John Steinbeck has left such an indelible imprint on what the world reads, it’s a little difficult to call on just one of his many titles; if we really had to go off the beaten track, however, we’d recommend Travels With Charley: In Search of America.
In 1960, Steinbeck bought and refurbished a pickup truck, modernizing it by building a camper on top of it. Picking up his faithful poodle and sidekick, Charley, and drove across America. Poignant yet hilarious, it’s a remarkable look into the 1960s.
Fun fact: Steinbeck’s truck-cum-camper – which he nickname ‘Rocinante’ after Don Quixote’s horse – is still on display at the National Steinbeck Centre in California.