RoadTrip America

Routes, Planning, & Inspiration for Your North American Road Trip

Books So Good You'll Miss Your Exit!

Warning! When the book on your CD or cassette player is riveting, don't blame the driver for missing an exit! The titles in this audio book collection have caused unintentional detours from Massachusetts to California!

RoadTrip America is undergoing a major overhaul. Audio book reviews are now posted in this new section. Thanks for your patience while we renovate!

All New Audiobook Reviews

Novels & Other Fiction (148)

Memoirs & Biographies (18) & Other Nonfiction (29)

Featured Review
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On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society, by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman

To say Lieutenant Colonel Dave Grossman's On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society is Illuminating is quite an underestimation. This work is so much more, as it reveals the resistance of human beings to kill, and the ability of societies and governments to create killers despite that resistance. It's a necessary revelation into the psychology of death and violence on the battlefield and in civilization. [More] (9/22/09)

Julia and Julia
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Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously, by Julie Powell

Julie Powell was approaching 30 with her biological, emotional and intellectual clocks all ticking riotously. Working as an office temp and feeling that she'd not accomplished anything in her life, she decided to prepare every recipe in Julia Child's Mastering The Art of French Cooking in 365 days. Not only does she prepare all 524 recipes in the space of a year, she blogs about her experience as she is shopping, cooking, serving and cleaning up... [More] (7/24/09)

Medical Myths That Can Kill You
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Medical Myths That Can Kill You, by Nancy L Snyderman, M.D.

The subtitle of this audio book, "And the 101 Truths that will Save, Extend and Improve your Life," is the key to the real value of this book. Sure, it's deliciously scandalous to hear a medical expert debunk the old wives' tales preached by dear old mom, but that only provides entertainment, not enlightenment. Dr Snyderman's information is timely, precise, easy to understand and enjoyably presented... [More] (3/20/09)

Go Green, Live Rich
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Go Green, Live Rich, by Joseph E. Persico

Placed above the title on the CD box, so it really doesn't qualify as a subtitle is the additional title: "50 Simple Ways to Save the Earth (and Get Rich Trying)," and that is the only thing that is confusing or ambiguous about this mighty little audio book. David Bach of "…Finish Rich" fame is once again trying to improve the lives of consumers by offering sound advice... [More] (11/21/08)

Franklin & Lucy
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Franklin and Lucy: President Roosevelt, Mrs. Rutherfurd, and the Other Remarkable Women in His Life, by Joseph E. Persico

It's hard to believe that Franklyn Delano Roosevelt was known as an ineffective "mamma's boy" by his adolescent and college peers. The man who served multiple terms as President and led a country out of the Great Depression and almost to the successful conclusion of a world war is now seen as a strong ruler despite his physical limitations. Perhaps his young friends were not so far off the mark, though, because Franklyn was greatly influenced by the strong women in his life-his mother, Sara, his wife, Eleanor, and his mistresses, most notably Lucy Mercer Rutherford... [More] (7/11/08)

A Voyage Long and Strange
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A Voyage Long and Strange: Rediscovering the New World, by Tony Horwitz

In fourteen hundred & ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. So goes the children's ditty, but what happened then, and more importantly, what happened before then? That's what Tony Horwitz, Pulitzer-prize winning author and history major, decided to find out. While playing tourist at Plymouth Rock, he realizes that he knows nothing about the period of time between Columbus' voyage to America and the Pilgrims' settlement in Massachusetts... [More] (5/16/08)

Boom! Voices of the Sixties
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Boom! Voices of the Sixties, by Tom Brokaw

The title may imply the sound of a large explosion, but it really refers to the birth of the era of the baby boomers. Noted television news anchor and best-selling author Tom Brokaw was working as a reporter in the late 50s, so he was perfectly poised to observe the happenings of the sixties and the years that followed. Using his personal experience and the material gleaned from interviewing a wide cross-section of people who lived through the time, he tells a story that could fill history books...[More] (3/28/08)

Jane Boleyn
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Jane Boleyn: The True Story of the Infamous Lady Rochford, by Julia Fox

Opportunist or pawn? Schemer or innocent? Justly punished or wrongly accused? These are some of the questions Julia Fox poses as she tells the story of Jane Boleyn's short life in Henry XIII's court. As the wife of George Boleyn and sister-in law of Queen Anne Boleyn, Jane is welcomed into the inner circle of court life. Her position is threatened when Henry tires of Anne, but Jane retains her place at court by providing the evidence Henry needs to condemn Anne and George...[More] (1/25/08)

Be the Pack Leader
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Be the Pack Leader: Use Cesar's Way to Transform Your Dog . . . and Your Life, by Cesar Millan with Melissa Jo Peltier

Cesar Millan, star of National Geographic Channel's "Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan," and Melissa Jo Peltier offer an entertaining and informative look at the world of dog psychology and how to apply those principles to attain a happy life for your dog as well as for yourself. His approach is based on the human establishing himself as the leader of the pack (the dog and the owner) by using calm-assertive energy...[More] (11/30/07)

The War: An Intimate History
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The War: An Intimate History, 1941-1945, by Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns

This is not an ordinary war story
. It is a historical account of World War II from 1941to 1945. It thoroughly covers the December 7, 1941 sneak attack by the Japanese which put the United States into the war in the Pacific. This book covers military operations throughout World War II in the European theatre and other locations as well as the war against Japan in the Pacific...[More] (11/2/07)

I Am America
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I Am America (And So Can You), by Stephen Colbert

Even the packaging for this audiobook is outrageous
with its demand that the listener "Buy this audiobook before you leave the store" and Colbert's personal endorsement: "A great listen! I laughed, I cried, I lost 15 pounds! I cannot recommend this audiobook highly enough." Those thoughts pretty much set the tone for the 3.5 hours of ranting and pontificating by The Comedy Channel's premiere philosopher...[More] (11/2/07)

The Tipping Point
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The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell

Remember the song
, "Little Things Mean a Lot"? Well, The Tipping Point shows how the effect of doing one little thing can multiply exponentially to cause a great change. This book is full of examples of how society, science, commerce and history have changed as the result of someone or some group behaving in a particular way. Gladwell states that ideas and trends spread in a way similar to the way a virus causes an epidemic. He describes three rules of epidemics -- that they involve contagion, that little changes can have big effects, and that change is quick and dramatic. Then he gives recognizable examples. In each of these examples there is a tipping point, a point at which an idea or trend takes off....[More] (10/14/07)

Satan's Circus
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Satan's Circus: Murder, Vice, Police Corruption, and New York's Trial of the Century, by Mike Dash

Charles Becker, a handsome young German-American boy
, grew up in poverty in the small village of Callicoon Center, New York in the late 1800s. In 1890 he, like so many others, left his rural home to seek his fortune in the "big city". But while he did achieve fame and fortune in New York City, this is no fairy tale, for two reasons. First, the author claims that everything he presents in this audio book is true, based on actual court records, written accounts or sworn testimony. Second, Charles Becker did not live happily ever after...[More] (9/9/07)

Lone Survivor
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Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10, by Marcus Luttrell with Patrick Robinson

This is an amazing true story
as told by Marcus Luttrell, the lone survivor of Operation Redwing, a secret mission carried out by an elite team of Navy Seals in 2005. He graphically tells what took place in the northern mountains of Afghanistan where their mission was to capture (or kill if necessary) a terrorist leader who also was presumed to be one of the planners of 9-11. Navy Seal Team 10 consisted of a tightly knit group of six men who would protect each other till death...[More] (8/26/07)

Blood and Thunder

Blood and Thunder: An Epic of the American West, by Hampton Sides

What a perfect book
to accompany a road trip around the southwestern United States! Hampton Sides traces the suppression of the Navaho nation during the 19th century in this comprehensive and compelling tale of the heroes and villains of the American West. If there could be a main character in this saga, it would be Christopher (Kit) Carson, a larger than life figure who epitomized the courage and valor of the westward explorer...[More] (7/15/07)


Chasing Life, by Sanjay Gupta

We've all seen the handsome Dr. Sanjay Gupta
reporting on health issues on CNN, providing news coverage from Iraq or post 9/11 New York City or being featured in People or Time magazines. Now we have the opportunity to hear the doctor's personal prescription for maintaining health and vitality well into old age. In this thoroughly researched work, he provides sensible advice about how to eat and live in order to remain happy, healthy and productive for...[More] (6/3/07)

Wake-Up Call

Wake-Up Call: The Political Education of a 9/11 Widow, by Kristen Breitweiser

Who can forget the horror of the images of the World Trade Center towers collapsing and the thousands of debris-covered New Yorkers fleeing the site or attempting to rescue the trapped survivors? The tragedy that changed our world had the most immediate and profound effect on the people who lost loved ones that day, but we all continue to feel the impact. Kristen Breitweiser, whose husband Ron was one of the 2,973 victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, was living an idyllic life as a suburban housewife and mother on September 10, 2001...[read more] (9/17/06)

Washington Schlepped Here

Washington Schlepped Here: Walking in the Nation's Capital, by Christopher Buckley

Sometimes, it can be magical when the author of a well-written book reads the work aloud. Over the course of a recent roadtrip, I had the good fortune to be the beneficiary of such a performance. In Washington Schlepped Here, Buckley shares an insider's view of the history, humor, and high drama of Washington D.C. as he takes several easy-to-recreate walking tours. I found myself laughing out loud in response to his remarkable anecdotes about the downright peculiar behavior of both those who decided to create a federal district in the middle of a swamp...[read more] (9/21/03)


A Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson

Bill Bryson can always be counted on for taking his readers on memorable journeys, and his newest book is no exception. This time, however, the path Bryson travels is a different sort from the two-lane blacktops and woodland trails that have made him one of America's favorite writers. In A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bryson takes his readers on an unforgettable adventure into the annals of science and natural history. The audio book version, read by Bryson himself, is an especially enjoyable way to join Bryson on his odyssey through time...[read more] (9/21/03)

Lost in My Own Backyard: A Walk in Yellowstone National Park, by Tim Cahill

Yellowstone is not only the first and oldest national park in the world, but it also attracts more visitors than any other in the country. Even so, over 99.9% of them, as Tim Cahill points out with evidence to support the astonishing number, never venture beyond paved roads and fenced viewpoints. This means most visitors never see the wonders he describes in Lost in My Own Backyard: A walk in Yellowstone National Park...[Read more] (9/26/04)

TOM HANKS, et al.
Horatio's Drive

Horatio's Drive, by Dayton Duncan & Ken Burns, is a companion book to the upcoming PBS documentary about the first cross-country American road trip, an unforgettable odyssey that celebrates its centennial this year. It was 1903 when Horatio Nelson Jackson bet fifty dollars that he could drive his 20-horsepower Winton automobile from San Francisco to New York City. Read by the authors, Tom Hanks, Philip Bosco, Kevin Conway, Jonathan Davis, and George Plimpton, this audio version is a vivid account of Jackson's incredible journey with his mechanic Sewall Crocker and a bulldog named Bud. (7/15/03)

They Made America
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They Made America, by Harold Evans

Since road trips couldn't exist without the inventions that make them possible -- internal combustion engines, to name an important one -- it's hard to think of a better audiobook to slip into your CD player on such a journey than Harold Evans' They Made America. As you zoom past power lines, railroad tracks, and generating plants, the author himself will regale you with the fascinating stories behind the innovators who made them integral parts of daily life. It's a refreshing way to travel through American history, and Evans' selection of subjects includes not only names you'll recognize, but also...[Read more] (11/21/04)

Downtown: My Manhattan
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Downtown: My Manhattan, by Pete Hamill

I have always loved the energy and vitality of New York City, and although I have never lived there, I have fond memories of my short visits there. A new audio book written and read by Pete Hamill, who has lived and worked in Manhattan for most of the past seventy years, has increased my understanding and deepened my appreciation exponentially about this legendary town. "Downtown: My Manhattan" is a six-hour exploration into the heart of a place that occupies at least four dimensions. The concrete, brick, steel, trees and grass of a modern city and the presence of a cultural identity that has been evolving since...[Read more] (1/21/05)


Seabiscuit, by Laura Hillenbrand, is a great book, a true story with a plot and climax no novelist could improve on. Now, with Random House's new audio version, it's possible to enhance your road trips with the surprising, inspirational saga of the unlikeliest racehorse in history. Get ready to miss a few exits as you listen to Campbell Scott's narration. The one thing you can count on is that you won't fall asleep...[read more] (12/21/03)

The Big Year
The Big Year, by Mark Obmascik

I must admit, I have a weakness for stories about people who follow their dreams. One of my favorites is Winterdance, the tale of man ill-suited for extreme sports who decides to run the Iditarod anyway. The Big Year is an equally entrancing and inspiring audio book, something I find particularly amazing because I began listening knowing little about the protagonists' driving passion. The three men are...[read more]


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Hallowed Ground: A Walk At Gettysburg, by James M. Mc Pherson

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom, James McPherson reads his new book Hallowed Ground: A Walk at Gettysburg in this remarkable audio CD. When I visited Gettysburg and the National Cemetery in 2002, I started (as most people do) at the Visitor's Center and then followed the "three hour tour" around the park. There's a problem in doing this, and after listening to McPherson's reading, I learned what it was....[Read more] (2/11/05)

Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer

Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer, by Warren St. John

Are there really people who would miss their own daughter's wedding to go to a football game? If you know anything about Alabama football fanaticism, you know the answer is, "Of course!" followed immediately by "Roll Tide!" Warren St. John, an Alabama native who writes for the New York Times, spent five months up close and personal with the RV crowd that follows 'Bama football in a giant, migrating horde...[Read more]

America: A Citizen's Guide
America: A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction, presented by The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Any audio book that starts off with a forward by Thomas Jefferson (it is only an unsubstantiated rumor that he has been dead for nearly 180 years) is worthy of further consideration. Jon Stewart and the cast of the Emmy award-winning "The Daily Show" presents an extraordinary and enjoyably funny look at the development of America's version of democracy. In America: A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction, Jon and his other TV show cohorts succeed brilliantly in delivering a history lesson together with biting sarcasm...[Read more]

Travels with Charley

At the age of 58, John Steinbeck and his poodle Charley set out in a camper named after Don Quixote's horse to redisover America. Even though these memoirs are now over forty years old, Travels With Charley remains fresh, astute, and entertaining. This audio version narrated by Gary Sinise will make eight hours of highway pass all too quickly. (12/15/96)

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