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Take a Trip, Get an Earful
By Hilary Williamson

'If you go into a room filled with books, even without taking them down from
their shelves, they seem to speak to you, to welcome you.'
(William E. Gladstone)

Of course, audiobooks can literally speak to us now, and vocalize those words of welcome - fortunately only after we turn them on. Can you imagine a library of volumes all yelling for attention at the same time? The mind boggles.

Being a speedy reader of squiggles on a page, I generally find audiobooks too slow, but I do like to listen to them in a car on family trips. My teen sons and I have been all ears as mileposts flew past the last couple of summers. Here's what we've enjoyed hearing ...

Believing It All by Marc Parent
Amusing anecdotes read by the author - 'What My Children Taught Me About Trout Fishing, Jelly Toast, and Life'.(6 hours)

The Best Poems of All Time Part 2 by Leslie Pockell
A dozen voices give us rousing poetry that stirs the blood, from Kipling's Gunga Din to Angelou's Still I Rise.(1 hour)

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling
Jim Dale's remarkable talent with multiple voices makes it even better - a magical earful indeed! (23 CDs)

The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
This abridged BBC version is compelling, in multiple voices, interspersed with rousing songs and Elvish chants.(13 hours)

The Spiderwick Chronicles, Books 1 & 2 by Holly Black & Tony DiTerlizzi
Hank Jacobs handles both human and faery voices (his hobgoblin is hilarious) in this abridged version of The Field Guide and The Seeing Stone.(2 cassettes)

I haven't had the chance to try these yet but David Pitt also recommends Raold Dahl's The BFG (performed by Natasha Richardson) and the Listening Library's series of Hardy Boys audiobooks such as The House on the Cliff.

Whatever your preference for speaking books, organize an audiobook selection for your next family trip (or even a quiet evening at home) and enjoy others' reactions as much as your own, while getting an earful together!
Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.