FORGET THE POLLSTERS AND PUNDITS - America can speak for itself. Are you ready to undertake an epic two-wheeled journey through all 50 states to hear what our nation has to say?
The Conversations With US series chronicles some 16,000 miles of pedal-powered exploration as author Chris Register and his trusty touring rig set forth to uncover the truth about our shared hopes, challenges, and potential. This second installment takes you from Houston to Death Valley in search of the cowboys, Native peoples, entrepreneurs, oilmen, desert artists, and others who define this corner of the USA. Between narrow escapes and sweeping vistas, Chris’s immersive conversations with these folks blend with ochre buttes and rusty barbed wire to offer a rich snapshot of our nation’s most fabled landscape. So, grease your chain and saddle up - your unforgettable trek into the American Southwest awaits.
Learn more and order your copy at www.conversationswithus.com.
Chris Register is an explorer at heart. His life's journey has taken him through a thousand villages, towns, cities, rural communities, and wild places spread across several continents. He served in the Peace Corps, graduated Georgetown Law, and litigated cases in U.S. district court before cycling some 16,000 miles across the United States to connect with hundreds of everyday Americans from all 50 states and walks of life. His Conversations With US series now brings readers along on that eye-opening journey.
Chris’s journey continues as he takes this modern American epic from pedal to print with his independent publishing company, Spoke & Word Books. He lives and writes in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Conversations with US, an intimate look at Americans I have to admit that only about 10% of the hundreds of books I read each year are non-fiction, so when my advance copy of “Conversations with US – American Southwest” arrived, I was dubious that it would grab my attention. I was wrong. This is a book that gives up-close-and-personal looks at the lives, thoughts and opinions of a diverse collection of individuals who live in the American Southwest. The interviews, conducted by author, Chris Register, were gathered during his 1900-mile bike tour across Texas, New Mexico and parts of Nevada and California. A few of those interviewed had been pre-scheduled, but most were just chance meetings along the way. Register’s writing style lets the subject do the talking, and gives the reader a sense of being part of the conversations. It’s the stories and voices of those subjects that make this book compelling. They are told chronologically as Register makes his way across the Southwest. Every day brings a new person with a story to tell -- and they are all unique. This device, which kept me staying up late a few times, makes you want to find out who’s next and what they have to say. And what they had to say, gave me hope for the future. Though they came from different backgrounds and beliefs, these were good, hard-working people who had a strong sense of community and family. There are cowboys and artists, business owners and college students, police officers and oil workers. The differences didn’t matter when someone needed help or something needed to be done. They help each other. In addition to the people, the Southwest landscape with its wide-open spaces and mountains and deserts plays its own role in this adventure. It seems to resonate and be entwined with the people’s “independent spirit.” Having lived in New Mexico, the people and places in the book seem very familiar. I know people just like the ones in the book and I live in a small, diverse community where people do take care of each other. I encourage readers to ride along with Register on his journey and get to know real people who represent America at its best.
This book was definitely an enjoyable read and I admire anyone who executes this kind of undertaking--a very long bike trip in some pretty harsh conditions with a goal of interviewing a lot of people along the way. And this volume is just about one segment of Register's travels, so it's almost mind boggling. Maybe it's the part of the country he's riding through in this volume, but most of the people he talks to are pretty conservative, and many of them play fast and loose with facts. (Half the country is on welfare? Really?) People keep telling liberals they need to listen to conservatives, but when will the conservatives listen liberals? Anyway, this book is very readable, the interviews are quite interesting, and there's a lot of humor along the way. Plus, the book is nicely produced. I did a short interview with the author, which you can read here: https://cliffordgarstang.com/intervie...
Fascinating tour through the American southwest talking to people about what's on their minds concerning the condition of the country and what they are most concerned about. Chris talks to a broad cross section of people in his travels. The reader also gets some idea of what a lone bicyclist faces when riding long distances. I found that part of the story particularly interesting. A wonderful read, especially if your vacation this year is a staycation.
I look forward to reading more of the author's travels. He manages to facilitate conversations that enlighten the opinions of fellow Americans without causing defensiveness. His descriptions of places traveled increase my curiosity to visit those out-of-the-way places that make this country so beautiful and interesting.