Vacationland by John Hodgman (2017) Because I don't know much about the culture of “comedy,” and I stopped listening to NPR during the Gulf War, and I'm late to podcasts, I had never heard of John Hodgman until three podcasts I have come to listen to had him on practically the same day. I thought he sounded interesting and funny, so I decided to get this book. Some people might put it in the “humor” section—I personally don't think books should be put in “sections”—not even fiction or non-fiction. This book is a good example—I wouldn't call it either, necessarily, and while it's funny, I wouldn't call it humor or comedy, and while it's essentially a memoir, I don't necessarily believe anything he says (and I'm alright with that). For the most part, this is about “John Hodgman”—including friends and family—a person who I feel like I might be more like if I had taken a different path. One of my true beliefs is that success creates its own challenges, and often these are deceptively difficult and even insurmountable. Another of my crazy beliefs is that wealth leads to insanity—no exceptions. Much of this book is about Hodgman making similar observations—and using himself as a guinea pig as he does—and thus, his struggles. To name the book “White People Problems” would have been perceived as sarcastic, though, and “Vacationland” is a good title; it doesn't tell you a lot, and of course doesn't get at the complexity (as doesn't this review) of this well-written, thoughtful, and still very funny book.
Books I've Finished Reading