The best motorcycle books

2 authors have picked their favorite books about motorcycles and why they recommend each book.

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Girl on a Motorcycle

By Amy Novesky, Julie Morstad (illustrator),

Book cover of Girl on a Motorcycle

I relished this chic, wondrous, adventuresome story of journalist and author Anne-France Dautheville's solo motorcycle ride around the world in the 1970s. As a longtime fan of Amy Novesky’s work, I learned about the project as Amy was developing it, and waited years for the book, which did not disappoint. Amy’s spare, inventive, and poetic prose takes readers on a vivid journey, with distinct, cinematic scenes that make you feel like you’ve taken the trip with Anne-France. 

As creators, we must sometimes seek to know the world in deeper, more intimate ways. My girls were, interestingly, shocked and amazed at Anne-France’s boldness. Although fifty years have passed, Anne-France’s trip seems as intrepid as ever.


Who am I?

I am an award-winning author who grew up in a family of painters, poets, sculptors, and novelists; people who designed their lives around, and dedicated their lives to, artistic expression. I knew I wanted to be a writer at age three when I began dictating a poem every day to my mom. I first fell in love with Jane Austen as a student at Oxford, where I read my favorite of her novels, Persuasion.


I wrote...

A Most Clever Girl: How Jane Austen Discovered Her Voice

By Jasmine A. Stirling, Vesper Stamper (illustrator),

Book cover of A Most Clever Girl: How Jane Austen Discovered Her Voice

What is my book about?

A Most Clever Girl tells the story of the world’s most beloved novelist, Jane Austen, and how she found her singularly witty, mischievous, and rebellious voice as a writer, despite losses that left her financially devastated, emotionally adrift, and unable to write for nearly a decade. 

I wrote this book to help my children, and all children, better understand the creative process—its fits and starts, its moments of exhilaration and frustration, and how it must be nurtured and tended to fully develop. I also enjoyed debunking the image of Jane as a dull spinster. Quite the contrary—Jane was a savage wit and proud rebel, who didn’t hesitate to put mighty men in their place with a few well-placed words. The book’s illustrator, also a devoted Janeite, visited all of the locations in the manuscript to create the artwork, which is lush and pitch perfect, making this book heirloom quality.

Hell's Angels

By Hunter S. Thompson,

Book cover of Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga: A Strange and Terrible Saga

Nothing beats an author willing to immerse himself into an outlaw world to get their perspective – until that world starts to literally beat the writer. Hunter Thompson’s first book is more of a journalistic work, examining the infamous biker gang from the inside than what would follow (Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas and so on.) He is very much part of the action at riotous parties, on bar stools, and alongside at motorcycle runs, but his first-person narration is an effective tool for revealing the Hell's Angels as independent people and as a fraternal organization. The writer and his subjects willingly project their images of unrepentant criminals. But when Thompson is on the receiving end of a gang beatdown, it’s a reminder that the line between outlaw and citizen can be hazy, and you might not know you’ve crossed it until blood’s being spilled.      


Who am I?

As a journalist and author of history books who's lived in Texas for most of my adult life, I've found myself unavoidably steeped in Texas Ranger lore. I didn't understand how such a small force could enter unfamiliar areas of Texas and get any results as law enforcement officers. This central question led to me the operations of Company F during 1886-1888. I found the showdowns were just one part of the story. Researching these topics meant learning about the Rangers' outlaw targets - following another journalistic impulse to give both sides of this story an equal hearing. What resulted is a nuanced, complex tale that hopefully will open eyes instead of pointing fingers.


I wrote...

Red Sky Morning: The Epic True Story of Texas Ranger Company F

By Joe Pappalardo,

Book cover of Red Sky Morning: The Epic True Story of Texas Ranger Company F

What is my book about?

Many books about the Texas Rangers are told strictly from the point of view of the lawmen and don’t dwell on those of their targets. In Red Sky Morning, I describe both sides of several clashes for a more complete view of the outlaws’ personalities and motivations, as well as the effect the Rangers had on the communities where their manhunts unfolded. The book is set in the late 1800s, but it’s more inspired by the movie Heat than westerns like Tombstone.  

Maybe I spent too much time as a journalist, but I enjoy finding forgotten accounts that reexamine official narratives. These new points of view aren't always sympathetic to the criminals, but they certainly help explain why they made the decisions that led them to cross paths with the Texas Rangers.  

Rabbit and the Motorbike

By Kate Hoefler, Sarah Jacoby (illustrator),

Book cover of Rabbit and the Motorbike

When I picked up Rabbit and the Motorbike, I didn’t know it had a death in it. I grabbed it for the beautiful cover and artwork. But the story inside deeply resonated with me, especially so soon after releasing my own grief book. Rabbit has a friend, Dog, who rides all over on his motorbike and comes back and tells Rabbit all his great adventures. Rabbit never goes anywhere but he loves Dog’s stories. One day, Dog dies and leaves his motorbike to Rabbit. Rabbit is mystified. Why would Dog leave him his motorbike? Rabbit never goes anywhere. But then one day he does, and the whole world opens up and now Rabbit has stories of his own to tell.

A beautiful book about how life goes on after grief and learning to live fully and make our own stories.


Who am I?

In the past ten years, I have had to guide my young children through two unexpected and tragic deaths of loved ones. Both times, I was struggling with my own grief and wasn’t sure what my kids understood or didn’t. I made a lot of mistakes (as my son’s therapist can attest) but through it all, I learned a great deal about how much children notice, how deeply they feel a loss, and how to tend to our own grief and our children’s. From that pain, I wrote You’ll Find Me, and since then, have been able to use that book as a jumping-off point to discuss grief with others.


I wrote...

You'll Find Me

By Amanda Rawson Hill, Joanne Lew-Vriethoff (illustrator),

Book cover of You'll Find Me

What is my book about?

Loss becomes remembrance in this book that offers tender ways to pay tribute to, and meaningfully incorporate, a loved one’s lost presence into present and future life experiences. Be it departed friends, family, pets, and more, memories can carry us beyond the precious moments we have together to keep the ones we loved before in mind forever.

Throughout the book the omnipresent narrator encourages thoughtful reflection on the empty spaces left by the loss. The gentle scenes portrayed inspire recovery from sadness and honor those who are absent. This lyrical heartful story provides consent and gently encourages readers to move to a place of peace and acceptance despite the absence.

Motorcycle Man

By Kristen Ashley,

Book cover of Motorcycle Man

Kirsten Ashley’s Dream Man series had to have a place on my list. Tyra has spent her entire adult life searching for her dream man and will settle for nothing less. Enter Kane “Tack” Allen. After a few tequila shots and one passion-filled night together, Tyra knows she’s found her dream, only for him to throw her out in the morning. Tack is less than happy to discover that Tyra is his new office manager and gives her an ultimatum, followed by riveting chapter after chapter of mounting sexual tension.

This series is full of great characters and Tack is one of my all-time favorite alpha males because he knows his girl is something special and goes all out to get it. Take note, guys!


Who am I?

What makes a good sex scene for you? Long and drawn out, fast and furious or an unusual location? Perhaps the interesting use of accessories is your jam. And that’s before we get to angry sex, makeup sex, unexpected sex, or sex with the fear of discovery. I’ve loved steamy romance novels for as long as I can remember, and when I look for books with sex scenes, I have high expectations. I’m a fan of something unusual. Not tacky or totally unrealistic, just something surprising and interesting. But have all the best ideas been written? No way. I’m a firm believer that the best is yet to come.


I wrote...

The Refusal

By Eve M. Riley,

Book cover of The Refusal

What is my book about?

Quiet boyfriends. An organised life. It’s all about to be upended. When playboy sleazebag Janus Phillips meets feisty wrong-side-of-the-tracks Jo Williams, sparks fly. But when she’s forced into helping him sort a hack into his company to save her own struggling business, she realizes that Janus is not quite what he seems.

The Refusal is a seventeen-time romance book award winner. Global Book Award Gold. Overall winner of the 16th National Indie Excellence Awards, winner of the Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards and the Los Angeles Book Festival. The Refusal was also an Independent Press Award Distinguished Favorite, a finalist in the International Book Awards, the Wishing Shelf Book Awards, and the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Awards for best first book.

My Papi Has a Motorcycle

By Isabel Quintero, Zeke Peña (illustrator),

Book cover of My Papi Has a Motorcycle

My Papi Has a Motorcycle is a unique look at not just a father-daughter relationship, but at how they connect with their whole community. My own dad had a motorcycle, and from waiting for him to get home from work, to slipping that big helmet on, to holding onto him tightly as we flew down the streets, I connected with this story and the bond between father and daughter. A special outing with Dad, or Papi, is always a treat, and this book brings that to life.


Who am I?

As a picture book author and mom, I am constantly inspired by the world around me. I love watching my children, and I love how they adore their dad and he adores them in return. So many of my stories have been inspired by their interactions. While I am no expert on fatherhood, I have been fortunate to have had a loving dad who played “Monster in the Middle,” who took us for rides on his motorcycle, and reminded us that we could accomplish anything we put our mind to. I love books that remind us of the power of a loving father-child relationship and hope you, too, will be lifted by these joyful stories.


I wrote...

Help Wanted, Must Love Books

By Janet Sumner Johnson, Courtney Dawson (illustrator),

Book cover of Help Wanted, Must Love Books

What is my book about?

Shailey loves bedtime, especially reading with her dad. But her dad starts a new job, and it gets in the way of their bedtime routine. So Shailey takes action! She fires her dad, posts a Help Wanted sign, and starts interviews immediately. She is thrilled when her favorite characters from fairytales line up to apply. But Sleeping Beauty can't stay awake, the Gingerbread Man steals her book, and Snow White brings along her whole team.

Shailey is running out of options. Is bedtime ruined forever?

Jerk It (Madd CrossFit)

By Lani Lynn Vale,

Book cover of Jerk It (Madd CrossFit)

Another author who writes in a single world, Vale’s group of cops, motorcycle gang members, and CrossFit enthusiasts (to name a few of the groups) are always enjoyable to read about. Once again on my list, family is more than blood (although there are a lot of blood family ties in her world!). Once-friends, to delivering a baby on the side of the road, and trying to avoid one another makes for a story where you can’t help but cheer this couple on. Mavis and Murphy’s relationship starts with a wail and leaves you emotionally wrung out—in the best of ways. 


Who am I?

I hate saying goodbye. Picking up a book and being introduced to an entire group of people—family, friends, teammates—and knowing you get to continue to watch these relationships bloom over a course of books is part of the reason I pick up a book in the first place. I want to see these characters pop in twenty books down the road. I absolutely love cameos of old characters! Because of this, I write in a singular world as well. My Prescotts may be the base of the world at the moment, but it’s also their friends at O’Gallaghers and their teammates with the Enforcers hockey team that keep the world growing—and it’s not ending anytime soon.


I wrote...

Butterfly Save (Prescott Brothers)

By Mignon Mykel,

Book cover of Butterfly Save (Prescott Brothers)

What is my book about?

The first to get married, the only to get divorced… Jonny Prescott is the “broken” brother. 

After his surprise retirement announcement, hockey goaltender Jonny Prescott decides to hide away in the Northern Wisconsin woods—away from everything and everyone. No limelight. Little recognition. The last thing he expects is to be drawn to his equally isolated neighbor. Summer is far too young to be so jaded, but Jonny can’t help but want to break this butterfly free.

In Rides Trouble

By Julie Ann Walker,

Book cover of In Rides Trouble

I started getting to know Becky and Frank in the first book, always a yummy tease in an ensemble cast series. She's in love with him, but he has his reasons for not getting romantically involved with her. Best intentions, right? But throw in some pirates, danger, and pain meds and Frank gets a taste of Becky, and there’s no turning back! I really liked Becky’s kick-butt attitude, and especially that there’s lots of juicy conflict as these two navigate the turbulent waters between them.


Who am I?

I love the combination of action and romance and suspense. It’s a real juggle as an author to balance the two main elements (suspense and romance mostly), give each depth and page time, and make us care about the people both in love and in peril. I’ve always been drawn to suspense, even as a kid. But I gotta have the relationships, too. I used to direct plays with my childhood friends, and there were always bad guys and the romance—and this was long before I was thinking of having a real romance!


I wrote...

Wild Lies (Justiss Alliance)

By Tina Wainscott,

Book cover of Wild Lies (Justiss Alliance)

What is my book about?

Rathmusen Blackwood, aka Rath, rode off on his Harley after a SEAL team mission went deadly wrong and the media dubbed his unit “Rogue Six.” He needs to find the truth and avenge his comrades...and himself. The mole who fed the U.S. lethally false information is hiding in cartel territory in Mexico, so Rath breaks into the secluded house where intel says Dan is staying.

Instead, he finds Dan’s beautiful daughter, Neesa, who’s risking her life to find her father. Rath looks more like a narco than he does an agent, but he proves himself capable when she’s attacked. They follow Dan’s trail, and as their secrets come to light they are drawn deeper into mystery, danger, and a love neither could have imagined…

Sinner's Creed

By Kim Jones,

Book cover of Sinner's Creed

I have never ugly cried from a book as hard as I did for Sinner’s Creed. Deep down, I knew what would happen. I knew [sorta] how it would end, but held out hope for a different outcome. Dirk and Saylor’s love is pure despite the darkness around them. Dirk is devoted to Saylor and she shares that same level of commitment. This book tore me apart in the most perfect way.


Who am I?

Maybe it was because I fell in love with Sons of Anarchy and needed more when the series ended. Maybe it was because I’ve always loved alpha holes. Either way, motorcycle club romances just fit in my reader wheelhouse. There's something about the ultimate bad boys who will burn the world down for that one woman. I think what appeals to me most is that these couples, their relationships, are never perfect. The men don’t magically become the perfect boyfriends. They still screw up, but they love in their own gritty, possessive, dirty way with their whole hearts. When I devoured every audiobook I could find, I decided to try my hand at writing one. 


I wrote...

Jacob: Odin’s Fury Motorcycle Club

By Victoria Jayne,

Book cover of Jacob: Odin’s Fury Motorcycle Club

What is my book about?

Looking to ride off into the sunset with the love of your life? When the road gets bumpy, will Jacob and Sparrow hang on tight or find their own paths? 

Jacob is a slow burn, second chance romance with a redefined cinnamon roll. Jacob and Sparrow met in their youth but distance, time, and club life kept them apart. They have a second chance. Will their loyalties get in the way of taking it?

The Mouse and the Motorcycle

By Beverly Cleary,

Book cover of The Mouse and the Motorcycle

I grew up reading just about everything that Beverly Clearly wrote, and while it would be impossible for me to choose a favorite, Ralph S. Mouse’s adventure with a boy named Keith, who is vacationing in the Mountain View Inn with his family, is one that doesn’t get old, even after all these years. What kid wouldn’t love a story about a talking mouse, not to mention a mouse that saves the day riding a toy motorcycle in search of medicine for his sick new human friend? I certainly did! And if you can’t get enough of Ralph, there are two more books in the series.


Who am I?

When I was a kid, staying in a motel, even a run-down one, was a real treat. Flicking on all the switches to see what they controlled, exploring the bathroom for fun soaps and little shampoo bottles, sharing a room with my sister, swimming in the motel pool, and getting to eat sugar cereals at breakfast—all this was a wonderland to me as a kid. It was part of what made writing No Vacancy so much fun. There’s so much you can do with a motel or hotel setting, and I love to see what other authors come up with. I hope you do too!


I wrote...

No Vacancy

By Tziporah Cohen,

Book cover of No Vacancy

What is my book about?

Buying and moving into the run-down Jewel Motor Inn in upstate New York wasn’t eleven-year-old Miriam Brockman’s dream, but at least it’s an adventure. Miriam befriends Kate, whose grandmother owns the diner next door, and finds comfort in the company of Maria, the motel’s housekeeper, and her Uncle Mordy, who comes to help out for the summer.

But when it becomes clear that only a miracle is going to save the Jewel from bankruptcy, Jewish Miriam and Catholic Kate decide to create their own. Otherwise, the No Vacancy sign will come down for good, and Miriam will lose the life she’s worked so hard to build. A Sydney Taylor Honor winner and National Jewish Book Award finalist.

Undeniable

By Madeline Sheehan,

Book cover of Undeniable

Undeniable is the raw and dirty story of Eva and Deuce. As the children of leaders of outlaw motorcycle clubs, they have expectations placed on them. These pressures both drive them apart and together at the same time. It’s not a pretty tale. It’s complicated. Everything is in their way, but they persevere. They go through hell to be together. It’s not the typical love story, but it’s theirs.


Who am I?

Maybe it was because I fell in love with Sons of Anarchy and needed more when the series ended. Maybe it was because I’ve always loved alpha holes. Either way, motorcycle club romances just fit in my reader wheelhouse. There's something about the ultimate bad boys who will burn the world down for that one woman. I think what appeals to me most is that these couples, their relationships, are never perfect. The men don’t magically become the perfect boyfriends. They still screw up, but they love in their own gritty, possessive, dirty way with their whole hearts. When I devoured every audiobook I could find, I decided to try my hand at writing one. 


I wrote...

Jacob: Odin’s Fury Motorcycle Club

By Victoria Jayne,

Book cover of Jacob: Odin’s Fury Motorcycle Club

What is my book about?

Looking to ride off into the sunset with the love of your life? When the road gets bumpy, will Jacob and Sparrow hang on tight or find their own paths? 

Jacob is a slow burn, second chance romance with a redefined cinnamon roll. Jacob and Sparrow met in their youth but distance, time, and club life kept them apart. They have a second chance. Will their loyalties get in the way of taking it?

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