84 Charing Cross Road is a book by Helene Hanff following two decades of correspondences between the author and Frank Doel, who worked at a rare bookseller in London. Unable to find certain rare books in New York, Hanff contacted Doel in 1949. Over the years, they became long-distance friends, sending packages and letters to one another. Their correspondences concern everything from recipes to sports to the British royal family. Doel died in 1968 before Hanff could ever meet him in person.
On the Road is the major novel of the Beat Generation. A mostly autobiographical book, it depicts the cross country adventures of Sal Paradise (a stand-in for author Jack Kerouac) and Dean Moriarty (based on Kerouac's real life friend Neal Cassady). The two meet in New York City, then end up traveling across the US together, briniging Dean's young bride, Marylou along at first. The novel captures the sense of adventure and longing for meaning young people felt in years after World War II.