The Reading Material

A rundown of the literature that accompanies the adventure. I don’t have much for commitments on the road, but I do have books. I carry at least three of them. The two constants are

Edible Wild Plants by Lee Allen Peterson and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: an Inquiry into Values by Robert M. Persig. The first is because I watched the movie Into the Wild. If you have watched the movie or read the book you will get it, I shall not spoil it for you. The second book is because I hadn’t fully finished it before I hit the road and I really enjoy it.

The third book is a rotating book which accompanies me as I fall asleep at night and welcomes me as I wake. It makes it’s way into coffee shops with me and is often the subject of my thoughts throughout the day. I am going to use this page to keep the readers of my blog updated on my readings.

1) Wild by Cheryl Strayed
The first book of the adventure. This was an Amazon purchase that was suggested bu multiple friends. Mrs. Strayed is a Minnesota author from my hometown, and this book was about her journey. It was the perfect book to accompany me in the first weeks of my journey.

2) Peace Like a River by Leif Enger.
Another book by a Minnesotan author, this one was shared with me by a host I met in Red Lodge. She was also from Minnesota and ab avid reader. It was a good book with great writing. It offered an interesting dose of fantasy to my days after a memoir like Wild.

3) The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.
This book was given to me by a friend I met in Neligh, Nebraska. He was a fellow volunteer at the Neil Young and Willie Nelson concert. We had great conversations and he wanted to share a book with me. I read the book sitting on a friends duvet on a hilltop in Portland. It only took me two hours to finish the book. It meant a lot to me and left me feeling very enlightened. I am very strongly suggesting it to everyone as the next bit of reading material they should pick up.

4) Even Cowgirls Get the Blues by Tom Robbins
A book gifted to me by my host in Seattle. Fascinating writting style with a bit of beatnik darkness applied. It had a large emphasis on thd definition of time, which was a fun thing to consider when on a year long road trip. I enjoyed it, but Mr. Robbins clearly had a fun time writing in his own definition of women of the period and there were some parts that made me grit my teeth. All in all, a pretty good book.

5) I See By My Outfit by Peter S. Beagle
This book was a treat. I got it as a gift from my host in Portland, and found it to be supremely relateble. It is a book about two friends who take a ride from New York to San Francisco on scooters. It was published in 1964 so the ride is something that happenec many years, but it wasvery relatable. If one were to take the two protagonists and put them together that would be a pretty good description of my ride and the thoughts and feelings I’ve experienced. Goodvquick read. The writing wasn’t flashy (a changefrom Tom Robbins), but was supremely elegant. I highly recommend

6) The Magicians by Lev Grossman
A friend gifted me this book, the first in a trilogy, in Berkley, CA. It was a good fantasy book. A nice break from the Beatnik genre I was diving into. It was like a more grown up, dark, perverse version of Harry Potter or C.S. Lewis’s series. It drew me in and I read it fairly quickly. I liked it and will probably complete the series when my adventure comes to a close.

7) Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work by Mathew B. Crawford
This is another book that came from Berkley. My latest read, I will open it today and start nibbling away at it. I find the title fascinating because I believe it has to be a throwback to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values. I’m interested to see how much Mr. Crawford takes from Robert M. Persig in the content in the book. This book got put on hold for the time being.

8) Mama Makes Up Her Mind: And Other Dangers of Southern Living by Bailey White
A book I picked up at my friends house i Oceanside, CA. Great book. Short stories, and easy to read. Each on is a bit of feel good sweetness.

9) Singin’ and Swingin’ and Gettin’ Merry Like Christmas by Maya Angelou
I had only read Maya Angelou’s poems before this book. It is a beautiful look at the day to day life, and successes of a young woman. It is hard to believe thag it is the story of the iconic woman I knew to be Maya. Her writing is delightful. It drawsna reader in and wraps them up in poetry. I adore her writing style. This was another book suggested and given by Andrea, my friend in Oceanside. I started it Christmas Eve while sitting in Malibu, CA. It seemed rather perfect.

10) True Grit by Charles Portis
A good book. A young girl stars as the western hero. I always loved the movie with John Wayne, and I really liked the newest one. The book was quick and fun. It had me glued to my seat.


3 thoughts on “The Reading Material

  1. some good road books when those you have have been read and moved on… Biplane, by Richard Bach, Travels with Charlie- Steinbeck, anything by Tom Robbins but maybe start with Even Cowgirls Get the Blues. all best picked up worn, in a homey book store.


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