All Over the Place: Adventures in Travel, True Love, and Petty Theft

digital download. 8:28 hrs. Hachette Audio. May 2017. ISBN 9781478920366. $14.95. MEMOIR
Early in her book of autobiographical essays, DeRuiter, who writes the Everywhereist blog, self-deprecatingly warns readers not to expect a comprehensive travel guide. Instead of providing advice about the best attractions in a given city, DeRuiter uses the theme of "travel" as a framing device to share humorous stories about her marriage and her complicated relationships with her immediate family. After being laid off, DeRuiter began joining her husband on his frequent work trips around the globe. It was supposed to be temporary until she found another job, but somehow the traveling life—and the blog she started about it—stuck. DeRuiter never takes herself too seriously, not even when talking about her brain tumor, which she nicknamed "Steve." The book is roughly chronological and is divided into episodic chapters, each around 20 to 40 minutes in length. Highlights include any appearance by the author's quixotic mother and DeRuiter's odyssey to connect with her father by hunting down an antiquarian clock. DeRuiter is a charming narrator, especially because, as she admits, she's unable to mimic accents well.
VERDICT An excellent memoir that will appeal to fans of Sarah Vowell. Highly recommended for all collections.
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