I can't recommend that you take a cassette player to the beach so you can listen to a title from your summer reading list.

There is all that sand.

But my guess is, you will spend more time driving to work this summer than you will spend driving to the beach. So here is a list of titles you might sample.


(Speaking of driving to the beach, there is nothing like a recorded book to keep the kids engaged — and quiet — in the car. My favorite kid-friendly book? The Mists of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley, a series of four books that retells the Arthurian myth from the point of view of the female characters. Something like 30 hours long, there are cassettes and mp3 downloads available out there.)

A summer list (I've listened to the first eight and will talk about some of them in future posts):

Audition by Barbara Walters, read by the author (abridged).

The Third Angel by Alice Hoffman, read by Nancy Travis.

Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri, read by Sarita Choudhruy and Ajay Naidu.

Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult, read by a full cast.

Another Thing to Fall, by Laura Lippman, read by Linda Emond.

The Appeal, by John Grisham, read by Michael Beck.

The Senator's Wife, by Sue Miller, read by Blair Brown.

The Good Rat, by Jimmy Breslin, read by Richard M. Davidson, with additional narration by Kaipo Schwab and Richard Mover.

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch, read by Erik Singer.

Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner, read by Rachel Botchan and Julie Dretzin.

Home: A memoir of my early years by Julie Andrews, read by the author.

The Sum of Our Days: a memoir by Isabel Allende, read by Blair Brown.


The Dying Animal by Philip Roth, read by Tom Stechschulte.

The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Jasholyn Jackson, read by the author.

And that's just for starters!