Help make my drivethrough a blizzard go faster!
December 20, 2012 7:47 AM   Subscribe

Select an audiobook for me to listen to on my road trip, please :]

Have about 20 hours in the car ahead of me and I've found I love to kill time with audio books ...

I love Bill Bryson. Listening to Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid is a favorite but I can only do that one so many times.

To keep me awake and alert, I'd love to keep it light and funny if possible.

Read by someone who is easy to listen to...

Thank you in advance.
posted by mittenbex to Media & Arts (21 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Have you already read/listened to all of David Sedaris' stuff? If not it is a no-brainer recommendation. His writing is great and funny and he reads everything himself.
posted by ChrisHartley at 7:49 AM on December 20, 2012 [2 favorites]

I'm heading out for a 17-hourer myself tomorrow and I have David Sedaris's Holidays on Ice to listen to. It's seasonal!

I'd also suggest podcasts! If you want funny, you can't go wrong downloading the entire back catalog of My Brother, My Brother, and Me.
posted by something something at 7:50 AM on December 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror by Christopher Moore would be appropriate for this time of year.
posted by Maisie at 7:54 AM on December 20, 2012

I'd agree on podcasts -- listening to a book over the course of your commute on several different days is very different from listening to it all the way through in one go. At the least, have some podcasts ready to break up the book/s that you choose.
posted by Etrigan at 7:59 AM on December 20, 2012

Absolutely the audiobooks of Metafilter's own John Hodgman. They're adapted , but they add more than what they lost to make it even better.
posted by inturnaround at 8:03 AM on December 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

john stewart and john hodgman audio books are a must. as for podcast recommendations i would highly suggest radiolab. many is the day i arrive at home and sit in the driveway to finish a segment...
posted by chasles at 8:25 AM on December 20, 2012

FYI: Cracker Barrel restaurants allow you to buy and return audio books at different locations, and you get your money back when you turn in your last book. Sort of like library loan, only you have to leave a "deposit".
posted by wwartorff at 8:26 AM on December 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

My standard answer to this question is Larry McMurtry. The Moving On/Terms of Endearment series is very engaging and the miles fly by. In a similar vein is Pat Conroy whose novels of the South Carolina coast can hold my attention for hours at a stretch.
posted by Jode at 8:26 AM on December 20, 2012

3rding Hodgman. Those Audiobooks are gold.
posted by yellowbinder at 8:46 AM on December 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

Not funny, per se, but still light enough and excellent: The Help. The audiobook version is outstanding.
posted by bluejayway at 8:47 AM on December 20, 2012 [2 favorites]

John Hodgman is also the reader of the audiobook version of the hilarious "Year Zero" by Rob Reid.

You know how we've been sending all our radio signals into space over the years? It turns out that aliens are really into our music. Really really into it. And they just found out about copyright law, and just figured out that they owe us a whoooooole lot of money for all the music they copied.

If you go the McMurtry direction, well, his "Lonesome Dove" is a truly outstanding novel. Keep a hanky on standby.
posted by Sunburnt at 9:17 AM on December 20, 2012

It's seasonal, why not grab Terry Prachett's Hogfather?
posted by WidgetAlley at 9:27 AM on December 20, 2012

Tina Fey's Bossypants was a winner for a road trip I took last year; she reads it herself so if you're a fan, you'll probably enjoy it. Also anything Hodgman, as above.
posted by hungrybruno at 9:30 AM on December 20, 2012 [4 favorites]

If you aren't looking only for humor (and beware, listening to Sedaris has made me laugh so hard I nearly crashed the car), the audio version of The Hobbit as narrated by Rob Inglis (11 hours) is awesome.

I'm partial to Michael Connelly books too. Have you read The Lincoln Lawyer? Adam Grupper's narration is 11.5 hours.

Also very, very good in audio: First book of Game of Thrones.
posted by bearwife at 10:44 AM on December 20, 2012

FYI here is's list of the Audie award winners. Note Bossypants leads the pack.
posted by bearwife at 10:46 AM on December 20, 2012

There are also a host of BBC Radio programs for you to listen to. My wife and I really enjoyed That Mitchell and Webb Sound on previous long trips - it's an audio sketch show. You can find similar in Radio 4's The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff which is a spoof on Dickens.

All are available on Audible. You might even consider joining up to their subscription service (enter code BANGBANG or one of a myriad other sponsorship codes from podcasts) which would get you a free audio book plus discounted rates on others.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:40 AM on December 20, 2012

If you like Michael Moore (Roger & Me, Fahrenheit 9/11), I would recommend his latest, Here Comes Trouble. He reads it and I found it funny in parts and touching in parts. If you don't like him or his politics, steer clear as it will be 12 hours of torture.
posted by elmay at 12:46 PM on December 20, 2012

If you want to keep totally awake, or simply pass 3 hours like you never have before, I recommend :

The Breathing Method by Stephen King and, read by the extraordinary Frank Muller

It is a thriller - not at all humorous.
posted by Kruger5 at 1:09 PM on December 20, 2012

A Confederacy of Dunces is hilarious and superbly performed.
posted by getawaysticks at 2:39 PM on December 20, 2012

I really enjoyed the audio version of The Help, also.

Depends on what kind of books you like! I liked A Walk in the Woods by Bryson.
The audo versions of the Harry Dresden books by Jim Butcher are fun.
I have previously recommended the Tiffany Aching books....those audiobooks were my intro to Terry Pratchett.

I would recommend The Shining or Salem's Lot by Stephen King, if you like creepy/scary stuff.

There are a bunch of podcasts; what are your interests?
posted by maryrussell at 5:30 PM on December 20, 2012

If you enjoy history, get Bill Bryson's At Home. It was perfect for a winter road trip we took a few years ago. I've read a ton more of his stuff since...
posted by shrimpsmalls at 6:41 PM on December 20, 2012

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