Mad Trip humorous travel book hits Amazon bestseller list
Road trip tips from kids include to make sure you control the radio so you don’t listen to ‘old-fashioned music’ the whole time
An updated version of It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Trip: On the Road of the Longest Two-Week Family Road Trip in History hit the Amazon bestseller list in the Auto and RV Travel category, reaching as high as 31st in early August 2022. The bestselling 100 books in a category are listed on Amazon’s site.
The book covers a 17-day adventurous road trip across the United States and back in an aging Honda CR-V taken by journalist Kevin Shay and his two kids. On the almost 7,000-mile journey, they visited some of the nation’s best attractions, such as the Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, and the Corn Palace in South Dakota.
But this is much more than a travelogue on how they managed to drive across the Southwest desert at night without encountering a dead body. The Shays provide answers to some of humanity’s most bewildering mysteries. For one, just how did Billy Graham obtain a Hollywood Walk of Fame star when he has spent much of his life ranting against the alleged sins of Tinseltown?
They introduce Mad Trip Tips. “Make sure you control the radio,” advises 13-year-old Preston. “You don’t want to listen to some old-fashioned music the whole time.” As her father and brother tour the Pro Football Hall of Fame, 10-year-old McKenna recommends to bring a book, phone or something else to look at “while your brother and Dad are taking too much time here.” You think you can get that from some Fodor’s travel guide?
The Shays also offer Mad Trip Fun Facts, lending insight into the nation’s most popular national parks, museums, and theme parks, tallest skyscrapers, deadliest storms, and more. There are long lists of resources and attractions, from the obvious to hidden gems.
As a bonus, the last chapter details another 17-day road odyssey the Shays took through mostly new territory in 2022, proving they still were willing to tackle this type of journey. They were older, but not necessarily wiser.
Some differences between when the original book was published in 2014 and now include:
* Phoenix rose to the fifth most populous city in 2020 from sixth in 2014, overtaking Philadelphia. New York [8.6 million], Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston remained the top four. Fort Worth, Austin, and Seattle saw the biggest gains among the 20 most populous cities, each of more than 21 percent between 2010 and 2020. Detroit experienced the largest decline, losing 10.5 percent.
* The cost of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in August 2022 was about the same as in 2013, at an inflation-adjusted $4.08.
* The Willis Tower in Chicago fell from the tallest U.S. building in 2013 to third in 2022, while the Trump Hotel declined to seventh from second. New York’s One World Trade Center and Central Park Tower were the highest structures in 2022. The Empire State Building fell to ninth from third.
* The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York was the most popular museum in the U.S. in 2019 with 6.8 million visitors, overtaking the Smithsonian Natural History and Space museums that topped the list in 2013. The Louvre in Paris remained the most popular one in the world in 2019, welcoming 9.6 million people. Most museums experienced significant attendance declines in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
* Zion in Utah rose to the second most popular national park in 2021 with 5.0 million visitors, from seventh in 2013. The Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee and North Carolina continued to top that list with 14.1 million visitors.
* Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Florida jumped to third place among the most popular theme parks in 2019 from fourth in 2012, ahead of Epcot. Magic Kingdom and Disneyland in California remained the top two with 21 million and 18.7 million visitors, respectively.
The book is available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other retailers. It is also available as an ebook through Kindle, Nook, ePub, Kobo, iBooks, and others. The print book retails for $14.95, while the ebook price is a significant savings at $3.99.
In 2017, Shay’s book on the John F. Kennedy assassination, Death of the Rising Sun, reached as high as second on the Amazon bestseller list for books on presidents and heads of state.
Then in 2021, his book on the last year of the Donald Trump presidency, Operation Chaos, ranked 28th on the Amazon list for books on political campaigns and elections, 50th for books on political corruption, and 69th for 21st century American history books.