Road trips are an essential part of summer. The open highway, car snacks, and curated playlists are a few of our favorite things. However, while we're always fans of car sing-a-longs, sometimes it's good to turn off the tunes and put on a great audiobook. With that in mind, we've rounded up twelve awesome options to make your next long car ride go by in a flash.
From classics like Matlida and Harry Potter to comedies like Amy Poehler's Yes, Please and buzzy books like Go Set a Watchman, narrated by Reese Witherspoon, there's plenty to choose from. Scroll down to peruse our favorite audiobooks, then sit back, relax, and enjoy your ride.
1. Yes, Please by Amy Poehler
The only thing that could make Amy Poehler’s book Yes, Please ($25; audible.com) funnier is the cast of characters she enlisted for the audiobook. Helping her tell her humorous and insightful tales are Carol Burnett, Seth Meyers, Michael Schur, Patrick Stewart, Kathleen Turner—and even Poehler's parents. Needless to say, it’s laugh-out-loud take on her already hilarious book.
2. Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee, Narrated by Reese Witherspoon
Harper Lee’s controversial sequel to the beloved To Kill a Mockingbird has spurred plenty of conversation since its release this summer. Set 20 years later in Maycomb, Alabama, Go Set a Watchman ($25; audible.com) follows Scout's return from visiting Atticus in New York, and her subsequent struggle with understanding the political and societal views of her hometown. If you’re on the fence about reading it, Reese Witherspoon’s narration may sway you. Who wouldn’t want to listen to her perfect Southern drawl for a few hours?
3. Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari and Eric Klinenberg
Anyone who is a fan of Aziz Ansari’s stand-up comedy will want to download the audio version of Modern Romance (free with subscription; scribd.com) immediately. Narrated by both Ansari and his writing and research partner Eric Klinenberg, you’ll learn a lot about what exactly is going on in this strange new romantic world. While some of the charts and graphics don’t translate well on audio, Ansari’s hilarious anecdotes make it well worth it.
4. Lush Life by Richard Price, Narrated by Bobby Cannavale
You know the expression, "I'd pay to hear him read the phone book?" Well, that's how we feel about Bobby Cannavale. But even better is hearing him read Richard Price's gripping saga crime set in N.Y.C.'s Lower East Side ($36; audible.com). Price is known for writing snappy dialogue that captures New York City's carnival of characters, and Cannavale is pitch perfect as he switches from one role to the next. He even does a good female cop voice. Trust us—you won't want to hit pause.
5. Still Foolin' 'Em by Billy Crystal
As you might expect, comedian Billy Crystal's memoir Still Foolin' 'Em ($21; audible.com) is brimming with hilarious anecdotes, but there plenty of tender moments too. Crystal catalogues his extraordinary life, narrating everything from his yearly years entertaining his relatives to his days on Saturday Night Live to his current state as a 60-something baby boomer. With his trademark timing, you won't regret taking a walk down memory lane with Crystal.
6. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, Narrated by Jim Dale
Long car rides were made for the audio versions of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Start from the beginning with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone ($30; pottermore.com) and prepare to be captivated by the wizarding world once again. British actor Jim Dale does an excellent job at voicing all of Rowling’s colorful characters and makes each one distinguishable from the next. This is Harry Potter like you’ve never experienced it before.
7. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling
Before Mindy Kaling’s second book Why Not Me? comes out this fall, let her regale you with her first round of hilarious stories from Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) (free with subscription; scribd.com). Joined by her good pal BJ Novak, as well as Michael Schur, Kaling recounts her many lives: obedient child of immigrant parents, off-Broadway star, comedy writer, and eventual Hollywood star. The entire audiobook feels like you’re listening to your best friend tell you hilarious stories for four hours. What’s not to like?
8. Matilda by Roald Dahl, Narrated by Kate Winslet
What could make Roald Dahl’s classic children’s novel Matilda ($21; audible.com) even better? Not much, but having Kate Winslet read it aloud is a contender. The Oscar-winning actress offers up her vocal and storytelling talents to the sweet story about an extraordinary little girl who takes on the evil Miss Trunchbull.
9. World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks
This is a must-hear book for any fan of The Walking Dead. Brad Pitt made a pretty good movie based on it, but the book was really written to be heard. Actors including Mark Hamil, John Turturro and Alan Alda perform as different characters describing a post-Zombie-apolocolypse America and how we got there. Chills and goosebumps aside, like all good sci fi, it also makes you examine the way we live today, from voter apathy to energy consumption to racial divides (free with subscription; scribd.com).
10. Bossypants by Tina Fey
Sit back and get ready to laugh because Tina Fey’s reading of her hilarious memoir Bossypants ($21; audible.com) is five hours of pure fun. The comedian and actress brings her trademark wit and on-point comedic timing to each chapter as she regales listeners with tales of her childhood, her time on SNL, and motherhood. However, it’s not all just stories about her life. She offers up some sound advice on leadership and being a feminist.
11. Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell, Narrated by Keanu Reeves, May Rudolph, Ed Norton, and More
Essayist Sarah Vowell is almost as famous for voice (she was Violet in the Incredibles) as she is for her writing. While it's great to hear Vowell read her work, this collection of essays features some amazing voices along with hers. Telling the story of Hawaii and American manifest destiny, it features an all-star cast including Paul Rudd, Maya Rudolph, and Keanu Reeves ($21; audible.com).
12. I like You Just the Way I Am by Jenny Mollen
Jenny Mollen’s memoir I Like You Just the Way I Am ($20; audible.com) is like spending time with the crazy friend you wish you had. Download the audiobook for a hilarious stories about at her life with her famous husband Jason Biggs (who makes an funny cameo), the one time she threw the worst bachelorette party ever, and much more.