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Greyhound Book Club: Travel Classics

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The best travel writing gives a glimpse into the people, culture and history of a place. Whether you’re traveling a few hours down the road or across North America, reading a good book will help you pass the time. Here are a few great travel books that might just inspire you to plan your next adventure.

  • On the Road, by Jack Kerouac, is based on his travels across America in the late 1940′s. It’s a celebration of jazz, the Beat movement, and the unique experience of travelling by road.
  • The oldest book on this list is Leaves of Grass, by Walt Whitman, capturing everything Whitman found great about America, from democracy and individuality to religion and travel. You can dip in and out of these songs and poems, which makes it perfect to enjoy on your own trips.
  • The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America, by Bill Bryson, chronicles his rediscovery of America after twenty years in England, starting from his childhood hometown in Iowa. It’s witty, irreverent, and nostalgic, and just might show you some new aspects of places you know very well.
  • Zen, The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, by Robert M. Pirsig, is a modern day classic, centering around the author’s journey from Minnesota to California. Though a mixture of travel guide, novel, and practical philosophy, the author explains: “it should in no way be associated with that great body of factual information relating to orthodox Zen Buddhist practice. It’s not very factual on motorcycles, either.”
  • What do you do when your marriage has ended and you’ve lost your job? Blue Highways: A Journey into America, by William Least Heat-Moon, tells of the author’s three month soul-searching road trip around the United States, exploring local cultures and avoiding cities and interstates.

Are there books that have inspired you to explore, or captured your experience of traveling? Let us know!

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