Monday, May 29, 2006

Anyone for Travel Lit?


I ask this question for several reasons.

(1) I recently read Sarah Vowell's Assassination Vacation, which is an excellent book. Seriously. Highly recommended for anyone who likes American history, historical plaques, and road trips to obscure landmarks and/or graveyards. (Yes,
Theresa, this means you...)

(2) I'm currently writing a course prospectus for my Pacific Northwest independent study. The students in this theoretical class I'm creating are writing a regional travel guide for their final Geography assessment...

(3) ...which makes me want to go on a real road trip to some of these places I'm looking at, but instead I'm stuck here, slogging away at all this stuff that's due June 5th. (Pause. Panic.)

(4) Writing a course for Pacific Northwest History makes me think about how much I'd love to teach an interdisciplinary humanities course entitled "Travel Literature," in which students read such edifying works as Assassination Vacation and Confederates in the Attic. Perhaps a bit of
Bill Bryson, as well? And then they go on their own road trip to inspire a final project travel memoir... a bit farfetched, I know, but a teacher can dream...

(5) And then I think, why aren't there more romance novels about road trips? Does anyone know any good ones? 'Twould be a great summer read.

(5) And finally, being stuck inside writing curriculum on a gorgeous Memorial Day makes me want to rip my hair out and/or take a mini-break away from it all. Alas, I haven't the time. Instead, I shall have to content myself with taking a mental mini-break, back to a more carefree time when The Boyfriend took me on a day-trip to the
Skagit Valley Tulip Festival and I was free to take pretty photos of my beloved... Ah, memories...



So, to get back to the point: anyone have any good travel literature recommendations for the theoretical class I wish to teach someday? Or, better yet, can you add some road trip romance novel titles to my summer reading list?

10 comments:

R2K said...

: )

Holly said...

Hmm...You know, it seems like I HAVE read some road trip romances, but I can't for the life of me remember which ones they were. *sigh* Old age sucks, I tell you.

I think the theoretical class sounds like an inspired idea...I'd take it.

Marg said...

I like reading travel books but they aren't usually fiction - Paul Theroux's are interesting, and there is one called Don't Not Pass Go by Tim Moore which is an exploration of London using a Monopoly board as a guide that is extremey funny!

Theresa said...

There was that "Men Made in America" book about the federal marshall and the criminals. Wouldn't recommend it, though. Which leads me to a (casual, potentially false) observation - romance novels are very dependent on a sense of place. Even if someone is from somewhere else, they come to belong in that small Louisiana town, etc. etc.

Thanks for the book recommendation. Road trip starts tomorrow. I'll be in your time zone next Monday or Tuesday.

theflitgirl said...

I think your theoretical class could conincide with my theoretical class — Women Writers of the Great War. I've got two so far. LM's Rilla (which was apparently the only roughly contemporaneously written novel by a woman about the experience of the Canadian homefront...phew) and my nominated book, Vera Brittain's Testament of Youth. It's not a cheerful book, but it is about travel.

Could Laura Kinsale's The Dream Hunter be considered a road trip novel? They're on camels and going across the desert. But they are moving.

Kate D. said...

Ha. Good question, Flitgirl. I think Theresa may have a point--romance novels are notoriously concerned with "finding a place to belong," which is a little hard to do if you're sightseeing Car Henge and Wall Drug.

Let it be known here and now that someday, I'm going to HAVE to write a romance novel called "Wanderlust." Mwah ha ha...

theflitgirl said...

I'm sure a great many existential crises have been solved by a quick trip to Car Henge.

Marg said...

Does Kiss Me Annabel by Eloisa James count as a travel romance - a fair bit of that takes place on the journey from England to Scotland

Kay T said...

First Lady by Susan Elizabeth Phillips is a great road trip (in a motor home no less) book. Also her Breathing Room is about a vacation in Italy.

There is an oldie by Susan Anderson about a bounty hunter taking a woman "in" traveling by bus because she is afraid to fly (from Seattle to Florida I think). I love the book. Baby I'm Yours. (looked it up).

See Jane Score by Rachel Gibson has a lot of travel as she goes along with a hockey team.

Kate D. said...

Thank you, everyone, for the lovely road trip romance recs!