Brennen Matthews, his wife Kate, and son Thembi needed a vacation after a difficult move from Nairobi to Toronto. So they took a road trip west across the U.S., driving from Chicago to California. In Miles to Go: An African Family in Search of America Along Route 66 (UNM Press), Matthews cannily chronicles an eye-opening journey on America’s favorite highway, reflecting on its changing culture and landscapes. The New Mexico chapters include insights into Tucumcari, Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Grants, and Gallup. Spoiler alert: Matthews had such a blast that he’s now the editor of ROUTE, a magazine devoted to Americana and the Mother Road.

Read more: Tucumcari native David H. Stratton takes you on a ride through the Route 66 town's history.