Though we here at Blue Bike appreciate the annual resurgence of summer road trip mix tapes, we also feel that the equally important summer road trip book mixes are often and unfairly overlooked. We plan to fix this. But please don’t read and drive.
If you want to use your trip to read a classic book you’ll never read unless trapped in a car with it and nothing else: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, Ulysses by James Joyce, $16.
If suddenly the landscape opens and inspires profundity: Bike Watching Journal, $14.95.
If you aren’t going anywhere but want to pretend you did and then tell people about it: On Becoming a Novelist by John Gardner, $4.98.
If you want to find happiness, like literally: The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner, $13.50.
If you forgot your SPF: In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson, $7.98.
If you liked the concept** of On the Road but hated the author and also the book: Blue Highways: A Journey into America by William Least Heat Moon, $12.98.
If things are really going downhill and you’d like to feel less alone about the whole thing: Bad Trips: a Collection of Witing on the Perils of the Road ed. by Keith Fraser. $6.98.
If writing home to your maybe-lover: Jack Kerouac & Allen Ginsberg: The Letters, $20.
If you want to take advantage of certain recently-relaxed laws in Colorado and Washington and get weird: Vampires in the Lemon Grove by Karen Russell, $24.95.
If you are lost: Maps and Legends by Michael Chabon, $17.98
[**Okay, while one can appreciate Sara's refusal to drink the Beat Kool-Aid -- it's not really the same concept. But there are cars in both books. -- Ed.]