Travels with Charley in Search of America by John SteinbeckAn intimate journey across America, as told by one of its most beloved writers To hear the speech of the real America, to smell the grass and the trees, to see the colors and the light--these were John Steinbeck's goals as he set out, at the age of fifty-eight, to rediscover the country he had been writing about for so many years. With Charley, his French poodle, Steinbeck drives the interstates and the country roads, dines with truckers, encounters bears at Yellowstone and old friends in San Francisco. Along the way he reflects on the American character, racial hostility, the particular form of American loneliness he finds almost everywhere, and the unexpected kindness of strangers.
Call Number: on display
Publication Date: 1980
Cross Country by Robert SullivanFrom the bestselling author of Rats, a personal and national history of one of America's favorite pastimes: driving across the country. The cross-country trip is the trip that often whizzes past us on our way to quaint back roads and scenic parks; it's an America of long, looping highways, strip malls, fast-food depots, and road rage, but also one that is wide-open, awe-inspiring, and heartwarmingly lonely. Here, Sullivan, who has driven cross-country more than two dozen times, recounts his family's annual summer migration from Oregon to New York. His story of moving his family back and forth from the East Coast to the West Coast (and various other migrations), is replete with all the minor disasters, humor, and wonderful coincidences that characterize life on the road, not to mention life. As he drives, Sullivan ponders his nation-crossing predecessors, such as legendary duo Lewis and Clark, as well the more improbable heroes of America's unending urge to cross itself: Carl Fisher, an Indianapolis bicycle maker who founded the Indy 500, dropped cars off of buildings and imagined the first cross-country road; Emily Post, who, before her life as an etiquette writer, was one of the first cross-country chroniclers; and the race car drivers who, appalled by the invention of seatbelts and speed limits, ran an underground cross-country car race in the 1970s known as the Cannonball Run. Sullivan meets Beat poets who are devotees of Jack Kerouac, cross-country icon, and plays golf on an abandoned coal mine. And, in his trademark celebration of the mundane, Sullivan investigates everything from the history of the gas pump to the origins of fast food and rest stops. Cross Country tells the tales that come from fifteen years of driving across the country (and all around it) with two kids and everything that two kids and two parents take when driving in a car from one coast to another, over and over, driving to see the way the road made America and America made the road.
Call Number: on display
Publication Date: 2006
Coyote Doggirl by Lisa HanawaltAppeared on best of 2018 lists from NPR, Bustle, and Nylon! "Coyote Doggirl is like Lisa Frank meets Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid... This book is as whimsical, funny and dark as any episode of that show."--NPR's Best Books of 2018 "Even further proof of Hanawalt's peculiar genius, her ability to access difficult truths in the most absurd ways possible."--Nylon's Best Illustrated Books of 2018 A raucous and fierce Western by the BoJack Horseman producer/production designer and award-winning cartoonist Coyote is a dreamer and a drama queen, brazen and brave, faithful yet fiercely independent. She beats her own drum and sews her own crop tops. A gifted equestrian, she's half dog, half coyote, and all power. With the help of her trusty steed, Red, there's not much that's too big for her to bite off, chew up, and spit out right into your face, if you deserve it. But when Coyote and Red find themselves on the run from a trio of vengeful bad dogs, get clobbered by arrows, and are tragically separated, our protagonist is left fighting for her life and longing for her displaced best friend. Taken in by a wolf clan, Coyote may be wounded, but it's not long before she's back on the open road to track down Red and tackle the dogs who wronged her. An homage to and a lampoon of Westerns like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Lisa Hanawalt's Coyote Doggirl is a self-aware, playful subversion of tropes. As our fallible hero attempts to understand the culture of the wolves, we see a journey in understanding and misunderstanding, adopting and co-opting. Uncomfortable at times but nonetheless rewarding and empowering, the story of these flawed, anthropomorphized characters is nothing if not relentlessly hilarious and heartbreakingly human. Told in Hanawalt's technicolor absurdist style, Coyote Doggirl is not just a send-up of the Western genre but a deeply personal story told by an enormously talented cartoonist.
Publication Date: 2018-08-21
Lost Children Archive by Valeria LuiselliWINNER OF THE ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE IN FICTION WINNER OF THE FOLIO PRIZE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST FINALIST FOR THE KIRKUS PRIZE FOR FICTION LONGLISTED FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE LONGLISTED FOR THE ASPEN WORDS LITERARY PRIZE One of The New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year A Best Book of 2019: Entertainment Weekly; TIME; NPR; O, The Oprah Magazine; The Washington Post; GQ; The Guardian; Chicago Tribune; Dallas Morning News; and the New York Public Library "The novel truly becomes novel again in Luiselli's hands--electric, elastic, alluring, new." --Parul Sehgal, The New York Times A fiercely imaginative new novel about a family whose road trip across America collides with an immigration crisis at the southwestern border--an indelible journey told with breathtaking imagery, spare lyricism, and profound humanity. A mother and father set out with their two children, a boy and a girl, driving from New York to Arizona in the heat of summer. Their destination: Apacheria, the place the Apaches once called home. Why Apaches? asks the ten-year-old son. Because they were the last of something, answers his father. In their car, they play games and sing along to music. But on the radio, there is news about an "immigration crisis": thousands of kids trying to cross the southwestern border into the United States, but getting detained--or lost in the desert along the way. As the family drives--through Virginia to Tennessee, across Oklahoma and Texas--we sense they are on the brink of a crisis of their own. A fissure is growing between the parents, one the children can almost feel beneath their feet. They are led, inexorably, to a grand, harrowing adventure--both in the desert landscape and within the chambers of their own imaginations. Told through several compelling voices, blending texts, sounds, and images, Lost Children Archive is an astonishing feat of literary virtuosity. It is a richly engaging story of how we document our experiences, and how we remember the things that matter to us the most. With urgency and empathy, it takes us deep into the lives of one remarkable family as it probes the nature of justice and equality today.
Call Number: on display
Publication Date: 2019
Catfish and Mandala by Andrew X. PhamWinner of the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize ANew York Times Notable Book of the Year Winner of the Whiting Writers' Award ASeattle Post-Intelligencer Best Book of the Year Catfish and Mandala is the story of an American odyssey--a solo bicycle voyage around the Pacific Rim to Vietnam--made by a young Vietnamese-American man in pursuit of both his adopted homeland and his forsaken fatherland. Intertwined with an often humorous travelogue spanning a year of discovery is a memoir of war, escape, and ultimately, family secrets. Andrew X. Pham was born in Vietnam and raised in California. His father had been a POW of the Vietcong; his family came to America as "boat people." Following the suicide of his sister, Pham quit his job, sold all of his possessions, and embarked on a year-long bicycle journey that took him through the Mexican desert; on a thousand-mile loop from Narita in South Korea to Kyoto in Japan; and, after five months and 2,357 miles, to Saigon, where he finds "nothing familiar in the bombed-out darkness." In Vietnam, he's taken for Japanese or Korean by his countrymen, except, of course, by his relatives, who doubt that as a Vietnamese he has the stamina to complete his journey ("Only Westerners can do it"); and in the United States he's considered anything but American. A vibrant, picaresque memoir written with narrative flair and an eye-opening sense of adventure,Catfish and Mandala is an unforgettable search for cultural identity.
Call Number: on display
Publication Date: 2000
Lolita by Vladimir NabokovAwe and exhiliration--along with heartbreak and mordant wit--abound in Lolita, Nabokov's most famous and controversial novel, which tells the story of the aging Humbert Humbert's obsessive, devouring, and doomed passion for the nymphet Dolores Haze. Lolita is also the story of a hypercivilized European colliding with the cheerful barbarism of postwar America. Most of all, it is a meditation on love--love as outrage and hallucination, madness and transformation.
Call Number: on display
Publication Date: 1989
On the Road by Jack KerouacThe legendary novel of freedom and the search for authenticity that defined a generation, now in a striking new Pengiun Classics Deluxe Edition Inspired by Jack Kerouac's adventures with Neal Cassady, On the Road tells the story of two friends whose cross-country road trips are a quest for meaning and true experience. Written with a mixture of sad-eyed naiveté and wild ambition and imbued with Kerouac's love of America, his compassion for humanity, and his sense of language as jazz, On the Road is the quintessential American vision of freedom and hope, a book that changed American literature and changed anyone who has ever picked it up.
Call Number: Stacks PS3521.E735 .O5 1999
Publication Date: 1999
America Day by Day by Simone de Beauvoir; Douglas Brinkley (Foreword by); Carol Cosman (Translator)Here is the ultimate American road book, one with a perspective unlike that of any other. In January 1947 Simone de Beauvoir landed at La Guardia airport and began a four-month journey that took her from one coast of the United States to the other, and back again. Embraced by the Condé Nast set in a swirl of cocktail parties in New York, where she was hailed as the "prettiest existentialist" by Janet Flanner in The New Yorker, de Beauvoir traveled west by car, train, and Greyhound, immersing herself in the nation's culture, customs, people, and landscape. The detailed diary she kept of her trip became America Day by Day, published in France in 1948 and offered here in a completely new translation. It is one of the most intimate, warm, and compulsively readable texts from the great writer's pen. Fascinating passages are devoted to Hollywood, the Grand Canyon, New Orleans, Las Vegas, and San Antonio. We see de Beauvoir gambling in a Reno casino, smoking her first marijuana cigarette in the Plaza Hotel, donning raingear to view Niagara Falls, lecturing at Vassar College, and learning firsthand about the Chicago underworld of morphine addicts and petty thieves with her lover Nelson Algren as her guide. This fresh, faithful translation superbly captures the essence of Simone de Beauvoir's distinctive voice. It demonstrates once again why she is one of the most profound, original, and influential writers and thinkers of the twentieth century. On New York:"I walk between the steep cliffs at the bottom of a canyon where no sun penetrates: it's permeated by a salt smell. Human history is not inscribed on these carefully calibrated buildings: They are closer to prehistoric caves than to the houses of Paris or Rome." On Los Angeles:"I watch the Mexican dances and eat chili con carne, which takes the roof off my mouth, I drink the tequila and I'm utterly dazed with pleasure."