35 titles to take with you on your summer adventures
You’re staring from the passenger seat of a car at the unfamiliar town signs and roadside restaurants. You’re jogging through your neighbourhood, working up a sweat and finishing your run by kicking back in the backyard with a cold drink. You’re watering your garden, tending to a campfire, baking cookies, eating cookies. You’re wiping down your windows, looking out at the beautiful summer scene and wishing it could last forever.
The summer is filled with quiet moments like these; moments perfect for listening. As you run in the morning, cook in the daytime, clean in the afternoon or embark on a camping trip on the weekend, let Audible be your companion.
Whatever activity you're doing this summer, whether you’re solo or with a travel buddy, find the perfect listening moment to enjoy an Audible title.
In this post, we’re listing 35 of our favourite titles to listen to during popular Canadian summer activities. Some of these titles motivate us, some entertain us, some educate us and many on the list find a way to do all three.
As you snap your sweatband over your earbuds, reach for these fantastic exercise companions at Audible. We've got titles to get you motivated, keep you motivated and make sure you're entertained on your physical fitness journey.
Once you’ve run through all of the titles listed below, be sure to check out the many more motivational audiobooks, fitness audiobooks and best-selling audiobooks available at Audible.
Sometimes, all we need is a little voice in our ear telling us we can do it. For many of us, it isn’t for lack of desire that we aren’t exercising – it’s because we haven’t allowed ourselves to get in the right mindset. We need to set aside the stress and self-doubt surrounding healthy living and trust ourselves to build better habits.
Brian Keane’s The Fitness Mindset is the starting shot you need to get healthy. It offers a balanced approach to motivation with sage advice on positive habit-formation and stress-reduction strategies, as well as concrete exercise regimens that combine tension-style workouts and High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT.) If you’re just starting your fitness journey or have found your motivation floundering somewhere along the way, get into The Fitness Mindset.
All of us, even Olympic-level sprinters, learn to walk before we run. As adults looking to get in shape, sometimes we have to relearn that progression.
Aaptiv’s Walk to Run One Mile is a gentle summer project and it has a very clear aim in mind. This audiobook wants to get you off the couch, onto the street – first walking, then running. Over a four-week program, consisting of 20 total classes, certified personal trainer Jaime McFaden works with you to strengthen your stamina slowly as you work up to running a full mile. Each class in this fitness podcast is a mere 25 minutes long, meaning you can fit it into even the busiest summer day.
Adharanand Finn’s The Rise of the Ultra Runners may not directly motivate you like the above two titles. It doesn’t offer exercise tips or healthy living guidance. But this electrifying, inspirational look at the world’s ultra runners – modern marvels of endurance that push through pain and even hallucinations to run 165km in extreme conditions – ends up being pretty darn motivational.
An ultra runner himself, Finn paints a vivid, often humorous portrait of the intense world of the sport. Through interviews with noteworthy ultra runners, personal stories of triumph and failure and a sharp-witted account of the culture surrounding ultra running, Finn gets at what it means to run like this – what it means to test the limits of the human body. His insights are inspiring, even if you aren’t up for running a full 165km yourself.
If you’re already playing catch-up with your personal best, take the time to catch up on hot audiobooks you’ve missed as well. The perfect audiobook for listening while running, Little Fires Everywhere distracts you from your exercise by engaging your mind and simultaneously making your heart pound even faster.
Celeste Ng’s buzzworthy audiobook about the secrets, lies and racial biases that bubble to the surface of an affluent, “progressive” planned community is a riveting listen. Mysterious and thought-provoking, shocking and prescient, you’ll immediately understand why this audiobook made a massive splash – and why people continue to talk about it three years after its release.
Working out is way better with a partner. If you can’t peel your significant other away from work or convince your bestie to hit a Zoom class with you this weekend, reach for a more presidential partner in Michelle Obama.
The former First Lady’s powerful and inspiring memoir Becoming traces her formative experiences in intimate detail, from her childhood on Chicago’s South Side to her eight years calling The White House home. It’s smart, funny and refreshingly down to earth. Just the kind of personality you want by your side, as you become the best you.
Deciding what to listen to is an essential part of any kitchen prep. Cooking is a hands-on activity that requires intermittent focus, interspersed with long periods of – well – waiting. As your loaf of bread rises in the oven and your sauce comes together on the stove, listen to these fantastic titles.
On the menu below, we have a few food-related titles to help you get inspired on your next culinary odyssey; a fun family listen for when the kids are pitching in and a wine audiobook to pair with your meal. Enjoy!
This classic audiobook for the kids is the perfect morning entertainment. Dr. Seuss’s loopy tale of Sam-I-Am and Guy-Am-I (who does not like green eggs and ham) will keep your kid laughing as they help whisk, stir and toast their way to a delicious breakfast.
To make an authentic plate of green eggs and ham, whisk finely minced green herbs – dill, parsley and chives work beautifully – into your scrambled eggs and serve alongside traditional or vegan ham. Together with the Green Eggs and Ham and Other Servings of Dr. Seuss audiobook, it makes for a balanced, fun and linguistically engaging breakfast!
The term “omnivore’s dilemma” is summed up best by that common evening refrain, “what should we have for dinner tonight?” For as long as humans have foraged the earth for food, we’ve been asking ourselves the same question. Only, in the past, our ancestors have had to qualify the question, “what should we eat for dinner… that won’t harm us.”
In The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Michael Pollan reintroduces the question of what we should eat for dinner as it pertains to the modern food landscape. With the seeming abundance of choice stocked in the aisles of supermarkets and on the menus of restaurants, how do we “forage” in a way that does us little harm? This thought-provoking look at 21st Century eating is essential listening for those who love to cook, and those who simply love to eat.
Julia Child’s on air presence was a comforting meal in and of itself. Her fluty, unaffected voice, her fluency in the kitchen and her willingness to plough through her mistakes seemingly without a care made her a magnetic figure on the TV.
In My Life in France, Child shifts that down-to-earth charm to audiobook form. Chronicling her burgeoning love of all things French, this food audiobook begins with a young Julia Child’s ship docking in Le Havre in 1948. From there, we join Child as she cooks her way through the prestigious Cordon Bleu Academy and sets about writing a French cookbook for American audiences.
My Life in France is a disarmingly honest and engaging listen, one of those rare food audiobooks that pairs gusto and moxie with a fascinating life story.
In Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, Samin Nosrat takes you back to basics. By boiling all of cooking down to those four titular elements, she teaches home cooks how to make smart choices in the kitchen, whether they’re following a recipe or not.
Salt enhances the flavour of your food. Fat adds richness and texture. Acidity brightens food and balances both salt and fat. And fire transforms your food. Learn how to harness these elements, and you’ll never need to double-check a recipe again (unless it’s Nosrat’s recipe for Ligurian focaccia bread, which is delicious!)
We’ve all been there: standing in the wine aisle like a deer caught in headlights, reading labels, point scores, tasting notes… anything that will steer us toward a decision. (Often, admittedly, it’s the prettiest label that wins out.) The world of wine can be confusing.
To help you pair your lovingly made meal with the right wine, allow Bianca Bosker to geek out on the topic. In Cork Dork, Bosker takes you to underground wine tasting groups, exclusive New York City restaurants, California mass-market wine factories and even a neuroscientist’s fMRI machine, all in an attempt to understand this nectar of the gods better. It’s a fantastic education in all things wine and will have you strolling up to that wine aisle with confidence the next time you go on the hunt for the perfect vintage.
Not many people love to clean. To make the time go by in a breeze, we recommend catching up on buzzworthy audiobooks, listening to a funny podcast and getting motivated with no-nonsense motivational audiobooks.
Before you know it, you’ll have laughed, cried and learned your way through the entire cleaning process. Then, with a newly clean home, all that’s left to do is kick your feet up and keep listening!
Marie Kondo became an overnight sensation in large part because her distilled philosophy of “sparking joy” taught us to view cleaning through a different lens. Rather than drudgery, Kondo treats tidying up as an expression of yourself. You aren’t getting rid of those old teacups, debit receipts and holiday brochures because you have to. You’re doing it because those things no longer bring you joy.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is a terrific cleaning companion. The KonMari Method prescribed in the audiobook, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, has led many listeners to lasting results. The promise is simple: if you properly simplify and organize your home once, choosing only to keep items that spark joy, you'll never have to do it again.
Destined to become a Canadian classic, this audiobook novel from André Alexis had everyone talking upon its release. It’s a story unlike any other – bold, philosophical and genuinely original.
In it, the gods Apollo and Hermes get into a heated discussion at a Toronto pub: would dogs still be happy if they had human consciousness and language? To settle their argument, they grant consciousness and language to a group of 15 dogs staying the night at a Toronto vet. Following those dogs as they grapple with happiness, mortality, meaning and change, Fifteen Dogs forces us human listeners to tackle the same, important topics.
If you want to catch up while you clean up, start with this award-winner, a mainstay on our list of best-selling audiobooks!
With your headphones on, no one can hear what you’re listening to. Especially with the vacuum blaring or the faucet running. Take the opportunity to listen to Dr Ginni Mansberg and Shelly Horton’s hilarious and informative podcast Things You Can't Talk About on TV.
Touching on everything from farts to sex, curious discharges to unwanted hairs, Mansberg and Horton are unafraid to dive headfirst into all the topics that would make the average breakfast TV host blush. All those Google searches you were too afraid to make, worrying they might mess up your search history, are answered here – in fine, funny form.
Want to experience all the emotions while you clean? Want to hold back tears, burst out laughing, get angry, get happy and get educated, all while you scrub the kitchen? Check out Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime.
You may know him as the host of the popular satirical news show, The Daily Show, but in Born a Crime, Trevor Noah takes you back to a time before his success. His account of coming-of-age in Apartheid-era South Africa, as the son of a black mother and a white father, is raw, fierce, tender and laugh-out-loud-funny. Hear it narrated by Noah himself, only at Audible.
A longstanding favourite on our list of best-selling audiobooks, Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fck* is as gut-punching and no-nonsense as its title suggests. The aim here is not to sugar coat it: things are f***/d. Once we’ve made peace with that fact, our wellbeing will be dependent on how well we embrace fear, confront painful truths and ultimately grow as humans *despite* things going wrong.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fck* is not about turning lemons into lemonade. It’s about preparing our stomachs to handle the lemons better. If you prefer your motivational audiobooks tough and direct, this is perfect for listening while cleaning.
With dinner eaten and the house clean, you can turn your attention inward; it’s “you time”. What do you want for yourself? How can you be the best possible you? Only you know the answers to those questions, but for guidance along the way, we’ve got inspirational audiobooks and motivational titles to offer. Here, we’ve listed five to consider.
If you want to set personal goals, we’ve got a title for you. If you want to set aside personal goals in favour of collective healing, we’ve got a title for you. If you want to retreat into calm, we’ve got a title for you. And if you want to face privilege and racism head-on, we’ve got a title for you too. Whatever “me time” means to you, you’ll find titles to listen to at Audible.
Bad habits repeat themselves and before long, they’ve formed a cycle that can be difficult to escape. Difficult, but by no means impossible.
In Atomic Habits, James Clear, one of the world's leading experts on habit formation, offers practical strategies for teaching yourself to form good habits and break bad ones. Drawing on proven ideas from biology, psychology and neuroscience, Clear discusses how you can zero in on your goals and achieve them, whatever they are.
Actor, comedian, producer… life coach? That’s right. After making you laugh (and think) with titles like I Can’t Make This Up and Kevin Hart’s Guide to Black History, the high-octane funnyman is back with a new audiobook. And this time, his goal is to transform your life.
Taking you through what he calls the “Kevin Hart Mental Fitness Bootcamp,” Hart’s The Decision offers a hilarious, get-up-and-go guide to stepping out of your comfort zone and overcoming challenges. The most amped up man in Hollywood is the perfect life coach for those looking for a jolt of energy to go along with their motivation.
If you want to make positive steps toward anti-racism, “me time” can be a time of introspection, learning and growth. For a resource on how to start dismantling your privilege, stop inflicting damage on people of colour (whether consciously or unconsciously) and help to do the necessary work toward large-scale social change, you can start with Layla F. Saad’s Me and White Supremacy.
When Saad started an Instagram challenge that encouraged people to own up and share their racist behaviours, however small or unconscious, she had no idea it would become a cultural movement. Two years later, she released the ground-breaking Me and White Supremacy, an expansion of her workbook of the same name that adds historical and cultural contexts, moving stories and anecdotes.
“The most profound truth in the universe,” writes Richard Wagamese, “is this: that we are all one drum and we need each other.” After struggling with alcohol, homelessness and incarceration, and the feelings of rootlessness that accompanied those struggles, Wagamese decided to reconnect with the spiritual ways of his people.
One Drum draws from the spiritual teachings of Ojibwe tradition. These lessons on humility, respect and courage are meant to unify and heal people of all backgrounds. Containing simple ceremonies that anyone can do, anywhere they are, this generous audiobook – part memoir, part guide, part rallying cry – is perfect for “me time”. Especially if, through that “me time”, you wish to foster harmony and connection with those around you.
This is not your typical meditation podcast. In Calm World, neuroscientist Ash Ranpura and comedian Alice Fraser take a deep dive into the history, science and culture of meditation. They discuss what meditation does to your brain, how famous athletes like Michael Jordan used meditation before big games and how it may be used as a coping mechanism in politically polarizing times.
Whether you’re a skeptic interested in the everyday benefits of meditation, the spiritual side or the practice or you’re already an avid meditator eager to learn more about the history and science behind the practice, Calm World is the perfect self-improvement podcast for your “me time” this summer.
Bring along the perfect Audible titles as you check each box on your Canadian Summer Activity Checklist. See how many of these you can check off!
As you tend to your plants, tend to your imagination as well. As you till, sew, water, weed and harvest this summer, don’t just hum a tune to yourself or bend over in silence. Improve your gardening experience by bringing riveting stories, scintillating romances and thought-provoking non-fiction titles outside with you.
Below, we’ve listed a few of our favourite in-the-garden listens. You’ll find a few titles directly related to gardening, a buzzy romance title to listen to among the birds and bees and a popular rock ‘n’ roll audiobook we just can’t help but recommend!
Making his second appearance on this list is the gourmand, green thumb and environmentalist Michael Pollan. This time, he pivots his focus from food to gardening. Second Nature – a title selected by the American Horticultural Society as one of the 75 greatest books ever written about gardening – is Pollan’s extensive look at humanity’s relationship with plants.
Through a series of essays, he touches on numerous subjects: the love lives of roses, the virtuousness of composting and the history of the American lawn, to name a few. He also peppers in personal stories and practical advice about gardening. By turns chatty and rigorously researched, listening to Second Nature is akin to having a veteran green thumb in the garden with you – eloquent, funny and exhaustively informed.
What is it about spending time outdoors that makes us feel amazing? What exactly do that fresh air, rugged soil and fragrant greenery do to our brains to make us feel so good? The 3-Day Effect might have the answers you’re looking for.
Science journalist Florence Williams takes a look at the science behind why being in the wild for at least three days can make us healthier, happier and more expressive. Through six podcast episodes, she follows former Iraqi war veterans, human trafficking survivors and even a self-avowed nature hater on journeys into the wild. Along with them, field researchers measure the real-time physiological, psychological and cognitive impact of the outdoors. The results are wild!
When the Gaines family (who you might know from the hit remodeling show, Fixer Upper) decided to start a garden, they had no idea the amount they’d learn along the way. This inspiring non-fiction audiobook is an account of the hiccups, mishaps and eventual triumphs of starting a family garden.
Not only is We Are the Gardeners a stellar resource on how to start a garden, but it also teaches kids the value of trying new things, learning from failure and how hard work often yields great rewards. Narrated by the Gaines family themselves, this is the perfect audiobook for families looking to take up the spade as a summer project.
The setting: Los Angeles in the late ’60s and early ’70s. The scene: nightclubs on the Sunset Strip, the Whisky a Go Go and the wild life of a touring band. The Soundtrack: pure rock ‘n’ roll. Daisy Jones & The Six is the raucous, electrifying story of one woman’s meteoric rise in the rock world.
It may not have much to do with gardening other than a passing reference to flowers. Still, it's precisely the absorbing, raw audiobook experience you want outside with you this summer. Soon to be adapted into a miniseries by Amazon Video, find the source material at Audible for a wild listening-while-gardening experience.
Especially in the summer, gardening can get pretty steamy. If you’re looking for a way to cool off, maybe stay away from Anna Todd’s sultry, stirring, massively popular new romance audiobook After.
Tessa can divide her life in two: the time before she met Hardin and everything after. Tessa was a model student – an ambitious freshman with a vision for what she wanted in her life (even if that vision is heavily influenced by her mother.) Then she meets Hardin. He’s cute, with a tatted-up appearance and a bold British accent. He’s also incredibly rude.
But despite his rough exterior, there’s something about Hardin that attracts Tessa. Will this attraction unravel her perfectly on-course life? For some gardening fun, take this romance audiobook outside with you and find out!
Is there a better opportunity than a road trip to get lost in an audio experience – hands at ten and two, kids squirming in the back and nothing but the open road ahead? Define your road trip with the titles you choose. Find bristling Canadian stories, boisterous children’s non-fiction and classic fantasy audiobooks to play in the car.
Below, we’ve listed a few of our favourite road trip audiobooks and podcasts, making sure to include a few family friendly stories to appease the backseat critics. And for more recommendations, check out our blog post on road trip fun!
As you road trip through Canada, listen to stories about… road trips through Canada. In Canadianity, join Jeremy Taggart (who you may know as the drummer for seminal Canadian rock group Our Lady Peace) and TV personality Jonathan Torrens as they explore the country’s dive bars, rest stops and city streets.
Meet the colourful personalities that make up the Canadian tapestry. Share in some showbiz stories from the road. Get nostalgic about bygone Canadian institutions like Mr. Dressup and Heritage Moments. And have a few laughs along the way.
Spend your road trip chasing down answers with Mulder and Scully in a series of chilling, exhilarating tales. Reuniting original cast members, X-Files: Stolen Lives is narrated by Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny, as well as fan favourites like Mitch Pileggi (who played Walter Skinner) and William B. Davis (who played Cigarette Smoking Man).
At a tight, tense three and three-quarter hours, this collection is the perfect road trip audiobook for short drives to and from the cottage or a long drive through the countryside.
Can’t keep the elbows from flying in the backseat? Give sibling rivalry some company with Rivals! Frenemies Who Changed the World – a humorous, true account of adversaries throughout history.
Get to know E.D. Cope and O.C. Marsh, the petty paleontologists who discovered many of the dinosaurs we know today. Take sides between the (literally) duelling American politicians, Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. Pull up front row seats to the royal grudge match between Mary Queen of Scots and Queen Elizabeth. And learn about the fashionably feuding Dassler brothers, who went on to create competing sportswear companies, Adidas and Puma.
Another name appearing twice on this list, André Alexis’ novel Days by Moonlight is a surreal, incisive take on the “road trip novel.” Sort of like Jack Kerouac by way of David Lynch, with some German philosophy and Canadiana blended in for good measure, it’s an expertly crafted, thoughtful and funny audiobook from a Canadian treasure.
After his parents’ death, botanist Alfred Homer agrees to take a road trip through southern Ontario with his parents’ friend Professor Morgan Bruno, who’s in search of a mysterious poet. What plays out is more like a road trip through Alfred’s psyche.
Along the way, the two encounter a town where Black residents speak only in sign language during the day. They find a town with more religious leaders than the Vatican. And they witness an Indigenous Parade, where oppressed minorities have the opportunity to throw fruit at their colonial oppressors. Told in sharp yet disorienting detail, Days by Moonlight is a fantastic literary companion for an adult road trip.
Choosing family road trip audiobooks can be tricky. On the one hand, you want something that will hold your kids’ attention, if only to keep them from tearing up the backseat. On the other, you want something that will hold your own attention – you’re the one piloting this vehicle, after all, and you deserve to be entertained as much as anyone else in the car.
Madeleine L’Engle’s modern classic A Wrinkle in Time is the ideal compromise. Kids love it because of its young protagonists and adventure-packed story. Adults love it for its nuanced storytelling and because it’s a nostalgic trip back to a story many of us experienced as kids. It also doesn’t hurt that the audiobook is narrated by actor Hope Davis, director Ava DuVernay and the author herself.
Scary stories around the campfire are a bona fide rite of passage for campers. In this section, we’re suggesting a couple of scary stories (including one for when the kids go to bed) as well as a few tales for the fright-averse.
For more horror audiobooks, fantasy audiobooks and kids’ stories to take camping with you, explore Audible.
For any kid who’s ever said, “I wish I had another family,” Neil Gaiman’s Coraline is a creepy cautionary tale.
When Coraline finds a secret door that leads into an alternate reality of her own home, she’s thrilled. It’s an ideal version of her frustrating home life, with a mother that cooks food she actually wants to eat and fun toys that fly around the room when wound. Perhaps most importantly, the Other Parents in this alternate home pay attention to her.
But before long, things get scary. Coraline’s Other Parents don’t want to let her go. They want to sew buttons on her eyes and keep her in the alternate world forever. And she isn’t the first child to find this place – there are other children whose lost souls are trapped here.
Gather around the campfire, put on this stirring, scary story and find out whether Coraline can rescue herself and the other lost souls from the clutches of the Other World!
R.L. Stine knows his way around kids’ horror audiobooks. The mind behind the Goosebumps series has been frightening children (and making them giggle too) for over 30 years. Camp Red Moon is one of the latest from the kids’ horror master – a collection of scary campfire stories centred on the titular sleepaway camp.
Created precisely for listening around a moody, spooky fire, Camp Red Moon is the horror audiobook to add a little danger to your camping trip. Just be prepared for the kids to sleep in your tent tonight.
Scary stories aren’t everyone’s thing. And that’s absolutely fine. Younger kids who might already find camping in the dark a little nerve-wracking will want something a little gentler, more positive and fun.
Gather round the Audible app and listen to Story Party: The Complete Collection, a curated collection of some of the very best children’s storytelling, from creators like Joel ben Izzy, Diane Ferlatte and many more. With over eight hours of fun family storytelling, you’ll have more than enough to last the entire camping trip (and the way back!). Nothing scary here – just engaging kids’ stories narrated by dynamic performers.
Staring out at the dark woods from your campground can be awfully scary. But not if you imagine those woods to contain a bumbling tiger, a big-hearted piglet, a hospitable rabbit and, of course, a sweet Pooh bear.
Take your kids on an adventure to the Hundred Acre Wood, just like you did as a kid, with The Collected Stories of Winnie-the-Pooh. Featuring brilliant narration by Stephen Fry, Judi Dench and others, parents will get as much joy out of this audiobook as the kids.
Camping without kids? Or maybe they’ve gone to sleep already and you’re sitting around the fire looking to scratch a scary story itch? You’re in good hands with the King of Horror audiobooks, Stephen King.
A dead man’s cell phone still communicating from beyond the grave. A writer who makes a Faustian bargain with a rat. A shadowy group of reporters who peddle grief. King’s latest collection of short horror stories, If It Bleeds, is front-to-back frightening. Tense, mysterious, macabre and told with King’s trademark verve and economy, these stories are sure to make even the most hardened camper’s heart flutter.
The summer offers no shortage of listening moments for Canadians. Chopping vegetables, scrubbing the tub, running toward your personal best, driving toward a well-deserved holiday, watering your tomatoes or grilling those tomatoes over an open campfire as you swap scary stories. For all those moments and more, Audible’s here to offer engaging, thoughtful and entertaining content at the tip of your fingers.