Top 5 Wednesday: Road Trip Reads 2018


You can participate in Top 5 Wednesday-just join the group at Goodreads.com to learn the topics each week, then publish your post or video!

Like last week’s Ice Cream Books post,  and yesterday’s What the Class of 2022 is Reading, Road Trip Books are an annual summer topic here on my blog.  You can read the past posts at these links:  2017 Road Trip Reads, 2016 Road Trip Reads2017’s list included a River “Road” Trip and 2016’s included the road trip of an ex-POTUS. That may be hard to top!


The One With the Mysterious Charm Bracelet



Arthr Pepper is lost without his beloved wife. Life as a widower is tough for him. Since Miriam’s death he’s stuck to a safe routine to navigate his days. Until he finds a charm bracelet he did not give her. Then his life changes as he seeks out answers. The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper.


The One Two to Hollywood



How about the story of not one, but TWO roads trips involving Hollywood taken a generation apart by mother and daughter? That’s the jist of Woman Enters Left.


The Ocean “Roadtrip” With the Kennedys, the Composer, the Conductor, and more



Rosemary Kennedy has grown up and become a “problem” for her family. Father Joe Kennedy, Sr., decides to send her home with her mother and two younger siblings to avoid the war in England, where he is winding up his days as a controversial American Ambassador. This journey and the journey-the-journey tells a fictionalized version of part of Rosemary Kennedy’s last days before her tragic labotomy. The Ocean Liner.


The One in a Horse and Buggy



News of the World moved me like few other books. This tale of a bounty hunter taking an orphan to relatives is so much more than it’s small number of pages seem to promise.  The story of the Captain and Joanna’s road trip (even when there weren’t actual roads) is not to be missed.


The One With Folks Fleeing The Red Army




Women in the Castle tells the story of the wives of some of the Valkyrie conspirators fleeing the advancing Soviet Army which raped anything female along the way.  This is not a book for the faint-hearted, but it IS a novel–a ficitonalized version of events.


Do you have a favorite road trip read? Leave me a comment–I’m always interested in fun new trips to take via fiction.


Time for a Last Summer Road Trip Read!

New VW Bus.jpg

Photo source (click)

With the news this week that VW is finally, FINALLY, putting it’s cool new version of the great VW Bus back into production–and its electric this time! I just couldn’t stop thinking about road trips. Summer isn’t officially over and those of us with no kids to get to the school bus each morning anymore can revel in travel….if we can afford it! So, I thought an updated post on road trip books was in order!

To read more about the cool new VW Bus, click here.
To read about my lifelong love of all things VW Bus, read Bussed!

The One With the Statutes Tumbling Down



Who wouldn’t want to have been there when the Berlin Wall came down and toured various parts of the former Soviet Union and Eastern block right after? Journalist Susan Viets did just that. She got to stick around in places long enough to find out how they were living, too. Like today in the USA there was discussion back then about statutes of former historical figures, too.

Picnic at the Berlin Wall by Susan Viets


The One With the Weirdos on the Bus



David Arnold certainly has a gift for storytelling. This is a road trip book with epic personalities. The trip has it all suspense, joy, anger, elation, sorrow and more.  This is a story of friendship, family, coming-of-age, learning to take time and not judge and learning to not merely survive, but thrive where you land in life.  If you like John Green, you will certainly like David Arnold. (This review originally appeared in a post here on January 20, 2016).

Mostquitoland: A Novel by David Arnold.


The One On the Roads You Can See From the River


last girls

Lost Girls is part road trip (well, river trip–same dif, right?) , part reunion story. You can read my full review here.

Lost Girls by Lee Smith.


The One With Potty Breaks




When Jess, Tanz. Norman and Nicky, met Ed… or the most interesting family road trip with a big dog ever taken. You can read my full review here.


The One From Hell



If you picked this book for its slim size you’d be shocked at how much of a story–and what a shocking story at that–Ms Spark packed in here! It is one of Boxall’s 1001 Books to Read Before You Die, too.

The Driver’s Seat by Muriel Spark


The One Forthcoming and With a Guest Reviewer



Marjorie, at Marjorie’s World of Books, found this forthcoming gem of a road trip book. You can read her great review here.

Start Without Me by Joshua Max Feldman.


The One I Still Need to Read


I’ve had this one on my pile since I met the author at Cincinnati’s great Books By the Banks book festival a couple of years ago. I guess it can anchor next year’s road trip post.

Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid


You can read my first Road Trip Books Post here



Road Trip Reads: Three Road Trip Books

greyhoundIn this novel, the main character, a boy named Sebastien, has a tough ride to a new life. His Mom and her boyfriend have no use for him so they put him on a bus to travel from California to Pennsylvania over several days ALONE. Along the way he finds an unlikely guardian angel named Marcus, an ex-con who knows a thing or two about not being wanted. The trip is long, boring and sometimes dangerous. But it helps propel Sebastien thru to the next stage of life. Sebastien’s life resonated with me in so many very personal ways.

I got this super cheap for kindle and wanted to buy a second copy at full price because it is THAT good. So, buy it. Definitely a sleeper not to be missed. Greyhound by Steffan Piper.


harryHarry Truman, the last man to be President without a college degree, still managed to make the most difficult decision in human history–whether or not to use the atomic bomb. He was also the last President to leave office with no pension. An unsuccessful businessman, Truman had been in local politics for much of his life, therefore, having almost no “personal capital” to bankroll his post-White House life. He and wife Bess went home to Independence, Missouri to what had been her mother’s house. They made due with his pension of just over $100 a month from his service in World War I. He was not even given a raise in his pension to reflect nearly 8 years service as Commander in Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces! Ever-honest Harry refused to profit off the presidency for fear of cheapening or degrading the office. However, he DID accept a great deal on a brand new Chrysler New Yorker and in this great car he and Bess set off to drive to a convention–the last time an ex-President would be able to travel in such a style. The Truman’s headed east at the Bess-mandated top speed of 55 mph. They had about 50-50 luck in avoiding the public’s attention–especially after Harry was stopped for going too slowly on the highway! A nice little memoir of a nice, old-fashioned road trip. Harry Truman’s Excellent Adventure: The True Story of a Great American Road Trip by Matthew Alego. [Note: This review originally appeared on my old blog on 5/31.2001.]

10PContrast that life with “the million mile journey” Arnold Peat gave his 10 children. In my mind the Peat’s are the original Quiverfull family. Mom, Dad, 10 kids, two family businesses and a home they rarely visited. Deciding, finally, that he–not the pubic schools–had been charged by God with the raising and character-molding of his children, Arnold Peat took his children OUT of school and assigned his wife the task of teaching the children. The family served the Lord in a singing and preachy ministry–a specialty was the reciting of huge portions of the Bible! They paid the bills with love offering proceeds and by selling homemade fertilizer door-to-door. They set up at a motel, go buy the ingredients, mix, weigh, package and label the stuff and sell it!

Imagine the outcry if a family tried to do that in a Super 8 parking lot today!! While I was left feeling how incredibly naive people were “back then” to just take the word of a man from “nowhere” that this stuff worked, I also thought Arnold should have trained others in his sales techniques! And, how many children would willingly eat a lettuce and mayo sandwich while riding on a cardboard box in the back of a truck?? Still, the sincerity of this family’s faith and willingness to go where God called them was amazing. I finished this book with the impression that these parents really did try to discern God’s will in their lives and in the lives of their children. Of course, in their day, no one had ever heard of Bill Gothard, ATI/IBLP, Vision Forum or Patriarchy. Ten P’s in a Pod by Arnold Pent, Jr. [Note: This review originally appeared on my old blog 7/23/2010.]