What's on My Shelf and Tablet?
Walking With Sam: a father, a son, and 500 miles across Spain, Andrew McCarthy
Surely you remember him? Andrew McCarthy? Pretty in Pink, St. Elmo’s Fire, Less Then Zero, and cult favorites Weekend At Bernie’s and Mannequin? He’s also directed a number of TV shows you’d recognize, but did you know that Andrew’s also a travel writer?
He served as an editor-at-large with National Geographic Traveler magazine and has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, Time, Travel+Leisure, Town & Country, Men’s Journal, Bon Appetit, and many others. He was named Travel Journalist of the Year by The Society of American Travel Writers, as well as serving as guest editor of the prestigious BEST AMERICAN TRAVEL WRITING anthology. Pretty big accomplishments.
Here’s what the publisher wants you to know:
“When Andrew McCarthy's eldest son began to take his first steps into adulthood, McCarthy found himself wishing time would slow down. Looking to create a more meaningful connection with Sam before he fled the nest, as well as recreate his own life-altering journey decades before, McCarthy decided the two of them should set out on a trek like few others: 500 miles across Spain's Camino de Santiago.
Over the course of the journey, the pair traversed an unforgiving landscape, having more honest conversations in five weeks than they'd had in the preceding two decades. Discussions of divorce, the trauma of school, McCarthy's difficult relationship with his own father, fame, and Flaming Hot Cheetos threatened to either derail their relationship or cement it. Walking With Sam captures this intimate, candid and hopeful expedition as the father son duo travel across the country and towards one another.”
Andrew spoke at this summer’s Book Passages conference. The biggest takeaway from his entertaining words and sage advice was how important it is to listen. But it didn’t come right away or easy.
“I crossed the room and flung open the wooden shutters. Down below was the cobbled, medieval Rue de la Citadelle. The Camino. For twenty-six years I promised myself I’d see it again… Our walk of five hundred miles would begin here and lead us over the Pyrenees, out of France into the Basque region of Spain to Pamplona, through the wine country of La Rioja, the city of Burgos, then out onto the treacherous high Meseta, onward to the bustle of Leon, and into the verdant hills of Galicia, ending in the far west of Iberia at the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, a little over a month later - if all went well.”
“Let’s get some dinner,” I said to Sam. “Before the restaurants close.”
“We just got here, bro,” my son replied from the bed, staring at his phone.
“You’re not in New York now, Sammy. Things close.”
He didn’t move.
Come on, let’s go. I’m hungry.”
“Oh my God, I am about to get so sick of you.”
Will they make it all 500 miles? Will they still be speaking? It’s a really good, thought-provoking read.
To buy Walking with Sam, click here.