WTBBL's June Recommended Reads
Summer's here and the time is right for taking to the streets (and highways and byways) in and beyond Washington. Here is a diverse list of books old and new that explore travel.
To request any of these books, please contact the library at 800-542-0866 or download the books by logging into your BARD account at https://nlsbard.loc.gov.
A Life on the Road by Charles Kuralt (BR006331 and DB31988)
In his foreword, Kuralt claims to have come from a family of wanderers and that all the impulses to travel culminated in him. From his boyhood in North Carolina, to his long tenure with television's "On the Road," he chronicles his adventures as he first circled the globe and then settled down to travel the back roads of America. He tells of the beauty he discovers in unexpected places and the wonderful people he meets along the way. Bestseller. 1995.
A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson (DB046519)
Bryson relates the adventures and misadventures of two totally unfit hikers as he and longtime friend Stephen Katz traverse the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail. Returning from more than twenty years in Britain, he set out to rediscover his homeland, but the two men find themselves awed by the terrain and stymied by the unfamiliar local culture. Some strong language. Bestseller.1998.
Braver Than You Think: Around the World on the Trip of My (Mother's) Lifetime by Maggie Downs (BR023311 and DB100268)
Journalist chronicles her journey around the world as she travels to the destinations her mother dreamed of visiting. Discusses managing and maintaining her relationship with her new husband as she travels alone, dealing with the death of a family member, and coming to an understanding of herself. Strong language. 2020.
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream by Hunter S. Thompson (DBC02579)
Follow the drug-soaked chronicles of Raoul Duke and his attorney on a road trip to a 1971 Las Vegas. On assignment from a sports magazine to cover the “fabulous Mint 400" dirt bike race, the two wreak havoc on the town. They never get the race story, but from the trip Thompson crafts a counterculture classic of “bad craziness.” 1971.
Overground Railroad: The Green Book and the Roots of Black Travel in America by Candacy Taylor (DB099296)
Documentarian Candacy Taylor examines the influence and impact of the Green Book on the travel practices of Black Americans primarily in the United States -- but also internationally -- during its publication from the 1930s to 1960s. Discusses safety issues facing Black Americans and the guide's role in the Civil Rights Movement. Some strong language. 2020.
Places I've Taken My Body: Essays by Molly McCully Brown (DB099998)
Seventeen essays on traveling throughout life and the United States and Europe as someone with cerebral palsy. In "Muscle Memory," she recounts growing up in a body changed by both natural development and medical interventions. Strong language and some descriptions of sex. 2020.
Real Queer America: LGBT Stories from Red States by Samantha Allen (DB096338)
A transgender reporter provides a peek at LGBT communities that exist in conservative-leaning states along the course of a cross-country road trip from Utah to Texas and on through the Bible Belt and the Deep South. Profiles drag shows, political rallies, hubs of queer life, and individuals working for change. Strong language. 2019.
Seeing the World My Way: A Totally Blind and Partially Deaf Guy’s Global Adventures by Tony Giles (BRG04387 [contracted braille] and BRG04388 [uncontracted braille])
Follow Tony's journey of hedonism and thrill-seeking adventure as he travels across North America, Asia and Australasia. This is a young blind and deaf man's view of the world as he sets out to achieve his dream, dealing with disability whilst living life to the limit. From bungee jumping in New Zealand to booze filled nights out in New Orleans, 'Seeing the World My Way' is a no-holds-barred account that is not for the faint hearted. 2010.
Spirit Run: A 6,000-mile Marathon Through North America's Stolen Land by Noé Álvarez (DB098794)
Memoir of a marathoner and son of Mexican immigrant farm workers. In college, he learned about the Peace and Dignity Journeys, epic marathons meant to renew cultural connections across North America. The 6,000-mile relay run from Alaska to the Panama Canal celebrates indigenous peoples and works to renew cultural connections. 2020.
Travels with Charley: In Search of America by John Steinbeck (BR009952 and DB016094)
Feeling that as an American writer he has lost touch with his country, the author sets out with an “old French gentleman poodle” on a swing around the United States to see what it is really like. Here is the leisurely account of what he saw, who he talked with, and his conclusions, hopeful and otherwise. 1960.
Uneasy Rider: The Interstate Way of Knowledge by Mike Bryan (DBC18170)
Mike Bryan believes that the interstate highways show the traveler “America as it is and as it is becoming.” Not for him the blue highway back roads that some writers believe are necessary to discover the real America. Bryan's chosen route stretches west from Dallas, Texas to New Mexico and Arizona toward Los Angeles. Along the way he encounters his own family's historical past. The author's father joins him in Dallas for the segment of the trip that would take them to Stamford Texas, the small town where Mike was born. Strong language. 2010.