There’s something about those long summer days that makes me want to go adventuring. Whether it’s getting lost in the imaginary escapades of a good book, or packing up the car and setting out on the highway, the clear blue skies and sunny days practically beg me to journey forth from the daily grind. So it should be no surprise that I’ve got a couple of road trips planned for myself in the coming weeks. A trip to Stratford to take in some theatre, to Erin to visit the shop … heck, maybe I’ll just hop in my car and explore the charms of good old Essex County. With a good book to keep me company, naturally.
If you’re thinking about planning your own little summer road trip, here are a few recommendations to keep your literary thirsts quenched on the road.
No Fixed Address
by Jon Evans
How could this list be complete without a travelogue? But seriously, this book is a must-read on your summer vacation. Jon Evans takes you to exotic locales the world over, imparting fascinating bits of history, local colour, and impressions of landscape and culture that make you want to strap on a backpack and head for parts unknown. It is, as Foreword Reviews has said, “a rare treat as a travelogue, managing to be thoughtful, hilarious, and inspiring all at once.”
Learn more about No Fixed Address here »
Thoughts on Driving to Venus
By Christopher Pratt
Thoughts on Driving to Venus is a “car book” in more ways than one. It documents the road trips undertaken by legendary Canadian painter Christopher Pratt through the Newfoundland countryside, but it is also a perfect companion for your own car trip. The passages in this book are like short sketches, catching impressions of the landscape as well as the writer’s emotional reaction to his homeland.
Learn more about Thoughts on Driving to Venus here »
The Grand River
By Gerard Brender à Brandis and Marianne Brandis
If Ontario’s roads are more your style, check out The Grand River. This beautiful book is full to bursting of wood engravings of Ontario’s Grand River Valley, but it will also teach you a thing or two about the watershed and its rich history. As a review in Block & Burin states, “Its lyrical and informative prose and exquisitely detailed wood engravings immerse the reader into a special, peaceful place, a pleasurable contemplation.”
Learn more about The Grand River here »
By Paul Glennon
My excuse for including this book in this Road Trip Reads list is quite simple: I just love this book. Short stories are perfect for car trips, where interruptions are often the order of the day. But even if you aren’t hopping in the car and heading for parts unknown, this book offers a mental adventure of sorts. Mark my words—you’ll be pulled into each and every one of these compelling linked stories.
Learn more about The Dodecahedron here »
The Bird in the Stillness
By Joe Rosenblatt
What is a road trip but a modern-day pilgrimage? We pile in the car and head out in appreciation of the natural world—whether it is to the beach, the forest, or just stops along the highway. For those who appreciate the wide green world, I recommend Joe Rosenblatt’s latest collection of poetry. Full of lush descriptions and reverence for the lifecycle of the forest, it is the perfect accompaniment to a camping trip or a national park visit.
Learn more about The Bird in the Stillness
Hope you enjoy these reading recommendations wherever your travels take you.