Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

My Kind of Place: Travel Stories from a…

My Kind of Place: Travel Stories from a Woman Who's Been Everywhere (2004)

by Susan Orlean

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
175767,867 (3.41)2



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 2 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
I really loved this book. Not so much a travelogue, but really stories of the lives of people where she traveled. Or experiences she had with these people. Just fascinating. Great for an armchair traveler. ( )
  bookwormteri | Apr 23, 2015 |
What I'm liking so far is that Orlean doesn't talk about herself. It's really refreshing to feel as if we're getting the stories of the people & places unfiltered. Of course, she does filter - she spent three weeks in a supermarket in Queens to get one (longish) article, and couldn't put it all in. But she didn't put herself in, taking up the valuable column inches that someone like Bill Bryson would waste with his ego.

I also like that these essays are articles with provenances. The supermarket story is from 1992, we're informed. The future predicted by Herb and Toney has come to pass. The story is interesting as a slice of history, not as a snapshot of reality..

And now I'm done. And sad to close the book. Each essay is a gem indeed. Orlean also provides an afterward, updating us on the people & places - a feature that obviously should be included in this kind of book but seldom is, and I so I say Thank You to her. And I hope she's written something else for me to read. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Apr 14, 2015 |
I love reading travel books while I’m traveling. Sometimes when I read them and don’t have a big trip on the horizon it’s just an exercise in frustration. I read this one on a plane to Australia, which was perfect. There’s even one part about Orlean’s trip to Sydney during the 2000 Olympic games!

The book is a compilation of short stories and essays that have been published as articles in other magazines. It was a good mix of the author covering big events, exploring small towns, or trying new things in a foreign place. Orlean has a skilled way of finding fascinating gems. There are essays set all over the world, but even if you haven’t been there you can see what she sees. You’re flipping through records in Paris or talking to a cranky Australian about the traffic caused by the Olympics. There weren’t any essays that I think will stick with me forever, which is why my rating isn’t higher, but they were fun trips to take along with the author.

“All the while, the girls kept talking about their schedule. It was as if the strangeness of where they were and what they were doing was absolutely ordinary: as if there were no large, smelly drunk sprawled in front of them, as if it were quite unexceptional to be three Scottish girls drinking Australian beer in Thailand on their way to Laos, and as if the world were the size of a peanut-something as compact as that, something is easy to pick up, shell, consume, as long as you were young and sturdy and brave.” ( )
  bookworm12 | Oct 13, 2014 |
This is an enjoyable but uneven collection of essays about places and cultures in the U.S. and around the world. Most were originally printed in the New Yorker between 1992 and 2003. The title seems obliquely inspired by the Frank Sinatra song, 'My Kind of Town', which is mentioned in passing in one of the longest and best pieces in the collection, 'All Mixed Up'. It's a close look at an independent grocery in Queens, and it offers a magnificent portrait of the rhythms of the store, the economics of the grocery business, and the incredible cultural melange of the employees and the neighborhood they serve. It's worth checking the book out of a library just for this essay.

Some of the other essays I particularly liked were 'Madame President', about a student body president and her friends at Martin Luther King Jr. high school in Manhattan; and 'the Congo Sound', about a tiny record shop in Paris that specializes in African music. Part of what makes these pieces so appealing is the tolerant affection Orleans invites towards her subjects - not that she inserts herself into the action - in fact, she keeps a cool distance, at least on the surface. But there's a lot of warmth between the lines.

On the flip side, this style makes other pieces uncomfortable: 'Beautiful Girls', on the culture of beauty pageants for toddlers; 'A Place Called Midland', on George W. Bush's stomping grounds; 'Art for Everybody', on the art machine of Thomas Kinkade. Orleans is too sophisticated a writer to describe her subjects in these essays as lowbrow bumpkins, or rich philistines. Yet, the quotes she uses from them, and her deadpan descriptions, invite and then confirm these judgments from the reader. It's not that she's wrong - Orleans has a fine ear and a sometimes brutal sense of irony - but it would be painful to discover yourself quoted or sketched in one of these. ( )
  bezoar44 | Mar 10, 2014 |
Great writer. Susan Orlean introduces us to people and places we will never have a chance to see. Full of laughter, wisdom and insight. Thank you Susan for a terrific read and a fantastic journey. ( )
  njcur | Feb 13, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0812974875, Paperback)

Susan Orlean has been called “a national treasure” by The Washington Post and “a kind of latter-day Tocqueville” by The New York Times Book Review. In addition to having written classic articles for The New Yorker, she was played, with some creative liberties, by Meryl Streep in her Golden Globe Award—winning performance in the film Adaptation.
Now, in My Kind of Place, the real Susan Orlean takes readers on a series of remarkable journeys in this uniquely witty, sophisticated, and far-flung travel book. In this irresistible collection of adventures far and near, Orlean conducts a tour of the world via its subcultures, from the heart of the African music scene in Paris to the World Taxidermy Championships in Springfield, Illinois–and even into her own apartment, where she imagines a very famous houseguest taking advantage of her hospitality.
With Orlean as guide, lucky readers partake in all manner of armchair activity. They will climb Mt. Fuji and experience a hike most intrepid Japanese have never attempted; play ball with Cuba’s Little Leaguers, promising young athletes born in a country where baseball and politics are inextricably intertwined; trawl Icelandic waters with Keiko, everyone’s favorite whale as he tries to make it on his own; stay awhile in Midland, Texas, hometown of George W. Bush, a place where oil time is the only time that matters; explore the halls of a New York City school so troubled it’s known as “Horror High”; and stalk caged tigers in Jackson, New Jersey, a suburban town with one of the highest concentrations of tigers per square mile anywhere in the world.
Vivid, humorous, unconventional, and incomparably entertaining, Susan Orlean’s writings for The New Yorker have delighted readers for over a decade. My Kind of Place is an inimitable treat by one of America’s premier literary journalists.

From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:22 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"In My Kind of Place, Susan Orlean takes readers on a series of remarkable journeys in a uniquely witty and sophisticated travel book. In this collection of adventures far and near, Orlean conducts a tour of the world via its subcultures, from the heart of the African music scene in Paris to the World Taxidermy Championships in Springfield, Illinois - and even into her own apartment, where she imagines a very famous houseguest taking advantage of her hospitality."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
25 wanted3 pay5 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.41)
1 1
2 1
2.5 2
3 9
3.5 5
4 8
4.5 1
5 2


2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 105,956,917 books! | Top bar: Always visible