Every year, Alibris.com — an online store that sells new books, used books, out-of-print books, rare books and other media through an online network of independent booksellers – releases its Top Ten list of best-selling trucking books. Following are #’s 10 through 5 (reverse order) and how Alibris describes each one:
#10 – A Thousand Miles from Nowhere: Trucking Two Continents by Graham Coster
Once upon a time even our goods and wares travelled romantically. Bales of tea, rolls of silk, jars of spices were dispersed across the oceans in East India Company schooners and clippers. Many contemporary travel writers still retrace the traditional trade routes, but modern goods are moved by trucks. One man has to take a container on his truck, possibly all the way across Europe, alone, responsible for perhaps a quarter of a million pounds worth of goods. Across Eastern Europe, where customs regulations change every week, where on one run fuel might be short in Rumania or fighting have broken out in Yugoslavia. This travel book follows the author as he trucks his way across Europe and America.
#9 – On Thin Ice: Breakdowns, Whiteouts, and Survival on the World’s Deadliest Roads by Hugh Rowland and Michael Lent
You’ve watched him battle the odds on History’s Ice Road Truckers. Now read Hugh “The Polar Bear” Roland’s own storm-by-storm account of surviving and conquering the infamous ice roads of the Arctic. Join Hugh in the front seat of his truck as he shares his most chilling, adrenaline-fueled tales of the world’s most dangerous job. Every year, a fleet of truckers travels beyond the northern equatorial line to the Arctic Circle, battling subzero temperatures and perilous conditions. Though treacherous, it is a region heavily endowed with natural resources. Locating this abundance of natural gas, conflict-free diamonds, and gold is relatively easy; extracting and transporting these goods is another matter entirely. The elite truckers chosen to deliver materials vital to these efforts spend two months traveling distances greater than Western Europe on naturally formed roads of ice that is only sixteen inches thick. It is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world.
#8 – Sweatshops on Wheels: Winners and Losers in Trucking Deregulation by Michel H. Belzer
Long hours, low wages, and unsafe workplaces characterized sweatshops a hundred years ago. These same conditions plague American trucking today. Sweatshops on Wheels: Winners and Losers in Trucking Deregulation exposes the dark side of government deregulation in America’s interstate trucking industry. In the years since deregulation in 1980, median earnings have dropped 30% and most long-haul truckers earn less than half of pre-regulation wages. Work weeks average more than sixty hours. Today, America’s long-haul truckers are working harder and earning less than at any time during the last four decades. Written by a former long-haul trucker who now teaches industrial relations at Wayne State University, Sweatshops on Wheels raises crucial questions about the legacy of trucking deregulation in America and casts provocative new light on the issue of government deregulation in general.
#7 – Pedal to the Metal: The Work Life of Truckers by Lawrence J. Ouellet
From his experience, Lawrence J. Ouellet has the advantage of a rare perspective and a profound understanding of the two fundamental questions he asks in this book: Why do truck drivers work so hard even when it doesn’t result in more money or other material gains? and How do truckers make sense of their behavior to themselves and to the outside world? A vivid ethnography of trucking culture, Pedal to the Metal documents and analyzes truckers’ lives and work ethic, exploring the range of identities truckers create for themselves–the renegade cowboy, the company man, the voyeur, the lone king of the road.
#6 – King of the Road: True Tales from a Legendary Ice Road Trucker
by Alex Debogorski
The star of The History Channel’s top-rated reality show, “Ice Road Truckers” shares tales of his adventures–and misadventures–in the north, and explains, in his own entertaining voice, how he got to where he is today.
Stay tuned for Part 2 – The Top Five!