From the list on the spirit of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road.
Who am I?
Traveling, meeting people, hearing stories, learning about places and landscapes—this is what my writing is all about. Sometimes it takes the form of nonfiction, sometimes poetry. I’ve had a wandering spirit from early on, finding joy and wonder as a child while sitting in the backseat on road trips, or taking the bus cross-state, or (best of all) riding on a train going anywhere. Reading Kerouac’s On the Road brought everything together: heading out with no particular destination in mind other than finding oneself on the road. And then writing it all down, telling the story. Here are some books that have rekindled the Kerouac spirit for me.
Stephen's book list on the spirit of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road
Discover why each book is one of Stephen's favorite books.
Why did Stephen love this book?
Perhaps no one—including Kerouac—embodies this characteristic restlessness more purely than Chris McCandless, the subject of Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild. McCandless’s story has captured the imagination of legions of readers, myself included (not everyone is on board; there are those who consider McCandless a fool). I’m sure I’m not the only one who read the book in one sitting, unable to set it down. What’s so mesmerizing about McCandless’s story, for those who can’t resist it, is his utter belief (saintly in its way) that the physical journey is in fact a quest, a kind of soul-searching that leads to enlightenment. That his journey ends badly somehow seems to validate his belief. McCandless dared to go to the limits, even if it meant there was no return.
Into the Wild
Why should I read it?
17 authors picked Into the Wild as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.
What is this book about?
Krakauer’s page-turning bestseller explores a famed missing person mystery while unraveling the larger riddles it holds: the profound pull of the American wilderness on our imagination; the allure of high-risk activities to young men of a certain cast of mind; the complex, charged bond between fathers and sons.
"Terrifying... Eloquent... A heart-rending drama of human yearning." —New York Times
In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all…