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Chapter 20 - Can You Hear Me Now?

This is the time of year people start planning road trips. Whether it is a three hour drive to the ocean or a cross country trip to visit your dad's old Army buddies, it is still quality time in the car. When I was growing up in Maryland my parents would take us north one year, south the next, and west the year after that. Sometimes it was to see historical sights, other times it was to visit my dad's friends from the Army. At that time the only amusement was the radio, coloring, and car games, or, as Mom was always the driver, Dad would read a book aloud. To this day I enjoy road trips and enjoy all the places we got to see over the summer.

Now with audio books couples and families can enjoy the driving time much easier than we could. There are also many websites dedicated to either selling or lending audio books like, Audible, and of course public libraries. There are also books on CD if you want to go that way and if your car still has CD capabilities.

Here are some audio books I've enjoyed on road trips.

For the Younger Set

The Original Adventures of Hank the Cowdog by John R. Erikson is a hilarious series for the 7 to 10 age group. Hank is investigating a murder on the ranch and becomes the number one suspect. In desperation he flees to the hills to become an outlaw and live with the coyotes. Will Hank be forced to raid his own ranch? This is the first book in the series.

The Princess Bride by William Goldman performed by Rob Reiner - This is the beloved adventure tale of a beautiful girl, an evil prince, and a dashing pirate with a cast of helpers and hinderers. The voice of Rob Reiner makes it particularly special.

For the Middle Schoolers

Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer by John Grisham - This series by bestselling author John Grisham is read by Richard Thomas of The Waltons fame. Theodore Boone is the child of two successful lawyers and when a murder trial comes up, Theodore knows that he can get to the truth. This is also the first of a series.

The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare - Read by Mary Beth Hurt the story is about Kit Tyler who leaves her home in the Caribbean to live with Puritan relatives in the 1600's. Feeling like she has no freedoms she makes friends with an older woman who is known as the witch of Blackbird Pond. Soon Kit is also accused of witchcraft. This was a Newberry Medal winner.

For Young Adults

The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream by Paulo Coelho - Magic, mysticism, wisdom and wonder combine in this wonderful tale of self-discovery read by Jeremy Irons. Santiago, a young shepherd, travels from Spain to Egypt in search of treasure. He meets people on the way who encourage him on his journey and help him to find the treasure he seeks.

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee - This is a classic which everyone should read at least once. (I do consider listening as a read.) Read by Sissy Spacek it is the tale of Scout Finch, her brother Jem, and her father Atticus who defends a black man accused of a crime in the 1930's South.

For Adults

The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell - Really I'd recommend any of Jewell's books to listen to on a road trip. This mystery is filled with her usual twists and turns and will keep you guessing until the end. The book has three narrators telling the story of Libby Jones, orphaned when she was a baby and now the recipient of an inheritance which will change her life.

All About Me!: My Remarkable Life in Show Business by Mel Brooks - Brooks narrates his own memoir talking about his life in TV and movies. There is a lot in here about people he worked with as well his life with the incredible Anne Bancroft. He wrote this book during the pandemic to keep himself busy and I'm so glad he did.

Room by Emma Donoghue - This is a chilling narration by four separate narrators and you may have to turn it off occasionally to catch your breath. Room is all five year old Jack has ever known. He was born there, lives there with Ma, and sleeps there in a wardrobe when Old Nick visits. Ma makes certain Jack exercises daily so that when they have a chance to escape, they will be ready. Ma doesn't realize though how unprepared they are for the escape.

For all the audios listed above I have driven around or sat in the driveway so I could hear the last part of the story. Hope you enjoy listening to these too!

Do you have any you can recommend? Please share.


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