The Great American Road Trip: Recommended Reads

Posted by Rose Moore

Windows down, volume up, everybody. If you are looking for a little inspiration for your summer travels, check out this incredible interactive map pictured above: Atlas Obscura’s Guide To Literary Road Trips. This amazingly detailed project takes twelve books that center on a great journey, and catalogs every stop mentioned on the way along with quotes describing them. Of course, if you’d rather travel the country without leaving the comfort of your favorite armchair, there are plenty of novels to get that road trip feeling from home. Whatever mood you are in, you can explore America, and still be home for dinner. Check out our recommendations: 

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
If you didn’t read this American classic in high school (and even if you did!), pick it up now and revisit this tale of a family of famers forced onto the road during the Great Depression. While not the most cheerful read, the search for dignity and hope is timeless.

Reservation Blues by Sherman Alexie
A twist on the classic tale of the blues musician who sold his soul at the crossroads, this novel focuses on a reservation blues band on their rock and roll journey. Wander the Pacific Northwest all the way across America with this dark and fascinating exploration of a culture and a lifestyle on the road.


Flaming Iguanas: An Illustrated All Girl Road Novel Thing by Erika Lopez
Looking for something more than a classic journey of discovery? Check out this badass and entirely different take on the all-girl road trip, complete with drawings, stamps, and a whole lot of attitude.


Paper Towns by John Green
A mystery and an adventure, this New York Times Bestseller (now adapted into a film) is sure to tug on your heartstrings. It follows a teen on his search for the girl next door – literally. She disappears after an adventurous night out, and he heads out to find her, and finds himself along the way.


Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas by Hunter S Thompson
In his own inimitable style, Hunter S Thompson leads us from LA to Las Vegas on a drug-fueled bender that has thrilled readers for decades. While the journey itself may be geographically short, it’s intense and unforgettable.

What are your favorite road trip reads? Tweet us @Quirkbooks to let us know!