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Old 11-09-05, 06:50 PM   #1
dbuzi123
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Best books to read on tour

I'm sure this has been up before, but what are people's favorite books to read while on tour? These don't have to be cycling related.
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Old 11-09-05, 07:01 PM   #2
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Uh, paperbacks? ;*>

I read Lonesome Dove while riding through Wyoming, it was super cool that I was riding through some places that were in the book.

Used book stores can be a nice break from the riding routine, you can sell the book you are done with and buy a new one. Some RV parks/campgrounds and most hostels have take-one-leave-one bookshelves.
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Old 11-09-05, 07:12 PM   #3
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I go with puzzle magazines - logic puzzles, word puzzles, etc. because they are usually fairly small and light and it might take you a whole tour to get through one magazine.

However, on my Australia tour, after a couple months of no books, I began reading whatever was available ... brochures, tour guide books, old RV World Magazines at the campgrounds. Finally when I was recovering from an accident in Airlie Beach for 5 days, I discovered a small used bookstore. I could purchase a book for a dollar or two, then return it and get about half my money back. I think I went through 3 books in those 5 days.
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Old 11-09-05, 08:18 PM   #4
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I took along Travels With Charley, by John Steinbeck, on my last tour. It was great company.
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Old 11-09-05, 08:22 PM   #5
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travels with charlie would be an Excellent choice, I've been working on Jack Kerouac's Lonesome Traveller on tour.

I can never find time to be focused on reading much unless i'm stuck in the tent in the rain.
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Old 11-11-05, 09:11 AM   #6
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I read so fast most of the time that i could easily go through a half a pannier of books on tour. I finally found an author that is such a good writer that it makes me slow down to savor the way he's crafted each sentence. Jonathan Raban--he does travel writing on the Mississippi, Alaska, Montana, etc. For any tour book, I order it on half.com to save money!
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Old 11-11-05, 09:19 AM   #7
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p.g. wodehouses books are da bomb...also sherlock holmes...
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Old 11-11-05, 09:29 AM   #8
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Any good book will do for me. I don't seek out travel books while I'm touring. Two of my favorite touring reads were:

"Snow Falling on Cedars", by David Guterson, read while I was biking in Chile & Argentina. I would typically read a bit each night before going to sleep. I got so absorbed in the story that it would routinely be a shock to me when I'd put the book down and realize that I was in South America in the summer, rather than on an island in Puget Sound during a snowy winter.

The other favorite of mine read, while touring in Australia, was "Everybody Loves You", by Ethan Mordden. Wonderful stories. I believe both of these books are still in print.
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Old 11-11-05, 07:49 PM   #9
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For the avid reader on tour across america, perhaps perusing John McPhee's 4 book collection, Annals of the Former World would lend some deep perspective on the rock cuts along the way.

I hope you all have wrapped your bifocals around John McPhee, he can make a rock cut seem like the MOST FASCINATING thing on the planet.

The annals of the former world comprises four books about the geology seen along highway 80 as it travels across the country- Basin and Range, In Suspect Terrain, Rising from the Plains, and Assembling California are incredibly compelling given the subject matter.

McPhee also has written vivid, fascinating books about birch bark canoes, Nuclear terrorism, alaska homesteading, and a host of other subjects. His book on the swiss military is a ribald romp.
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Old 11-11-05, 08:28 PM   #10
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Anything by Bill Bryson,I took "A short History of Nearly Everthing" to Africa in Sept a tribute to Africa that I read almost nothing while there but did read it on the plane

His chapter on Yellowstone Park is particulary interesting, the entire park is sitting on top of a gigantic active volcanic area, something like 40+ miles across and it is rising every year
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Old 11-12-05, 01:04 PM   #11
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walden
tolkien

obviously.
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Old 11-12-05, 02:19 PM   #12
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Depends on where you are touring -
Montana - Doig - This House of Sky
Nebraska - Cather - My Antonia
North Carolina - Edgerton - Walking Across Egypt
Virginia - Lee Smith - Fair and Tender Ladies -
(Required reading for anyone riding the Trans-Am thru western Virginia)
Regional literature adds so much to my tours.
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Old 11-14-05, 03:20 PM   #13
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I just grab whatever book happens to be on the top of my stack when I go on tour. One of the better ones was The Masked Rider, by Neil Peart, about his cycle tour in Africa.
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Old 11-14-05, 04:56 PM   #14
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One of the better ones was The Masked Rider, by Neil Peart, about his cycle tour in Africa.
The drummer from Rush?? <googling>

Cool! I will definitely look up that one.
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Old 11-14-05, 06:07 PM   #15
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I like the Robert Jastrow trilogy, "Red Giants and White Dwarfs", "Until the Sun Dies", and "God and the Astronomers". Really interesting and enlightening. Easy to read also.
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Old 11-14-05, 07:47 PM   #16
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I kinda like slow, "boring" books that would be difficult to impossible to read in my normally hectic ADD life. I had some real page turners on some tours, but found myself sitting around reading so much, to the detriment of actually hopping up and riding around. Of course nothing wrong with that!

I've liked best Nineteenth Century books with small chapters and meandering sentences so it's not such a terrible thing, if after a day of cycling I crawl in my tent, open it for 5 minutes, and snooze. It took me all summer to read Henry James' Ambassadors this way. But in a very small way, I became completely engrossed in this book in a way I would never have if I read it at home. Have I tracked down his other giant books, nah. Maybe on a different tour....

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Old 11-14-05, 08:54 PM   #17
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I usually get books like Robin Cook, John Grishem, and Michael Crichten (dang it, I know they're all misspelled too!). They're always great reads, and I get them in paperbacks and then trade with other travellers when they've finished their books. One time, I read a book by Toni Morrison and held onto that book halfway through Greece until I found just the right person to give the book to. He'd just finished a philosophical book and I thought the book would be right up his alley and he'd be mature enough to read it.

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Old 11-14-05, 09:09 PM   #18
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I'm usually so tired at the end of the day that I'm mostly reading just out of habit, and not really focussing... so I tend to read whatever paperback thriller I've picked up on the nickel used-book shelf at the local library or thrift store in whatever small town I've just passed through... nothing special!
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Old 11-16-05, 06:24 PM   #19
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Don Quixote (get the paperback of the recent translation by Edith Grossman). Epic, humorous and humbling.
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Old 11-19-05, 06:07 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbuzi123
I'm sure this has been up before, but what are people's favorite books to read while on tour? These don't have to be cycling related.
For me, The Good Book works fine. Helps me chill out at night and be energized by day.
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Old 11-19-05, 10:58 PM   #21
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French Revolutions by Tim Moore. Very funny cycling book, a british journalist is assigned to cover the Tour de France, he determined that he should ride the course so he could better cover the event, This is his adventure. Excellent, will warm the heart, and brighten the spirit.
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Old 11-20-05, 12:57 AM   #22
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'Zen And The Art of Motorcycle maintenance'. But that is a no brainer, it is really very very good and translates easy to the 'cyclist psyche'.
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Old 11-21-05, 05:20 PM   #23
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Anything by Edward Abbey.
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Old 11-21-05, 06:35 PM   #24
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Anything by Edward Abbey.
I've read quiet a bit by him and have enjoyed it too, especially The Fool's Progress.
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Old 11-21-05, 06:54 PM   #25
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A Fool's Progress.

One of the best English Language books of the 20th century.
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