Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Road Trip

Not a bad place to break down:
 a nursery in Somis, California
 and a sweet sunset..
I wasn't sure what to grab. Everything was moving out of phase, in a crazy syncopated rhythm, bouncing and hitching beyond control.
 I stole a glance at my husband. He looked serene. Perhaps even a hint of joy on his face.
“You don’t seem fazed by this,” I ventured.
“It was the book you gave me, From Peking to Paris….you know, about the car rally? It shifted my perspective. It’s all about the process - and the satisfaction of being on the road.”

60 miles later, the tow truck deposited us at home, along with our RV. Despite being jostled and delayed, the adventure of road travel was still upon us. Later, looking through our library’s collection for more books about road travel, I realized something about the lure of the road trip: it’s a modern day quest.Characters move through a variety of settings and discover things about themselves. Time changes: stretching a little to allow full absorption of the setting. Just when things are getting mellow, fate jumps in to twist the plot. Where you go and how you get there becomes less important than the essence of the road trip: enjoying the process.

Road Trip themed book titles
(available in the Chandramohan Library):

Travels with Charley: In Search of America
"...a one-man, one-dog account of the expedition in which he recaptures his familiarity with America. He set out with some misgiving, not sure his health would stand up to the 10,000-mile journey he envisioned; as he traveled, the years sloughed off him, and the eager, sensuous pages in which he writes about what he found and whom he encountered frame a picture of our human nature in the twentieth century which will not soon be surpassed."*
            Steinbeck, John
Call #: 917.9
Rules of the Road
[A trip to save a shoe store helps Jenna Find her fit.]
            Bauer, Joan.
An Abundance of Katherines
[what’s the formula for not getting dumped?]
Green, John
On the Road
[Sal and Dean’s classic road trip across America]
            Kerouac, Jack
13 Little Blue Envelopes
[Ginny’s Aunt sends her on a scavenger hunt across Europe.]
Johnson, Maureen.

Excellent article on how 3 road trips transformed American culture: the Highwaymen-a group of artists who took their art on the road and circumvented the racially exclusionary nature of the gallery world; the story of Alice Huyler Ramsey who took a drive across the country in 1909, contrary to the popular belief that women shouldn’t drive; and John Muir’s 1,000 mile trek and communion with nature. Available in the library [“How the Road Trip Shaped America.” Mental Floss: July/August 2013].

Other titles not in the Prep library:
Peking to Paris: Life and Love on a Short Drive Around Half the World.
            Bennett, Dina.
I See by My Outfit:Cross-country by Scooter, An Adventure.
            Beagle, Peter.

*from a 1962 review in The Atlantic.

Mrs. Eldridge

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