Listen and learn: How to improve your commute

Reclaim your mornings and improve your commute with a selection of these audiobooks and podcasts, perfectly suited for your safe and private Blacklane-chauffeured vehicle.

Learn something new on your commute from the safety of a Blacklane vehicle. Image credit: Blacklane
Learn something new and improve your commute from the safety of a Blacklane vehicle. Image credit: Blacklane

Tech billionaire Bill Gates is dedicated to his morning routine – the Microsoft co-founder often puts aside at least an hour a day to learn something new before starting his day.

But for many of us, the chance to find a spare hour or two in the mornings can seem like a struggle, especially when navigating buses and trains on our commute to work.

Finding time for yourself is important, which is why Blacklane’s city to city travel options are a great alternative to busy trains or buses, offering a safe and private chauffeured vehicle to relax in and expand your worldview. 

To help improve your commute, we’ve compiled a list of audiobooks and podcasts to get you going, from the history of the home to entrepreneurs sharing how they built their successful companies. Your journey starts here.

The Prime Ministers by Steve Richards

Take a journey through modern British political history and discover how nine prime ministers shaped UK politics into what it is today.

From Harold Wilson to Theresa May, seasoned political journalist Steve Richards has closely observed those who occupied 10 Downing Street over the past five decades and offers up his insights in this Audible nine-part series.

Based on in-depth interviews and direct access, Richards details their characteristics, their successes, and their failures over the years. The Prime Ministers is essential listening for anyone wanting to know how the UK got to where it is today, and what its future may hold.

Heist with Michael Caine

Hear about some of the most incredible true-crime robberies and heists from around the world from one of the most distinctive voices in the film industry.

Considered a British film icon by many, Michael Caine has played a few underworld characters over his career, making him the perfect fit to narrate Audible’s six-part series.

Caine takes you around the world, from the U.S. to Australia, to delve into the true stories behind some of the biggest heists.

Audio snippets from employees, police, and even the robbers themselves are woven into the true-crime series, giving an intimate insight into the book heists and bank robberies that rocked the world.

At Home by Bill Bryson

Bestselling author Bill Bryson, known for his witty observations and dedication to travel and science writing, offers up an unexpected peek into the history of domestic life in his non-fiction novel At Home.

Published in 2010, the book spans the rooms of the home, from the origins of the hall to the culinary revolution of the kitchen. With a focus on the development of domestic life from the 19th century onwards, Bryson artfully weaves architecture, commerce, technology, and geography into the storyline, giving a well-rounded perspective on the topic. 

Spanning more than 500 pages, At Home can be quite a comprehensive read. If you’d rather get the key ideas so you can dive deeper into the sections that interest you most, check out Blinkist, a book summary subscription-based service. Blinkist offers a 12-minute summary via text or audio for At Home. This is the perfect opportunity to start off learning something and improve your commute.

Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman by Yvon Chouinard

The Patagonia founder tells employees to take advantage of good surf. Image credit: Darren Tierney/iStock
The Patagonia founder tells employees to take advantage of good surf. Image credit: Darren Tierney/iStock

Outdoor gear company Patagonia is considered to be one of the most environmentally conscious companies in the world. 

In this explorative memoir, founder Yvon Chouinard talks through how his values of environmentalism and passion for climbing have shaped the company’s sustainable philosophy.

This memoir, originally only intended as a philosophical manual for Patagonia employees, not only details Chouinard’s path to success, but also shows that there’s more than one way to run a business successfully.

Perfect for entrepreneurs, business leaders, environmentalists and fans of the brand, Blinkist offers an extensive overview of the book to get you hooked. 

How I Built This with Guy Raz – NPR

Journalist Guy Raz hosts a different entrepreneur or founder each week on his How I Built This podcast to hear their origin stories and how they built the well-known companies that exist today.

Hear from dating app Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe about how her platform is building video into its service to navigate in a socially-distanced world. 

Find out how 60-year-old biochemist Pat Brown left his dream job to follow his lifelong passion of creating a meat product made from plants. In 2019, Brown’s company, Impossible Foods, launched at fast-food giant Burger King.

Learn something new and improve your commute by listening to some incredible people who’ve managed to fulfill their passion while adapting to an ever-changing environment.

Wind of Change – Crooked Media

The song, Wind of Change, was written the same year the Berlin Wall fell. Improve your commute by tuning into the Wind of Change podcast. Image credit: Frank-Andree/iStock
The song, Wind of Change, was written the same year the Berlin Wall fell.. Image credit: Frank-Andree/iStock

Years ago, New Yorker journalist Patrick Radden Keefe heard a rumor that the song Wind of Change, a power ballad from a West German band called the Scorpions, was actually written by the CIA.

The song, released in the same year the Berlin Wall fell, was hailed by many as the anthem for peaceful revolution in Europe.

Follow Keeft down the rabbit hole over this eight-part series as he talks with former spies and rockers across Europe and the U.S. to find the truth.

WeCrashed: The Rise and Fall of WeWork – Wondery

This six-part series documenting the rise and fall of WeWork is well worth dedicating time to. 

Israeli entrepreneur Adam Neumann had a vision to elevate the consciousness of the working population. He pitched his idea to investors and soon built a startup valued at $47 billion dollars. In 2019, the company shelved its planned IPO and Neumann stepped down as CEO.  What happened?

This podcast, brought to you by Wondery, takes a look into the timeline of WeWork and whether it lived up to Neumann’s dreams for its future.