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4 Epic Reads to Inspire Your Next Road Trip

by  | September 17

Last month, four friends picked me up in a two-door Jeep and we drove across the country. From the Atlantic to the Pacific we watched America change. Starting in the crowded atmosphere of New York City, we traveled to the lush farms of Virginia, to the desert plateaus and flatlands of Texas and Arizona, to the beach paradise of California. There is something akin to magic in the good old-fashioned American road trip. Our travels were truly an unforgettable experience, which brought my friends and I even closer than we already were. I hope these books will inspire you to use the rest of your vacation days and make the 3,000-mile trek too. 

Don't Make Me Pull Over!

Don't Make Me Pull Over!

by Richard Ratay

On the surface, a six-hour flight seems like the better option for traveling coast-to- coast than packing everything in the trunk of your car and driving the endless flat highways of Middle America. In Don’t Make Me Pull Over!, Ratay examines the origins of the family road trip and what makes the adventure so memorable (reasons both good and bad). Like a road trip, this book is nostalgic—in ways that are as informative as they are entertaining.

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On the Road

On the Road

by Jack Kerouac

Okay, okay, yes, this is the most cliché pick in the road trip genre, but I stand by my reason for including it. I first read this book when I was 14—and ten years later it came with me coast-to-coast. This epic tome of road trip literature, written in stream of consciousness style, has the same unceasing pace of an actual trip, as well as the charming nostalgia that makes for a truly great road trip read. For those mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at that same time, this book will inspire you to take to the open road and live a little less cautiously.

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The Trip

The Trip

by Deborah Davis

In 1963, future art superstar Andy Warhol picked up and drove across the country from New York City to Los Angeles. Warhol’s most pivotal works were all commentaries on American culture, from consumerism to celebrity. So watching him interact with places I can’t even imagine him visiting (I mean, can you honestly envision that haircut in a random Texas town) is so entertaining and clearly helped shape some of his later works. In this wildly vibrant examination of 60s America through the lens of one of art’s most colorful artists, The Trip offers an entirely new and unique perspective on the great American drive. Well researched and well paced, this is a great companion for the long drive.

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The Geography of Lost Things

The Geography of Lost Things

by Jessica Brody

What would happen if you had to take a road trip with your ex-boyfriend? That is explored in Jessica Brody’s poignant novel The Geography of Lost Things. After her father passes away, Ali inherits his 1968 Firebird, which she intends to sell to a buyer 300 miles away. Unfortunately (like me), she doesn’t know how to drive a stick shift, hence her ex-boyfriend agrees to make the drive with her. As they travel together Ali must come to grips with—and find forgiveness for—her father and maybe her ex too. In its sweet exploration of lost relationships and the path toward understanding and forgiveness, The Geography of Lost Things makes for a fantastic addition to your road trip book list.

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Amy is a Legal Contracts Assistant at Simon & Schuster. She loves thrillers, contemporary fiction, and all things Stephen King! If she isn’t talking about her obsession with true crime podcasts like Last Podcast on the Left she is gabbing on about any and all things film. She loves reading in her favorite NYC bars, which you can see on her bookstagram, @boozehoundbookclub