Vacationland: True Stories From Painful Beaches by John Hodgman, narrated by the author. Penguin Audio, 2017. 9780525497691.
Hodgman’s previous books, a trilogy of compendiums of fake facts, had elements of his life woven in, from love to family to mortality. Vacationland has more of a narrative arc: he tells stories of the vacation home he grew up visiting and then owning after the death of his mother, then shifts to his new family’s vacations in Maine, where his wife grew up vacationing. He weaves funny anecdotes into the way he comes to terms with his place in the world: making stacks of river stones with a friend while high, how he ended up with his own apartment in high school, the oddness of the Maine dialect humor industry, and the by turns funny and horrifying story of getting an iron hook through his hand and going to the hospital. As he points out himself, a story of having two vacation homes is not likely to be relatable to most readers, but his voice (both literal and literary) made this audiobook tremendously enjoyable.