The Cult of Cars, Racing and Everything That Moves You.
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What's Your Favorite Automotive Book?

We're talking literature; a Haynes manual doesn't count.

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Plenty of people will tell you that reading is dead, that those dang kids with their Tic-Tacs and Fortnines killed it off. “Back in my day, we didn’t have Roblox, we had real books and we liked it.” They’ll tell you that books are a relic of a bygone age, long before pocket-sized computers, when ink and paper reigned supreme.

But those people will also tell you that manual transmissions are dead. Personal car ownership is dead. Human driving, DIY repairs, the connection between human and machine, they’ll tell you each and every one of these are dead. None of those are true, so why would we believe them on books?

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Photo: Ben Pruchnie (Getty Images)

Today, we’re talking about automotive books — driver biographies, histories of races, even simple fiction narratives around the world of the automobile. Anything from the novelization of Long Way Round (it added more details than the show, it counts) to Stephen King’s Christine is on the table here.


For my entry, I recently started Elspeth Beard’s book Lone Rider, about her round-the-world trip on a BMW R60. Her first miles in the U.S. actually mirrored my old drive from my parents’ house to my college, which of course means I was instantly hooked. It’s become my go-to subway book for those office commutes.

But what’s your favorite book about cars, boats, bikes, or anything else in the automotive world? It doesn’t have to be an autobiographical narrative, we’ll take anything from rote historical fact to the fanciest of fiction. Give us your best picks, your editor’s choices, and we’ll collect our favorite answers tomorrow. Who knows, maybe we’ll end up with a Jalopnik book club after this.