Saturday, April 23, 2011

Road Tripper, Radio On!

I recently realized that many of my favorite reads are “road” books. My love for road books probably stems from my love for travel. I enjoy motion.

Some of my favorites:
Travels with Charlie—John Steinbeck
On the Road—Jack Kerouac
The Hobbit—J. R. R. Tolkien
Lonesome Dove—Larry McMurtry
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance—Robert Pirsig (I can’t tell you how many years it has been since I read this book and yet I still debate with Phaedrus on road trips).

Books for experiential enhancement:
I often choose books to read on vacation based on where I am travelling. For example while trekking in Nepal I read Annapurna by Maurice Herzog… in a word: harrowing. While in the Cook Islands I read the Nordhoff and Hall trilogy: Mutiny on the Bounty, Men at Sea, and Pitcairn’s Island… in three words, egomania, ick, and megalomania. After being shrunk to microscopic size and injected into the arteries of a really important smart guy and submarining toward a deadly blood clot in his carotid artery, I read Fantastic Voyage… Okay, you caught me, I never read Fantastic Voyage. I would have, had I not been so busy fighting off white blood cells and helping Raquel Welch apply her mascara.

What are your favorite road books?  

Munk's opening line (the kids helped me write this one)...
Technology stole my grandmother’s underpants. 
Munk's "Opening Line" is yours to keep, use it. Munk
This week’s music:
Jonathon Richman and The Modern Lovers: Roadrunner 

Happy Birthday Audrey.


Tim Riley said...

I love road books too. Love OTR and TWC. Two of my other favorites are Don Quixote and The Innocents Abroad.

I also love books that are set in a specific place and make me feel like I know it when I'm done reading. I want to visit Pittsburgh to this day because of Michael Chabon's writing.

Lisa said...

Travels With My Aunt, by Graham Greene. I may just have to read it again!

Michael Offutt said...

I'd never heard that song lol. I like the little clips of carhenge plus the walk through the aisles of a supermarket. Just a lil slice of America.

Riley: You like Don Quixote? Do you read it in the 1000 page version in its original Spanish?

L.G.Smith said...

I read Travels With Charlie for the first time last summer. I loved it. And The Road, of course. Not a pleasant trip that one, but a good read. I'll keep it with me for when the apocalypse hits, and then read it again for comparison.

And, uh, I think it takes a village to apply Raquel's mascara, judging from the photo on the right.

The Gaelic Wife said...

When I began reading your blog post, all I could think of was the Disney/Pixar movie "Cars". I know this is off-topic (because it's a movie), but it inspired my cross-country road trip with the kids three years ago. We did the old Route 66, using only the route of the old road bed. No chain restaurants or motels. That was a trip of a lifetime!

Munk said...

@TR--I know what you mean, because of your writing I want to visit Wisconsin.
@LD--So many books, so little time.
@MO--Jonathon Richman is definitely worth searching out. If I remember correctly he showed up doing Ice Cream Man in Something About Mary.
@LG--it was no easy task, I was younger and more flexible at the time.
@GW--Definitely on-topic enough for my tangential world. Fantastic to hear you got your kicks on route 66. Little known trivial tid-bit, Bobby Troup wrote the song. Yep, the doctor from "Emergency".

JF said...

Raquel [in pic on right] acheived that effect with mascara? could you tell me what brand that was....?

great reading list. I like Bryson, Lost Continet.

Munk said...

@JF--I was working with Ray Harry Hausen at the time, I can't remember the product name, but it was supplied by Dupont.

Mickey Burdick said...

Great post! On The Road once spurred me to take a 3 week road trip from Arizona to New York and back. Good times. I can even remember a few of them.