Saturday, July 11, 2009

Roadtrip reading!

For many folks, summer time means roadtrip! Well, if you're staying off the roads by choice or necessity this summer, you can still share in the tradition with one of these road trip books.

On the Road by Jack Kerouac - the quintessential road trip novel. Kerouac's 1950's novel follows Sal Paradise as he travels across America and is a great peek at the nation at that time and into the mindset of the Beat Generation.

Volkswagen Blues by Jacques Poulin - A writer and a young woman hitchhiker travel across America in search of the writer's brother. Examines history through a journey of self-discovery. A great Canadian novel that deserves more of a following. The library owns both the English translation and the original French novel.

Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Story by Chuck Klosterman: Klosterman goes on a road trip to visit and write about the sites of famous American rock 'n roll deaths. Witty, opinionated pop-culture, based around a slightly bizarre premise.

Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell: what is it with American humourists and the need to combine death and road trips? NPR correspondent and history geek Vowell visits sites related to American Presidential assassinations: memorials, museums and plaques. She peppers it with with, her expansive knowledge of American history and frequent references to her family members who (as with any good road trip) in many cases, she's dragged along with her.

The Flying Troutmans by Miriam Toews: more Canadian fiction. "After Hattie's sister ends up back in the psych ward, Hattie must take care of her 11-year-old and 15-year old kids. Overwhelmed, she decides a road trip to find their long-gone father is just what they need. A humorous adventure about getting to know your family and yourself." -- Youth Services Team, HPL.

Driving Mr. Albert: A Trip Across America with Einstein's Brain by Michael Paterniti: the title really tells it. I've been intrigued by this book since its release in 2000. It documents the travels to two men - a journalist and a pathologist across American. Oh, and the pathologist happens to have brought along Albert Einstein's brain, which he took home with him after conducting Einstein's autopsy in 1955.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy - let's hope this isn't the future of the road trip! A man and a boy walk through an America destroyed by an unspecified catastrophic event. Great book: profound and disturbing, although admittedly not what you're likely expecting from a roadtrip book ( I just wanted to see if you were still paying attention!)

Oh! and if you are doing a road trip this summer - you might be interested in some of these books in audio format. Great for car trips and the library owns many of these - and lots more - in that format!

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