Ed’s Summer Roadtrip Reading List

So you want to go on a roadtrip? Say about 2,000+ miles. Well we are right in the middle of our journey that has taken us from Vermont to Illinois, and then to New Jersey. Having spent so many hours in the car, we have found that books on tape can be a good way to pass the time. Here are a few selections from our library (actually the only books on CD that we could find!) in Vermont and what we thought of them.

Choice Cuts
A collection of short essays about food. The introduction was pure torture. The editor became fixated on comparing food to sex and got a little too excited about it. After the fifth off-base pun, I lost interest. Julie claims that essays later on in the book are worth hearing. We may have to listen to it on the way home if we can’t take Horatio’s Ride.

Horatio’s Ride
The concept of this story is great. It’s the true story of a Vermont doctor who traveled to San Fran to NY in under 3 months during 1903 or 05. He knew nothing of cars or mechanics and no one had ever completed such a trip. We got into it for a while, but found it to be lacking action and a gripping narrative. It’s more like a chronicle of facts thus far that reads like: they left a town, blew a tire, traveled for 5 miles, stopped to repair something, went for 3 miles, blow 2 tires, patched the tires, went 4 miles and reached the town they had planned to reach a week ago. Tragedy and disappointment on a small scale is all it has so far. We hope that it gets better!

Jennifer Government
Though a bit rough around the edges, this is a ridiculously hilarious book that made driving through northern Ohio and Western NY state possible. In an alternative reality, everything is privatized, the government is weak and underfunded, and corporations such as Nike, McDonalds, and “the police” fight for world domination. Everyone is employed and uses the company name as their last name. There is no literary value in this book, but it’s a good laugh and nice story for a late night car trip.

The Rule of Four
ACK! Do not ever read this book! It was torture. We had listened to all of our books are were stuck with this (well, I had boycotted Choice Cuts, our only other option). It was misleadingly billed as a combination of the Da Vinci Code and the writing of Umberto Eco, two heavies in the world of books and literature. But it is a poorly written book with little character development, confusing sequences of events, boring as all “heck” flashbacks that tell you absolutely nothing about the present (other than the fact that the main characters were boring and listless back then as well), “action” sequences that drag on and on and on, details about scenery that are tossed into the story recklessly, and a focus on this stupid book from the time of the Enlightenment whose importance is never really illucidated, thereby making the entire story pointless. The only value I find in this book is mockery at how poorly it attempts to replicate the Da Vinci Code.

That’s all our library had to offer. We hope that someone donates some more books on CD before our next road trip!