One for the Road: Dispatches From Up South

Now that Memorial Day and Book Expo are behind us, One for the Road can get back down to business, offering up a daily dose of fresh book ideas for Gadling’s lit-minded travelers. Let’s get started with the latest from funnyman Roy Blount Jr. His first collection of essays in more than a decade, Long Time Leaving: Dispatches from Up South, is a quizzical look at where Blount grew up (the South), from where he now lives (the North.) About half the pieces that appear in the book are from his Oxford American column “Gone Off Up North”.

Although he touches on issues of race and politics throughout the book, the New York Times says Blount is at his best when chewing chili dogs or contemplating soybean crops. Smart and funny seems to be the general consensus on this one, regardless of where you’re from or who you vote for. And if you like Blount’s distinctive and well-known NPR voice, you may want to consider the audio version of this sly and witty tour through the South. He’ll be making several appearances in Alabama, Mississippi and New York during June and July.