Holidays are a great time for curling up with a good book, especially when you can’t be out riding. Riders love to read moto stories.
This selection appeals to a wide range of interests. It’s hand-picked from my personal library and listed alphabetically by title. In addition to being available in print, most are available as ebooks, and some as audios. To get them in time for gift giving, author names link to their websites for the full range of availability; images link to Amazon. Get to know authors by listening to podcast interviews done earlier this year, where indicated.
10 Moto Book Gift Ideas
- American Borders, Carla King – An exploration of the borders between the United States, Canada, and Mexico on an unreliable Russian Ural motorcycle with sidecar becomes a comedy of breakdowns in small towns all around America. This four-month, 10,000-mile adventure spans moments of blissful backroads freedom, cultural connection, and roadside romance—interrupted by cracked welds, electrical gremlins, evil tow-truck drivers, tornadoes, and hurricanes. Listen to Chapter 1 in MP3 Format; download the 1st chapter or purchase print or ebook. Watch podcast: How to Live a Life of Freedom and Fulfillment
- Blind Curves, Linda Crill. After 18 months of following one-size-fits-all advice for a 57-year-old widow, Linda Crill was still miserable. In a moment of rebellion, she traded her corporate suits for motorcycle leathers and committed herself to a 2,500-mile road trip down America’s Pacific Northwest coast riding a motorcycle. The problem she didn’t know how to ride and had only 30 days to learn. Available in print or kindle. Watch podcast: Navigating Life’s Blind Curves
- Ghost Rider, Neil Peart – In less than a year, Neil Peart lost both his 19-year-old daughter, Selena, and his wife, Jackie. This memoir tells of the sense of loss and directionlessness that led him on a 55,000-mile journey by motorcycle across much of North America, down through Mexico to Belize, and back again. His travel adventures chronicle his personal odyssey, stories and thoughts as he rode until he encountered the miracle that allowed him to find peace. Available in print, kindle or audio.
- Jupiters Travels, Ted Simon, Simon rode a motorcycle around the world in the seventies, when such a thing was unheard of. In four years he covered 78,000 miles through 45 countries, living with peasants and presidents, in prisons and palaces, through wars and revolutions. What distinguishes this book is that Simon was already an accomplished writer. In 25 years this book has changed many lives, and inspired many to travel, including Ewan McGregor. Available in print or kindle.
- Live Full Throttle, Tamela Rich. Tamela rode around the country, interviewing cancer survivors on how the disease had changed their perspective and priorities. She shares eight lessons learned from her travels. Available in print.
- Lois on the Loose, Lois Pryce – Lois was working at the BBC in London, firmly set on the career track. But unbeknownst to her coworkers, Lois had an overwhelming case of wanderlust, one that couldn’t be satisfied by a weekend holiday. Whether bribing her way through Central American borders, spending the night in a Mexican brothel, or crashing her bike in Patagonia, Lois’s bright, funny travelogue will charm anyone who longs for adventure and a stretch of the open road. Available in print and kindle.
- The Mom Who Took Off on Her Motorcycle, Diana Bletter After raising her “4+2+1” brood–four kids, two stepkids and one unofficially adopted Ethiopian daughter– Diana faced an empty nest. What would she do now? And more importantly, who was she now? This story of a 10,000-mile journey to the Great White North is the inspiring tale of how one woman, with six motorcycle lessons worth of experience, takes off to discover who she was before she had children and to find out who she could still become. Available in print and kindle. Watch podcast interview
- University of Gravel Roads, Rene Cormier – Join the adventure as 33-year-old Rene politely removes himself from the working world that surrounds him and cashes in what few possessions he has to finance a three-yearlong motorcycle journey around the world. Never one to let excessive planning get in the way of a good ride, Rene runs out of money half way through the tour and ultimately takes five years to cover his 41-country, 154,000-kilometre (95,000-mile) route. Written with equal measure of cultural insight and travel logistics, this light travelogue brings you alongside Rene as he pulls off the ride of a lifetime, doing it the old-fashioned way; no sponsors, no support vehicles, and no idea about what he is going to learn along the way. Available in print.
- Women, Motorcycles and the Road to Empowerment, Liz Jansen (Me!) Using my own story as a framework, I integrate interviews with forty-nine other women whose stories illustrate a literal and symbolic common message of empowerment; how they have tapped into their power and how it has shaped their lives. They represent all disciplines of riding, come from diverse backgrounds, and deliver a universal message of strength.
- Zen and Now, Mark Richardson – This book tells of of how Mark tuned up his old motorbike and became a “Pirsig Pilgrim,” following the famous literary journey that Robert Pirsig and his son Chris took in 1968 from Minneapolis to San Francisco. Part travelogue, part meditation on an author and his work, Zen and Now is a tribute to a beloved American book and the landscape that inspired it.
— Melanie Mac (@mac_wigan) December 19, 2013