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Preview — My Kind of Place by Susan Orlean
My Kind of Place: Travel Stories from a Woman Who's Been Everywhere
Now, in My Kind of Place, the ...more
I don't know why this book was in the travel section. Sure, the stories took place in locations all over the country and world (sort of), but the stories had hardly anything to do with the locations. More like events that took place that happene ...more
The thing that gets me about this book is that you can tell that Susan Orlean has led a fairly privileged life. A ...more
Orlean is best known for The Orchid Thief, which was recast as the movie Adaptation. These essays similarly cast ordinary people in a most extraordinary light, from parents of beauty pageant girls to Cuban farmers. Critics don't call her one of our best essayists for nothing. Orlean approaches her subjects with intense curiosity and fairness, has an unusually good ear for language and dialogue, and arrives at perceptive conclusions about human behavior. Still, My Kind of Place is an uneven colle...more
One thing I liked is how fearless she was about listing all the wild ethnic foods that different kinds of people would seek in the store.
And, when she tells you the owner likes to listen to Sinatra all day, she then writes five more sentences ...more
Some of the stories were great ideas and had great moments, but went on past my interest.
I did love the fresh angles the author used for topics, like hiking Mt. Fuji and the story about the grocery store and the woman who keeps all the tigers.
My favorite part of the book was actually the final third, which were shor ...more
As others have noted, many of the stories came to an abrupt end, which I found odd given the attention to detail that the author paid throughout the story.
I also think it was a mistake for the author to have read her own book. She is clearly a very talented writer, but narration is not her strong suit and I think it contributed to my low rati ...more
I was constantly wondering how she managed to report conversations with people when she didn't appear to speak any languages. I will remember some of these places and people, though, and that's the sign of a good book, no?
Like any collection of essays or articles, some were better than others. But overall, I really liked what she chose to observe and research. I laughed and teared up and learned some things. I highly recommend this book.