Thursday, June 23, 2011

My Kind of Place

When it's summer in Tucson, and so blisteringly hot that you'd think you could fry an egg on the sidewalk, some people throw their shorts and flip flops into a suitcase and hightail it out of town. Others of us settle into an the sofa, crank up the air conditioning, and begin to read about those places we may not get to visit otherwise. Recently, I had the pleasure of reading Susan Orlean's My Kind of Place, a quirky conglomeration of essays broken into the categories of "Here," "There," and "Everywhere."

Orlean isn't your typical adventurer. She's not looking for sandy beaches or sparkly skylines. She doesn't want to know where to skydive or buy new shoes. But she does want to see what happens at a children's beauty pageant and find out what it's like inside a troubled New York City high school or a Thomas Kinkade art gallery. She visits Cuba so she can meet some Little League ball players, and she goes to Iceland to meet a whale. She writes about a trailer park and a taxidermy convention, and about a whole host of other topics that would probably otherwise escape scrutiny. Many of these essays have been previously published, and although it's a great book to read from cover to cover, it's also the kind of book where you can easily pick and choose an essay here or there without reading them all....a perfect read for summertime!

~Queen of Books

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