I never would have guessed that an in-flight magazine would lead to one of the most thought-provoking reading experiences in my life.
But here I am, thoroughly moved by the new book, Here Is Where, by Andrew Carroll — and I owe it all to US Airways Magazine.
I mentioned three weeks ago how I picked up the in-flight mag out of boredom and wound up reading — and being engrossed by — the abridged introduction to Carroll’s latest book. Here Is Where, he offered, would detail the forgotten stories that make up the fabric of America; Carroll traveled to the sites and cities where each of these stories took place.
I got home that night, purchased Here Is Where, and started reading it while on vacation last week. I finished it last night, having wolfed down chapters like Krispy Kreme doughnuts.
And, unlike after eating a dozen Krispy Kremes, I feel energized, hungry, and genuinely moved.
I originally purchased Carroll’s book for two reasons. The first? His ability to craft an absorbing story. Carroll lured me in with his introduction, teasing me with details and rewarding me with a solid pay-off; I knew I would be in for a treat, no matter the topic.
And I was right. Carroll is a phenomenal storyteller, and he elevates certain anecdotes simply on the strength of his writing. I especially found this in his chapter about a not-so-famous airplane hijacking in the mid-1970s, which played a large part in the creation of many of the air travel security measures in place today. Carroll keeps peppering the tale with surprises, turning an already interesting story into one of the book’s most memorable. Even some of his throwaway bits work, like when he gets a speeding ticket and wonders who came up with the idea for cruise control — only to find the answer later in the chapter, thanks to his research.