenge. Pop a best selling book onto your playlist and let it narrate your drive.  

Greenlights Matthew Mcconaughey

 

1. “Greenlights” by Matthew McConaughey

“Greenlights” is written and narrated by Matthew McConaughey. Based on that fact alone, it should be on your reading list. McConaughey, who also narrated the Texas nature documentary, “Deep in the Heart: A Texas Wildlife Story,” brings his easy but thoughtful cadence to his own story of  wins, and losses and seeking to solve the riddle of life.

Elon Musk By Walter Isaacson

2. “Elon Musk” by Walter Isaacson 

This long-awaited book from top biographer and editor Isaacson, who spent a fly-on-the-wall two years shadowing Musk, was an instant best seller. In Elon Musk, he tells of the demons and angels of the founder of Tesla and Space X, the source of Elon’s genius and torture. Readers will find entertainment an insight into this mercurial and controversial innovator and the world’s richest man.  

The Woman I Am Britney Spears

3. “The Woman in Me” by Britney Spears

It was gripping few years as the world watched pop icon Britney fight her family for her personal and financial rights, her fans protesting and her vulnerabilities as a person in the spotlight. Now, in “The Woman in Me” Britney tells her own story, in her own words. Slated for a late October release, put this one on your calendar right next to your hotel reservation number. 

Thicker Than Water By Kerry Washington

4. “Thicker than Water” by Kerry Washington

Actor, director, producer and activist, Kerry Washington takes us on her shocking journey of discovery in “Thicker than Water” as she learns of a deep family secret and addresses her own insecurities and questions. If you loved her in Scandal and Little Fires Everywhere, among other movies, series and plays, you’ll love her memoir of self-realization.

Dave Grohl Audio Book

5. “The Storyteller” by Dave Grohl

Now who doesn’t love Dave Grohl? Despite being a god of rock and roll, he is also an incredibly funny and relatable storyteller. In his book “The Storyteller,” Dave Grohl shares some of the most awe-inspiring stories of his rise to rock and roll stardom. Some of my favorite moments include Dave meeting icons like Prince and Pantera for the first time. If you’re a music or rock junkie like myself, you simply will not believe your ears as Dave narrates these incredible tales.

I'M Glad My Mother Died By Jeanette Mccurdy

6. “I’m Glad My Mother Died” by Jeanette McCurdy

Former child actor and star known from her roles in iCarly and Sam & Cat, in “I’m Glad My mother Died,” McCurdy tells the wrenching story of her challenges, from addiction to an eating disorder. Much of her story is famed by her difficult relationship with her overbearing mother and her complicated feelings when her mother died of cancer. Get ready to laugh, cry and identify with the woman who for so many of us, was part of our childhood.

Perfect Audio Books for a Family Road Trip

There’s nothing to set the tone for a great family trip like a story we can all enjoy, discuss over dinner and laugh about many years later. Here are some family favorites: 

Matilda

7. “Matilda” by Roald Dahl

How can anyone not love, and identify with, “Matilda?” Narrated by Kate Winslet, this is great for family trips; everyone will be charmed by this tale of a magical, funny girl who bonds with her teacher.

Wrinkle In Time

8. “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle

Madeleine L’Engle sparked the love of science fiction in so many of us that “A Wrinkle in Time” is a top family favorite for together time. Her most well known book and is an exciting tale of time travel, mystery and the preciousness of family.

Miss Peregrine'S Home For Peculiar Children

9. “Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children” by Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,” was made into a movie, but as is typical, the book is much better. This spell-binding story of a remote island with an abandoned orphanage and the children who lived there will make for a thriller of a road trip.

Challenger Deep Fall Road Trip Audio Book

10. “Challenger Deep” by Neal Shusterman

If you haven’t read or listened to “Challenger Deep” yet, then you need to add it to your list. It is told through lots of short chapters that focus on different journeys into the mind of the main character, who has schizophrenia. Neal Shusterman’s writing is deeply descriptive and entrenched in visceral metaphors that make it an incredible listening experience. Plus, you and whoever else is in the car can laugh and shudder together while piecing together the puzzle of “Challenger Deep.”

Cinder Lunar Chronicles Audio Book

11. “The Lunar Chronicles” by Marissa Meyer

The Lunar Chronicles is an extremely popular young adult series. Starting with “Cinder,” Marissa Meyer created a compelling, futuristic retelling of classic fairytales.

Six Of Crows

12. “Six of Crows” by Leigh Bardugo

“Six of Crows” is the first of a two-part series by Leigh Bardugo. This is another popular young adult series, so if your teens (or you) haven’t read it yet, add it to the list.

Revisit the classics

They are classic because of the moment in time they preserve and the modern conversation they spark. We read them in school and they shaped who we became; a road trip is the perfect time to refresh those thoughts and evolve our thinking through the lens of a classic book.

To Kill A Mockingbird

13. “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird” is one of those books that everyone should read and then read again. In this case, you can listen to Sissy Spacek read it to you. 

Farewell To Arms

14. “Farewell to Arms” by Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway’s “A Farewell to Arms” is a romance set in World War I. It’s just intense enough to keep you awake when you’ve been on the road all day.  

Pride And Prejudice

15. “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen

Clocking in at over 11 hours, Jane Austin’s “Pride and Prejudice” will keep you going for many, many miles. Narrated by Rosamund  Pike (from Gone Girl fame) the story will whisk you away to the 19th century in no time.

Better yourself

There’s nothing like feeling miles of road under your tires makes you feel like anything is possible. Road trips are a perfect time to learn more about who you can be, and self-improvement books are ideal for inspiration.

Power Of Habit

16. “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg

“The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business” will help you identify the habits that you might like to change. And, it will inspire you with tales of how others changed their lives by changing their habits. 

Year Of Yes

17. “Year of Yes” by Shonda Rhimes

Shonda Rhimes is unarguably a one woman powerhouse in the entertainment industry. My DVR is set to record almost all of her shows and any wisdom I can glean from her is priceless. I love that she narrates the audio version of Year of Yes!”

You Are A Badass

18. “You Are A Badass” by Jen Sincero

Jen Sincero’s “You Are a Badass” was recommended to me by a friend and described as a “game changer.”  The author narrates her own work and, as you can probably tell from the title, cuts through the usual double talk and gives it to you straight delivered with a healthy side of snark. Publisher: Tantor Audio.

Stories to Relax and Escape on Your Road Trip

Let everyone else put on their headphones and enjoy their own books; this one is for you. And keep listening – in the car, on an early morning walk, relaxing by the lakeside. You won’t want to put it down.

Hello Beautiful By Ann Napolitano

Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano

19. “Hello Beautiful” by Ann Napolitano

A bestseller and an Oprah’s Bookclub selection, “Hello Beautiful” is a modern “Little Women”-esque story that brings you into the world of a man changed forever by a family of unforgettable women. Experience all love, life, tears and joy, all from the comfort of your car.

Tom Lake By Ann Patchett

20. Tom Lake by Ann Patchett

Reliably indulgent, in “Tom Lake” Ann Patchett takes you on a journey of family, love and growing up. And it’s performed by Meryl Streep.

The Five Star Weekend By Elin Hilderbrand

21. The Five Star Weekend by Elin Hilderbrand 

Sunshine, swimsuits and an exclusive getaway, Hilderbrand unfolds a story of intrigue and mystery swathed in lavish wrapping in “The Five Star Weekend”.

And if you finished all your audio books before your trip was over, you might want to listen to some podcasts.

Enjoy your road trip!

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Eden is a freelance writer and editor. She is based in Austin, Texas where she is pursuing a bachelor's... More about Eden Shamy

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