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Road Trip Reading Recommendations

With Carole Barrowman
Posted at 11:10 AM, Jul 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-21 12:10:11-04

Carole Barrowman is back with audio book recommendations for those long summer road trips! Carole is an English Professor at Alverno College. Her book reviews appear in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and The Star Tribune.

Foreverywhere by Steve Burns and Steven Drozd with multiple performers

Foreverywhere is much more than an audiobook. It’s an immersive listening experience with music and songs and a really engaging story. Plus, a unicorn, a princess, and some monsters! Burns was the original host of Blues Clues so his narration benefits from that experience. I felt as if he was talking just to me! His collaborator in this listening project, Drozd, is from The Flaming Lips. Doesn’t get any cooler than that.

The Weirdies by Michael Buckley; read by Kate Winslet

No one is going to say “are we there yet?” if you listen to The Weirdies. Barnacle, Melancholy and Garlic are triplets who are, well, pretty weird. They wake up one morning in their massive Addams Family -like mansion only to discover “everyone they knew and everything they owned was missing.” Winslet is amazing as the reader and does quite distinct voices for each one of the triplets.

The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah, read by Julia Whelan

If you’re heading west and love a richly detailed family saga, listen to Hannah’s thoroughly engaging novel set in Texas in the 20s about a young woman, Elsa Wolcott, who wants “a life not just an existence.” The book is read by Julia Whelan, one of the best readers I’ve heard. Her voice is clear and compelling (she narrated Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl and lots of other best-sellers) and her southern accent is subtle yet quite distinctive for each of the characters.

Greenlights by Mathew McConaughey; Narrated by: Mathew McConaughey

If you’d love to be a passenger with McConaughey on one of those Lincoln car commercials, this is your book to listen to on a road trip. At six hours or so, McConaughey’s autobiography is also perfect for a shorter trip. It’s a meditation on his life and work at the age of 50. It’s also a guide to catching more greenlights - and to realizing that the yellows and reds eventually turn green, too.