Brilliant narratives make the perfect travel companions. So we rounded up the best new audiobooks to soundtrack your on-the-road adventures. Whether your next epic trip calls for a propulsive thriller, a heartfelt family dramedy, or a captivating historical account, these engaging stories will provide entertainment as you journey to your next destination.
11 Audiobooks That Will Be the Soundtrack to Your Next Roadtrip Adventure
Turn up the volume and hit the open road, book lovers!
Beyond That, the Sea
By Laura Spence-Ash, narrated by Ell Potter. 12 hours and 18 minutes.
We highly recommend adding Beyond That, the Sea, Laura Spence-Ash’s acclaimed historical fiction debut, to the top of your summer audiobook queue. The transporting new narrative begins in 1940 amidst the chaos of WWII, as working-class Londoners Reginald and Millie Thompson make the difficult decision to send their 11-year-old daughter Beatrix to safer harbors in America. Bea is initially hurt by the move but soon settles into her new life in the States with her host family. Just as she begins to flourish, however, the war in Europe ends, and Bea is summoned back to London, forcing her to leave behind the new life that she’s grown to love. Enriched with vivid details and fully realized characters, Beyond That, the Sea is a sweeping coming-of-age story about love, duty, and discovering who you are.
The Connellys of County Down
By Tracey Lange, narrated by Barrie Kreinik. 9 hours and 21 minutes.
Tracey Lange’s The Connellys of County Down comes out on August 1, making it perfect for your late-summer excursions. Lange — the bestselling author of We Are the Brennans — is a master of the family drama. Here, she delivers yet another winning narrative that beautifully explores familial loyalty and the heavy secrets of the heart. The story centers on Tara Connelly, who returns home to live with her siblings after serving time in prison. While there, she must rebuild her life while also dealing with the presence of the cop who put her away and her siblings’ own problems.
If We're Being Honest
By Cat Shook, narrated by Kathleen McInerney. 11 hours and 8 minutes.
Cat Shook’s If We’re Being Honest brims with warmth and relatable family dramedy, making it the ideal listen for a solo trip or an adventure with friends. The buzzy debut introduces us to the Williams family, who have gathered together in Eulalia, Georgia, to mourn the passing of their patriarch, Gerry Williams. When an emotionally charged secret emerges at the wake, the entire Williams clan must deal with the revelation while processing their grief and navigating a raft of interpersonal dramas. Featuring a cast of eccentric siblings, grandkids, aunts, and uncles, If We’re Being Honest is a charming summertime read.
The Woman Inside
By M. T. Edvardsson, narrated by Josh Dylan, Nathalie Buscombe, and Sofia Engstrand. 10 hours and 45 minutes.
The Woman Inside is a riveting new domestic thriller from M. T. Edvardsson, author of the acclaimed A Nearly Normal Family. The narrative centers on Karla, a law student and an aspiring judge who rents a room from a grieving widower named Bill and works as a house cleaner for a wealthy couple named the Rytters. Something is amiss with the Rytters’ dynamic — the husband is obsessive and controlling, while the wife suffers from a mysterious illness and rarely leaves her room. When the Rytters turn up dead, shocking secrets emerge, forcing those who remain into a frantic race for survival. Featuring a multicast narration, this thrilling audiobook will keep you wide awake on your cross-country road trip this summer.
The Angel Maker
By Alex North, narrated by Rosalie Craig. 8 hours and 1 minute.
Alex North — the New York Times bestselling thriller author of The Whisper Man and The Shadows — continues his hot streak with The Angel Maker. The electrifying new narrative leaps back and forth through time to tell its twisted tale. Years ago, someone brutally assaulted Katie Shaw’s little brother, Christopher. Katie’s never been able to break free from the guilt and rage she feels over the attack — especially now that she’s a new parent. Then she receives news that Christopher has gone missing, propelling her on a desperate quest to rescue her sibling. Meanwhile, Detective Laurence Page is investigating the nearby murder of a distinguished professor of fate and free will. The deeper the detective dives into the case, the more he begins to see a connection between the grisly slaying, the attack on young Chris Shaw, and the notorious crimes of a serial killer who was rumored to see into the future. Award-winning actor Rosalie Craig voices the audiobook version of North’s supernatural thriller, executing it with chilling perfection.
Sing Her Down
By Ivy Pochoda, narrated by Frankie Corzo, Kimberly M. Wetherell, Sophie Amoss, and Victoria Villarreal. 8 hours and 33 minutes.
If you’re heading out West, consider the audiobook of Ivy Pochoda’s Sing Her Down for your soundtrack. The gritty feminist Western is utterly engrossing, with an exhilarating plot and compelling characters. It centers on inmates Florence “Florida” Baum, a new transfer to the Arizona women’s prison, and Diosmary Sandoval, who sees Florida’s dangerous nature despite her claims of innocence. When both women are freed, Diosmary develops an obsession with Florida that leads to an escalating pursuit, stretching from the southwest deserts all the way to Los Angeles.
Birdgirl: A Young Environmentalist Looks to the Skies in Search of a Better Future
By Mya-Rose Craig, narrated by the author. 9 hours and 30 minutes.
If you’re looking to reconnect with nature this summer, Birdgirl makes for an inspiring and illuminating companion. The environmental memoir is written by 20-year-old Mya-Rose Craig, an activist, ornithologist, and avid birder who’s already seen more than 5,000 species of birds. Craig crisscrosses the globe in her passionate narrative, chronicling her family’s adventures and capturing Earth’s fragile beauty while candidly discussing her mother’s deepening mental health struggles. Narrated by the author herself, Birdgirl is sure to stir hope and get you into the great outdoors.
You Have to Be Prepared to Die Before You Can Begin to Live: Ten Weeks in Birmingham That Changed America
By Paul Kix, narrated by Jaime Lincoln-Smith. 10 hours and 20 minutes.
For American history buffs and fans of narrative nonfiction, we highly recommend Paul Kix’s You Have to Be Prepared to Die Before You Can Begin to Live. The narrative documents a critical moment in the Civil Rights Movement that’s rarely discussed: The 10-week campaign in 1963 to end segregation in Birmingham, Alabama. Helmed by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the campaign marked a turning point in the fight for equality in America, ultimately leading to the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Yet its story has never been fully told until now. With vivid prose that moves at the pace of a thriller, Kix brings this pivotal moment to life, taking us behind the scenes and into the psyches of the four Civil Rights icons who led the fight: Wyatt Walker, Fred Shuttlesworth, James Bevel, and Martin Luther King, Jr.
By Samantha Irby, narrated by the author. 9 hours and 31 minutes.
We’ll get right to the punchline: Samantha Irby’s books are hilarious. And if you’ve yet to read the author’s exceptionally funny memoirs, then you’re in for a treat with her latest collection, Quietly Hostile. Over a series of essays, the acclaimed author opens up about her life and the glamor and cringe of her newfound fame, discussing the bizarre e-mails she’s received about Carrie Bradshaw, how she uses QVC to cope with stress, and the “deranged pandemic dog” she recently adopted. Voiced by the author herself, Quietly Hostile will have you cackling from departure to destination this summer.
Saving Time: Discovering a Life Beyond the Clock
By Jenny Odell, narrated by Kristen Sieh. 11 hours and 27 minutes.
Jenny Odell’s New York Times bestselling narrative Saving Time is not merely a self-help book, it’s a searing commentary on a culture that translates minutes into money and prioritizes profit over people. Similar to her bestselling debut, How to Do Nothing, Odell once again presents a road map to fixing our flawed relationships with the world — in this case, how we view work and our free time. Saving Time urges readers to reject the notion that time is a standardized unit to be streamlined and sold. Instead, she lays out a way of seeing time as fluid, encouraging us to align our internal clocks with the rhythms of nature. If you want to do some deep thinking during your summertime travels, this is a great choice.
By Elliot Page, narrated by the author. 8 hours and 24 minutes.
Pageboy is Elliot Page’s incredibly personal new memoir, narrated by the author himself, about his Hollywood journey and path to coming out as a trans person on the public stage. In the book, Page unflinchingly discusses the anxieties he faced after the success of Juno, how he was pressured to play the role of young Hollywood starlet, and the toll it took on his mental health. He also shares how he was able to break free from the chains of Hollywood, the expectations of society, and the restrictions of the gender binary — ultimately finding his joy.