Sure, West Coast Road Eats: The Best Road Food from San Diego to the Canadian Border (Sasquatch; June 25) by Emerald City native Anna Roth will appeal to gourmands. But the food isn’t our favorite part of this Kerouac-style quest for in-diner enlightenment. No, what excites us about Road Eats is the way Roth blends history and narrative as she follows her appetite up and down the coast. “The open road,” she writes, “is the most enduring image of the American West. We are a people who followed the road until it ran out, then farmed around where we landed because it was as far as we were going to get.”

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