As an author, everyone wants to know, “What do you read?”
To be quite honest over the last nine months, I have read very little. I have been promoting my own memoir, When All Balls Drop, and writing the sequel With New Eyes (due out this Sept 2015). However, like all writers, I need time away from my computer to be transported from my story into someone else’s reality. Having sent my final manuscript of With New Eyes to my publisher earlier this month, I snuggled up with a good book. My latest read, The Lost Continent by Bill Bryson, provided a good dose of humor with flashbacks to my hometown in rural Western Wisconsin.
Read my review of Bill’s book below:
I’m not new to reading Bill’s writing. I absolutely loved A Walk in the Woods, which whet my appetite for his sharp wit and tell it how it is style. Hailing also from the Midwest and a small town, I was drawn to The Lost Continent for two reasons: the cover with the coffee stain looked like every journal I’ve ever written and I was curious what perspective spending two decades in Great Britain would lend to his story. Through his many adventures getting lost on country roads, bad meals at local diners, and countless, uncomfortable beds at cheap motels, I felt like I was sitting right next to him, my best friend that wasn’t afraid to say exactly what he/she was thinking about a particular billboard, tourist trap, or other.
Although it has been years since my last American road trip, his authentic account of his travels has rekindled a desire to do another trip, uncovering familiar places with new eyes and other unfamiliar places that I’m almost embarrassed to say that I haven’t seen (Yellowstone and Yosemite). I will skip over Wall Drug in spite of the fact that his account of it took me back almost fifteen years when I did the exact same thing as every traveler. Nobody can pass up the opportunity to see Wall Drug at least once. In my road trip, I couldn’t believe all the fuss and signs were about a touristic strip mall and parking lot. I will not stop again. However, in regards to Bill’s hometown, I’m still on the fence about visiting Des Moines. Having driven multiple times through Iowa, I have never pulled off the highway to stay awhile in Des Moines.
This travelogue is for anyone that enjoys an almost sitcom-like book full of first impressions without filter with stereotypes coming to fruition across small-town America one meal and local accent at a time.
You can read other Just Read Reviews on my blog of Brain on Fire, The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street, The Happiness Project, and more.
Don’t forget to get your copy of my memoir, When All Balls Drop, before the sequel, With New Eyes, comes out in September 2015.
Here’s to looking up!