August is the time when many
will be journeying to vacation destinations
or embarking on adventures of discovery.
Here are some of our favorite
“road trip” novels. Whether on bike, on foot,
by train, van, or car, all the travelers
encounter unexpected enlightment on the way.
Quirky, humorous, and poignant, we all loved these stories!
Carrying Albert Home, Homer Hickman
Occasionally a book comes along and you want to force it into people's hands screaming, "YOU HAVE TO READ THIS!" Carrying Albert Home is that book for me. From the start, this book pulls you in and doesn't let go. While the story is filled with outlandish tales, Hickam explains the novel is “all true except the parts that are not true, and they are true, too.” This funny, sweet, and sometimes tragic tale of a young couple and a special alligator on a crazy 1,000-mile road trip is ultimately a testament to that strange and marvelous emotion we inadequately call love. See Tatum's complete review.
The Memory of Running, Ron McLarty
Smithy" Ide is a loser. Overweight, friendless, chain-smoking, forty-three-years-old, Smithy becomes completely unhinged when he loses his parents and long-lost sister within the span of one week. He goes out to the garage, spies his old Raleigh bicycle, and in a drunken moment, decides to ride it across the country to claim his sister's remains. The road redeems the innocent Smithy: he loses weight; rescues a child from a blizzard; and nurtures a telephone romance with a paraplegic family friend as he processes his rocky past. An unforgettable, hilarious, luminous journey of discovery.
The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving, Jonathan Evison
For Ben Benjamin, all has been lost—his wife, his family, his home, his livelihood. In desperation, he takes a class in home health care. His first client, a tyrannical teenager striken with muscular dystrophy, has an ax to grind with the whole world. But in time, Ben and Trevor develop a close rlationship, and together they convince the boy's mother to let him embark on a journey in his adapted van to visit Trev’s long absent, ailing father. Gritty, irreverent, and full of heart, this story of an unlikely road trip will leave you full of hope that no matter how bumpy the ride, the journey is worth it.
Mrs. Queen Takes the Train, William Kuhn
The Queen is depressed. Public support is at a low since the death of Diana. And her favorite escape aboard the royal yacht is not an option as it is out of commission to assuage the outcry about expeditures. She decides to board a train—destination the boatyard in Scotland where her beloved Britainia is drydocked. Off she goes on a wonderful romp, leaving behind her panicked retinue, and on her journey her spirit is revived by random, personal encounters with her loyal subjects. An absolute delight!
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Frye, Rachel Joyce
Retired and trapped in a bleak marriage, Harold gets word that a former co-worker is dying. He sets out on foot to see Queenie, who did him a favor years ago that he never acknowledged. Along the way, a six hundred mile trek, he meets fascinating characters who unlock his long-dormant spirit and sense of promise. Memories of his first dance with his wife, Maureen, his wedding day, his joy in fatherhood, come rushing back to him—allowing him to also reconcile the losses and the regrets. As for Maureen, she finds herself missing Harold for the first time in years!