If you, like me, think of a summer-time road trip as the perfect opportunity to listen to audio books, then this post is for you! I fell in love with "books on tape" (which I STILL accidentally call audio books all the time!), one summer in college when I would listen to whatever I could find at the library during my commutes to my summer job. At that time, I most enjoyed non-fiction audio books read by the author (still my favorite way to hear a biography), and now I have also found that I equally enjoy fiction read by a performer.
Last week, I ended up driving alone during part of our trek (we had 2 vehicles -- long story), and I was ever so glad that a co-worker had given me The Book of the Dun Cow to listen to as I drove! I haven't quiet finished the 7+ hour CD set, but this classic tale is just phenomenal! I would hardily endorse this book as a good family-time read aloud for older children, or, get the audio book for your family road trip! In case you aren't familiar with this 1970's Book of the Year award winner, I'll give you a bit of the storyline. The book is set during a time when God had the animals rule the earth, and kept Wyrm (who is a Satan-like figure) in bondage in the depths of it. The animals can speak and they are unknowingly Wyrm's keepers. The animals live together in farm-like settings, and the rooster is the leader of each coop. The animals are very real-to-life in their day-to-day activities and character traits. For example, the hero of the book, Chauntecleer, is prideful, somewhat snobbish and vain, and somewhat comical (like a rooster), but is also a truly good leader who sacrifices himself to protect the animals in and around his coop. Wyrm is able to influence another coop up-river from Chauntecleer, and the story builds to a dramatic good-versus-evil struggle to the end. The story is loosely based on one of the Canterbury Tales, and does an excellent job painting God as sovereign over His creation. I'm just loving it.
Here are a few other audio books I have enjoyed in the past:
1. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke -- a good choice if you are driving coast to coast or flying around the world. This baby is 32 hours long but absolutely totally and positively worth it. This link will let you download this book for just $7.49!! Wow! I paid the full price for the CDs back in the day.
2. John Newton from Disgrace to Amazing Grace by Jonathan Aitken -- wonderful biography that brought me to tears at certain points. Because the author deals honestly with Newton's sinful pre-conversion lifestyle, I wouldn't necessarily recommend this one for the whole family. Perhaps older teens and adults.
3. Classics of the Christian Faith narrated by Max McClean -- this box set is a collection of historical works including Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan, Jonathan Edward's famous sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" and others. Because each individual work is shorter, I would recommend this for a shorter road trip. What a great way to read these important works that can otherwise be a bit tedious even for adults (a favorite for me is Martin Luther's "Here I Stand" speech -- I've listened to it over and over).
4. 1776 by David McCullough -- I listened to this one the same year as I visited Fort Ticonderoga in New York. Did I mention I love audio books where the author reads his own work? David McCullough has such a gift for writing AND reading his history books.
Here are a few audio books I have on deck, ready for the next road trip:
1. God's Smuggler by Brother Andrew -- excited to hear this biography!
2. The Cross and the Switch Blade by David Wilkerson -- this one looks good for a family to listen to together.
3. The Brother's Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky -- at 19 hours, I'll need a nice long trip to listen to this classic!
Do you have favorite audio books you think I should check out?