Our Patchwork Nation. And even leaving all bias aside, it's a pretty fantastic book. A serious piece of investigative journalism that recognizes the necessity of good narrative.
While it follows in the great tradition of journalists dropping into communities to tell the towns' individual stories, Our Patchwork Nation shines because Dante Chinni has taken the time to really get to know these towns that exemplify the 12 community types the Patchwork Nation project identified.
It's a great read.
I also discovered that Sloane Crossley released a book, How Did You Get This Number, at the beginning of the summer that I somehow missed. David Rakoff added Half Empty to a list of essay collections that already included personal favorites Fraud and Don't Get Too Comfortable. David Sedaris has thrown Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk, A Modesty Bestiary onto the stack.
While we were in Maine both of my parents slipped books into my suitcase and that doesn't count the books that Leopold gave me for my birthday - which are largely finished - or the books that VanPelt passed along when we were in Georgia or the strays that have been waiting on my desk for a while.
In other words, my bookshelves are running over.
This is a problem that I'll take any day of the week.