5 books about the Great American Road Trip

I recently had to put together some ideas for a Midwest road trip for work. It doesn’t happen often that I do anything travel related. But it got me thinking about a road trip, around the Midwest or out West. These books will either inspire you or satisfy your need to hit the road.

1. On the Road

Yes, this one may seem obvious but it’s the classic American road trip story – and you can’t travel this way anymore. If you haven’t read it, or you read it grudgingly for school, I recommend giving it another try.

2. The Glass Castle

I generally just think this book should be read by anyone who grew up in a stable home and went to school every day and had food in their stomach each night. This family hits the road every time the parents choose to or find them must leave town. The wandering around the southwest across the desert will inspire anyone to get into a car and head west. Maybe better prepared than the Walls family ever was. Oh – and it’s a true story. Author Jeannette Walls shares the story of her childhood in this memoir as her parents chase happiness and fresh starts across the country.

3. Undaunted Courage

Talk about a road trip you can’t take anymore! Why not read about the very first cross-continent road trip. This one is for the fellow history nerds out there. Stephen Ambrose has a knack for telling a story and making you forget it’s true. Follow Lewis and Clark across the country for one of America’s first adventures.

4. The Lost Continent: Travels in Small Town America

Bill Bryson drives nearly 14,000 miles around the continental US in the late 1980s. Avoiding big cities and interstates, it’s as funny as his other books and starts out in his Iowa home town. Meet America all over again through the often forgotten small towns that dot the map. (I feel like you should have been sold as a Bill Bryson book alone.)

5. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

Hop on the bus as Tom Wolfe tags along with Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters for more than one kind of trip. Warning: reading this on the beach may make you feel like you’re tripping along with everyone in the book.

One thought on “5 books about the Great American Road Trip

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