The Sword and Laser discussion

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Time for a road trip!

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message 1: by Otto (new)

Otto | 24 comments So next week I pack up the family truckster and head from Seattle to my in-laws in Montana. 24 hours on the road with my wife & kids. :O

One thing that makes the trip go much faster is a good audiobook to keep us engaged through the I90 corridor. My kids range in age from 11 to 17. In the past, we've listened to Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, The Hobbit, The Book of Three/The Black Cauldron, and it made the time go much quicker. Now I have to figure out what's next? Here's the trick - It's got to be engaging (great plot, great reading), it has to be appropriate for kids (no sex, language, etc.) and it has to be something I haven't read (to keep me engaged too).

Ready? Go!


message 2: by Irene (new)

Irene McHugh (irenemchugh) | 25 comments Hi Otto,

My disclaimer up front is that I have not listened to any of these books as audiobooks, so I cannot recommend the quality of the readers. I'm recommending based off your request for great plot/great reading, but appropriate for kids.

Among the Hidden - Book One of the Shadow Children series. Even though you'll know where Margaret Peterson Haddix is going with this series, I hope you enjoy the journey. I did.

Uglies, Pretties, Specials - Amazing trilogy. I tried to read Extras and could not get into it. The fourth book takes place many years after the events of the original trilogy.

The Transall Saga - If your kids like Hatchet or any of the Brian books, then this is similar, but on a red planet. This book is my favorite Paulsen book since Hatchet.

Divergent - Dystopian future, strong female lead. Second book in this trilogy Insurgent comes out on May 1, 2012.

The Red Pyramid - Follows the plot devices Riordan used in the Percy Jackson series. This time around the kiddos are battling gods from ancient Egypt.

The Emerald Atlas - An interesting fantasy world, similar to Narnia. I love how this author characterizes dwarves.

And finally, a classic trilogy, if you haven't read it yet. The Tripod Trilogy by John Christopher: The White Mountains, The City of Gold and Lead, and The Pool of Fire

I hope you have a safe and entertaining trip:-)


message 3: by Alterjess (new)

Alterjess | 319 comments The last time I asked this question a ton of people recommended The Wee Free Men.

I'll also suggest the original Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy radio plays, which everyone should be introduced to as young as possible.


message 4: by Random (new)

Random (rand0m1s) Jess wrote: "The last time I asked this question a ton of people recommended The Wee Free Men.

I'll also suggest the original Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy radio plays, which everyone should be..."


I'd second both of those. Actually, any of the books in Pratchet's Discworld series would be a good selection. There are a few different narrators around, but all of them do an excellent job.

The Hitchhiker radio series is one of the things that initially got me into audio books.


message 5: by Otto (new)

Otto | 24 comments Hey, thanks for all the recommendations so far! I should mention the drive is roughly 24 hours round trip, so longer stories (or multiples) will work.

Also, stories don't necessarily have to be youth based (hitchhikers guide is a great example). Something like John Carter, Wheel of Time, and Shanara are also perfectly acceptable.


message 6: by Stan (new)

Stan Slaughter | 359 comments One of my favorite audiobooks was Going Postal (Discworld, #33) by Terry Pratchett by terry pratchet. I got mine from the library, but I'm sure you can find it on audible.

Of course podiobooks offers free audiobooks to listen to. One of my favorites there is the Crown Conspiracy
http://www.podiobooks.com/title/the-c...

"They killed the king. They pinned it on two men. They chose poorly.

There's no ancient evil to defeat, no orphan destined for greatness, just two guys in the wrong place at the wrong time. Royce Melborn, a skilled thief, and his mercenary partner, Hadrian Blackwater, make a profitable living carrying out dangerous assignments for conspiring nobles until they become the unwitting scapegoats in a plot to kill the king. Sentenced to death, they have only one way out…and so begins this tale of treachery and adventure, sword fighting and magic, myth and legend.
"


message 7: by Micah (new)

Micah (onemorebaker) | 1071 comments Stan wrote: "Of course podiobooks offers free audiobooks to listen to. One of my favorites there is the Crown Conspiracy
http://www.podiobooks.com/title/the-crow...
"


I had never heard of this site. They now have a new member. Thanks for the link


message 8: by Seth (new)

Seth Buchsbaum | 31 comments Second the Pratchett and Adams highlights.

I'd recommend Diana Wynne Jones. Her Chrestomanci books are great, but I think my favorites are the Derkholm books. One of my favorite YA authors.


message 9: by Mary (new)

Mary (valentinew) | 118 comments Series 1 - 5 of the HitchHiker radio plays. My husband pulls them out every year when we drive to GenCon. Each runs between 8 & 10 hours.


message 10: by Jonny (new)

Jonny Redwall series by Brian Jacques are great. Most of them are also dramatized which is a bonus.

The Chronicles of Narnia a great audiobooks as well. Good narrators.


message 11: by Otto (new)

Otto | 24 comments One book that I'm looking into is the princess Bride. Loved the Movie, I hear the book is excellent. The only audiobook I'm seeing is a 2.5 hour abridged version. Seriously? #11 on the list of the greatest sci-fi and fantasy and there isn't an unabridged recording?


message 12: by Seth (last edited Mar 28, 2012 01:29PM) (new)

Seth Buchsbaum | 31 comments Otto wrote: "One book that I'm looking into is the princess Bride. Loved the Movie, I hear the book is excellent. The only audiobook I'm seeing is a 2.5 hour abridged version. Seriously? #11 on the list of the ..."

Are you sure it's not the real version? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Prin...

The Princess Bride is actually presented as an "abridged" version of a much longer book that doesn't really exist. It's one example of how excellent it is.


message 13: by Otto (new)

Otto | 24 comments Are you sure it's not the real version?

No, but if they got all 434 pages into 2.5 hours of audio, they would've had to read really, really fast ;o)


message 14: by Seth (new)

Seth Buchsbaum | 31 comments Otto wrote: "Are you sure it's not the real version?

No, but if they got all 434 pages into 2.5 hours of audio, they would've had to read really, really fast ;o)"


Haha...very true. Although I wouldn't put it past Golding to re-abridge it into something equally funny.


message 15: by Skaw (new)

Skaw | 116 comments Graceling and Fire are very good. You can read (or listen) to them in any order. They're marketed for young readers, but I enjoyed them as an adult. I don't believe there's anything objectionable aside from adventurey-type violence (the bad guy gets his).
Also anything by Robin McKinley, except Sunshine and Deerskin, which are more adult (but still awesome).


message 16: by Charlotte (new)

Charlotte | 25 comments I would check out the His Dark Materials trilogy. You know The Golden Compass and so on, I really enjoyed those books. They are technically for young adults but I think they can be enjoyed by anyone!


message 17: by Philip (new)

Philip (heard03) | 383 comments Robert A. Heinlein has lots of books in your YA wheelhouse: Tunnel in the Sky is newly available from Audible. Also, there's Red Planet, The Rolling Stones, Have Space Suit-Will Travel, The Star Beast, Starman Jones, The Menace from Earth, Podkayne of Mars. RAH pretty much got me hooked on SF as a kid.


message 18: by Otto (new)

Otto | 24 comments Thanks for all the input everyone, as well as the mention on the podcast. FYI I opted to go with Stan & Jess' recommendations for Terry Pratchett books - The Wee Free men and Going Postal.

Off we go!


message 19: by Philip (new)

Philip (heard03) | 383 comments Otto wrote: "Thanks for all the input everyone, as well as the mention on the podcast. FYI I opted to go with Stan & Jess' recommendations for Terry Pratchett books - The Wee Free men and Going Postal.

Off we go!"



Going Postal is hilarious. I'm a mailman and a lot of the jokes are dead-on, unfortunately ;o)


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