Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Travel Books Part II

Road Trip USA: Cross-Country Adventures on America’s Two-Lane Highways.  By Jamie Jensen. 
This is one of those off-the-beaten-path books and one that I use every time I’m planning a road trip.  It also includes detailed road maps that deserves a place in the car right next to the road atlas.  The book is divided into 6 routes that criss-cross the country in eclectic fashion.  One of my (many) travel goals is to drive every one of the routes. 

Down the Nile: Alone in a Fisherman's Skiff.  By Rosemary Mahoney  
Another row-your-boat adventure but very different from the first book in the first list.  Mahoney’s quest to row a small skiff down the Nile and doing it as a woman leads to (almost) insurmountable obstacles due to the cultural differences between the Western and Muslim worlds.  I don’t think I’m spoiling the story to tell you that she overcomes them all and does, in fact, row the Nile solo.  She is a gifted writer who is also extremely funny.

The Complete Guide to America's National Parks: The Official Visitor's Guide to All 375 National Parks.  By The National Park Service. 

I don’t leave home without this one either.  An invaluable reference for every one of  the NP service sites.  It’s concise yet full of information such as when to go, what to do, what is costs, and where to get the national passport stamped.  See this post for a discussion of the National Park Passport Program and the hobby of travel stamp collecting.

More nominees for The Travel Writing Hall of Fame
A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
Travels With Charley In Search of America by John Steinbeck
Touching the Void: The True Story of One Man's Miraculous Survival by Joe Simpson
The Travels of Marco Polo (Actually, I’ve not read this one yet but feel compelled to mention it since it is the inspiration for the title of my blog). 
Three Men In A Boat (To Say Nothing Of The Dog) by Jerome K. Jerome
Into the Wild/ Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster -  both  by John Krakauer
The Long, Long Trailer by Clinton Twiss

What are some of your favorites?




  1. Many of my favorites here. Did you see that "Travels with Charley" is now thought to be fiction (vs. nonfiction travelogue)? I'm not sure that I care in this case, though I do when it's a writer claiming a Holocaust "memoir," for example. Interesting distinction.

    I just got "Blue Highways" by William Least Heat-Moon, and can't wait to dig in.

  2. I know that Steinbeck's son has said that his father, a life-long introvert, could not possibly have interacted with so many people along the road. I'm not so sure. I'm kind of a loner myself but something about traveling solo really makes me open up to others.

    I wasn't as wild about "Blue Highways" as most people. Same with Kerouac's "On The Road".

    1. The journalist that debunked the book blogged about it. Here's a link: http://www.truthaboutcharley.com/

  3. I thought there was some other data that suggested he had to have made up much of the book, but I don't care. It's still terrific.

    I agree about Kerouac, and that's interesting about "Blue Highways." Sometimes a book becomes a classic because it's the first of its kind, rather than a fabulous read.


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