Editor's Note: This guest blogger post is generously submitted by Stu Gold. Stu is a husband, father and ninja-like outdoorsman. He can replace brake fluid with one hand while changing his son's diaper with the other. Please check out his RV Site for Beginner’s at www.BeginRV.com.

Five Adventurous Books for Your Next RV Trip

youtubeMaybe it’s just me, but in 2020 it feels almost impossible to disconnect. At times, it can feel like I’m on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Between work, family responsibilities and the intoxicating pull of our phone screens, there seems to be less and less time to unplug and enjoy the simpler pleasures in life.

Reading has always been a passion of mine since I’ve been a little boy. From “Hatchet” to “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” to “White Fang”, my adventurous spirit has long been fascinated by the way humans interact with the natural world around them.

As I’ve grown older, my tastes have matured but my love for adventure remains. Whether it’s a short lunchtime hike or hitting the road for a month-long RV trip, there’s something about being out in nature that helps recalibrate my soul. 

Now that I’m in my 30’s, one of my greatest pleasures is reading a great book while out on the road. I’ve read hundreds over the past few years, and I love to share my recommendations with both friends and strangers I come across in my travels.

Whether you are out on the road now or just dreaming of the day you will be, I want to share these five road trip books that will wake up that adventurous spirit I know is inside of you.

A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold

 

Summary: A beautifully-written collection of essays that meditate on the relationship between mankind and the land we live on.

Favorite Quote: “To those devoid of imagination a blank place on the map is a useless waste; to others, the most valuable part.”

Why I Love This Book: While not as embedded in our consciousness as Thoreau’s self-reliance treatise Walden, I consider A Sand County Almanac every bit it’s equal. Both nostalgic and urgent in it’s message about conversationism, Leopold’s poetic prose and savory observations of his natural surroundings calls out to my childhood love and respect for the outdoors. It’s a book filled with grand thoughts about simple, everyday occurrences and one that begs for multiple readings to appreciate it’s wisdom.

If You Love This Book, You’ll Also Love: The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History - Elizabeth Kolbert


Into The Wild by John Krakauer

Summary: The true story of a wild-spirit who abandons his family and friends, donates his worldly possessions and heads off to live alone in the Alaskan wilderness.

Favorite Quote: “So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future.”

Why I Love This Book: Krakauer, one of the best outdoors writers of our generation, masterfully pieces together the story of Christopher McCandless, a brilliant, but tortured college grad who abandons his comfortable existence and ventures into the Alaskan wilderness. The story begs the difficult question whether McCandless was an over-privileged suburbanite naive for believing he could conquer the wild, or a forward-thinking wild-spirit who should be revered for his desire to live a “real” existence. Whatever side of the line you end up on, you can’t help but feel a sense of radical freedom while following along with McCandless’ journey.

If You Love This Book, You’ll Also Love: Into Thin Air by John Krakauer


The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Summary: After an apocalyptic event brings humanity to near extinctinction, a father and son traverse a barren America while trying to survive cannibals, thieves and the coming winter.

Favorite Quote: “Nobody wants to be here and nobody wants to leave”.

Why I Love This Book: Combining beautiful prose with some of the bleakest imagery you’ll find in fiction, the Road will take you on a trip that will stay with you in the dark hours of the night. While it contains enough disturbing imagery to be labeled a work of dystopian horror, ultimately it’s a relationship story about a father willing to sacrifice everything for his son. As a father of two boys, this book consumed me in a way that I wasn’t prepared as it placed me side-by-side with this father-son duo during their nightmarish journey. It’s definitely not a light and happy story, but I guarantee it will be better than anything you read this year.

If You Love This Book, You’ll Also Love: Under the Skin by Michel Faber


Killing Yourself to Live: An 85% True Story by Chuck Klosterman

Summary: Chuck Klosterman’s cross-country tour across America to visit the sites of some famous rockstar deaths - Kurt Cobain, Buddy Holly and Elvis Presley just to name a few.

Favorite Quote: “I love the way music inside a car makes you feel invisible; if you play the stereo at max volume, it's almost like the other people can't see into your vehicle. It tints your windows, somehow.”

Why I Love This Book: This road-trip odyssey combines my two biggest passions: travel and music. A quirky, insightful and often laugh-out-loud funny book where the author visits the death sites of some of America’s biggest rock stars to answer the question: is death only the beginning of a rockstar’s career? If you are a music nerd who appreciates a healthy dose of obscure rock references - this book will strike the perfect chord.

If You Love This Book, You’ll Also Love: The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith


Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail by Cheryl Strayed

Summary: In the wake of her mother’s death, a broken 26-year old woman sets off alone to hike 1,100 miles of the Pacific Coast Trail.

Favorite Quote: “The universe, I'd learned, was never, ever kidding. It would take whatever it wanted and it would never give it back.”

Why I Love This Book: A welcome twist to the “man-goes-into-the-woods” genre (see Into the Wild) Wild is the story of Cheryl Strayed, a radical young woman who hikes over 1,000 miles of the Pacific Coast Trail alone. The book stands alone as a story of woman vs. nature, but what elevates this into one of my “must reads” is Cheryl’s inner journey of how she deals with the grief of losing her beloved mother. If you’ve ever lost a loved one you will immediately be able to identify with this remarkable woman and cheer her on as she takes on this seemingly impossible trek up the West Coast.

If You Love This Book, You’ll Also Love: Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube by Blair Braverman


Hope you enjoyed my road-trip recommendations. Agree or disagree? Have a book you’d like to recommend? Share your comments below to add to the discussion.: 

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Northwest RVing occasionally includes guest bloggers who have some good information to share about RVing in the Pacific Northwest. If you have some great RVing information and would like to be considered for a guest article, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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