I commute to work, an hour each way. This amounts to lots of time spent in the car, either in the early morning (when I’m exhausted) or at the end of a long day (when I’m exhausted).
To keep myself from dozing off at the wheel, I’ve found that audiobooks work wonders for me. While music may lull me to sleep, an audiobook with a gripping plot will keep me focused and alert. It helps the time pass more quickly, and makes the drive home something that I no longer loathe, but actually look forward to.
Of course, it has to be a good audiobook. I’ve tried listening to old classics made available through free audiobook apps, but they’re usually dry enough to bore the rubber right off of my tires.
In a similar situation? Looking for an audiobook that is both excellent and entertaining? Here are six of my personal favorites (available through Audible.com or at your local library):
Written by Agatha Christie
Narrated by Hugh Fraser
I’ve never found an Agatha Christie story that I didn’t like, but with Halloween approaching I focused on this one. If you’re looking for a suspenseful Halloween tale that isn’t overwhelmingly scary or demonic, this classic “Christie whodunit” is probably your best bet. When a murder takes place during a community Halloween Party, things get even scarier than expected.
What I love most about the narrator, Hugh Fraser, is his mastery of vocal inflection. The children in the story sound like children, and when a particular character happens to have a Scottish background, his delightful British accent makes the slight adjustment with ease. Can you guess who the killer is before you reach your destination?
Written by John Grisham
Narrated by Michael Beck
If you’re a Grisham fan, you’ll love this book. If you enjoyed his classic novel, A Time to Kill, then you absolutely must read this book. This is a follow-up to A Time to Kill, and allows us to catch up with our favorite personalities from Ford County. The small town, still struggling with prejudice of all kinds, is thrown into a frenzy when a wealthy man dies and leaves everything he owns to his poor, uneducated maid.
The characters will make you laugh as they annoy the pants off of one another, and the narrator will have you holding your breath as he describes the awe – and shock – of each courtroom scene.
Patrick Bowers Case Files
Written by Steven James
Narrated by Richard Ferrone
If you’re looking for high-level suspense that will keep your mind (and heart rate) in overdrive while steering clear of profanity or material which will challenge your faith, these Christian novels are an exquisite choice. Follow Dr. Patrick Bowers, FBI field agent, as he races to outsmart some of the most brilliant minds in criminal history while trying to sort out his own struggles between good and evil, light and dark.
The books are fun to read, but once I heard the audio version I swore I’d never read a Bowers book again. Richard Ferrone will keep you on the edge of your seat as he tells each story in dramatic fashion, capturing the sinister edge of the killer’s voice and the biting sarcasm of Bowers’ teenage daughter. This is one narrator who knows how to use a dramatic pause… just remember to keep one hand on the wheel as you’re biting your fingernails!
Written by John Miller
Narrated by Jonathan Davis
The wonderful thing about Star Wars audiobooks is all the “extras”… these stories are dramatized, with different actors reading different roles and are made complete with legitimate Star Wars sound effects and musical underscoring. Even if you don’t consider yourself to be a Star Wars fan, you may want to give this one a try. This book follows Obi-Wan Kenobi during his many years of isolation on Tattooine, showing what happened to him in the “lost years” between the third and fourth cinematic episodes.
This is basically a classic Western set in the Star Wars universe. You’ll love this refreshing new take on the franchise, and you’ll love the way Davis captures Obi-Wan’s accent. Move over, Ewan McGregor!
Written and Narrated by John Eldredge
How often do you get the chance to hear an author read their own work? You’ll truly hear the passion that Eldredge has for his topic as he shares this Christian Living book on discovering the true nature of Jesus. While popular culture tries to paint him as something of a sissy, Eldredge turns to Scripture to reveal a more “human” picture of Jesus. He points to evidence for Jesus being funny and enjoying to horse around with the disciples, and for being witty, strong, and courageous.
Does Eldredge find something in the Bible that isn’t there? You can decide for yourself. But I promise that this audiobook will have you thinking about Jesus in a new way, and will inspire you to fall even deeper in love with this Beautiful Outlaw.
Written by Robert M. Edsel
Narrated by Jeremy Davidson
If you enjoy nonfiction but can’t endure a dry lecture, you’ll love this true life story. Based on historical records from World War II, this historical account reads like a work of fiction. It tells the story of the Monuments Men, a division of the Allied Forces who fought to protect priceless works of art (and the cultural identity of millions) from Hitler and his Nazi army. You’ll gasp in horror as you realize how close many historic monuments (which you may have visited yourself) came to being brought to dust and ashes, and will be inspired by these men’s dedication to their mission despite the challenges thrown their way from both friend and foe. But most importantly, you’ll remember these amazing men. This is an honor these war heroes certainly deserve, and you’ll be better for it.
Have You Discovered an Audiobook That Is Well Worth the Listen? Let Me Know!