Reading list inspiration for travel
City and region specific
Books & eBooks
- Baseball: A History of America’s Favorite GameView on Amazon The New York Times sports columnist Vecsey gives the scoop on the national pastime. By George Vecsey.
- Between the World and MeView on Amazon In a letter to his adolescent son, the author shares the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world — as a black man in America — through a series of revelatory experiences. By Ta-Nehisi Coates.
- City by City: Dispatches from the American MetropolisView on Amazon A collection of essays — historical, personal, and somewhere in between — about the present and future of American cities. It sweeps from Gold Rush, Alaska, to Miami, Florida, encompassing cities large and small, growing and failing. Edited by Keith Gessen and Stephen Squibb.
- Deep South: Four Seasons on Back RoadsView on Amazon Travelling through North and South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas, the author writes of the stunning landscapes he discovers — the deserts, the mountains, the Mississippi — and above all, the lives of the people he meets. By Paul Theroux.
- On the RoadView on Amazon An American classic. Chronicles the author's years traveling the North American continent with his friend Neal Cassady. By Jack Kerouac.
- On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American CityView on Amazon. An extraordinary account of how the War on Crime has torn apart inner-city communities. By Alice Goffman.
- Rebel YellView on Amazon The story of the Civil War general Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson. By SC Gwynne.
- Rising from the PlainsView on Amazon The geology of the Rocky Mountains and the personal story of the geologist Dave Love. By John McPhee.
- Route 66: EZ66 Guide for TravelersView on Amazon The best guide to Route 66, the "Main Street of America," that runs from Chicago to Santa Monica. By Jerry McClanahan.
- SkyscrapersView on Amazon A look at the buiding type born in NYC. By Judith Dupre.
- The First TycoonView on Amazon Cornelius “Commodore” Vanderbilt launched the transportation revolution, enabled the Gold Rush, reshaped Manhattan and invented the modern corporation. By TJ Stiles.
- The History of JazzView on Amazon The origin and evolution of a distinctly American music. By Ted Gioia.
- The Underground Railroad: A NovelView on Amazon Re-creating the unique terrors for black people in the pre-Civil War era, the narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. By Colson Whitehead.
- Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of HollywoodView on Amazon A look at the birth of the motion picture industry. By William J Mann.
- Twelve Years a SlaveView on Amazon Extraordinary story of the son of a freed slave who, in 1841, was tricked and sold into slavery. Following a harrowing twelve years spent as a slave on plantations in Louisiana, he won his release and published this memoir, which became a national bestseller in 1853. By Solomon Northup.
- When the Mob Ran VegasView on Amazon The making of Las Vegas and the personalities played there. By Steve Fischer.
- Your Guide to the National ParksView on Amazon A comprehensive guidebook to visiting America's national parks. By Michael Joseph Oswald.
Articles & Academic Papers
- “A Bear Armed with a Gun”View on the London Review of Books website The tensions that now run through transatlantic relations. By David Runciman.
- “America’s Last Ban on Sunday Shopping”View on NewYorker.com The possible repeal of the last-standing blue laws. By JB Mackinnon.
- “American Paradise”View on Metmuseum.org Explores America's famed Hudson River school of artists and their works. By Kevin J Avery, Oswaldo Rodriguez Roque, John K Howat, Doreen Bolger Burke and Catherine Hoover Voorsanger.
- “Battleground America”View on NewYorker.com One nation, under the gun. By Jill Lepore.
- “Blues on Wheels”View on the TheMorningNews A writer becomes a carrier for the United States Postal Service out of a long-held love for the mail. What she discovers are screams, threats, lies, labor violations, and dog attacks. By Jess Stoner.
- “Las Vegas and the coming gamblification of American pro sports”View on Vox.com After years without a pro sports team, Las Vegas is building a new arena and rumors suggest that the NHL may expand there. By Joseph Stromberg.
- “Project Exodus”View on NewYorker.com A look at the US space program and why Mars might be our only hope. By Elizabeth Kolbert.
- “Remnants of the Underground Railroad”View on the TheMorningNews The Thirteenth Amendment passed 150 years ago, abolishing slavery. Today, little of the Underground Railroad still remains. A painter hits the road to discover what’s intact. By Ben Shattuck.
- “The Abstract Expressionists”View on Metmuseum.org A discussion of the Met's collection. By Eugene Victor Shaw.
- “The Caging of America”View on NewYorker.com Why do we lock up so many people? By Adam Gopnik.
- “The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food”View on NYTimes.com The science behind why America snacks. By Michael Moss.
- “The Road To Resilience: How Unscientific Innovation Saved Marlin Steel”View on FastCompany.com A little maker of metal baskets shows how U.S. manufacturers can thrive against all comers. By Charles Fishman.
- “The Significance of the Frontier in American History”View on gutenberg.org A classic. This article (the first in the collection) explains how the USA's moving western frontier shaped American democracy and, with it, the very nature of the American character. By Frederick Jackson Turner.
- “They Began a New Era”View on NYBooks.com The great American novelist (and aviator) reviews David McCullough's book on the Wright brothers. By James Salter.
- “Where the River Runs Dry”View on NewYorker.com The Colorado and America’s water crisis. By David Owen.
Online Sources & Blogs
- American FoodView on CNN.com What should be on every visitor's list.
- Annenberg Learner Series on Famous American PoetsVisit lerner.org In a series of free videos, the lives and works of 13 renowned American poets are interpreted through dramatic readings, archival photographs, dance, performances and interviews.
- Bucket List Sporting EventsView on USAToday America's ten best sporting events.
- Harley Davidson MotorcyclesVisit HarleyDavidson.com In case your in the market for ultimate American experience.
- Natural AtlasVisit naturalatlas.com Highly-detailed maps that highlight trails, campsites and bodies of water off the beaten path in the US.
- The Four High End Steaks You Should KnowView on SeriousEats.com Know your steaks!
- The ultimate app for wine enthusiastsVisit wine.approachguides.com Simply the best resource for learning about wine regions, appellations and grape varieties.
- US Presidents: Reference ResourceVisit MillerCenter.org Information on all of the presidents of the United States of America, including a presidential speech archive.
- Weather: El Niño, La Niña and EnsoView on ucar.edu Background on these key factors in year-to-year weather and climate variation.
- World Bank | United StatesVisit worldbank.org A great resource for the country's quality of living indicators, economy and climate change data.
- World Bank | USAVisit worldbank.org A great resource for the country's quality of living indicators, economy and climate change data.
- Edgar Allen Poe (1808-1849)Listen to the Spotify playlist Listen to a collection of the great American poet's works.
- New York City PoetsListen to the Spotify playlist Listen to a some of the city's most revered poets recite from their works.
- The Sounds of USA: The BluesListen to the Spotify playlist Listen to a personal collection of America's quintessential blues tracks compiled by Trip Reads founder Jennifer Raezer. The perfect pre-trip soundtrack.
Just for Kids
- Esperanza RisingView on Amazon Set in the 1930s, this novel follows a young girl as she is forced to leave her home in Mexico and move to the United States to work in California's agricultural industry. By Pam Munoz Ryan.
- National Geographic Kids United States AtlasView on Amazon Children's atlas featuring maps, graphics, essays and statistics on the fifty states that make up the USA. By National Geographic.
Who to Follow
- Twitter: Art in AmericaFollow @AiANews The world's premier art magazine since 1913.
- Twitter: Conan O’BrienFollow @ConanOBrien The voice of the people. Sorry, people.
- Twitter: Eater
Follow @Eater Food news and dining guides from across the country.
- Twitter: ESPNFollow @espn We talk about sports, sports, and well ... sports.
- Twitter: New York TimesFollow @nytimes One of the best sources for national news.
- Twitter: New York Times ArtsFollow @nytimesarts Arts and entertainment news.
- Twitter: Paul LewisFollow @PaulLewis The Guardian's Washington Correspondent. 'Best Twitter Feed', Online Media Awards.
- Twitter: Pitchfork
Follow @Pitchfork The essential guide to independent music and beyond.
- Twitter: Wall Street JournalFollow @wsj Breaking news and features from the WSJ.