A selection of books that accompany the modern trail perfectly. Whether you’re sitting in the tattered booths of roadside diners or lying on the beaches of Santa Fe, it’s time to get comfortable and turn to page one.
by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
A story of cultural identity, ‘Americanah’ follows Ifemelu and Obinze, a young couple very much in love but forced their separate ways – Ifemelu to America while Obinze makes his way to London. Combining a post 9/11 world along with a society that forces some to question what it means to be African-American, ‘Americanah’ paints a picture of a growing adoration for your own culture, for the place you call home.
MarkMaker Josh from Street Etiquette says… “I chose the book because the author writes from different global perspectives. It’s a story about a girl that starts out in Nigeria but comes to America. Her job leads her on numerous adventures around the world, and from that point it’s definitely a great book to travel with on the road.”
by Jack Kerouac
The definitive beat generation novel charts Kerouac’s adventures across the US, with fellow writers William S Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg popping up under fake names. It provides an intimate portrait of jazz-era America and inspired such luminaries as Bob Dylan, Hunter S Thompson and Tom Waits. Don’t hit the road without it.
MarkMaker Kevin Russ says… “Nostalgia is a big reason why I take pictures and even though I didn’t live in the time period of ‘On The Road’, I find myself most moved when I look at photographs and hear stories of old.”
by Richard Brautigan
Lee Mellon strongly believes he’s a descendant of a Confederate general who was originally from Big Sur, California – however there’s no record of this general, anywhere. Mellon meets a drifter from the Pacific Northwest who’s also heard of the general, and together they move to the cliffs at Big Sur and share a journey battling between the notions of perception and reality set against the backdrop of the confederacy's struggles with the union. A great read to keep things in perspective and feel good about the world again on your journeys.
by John Steinbeck
In 1960, Steinbeck set out on a 10,000-mile trip of the US with his faithful poodle Charley. Nearing the end of his life, he wanted to reconnect with the country he feared he had lost touch with after living in New York and travelling around Europe for the last 20 years. As vivid a portrayal as any of his novels.
by James Attlee
James Attlee takes you on a journey across the world, focusing on one aspect of the night that many of us often overlook – moonlight. Traveling as close to home as Wales and as far afield as Japan to explore the literature, science and music scenes that blend together alongside a constant appreciation of an underappreciated natural wonder.
by Hunter S. Thompson
From the godfather of gonzo journalism himself, Hunter S Thompson documents his time on the road with the infamous motorcycle club. Considering it’s Thompson’s first ever published non-fiction novel, it’s a must to accompany you on your own journey across the open roads.
by Rebecca Solnit
Rebecca Solnit, author of ‘Wanderlust’ and ‘The Faraway Nearby’, takes the reader on a journey through the concept of loss. The way she’s able to distinguish between ‘losing things’ and ‘being lost’ is a message that persists throughout, and one that can help you feel fully present in the moment while off on your own life-changing adventure.
MarkMaker Amanda Valdez says… “A contemporary classic for the landscape and art lover. Solnit weaves together the most insightful essays on traveling, loving, losing, observations of the landscape, personal failures and victories.
“Every other chapter is dedicated to some rumination on the color blue, whether it’s the blue of the mountains during pre-dawn or the particular blue found in Chinese porcelain. I created the Gemini constellation Castor and Pollux out of circular cyanotype drawings on fabric just from coming across the word cyanotype in her essay.”