Monday, August 1, 2011

Long Road Trips + Great Audiobooks = Heaven

We have made the trip west to attend two family reunions this month, and made the decision to drive rather than fly, since we would need a car once we arrived at our destination anyway.
In anticipation of our trip (and out of abhorrence of plugging my girls into portable DVDs since I find it makes them horrible travellers), I purchased and rented a quantity of audio books for the trip.

Here is the line-up of our audio selections we've listened to so far. (We head east again tomorrow, so stay tuned for the going-east audio line-up.):

1. What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge, read by Laurel Lefkow, produced by Naxos AudioBooks. My girls loved this abridged story, about a girl named Katy Carr, the oldest girl in a widowed doctor's family of six, in the 1860s. Katy is tall and gangly and careless, and leads her siblings in all sorts of adventures, until tragedy strikes and she has to have her own adventure. Laurel Lefkow does such an amazingly superb job of reading. Her pacing and voicing are perfect.
(P.S. I love, love, love Naxos Audiobooks. Their audiobooks are consistently, wonderfully done. Their readers do such a superb job.)

2. Charlotte's Web by E.B White, read by the author. One of our very favorite stories about the loyal friendship between a pig and a spider. The audio left a lot to be desired, 'though. The author has quite a monotonous voice that doesn't do his wonderful story any favors.

3. Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater, read by Nick Sullivan, produced by Hachette Audio. A silly, fun and lively story of a house painter whose fascination with penguins causes a noted Antarctic explorer to send him a live penguin, which results in a few problems. The story is brought to life so well by Mr. Sullivan.

4. Sylvester, or The Wicked Uncle by Georgette Heyer, read by Richard Armitage, produced by Naxos AudioBooks. "When Sylvester, the Duke of Salford, first meets Phoebe Marlow, he finds her dull and insipid. She finds him insufferably arrogant. But when a series of unforeseen events leads them to be stranded together in a lonely country inn, they are both forced to reassess their hastily formed opinions, and begin a new-found liking and respect for each other. Sylvester calls to mind the satirical genius of a Jane Austen novel and is adored for its wit and a fast-paced plot that ranges across a myriad of settings." (From Naxos AudioBooks)
Richard Armitage reads this abridged book with panache and suavity, and real depth of feeling. He does such a superb job of voicing the various characters. (His voicing of Sir Nugent Fotherby especially had me in stitches.)


  1. Ah, Richard Armitage! :) These sound like fun ones! Good luck on your trip home. It was awesome to see and talk to you! :)

  2. We love audio books for road trips too! You give some great suggestions. We've listened to Mr. Popper's Penguins before, and we've read Charlotte's Web aloud. The others are new to me.

  3. I love Georgette Heyer and I think it might be quite nice to listen to an hour or so of Richard Armitage narrating them.