5 Best Audiobooks to Keep You Company on Your Summer Road Trip

Summer travel via road trip is a time for sightseeing, bonding, memory making, and listening to a good audiobook along the way. Read on for five of our faves.

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Summer is undeniably the season of road-tripping. Whether you’re buckling up for a cross-country trek or just settling in for a few hours, we’ve got a list of excellent audio books that will make for great company on your journey. 

1. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien 

Follow our reluctant hero, Bilbo Baggins, as he embarks on the journey of a lifetime. After being called upon by the wizard Gandalf to join in an adventure – and promptly refusing – Bilbow finds himself dragged into a quest where he must play a pivotal role as a burglar.

The Hobbit book cover

As Bilbo, thirteen dwarves, and Gandalf (who appears and disappears at odd times and for mysterious reasons) embark on their journey out of hobbit-land and towards the Lonely Mountain to take on the dragon Smaug and steal his treasure, it is not just the final task that leaves Bilbo cursing his decision. The team faces hunger, extreme weather, horrifying creatures, and not to mention trolls who plan to eat them for dinner. Buckle up and follow Bilbo and his uniquely endearing team as they trudge forth on an adventure they’ll never forget (if they survive). 

2. The Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan

The only life Xingyin has ever known is one of peace and solitude. Growing up on the peaceful oasis of the moon, she has no idea that her existence has been kept a dear secret from the Celestial Emperor, whom her mother accidentally betrayed years ago. Until temptation strikes, and Xingyin reaches for the magic that is her birthright, with no idea of the consequences. That is, until her existence is discovered, and she’s forced to flee her home and abandon her mother.

The Daughter of the Moon Goddess book cover

She arrives in the Celestial Kingdom, powerless and alone, and jumps any chance she can get her hands on–even if it means reaching above her station. When she receives a chance to study in the Celestial Palace by winning a series of challenges, she realizes she has a chance to free her mother from her prison on the moon. But as all things do, it comes with a cost. Can she win her bargain with the Celestial Emperor, save herself and her mother, and prevent the realms from falling into chaos? Listen on to find out how Xingyin digs herself out of a hole she never asked to be in. 

3. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Join Vasilissa Petrovna, a fiery, wild-hearted young woman who can’t help but follow her intuition as she strains against the bonds of tradition and tries to find places in her life for both her family and her dreams. In a country torn between a new and old religion, Vasilissa (nicknamed Vasya) can’t explain how she knows that the old ways are essential to their way of life in the frigid Russian wilderness. She does her best to make her father proud, but when her stepmother, who has the same gift as Vasya, the ability to see the creatures of old, descends into what she thinks is madness, she pushes Vasya further and further from her family.

The Bear and the Nightingale book cover

When the choice comes between marriage or a convent, Vasya carves her own dangerous, terrifying path with implications sure to echo all throughout Russia. As famine encroaches the nation, religious and spiritual turmoil rumbles to a boiling, and family tensions are pushed to their limit, Vasya will need to find new allies if she wants to survive in the new world she’s creating. 

4. Dune by Frank Herbert

Embark on an interplanetary journey with Paul Atreides as his father, Duke Leto of House Atreides, prepares to take over as the new governor of Arrakis. The hostile desert planet is not the only challenge young Paul faces as his family settles into their new home. They quickly discover that there is a traitor in their midst and search for the trap they know has been laid by their rivals, the Harkonnens. The Atreides family is certain that their success in understanding and thriving on their new planet will only come with the assistance and friendship of the mysterious and highly elusive Fremen, who are native to Arrakis. A connection is not hard to come by, as the Fremen are deeply intrigued by Jessica, Paul’s mother, who is part of an ancient theological society called the Bene Gesserits, as well as Paul himself.

Dune book cover

As Paul and his family entwine themselves deeper into the life of Arrakis, he begins to discover forces older than he can imagine and out of his control that are pulling some of the strings. Join Paul Atreides as he strives to forge his own path, positioned against the forces of fate and legend themselves. 

5. The Women by Kristin Hannah

Frances (Frankie) McGrath has grown up heavily sheltered by her conservative 1960s parents. When the effects of the Vietnam War rattle her sunny southern California upbringing, she feels called to join in the effort. She joins the Nurse Army Corps and is submerged in a country ravaged by the horrors of war. Overwhelmed by the daily gamble between life and death, the devastation of war, and the realities of the front lines, Frankie finds some level of solace in the connections she makes with other women in the Nurse Army Corps. But, when the heroic women return to America, they find themselves totally unprepared for what awaits them.

The Women book cover

A country eager to forget Vietnam, dismissive of women’s roles in the war, and piecing itself back together from the loss of so many young souls, she struggles to find a foothold in this foreign place she once called home. In a story about deep friendships, the complexities of a nation divided, and the story of one woman, which speaks to the stories of many, Kristin Hannah sheds light on some of the gruesome realities of life many would rather leave unspoken.

Whether you’re in the mood for a fantasy adventure or historical fiction, hopefully, one of these books will make its way onto your next road trip. 

Want more books to listen to while you travel? Click here for 5 audiobooks to listen to on your next bike ride!

Got the travel bug? Click here for a tour around the US with authors from every corner of the nation on our Bookstr bookshelf!