All You Need is a Single Tank of Gas and an Entertaining Listen
All you need is a single tank of gas and an entertaining listen
Taking a three-hour drive to the cottage? Heading to a campsite four hours out of town? Racing to see the bright lights of whatever lies two towns over?
Sometimes you just need to get away. Not for long – just long enough to leave your routine behind and see some new sights. Just long enough to be reminded that the exquisite, wide world exists outside your normal stomping grounds.
For those short road trips, you want to listen to something you can breeze through: a title you can start and finish on the way there and back again. There’s nothing worse than arriving home from a trip mid-cliff hanger! To help you decide your next short road trip listen, here are six fantastic road trip audiobooks and podcasts you can listen to in under six hours.
And if you’ve already road-tripped your way through these titles, check out the even bigger list of fantastic Road Trip Listens available at Audible!
We’ve all heard the cliché: “the treasure was in their hearts all along.” But few stories make a more convincing case for it than Paul Coelho’s enchanting fable, The Alchemist. The audiobook follows Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy, as he travels to the deserts of Egypt to find treasure hidden in the pyramids.
Along the way, Santiago meets a cast of fantastical characters who aid him on his journey. He discovers the world is divided between those who follow their dreams and those who do not. “It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting,” Santiago muses. Perhaps it’s this possibility that is the true treasure.
The Alchemist is suitable for tweens and teens – but is equally rewarding for adults flying solo. Hear it at Audible.ca, narrated with distinct, gravelly gravitas by Jeremy Irons.
When a mysterious tollbooth shows up at Milo’s home, the bored little boy does what any bored little boy would: he drives his toy car through it. What he finds on the other side is a whimsical kingdom. From the two capitals of Dictionopolis and Digitopolis to the twin cities of Reality and Illusions, through the Valley of Sound and up the Mountains of Ignorance, Milo embarks on an epic quest to retrieve the Kingdom’s princesses, Rhyme and Reason.
Norman Juster’s modern masterpiece is a sly exercise in making kids’ education fun. When Milo jumps to the Island of Conclusions, he learns about idioms and premature judgment. When the Demon of Insincerity tricks him, he learns the value of critical thinking. For kids bored of learning in a traditional setting, take them to the magical lands of The Phantom Tollbooth on your next road trip.
And for the ride back, keep the kids entertained with even more engaging listens!
What does it mean to inhabit a Black body? To face exploitations both historical and contemporary: slavery, segregation, the carceral state and police brutality? How does one reckon with these injustices? How do you free yourself from them?
Ta-Nehisi Coates attempts to answer these questions in an intimate, emotional and eloquent letter to his adolescent son. Between the World and Me is a bracing look at the past, a sober look at the present and a transcendent look at the future. As you take a short trip this summer, spend the three-and-a-half hours with Coates’ beautiful memoir, which he narrates himself.
Escape from Virtual Island may be set in the future, but it harkens back to the radio plays of old – filled with grand adventure, high hilarity and larger-than-life characters.
In 2038, on a getaway island for the rich and famous, a high-profile guest goes missing within the Virtual Reality Theme Park. It’s up to Derek, who inherited the island from his mother, to rescue the guest and prove that he’s competent enough to take over the park. With a ragtag crew of island employees, Derek dives headfirst into a daring mission on the other side of reality.
The voice cast on Escape from Virtual Island is stacked: Paul Rudd, Henry Winkler, Amber Ruffin, Seth Meyers, Kenan Thompson, Olivia Wilde and many more! Wherever you’re escaping to this weekend, put away the phone and head to Virtual Island.
For more on-the-road laughs, find a new comedy series at Audible.ca!
Polaris Prize-winning, Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq is accustomed to offering up trailblazing art. So, it may come as no surprise that her first audiobook – a stirring, surreal and visceral blend of memoir and fiction – belongs in a category all its own.
A coming-of-age story in a small arctic town, Split Tooth oscillates between the tedium of the everyday world, the raw, seductive energy of the animal kingdom and the mythology that binds the two. Punctuating her bold narration with throat singing, Tagaq’s performance on the audiobook will have you gripped from the first to last moment. It may be just a short trip, but it will transport you to a whole new place.
For more amazing books by Indigenous authors, follow the link and explore Audible’s extensive selection.
Between work, chores, exercise and personal obligations, sometimes the daily grind leaves little time for love. It can be an act of mutual liberation and connection to just say, “forget life for a while – why don’t the two of us skip town and spend some quality time together?”
As a guidebook for your couple’s retreat, bring along Stephen Marche’s Audible Original podcast, How Not to F/ck Up Your Marriage Too Bad*. Its title may be brash, but what you’ll find in this podcast is a frank, intimate and funny investigation of modern relationships. Should you schedule sex? How do you stop fighting when neither person wants to back down? How do two people live together without imploding? With 10 episodes totalling five hours, pick and choose the topics that speak to you.
If you’re taking a short road trip this summer, pack an equally short listen with you. As you explore Canada, from the sands of Vancouver Island to the shores of the Saint Lawrence, explore the six titles above or download the Audible app to search through many more. And if your adventures take you further afield than you’d anticipated, check out these six car-friendly titles with no maximum runtime.
What’s your favourite single-sitting title? Do you prefer the pithy episodes of a podcast or the immersive experience of an audiobook? Share your thoughts with us on social media.