Okay, I've given up on Sarah Vowell. I think I have tried to read all of her books at this point. The only one I truly enjoyed was Assassination Vacation
. After working my way through her other stuff, I think I know why. Assassination Vacation
forced her to actually think about somebody else for once. I mean, yeah, she's funny, and she's writing articles about herself and her family history so her stuff is going to be a little self-centered, but I've rarely read anyone who can twist anything, even Burmese twins, to be about her. She'll go on about how she's a loner and she doesn't like people, but it's easy enough to tell she craves attention.
I didn't really read anything groundbreaking in this book. It was written in 2000 and 2001 (with the obligatory 9/11 article), so she's super-upset about the Bush presidency, and Al Gore, and various injustices. I think the problem is her themes of jaded patriotism, questioning the government's actions, etc., etc., have been repeated enough, and heard enough, that I'm kind of sick of it. Maybe the book's just a little too dated - dated, but too recent to be an interesting product of its time.