Rebecca Ascher-Walsh
October 08, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

My Kind of Place

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Susan Orlean
publisher
Random House
genre
Nonfiction

We gave it an A-

In My Kind of Place, this collection of travel stories isn’t exactly (or consistently) about travel — the best-selling author of The Orchid Thief sneaks in pieces on a children’s beauty pageant, Keiko the whale, and imagining Tina Turner as a houseguest. Filled with wonder and a wondrous sense of humor, Susan Orlean checks her voice at the door when others need to be heard, reporting with compassion and a remarkable absence of irony — no easy feat when, say, dinner conversation at a taxidermy convention revolves around fake fish and animal eyeballs. And when she’s funny, she’s hilarious, clearly having the time of her life. Who could resist continuing an essay that begins ”The penises in Bhutan amazed me, there were so many of them”?

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