Rfrequently tell you guys about my favorite audiobooks, which have become beloved companions in summer as well as winter. Among the best occasions for enjoying audiobooks is traveling by plane! I fly a lot, but I’m not one of those people that sleep easily on planes, and I’m not always in the mood for movies (if there even are movies).
When I’m on long haul flights I manage one, or maybe two movies at most, and the I tend to put on audiobooks again. My preferred types of audiobooks to listen to on planes are: books that need my full attention, either because they are particularly suspenseful or important, or because they are the opposite and help me fall asleep :)
One way or another, downloading one or several audiobooks for a plane journey, ideally from different genres, is a great idea. And if you’re not sure what you’d pick, why don’t you take a look at my 5 recommendations? So, without further ado, here are 5 audiobooks that will make that plane ride pass in the blink of an eye!
A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
Let’s be honest, this audiobook needs time. The legendary book by recently deceased Stephen Hawking remains a bestseller. The author sets out to explain the entire universe, along with properties of time and other fascinating correlations over just shy of 8 hours. This is not one for breezy consumption, which, in my opinion, makes it perfect for long plane journeys. For one, time spent on planes tends to be downtime anyway, so why not use that to gain some knowledge, right? Moreover, the subject matter is fascinating once you really start to think about what is discussed, but I will gladly admit that I dozed off more than once listening to Frank Arnold’s voice. I only napped to gain strength for the next chapter, of course. Flying is the perfect setup for the dozing-reading-dozing approach. And when you get off the plance you’ll have a real sense of achievement.
The Robbins Power Principle by Anthony Robbins
I’m not that big on self-help books, but the Robbins principle has been defending its spot at the top of the audiobook charts for so long now that it got me curious to hear what Robbins is all about. Well, success proves the author right. While Robbins doesn’t really present anything ground-breaking or new, he has a knack for providing concise summaries, outlines basic principles leading to a life of happiness and success, and peppers it all with anecdotes and inspiring stories. The audiobook also contains exercises that the author recommends and guides you through. Despite its deceptively simple wisdom, the Robbins Power Principle is not an easy book. During its almost 24 hours of content it delivered more than one moment of clarity and understanding, with real life positive impact for me. In other words, I can really recommend this one from the heart. While it’s somehow very American in tone, that doesn’t automatically mean it’s shallow. If you’re going through a difficult time in your life, this is well worth a look.
And now let’s talk about the plane factor: when is the moment to reflect on our goals and desires in general, if not high above the clouds, watching the world pass by far below us?
Dreaming Animal – Original Podcast
Problems falling asleep?
If you’re like me, having difficulties falling a sleep on a plane, you’ll probably be just as ready as me to revert to unusual measures. The thing is, plane seats are just so damn uncomfortable, and then there’s the noise. The logical solution is: put on your headphones and listen to animals sleeping. Say what??? I’m not joking! There actually is a podcast exclusively broadcasting the noises sleeping animals make. In every episode, a new animal is introduces. The range is huge, covering everything from humpback whales to sloth bears and countless animals in between, all making noises that are almost too cute to fall asleep to. And still, it works amazingly well.
Fear of Flying 7a by Sebastian Fitzek
Seriously? A recommendation to listen to a plane thriller while on a plane?
If you have a latent fear of flying you may be better off passing on this one. For everyone else who enjoys a good story with a kick, this is a thriller in typical Sebastian Fitzek fashion: well researched, suspenseful throughout and with a major twist. A typical thriller. Even though the book is really good overall, I probably wouldn’t have picked it in other contexts, but it really works listening to this story unfolding while you are on a plane yourself. It’s a highly entertaining psycho thriller that will definitely intensify your flying experience. But beware: reading or listening to this book on a plane really requires nerves of steel. You probably won’t sleep much after this.
The Lightbringer by Brent Weeks
If you know me a little, you know I love fantasy fiction. It’s a pet passion of mine, one that claims its dues from time to time. I love drifting off into fantasy worlds created by skilled authors, and I really live and feel with the protagonists. It’s comfortable escapism, especially useful and important when real life is a bit overwhelming. One of the most beautiful worlds I encountered was created by Brent Weeks. The author writes fantasy fiction on a particularly high level, and his imagination stretches much farther than the token fantasy creatures. Light is the strongest force in his worlds, and whoever controls light (or is controlled by it) carries power. It is a highly original take on the trope of unrequited love, imperfect but fleshed-out heroes, all set in a the context of an internal conflict and an existing world under threat. This book captivates you, and will make your flight seem too short. I highly recommend this one, even if you’re not a big fan of fantasy.
Frau Bauernfeind hat Fragen (Mrs. Bauernfeind has Questions) – Original Podcast
One of my favorite podcasts. Mrs Bauernfeind sure has questions, which she poses to her guests (for example Palina Rojinski and Jürgen Vogel) in sort of a long questionnaire format. She walks her guests through the questions, frequently digging deeper, and it’s amazing what comes up in the process. In surprising frequency guests – and Kathrin Bauernfeind herself – delve into their criminal pasts and discuss secret passions. So far, every episode I heard was a genuine highlight. It’s an immensely funny show that will make you laugh out loud, whether Palina talks about her career as “business woman” (pronounced with a Russian accent), or whether Jörg Thadeusz makes his case why a public holiday for cats should be named after him – it’s all great fun, make sure to check it out!
Ashlee Vance & Elon Musk – Elon Musk Biography
Elon Musk is one of the most interesting and inspiring personalities alive today, so his biography is pretty much a must-read. Several unauthorized biographies of the entrepreneur have been published to date, but only one author received Musk’s seal of approval in form of cooperation: Ashlee Vance. She somehow persisted, and Elon Musk eventually shared glimpses of his life with her. The result is an interesting essay on the somewhat strange but also likable nerd Elon, who decided to change the world – and then went ahead to do just that. Very inspiring indeed!