By Jack Kerouac
(Viking Adult, $25)
This somewhat autobiographical classic was written in just three weeks and was originally published in 1957. It tells of the cross-country journey Kerouac made with friends, including fellow beat-generation poet Neal Cassady and patron and muse Joan Vollmer (known in the book as Dean Moriarty and Jane Lee, respectively). The plot spills out in such a way that you’ll swear you’re having a conversation with Kerouac himself.
Queen of the Road: The True Tale of 47 States, 22,000 Miles, 200 Shoes, 2 Cats, 1 Poodle, a Husband, and a Bus with a Will of Its Own
By Doreen Orion
(Broadway Books, $14)
In this hilarious 2008 memoir, married psychiatrists Doreen (a pampered Long Island princess) and Tim Orion (an avid outdoorsman) hit the road just for the heck of it in a converted 340-square-foot bus. Yet for all their differences, and despite their close quarters, the two manage to keep each other laughing all the way from the UFO festival in Carlsbad, New Mexico, to the Finger Lakes in upstate New York. Bonus: Each chapter opens with an original martini recipe based on one of the many misfortunes of their trip.
Moon Pies and Movie Stars
By Amy Wallen
(Viking Adult, $24)
This charming and funny 2006 novel is a genuine family affair. It’s 1976, and widow Ruby Kincaid is driving a Winnebago from the Lone Star State to Los Angeles to look for her runaway adult daughter, Violet Davidson. To complicate matters, Violet’s two children and her mother-in-law, Imogene Davidson, as well as Ruby’s sister, all come along for the journey. The fun doesn’t stop once the gang gets to L.A.: The culture shock they experience once they arrive is fish-out-of-water humor at its best.