Why We're Psyched about Our Audible Deal (& How We're Using It)
Like most coworkers, Travelzoo staffers have wildly divergent tastes. But check out almost any of our nightstands and you'd find one common element: a million books attesting to our ambition—and almost as many uncracked spines attesting to our reality.
So as soon as some colleagues mentioned the Audible deal they'd worked on, we were all over it. Because who doesn’t want free books that come with someone to read them to you at your convenience? Especially if your life involves a lot of planes, trains and automobiles?
Now we're hooked and can't help but share some of the titles that reeled us in. Of course, these are just a few of the 400,000 available audiobooks—so if you don't find something that appeals here, odds are, you will in Audible's library.
But first, check your email. We've sent all Travelzoo members personalized promo codes that can be redeemed for any two Audible titles. Though the code won't apply if you're already an Audible member—or you've signed on for another free Audible trial during the past year—we've negotiated a travel lit gift for you, too. Every Travelzoo member gets a free download of the excellent "Wanderlust: A Love Affair with Five Continents," by Elisabeth Eaves.
Five other recent favorites of ours:
The Staffer: Martin Cernosek, Sales Manager
The Audiobook: “Four Seasons in Rome” by Anthony Doerr
As I was getting ready for my first trip to Rome, a friend recommended this book—a memoir of the time Anthony Doerr moved there from Idaho with his wife and newborn twins to work on the novel that would eventually win the 2015 Pulitzer. I started listening on the flight to Rome, when Doerr's vivid take on the city served as the perfect primer. But I didn’t actually finish until I was back home—and in some ways, I’m glad. Listening to the book once I could fully appreciate all its geographic, historical and even emotional references definitely left a more meaningful and lasting impression. Or an eternal one, as the case may be.
The Staffer: Tanya Freund, Sales Manager
The Audiobook: “My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry” by Fredrik Backman
So many elements of this novel will leave you unable to remove your headphones—from the amazing characters to the hilarious writing and the heartfelt overall message. But here's the bigger caveat: As a fairy tale wrapped around an often harsh reality, the story will have you laughing and crying so much that you'll get some funny stares if you're listening in public—as I did on my walks home from work.
The Staffer: Erin Mara, Associate Producer
The Audiobook: “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” by Mark Haddon
This novel about a teenager with Asperger's Syndrome who discovers his neighbor’s dog has been killed is incredibly touching and improbably funny. And having the story told aloud makes it all the more hilarious, as the narrator has impeccable comedic timing—one reason that listening hooks me faster than reading. Another: You can easily start and stop during free snippets throughout the day. And there’s nothing like that break from reality as you listen to a great story unfold.
The Staffer: Kevin Kitchen, Executive Producer
The Audiobook: “The Innovators” by Walter Isaacson
I’m a big fan of this book because it details the fascinating series of developments that led to the creation of the personal computer. But more than just an interesting historic record, "The Innovators" is a manual that details how truly inventive people approach problems in unique ways. Plus, the story's episodic nature lends itself to the Audible format.
The Staffer: Carina Stebbins, Hotel Planner
The Audiobook: “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee
It’s no secret that “To Kill a Mockingbird” is an all-time classic, but listening to the novel read by the Oscar-winning Sissy Spacek makes the story come to life in a whole new way. Her character portrayal left me completely consumed by this coming-of-age story told from a young girl’s point of view in the Deep South.