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No Ordinary Lives: One Man's Surprising Journey into the Heart of America
     

No Ordinary Lives: One Man's Surprising Journey into the Heart of America

by David Johnson
 
In this moving memoir, David Johnson shares his journey into the heart and soul of America -- and the lessons he has learned about the treasures and extraordinary courage at the core of everyday life. Pick names at random from the telephone book. Interview the people. Take down their stories. The idea was deceptively simple, but it made David Johnson one of his

Overview

In this moving memoir, David Johnson shares his journey into the heart and soul of America -- and the lessons he has learned about the treasures and extraordinary courage at the core of everyday life. Pick names at random from the telephone book. Interview the people. Take down their stories. The idea was deceptively simple, but it made David Johnson one of his generation's most beloved columnists. He never dreamed how much the total strangers he approached professionally would touch -- and change -- his life. A modern-day mountain man gave him insights into the painful breakup of his first marriage -- and an epiphany on the majestic wilds of the Idaho backcountry. A young mother and child offered him a new perspective on parenting -- and innovative ways to be a better father to his two daughters. A hardworking Mexican immigrant instilled in him a newfound appreciation for America. A woman who cared for elderly people in her house helped open his eyes to the real value of having a place in the world to call home. A brave husband with Alzheimer's disease helped him cope with a devastating illness in his own family. And countless other "everyday" people became unexpected sources of comfort, advice, and wisdom. No Ordinarylives presents to you the stories of hundreds of Americans who illuminate and embody the values of home, family, work, love, and spirituality. It pays tribute to the qualities that make us unique -- and uniquely American. Most of all, it shows how the answers to our deepest questions are in both the most obvious and most surprising place of all -- the hearts of the men and women next door...around the corner...and all around us.

Editorial Reviews

Booklist
...alternates between being fascinating and moving on nearly every page...fans of slice-of-life journalism will welcome this new addition to the genre.
Library Journal
This very personal book traces the story of a quirky newspaper column and the man who initiated it. Some 20 years ago, cub reporter Johnson came up with the idea of using his telephone book to make random calls to individuals across the country and interview them for his weekly newspaper column "Everyone Has a Story." Since then, over 800 people have shared their personal stories with the readers of the Lewistown Morning Tribune in Idaho. In each chapter, Johnson reflects on his own experiences to provide the frame and then draws on others' stories to illustrate what he considers the important elements of life. For example, the chapter on love opens with his own wedding night and then segues into the story of newlyweds Everett Walker, age 75, and his bride, Vivien, age 90. Their never-ending honeymoon centers on trips in their tent trailer, which provides an excellent lead-in for Johnson's humorous recounting of his own camping-trip honeymoon, during which he and his new wife left the tent behind to enjoy sleeping under the stars but found themselves huddled under a poncho in never-ending rain. Other "universal ingredients" of life that Johnson focuses on include family relations, rural lifestyles, work, religion, and daily life. The result is a tribute to the column and the surprisingly profound impact it has had on its creator and his perception of America. For public libraries.-Judy Solberg, George Washington Univ. Lib., Washington, DC Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780446526395
Publisher:
Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
07/09/2002
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
6.16(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.94(d)
Age Range:
13 Years

What People are Saying About This

Steve Hartman
If you've ever considered yourself ..."just" another person on the planet, this book is just the cure...Johnson shows how...complex and important we all are. (Steve Hartman, Correspondent, CBS News)
Charles Kuralt
David Johnson...has readers begging for more...He is a keen and a caring observer, a good listener, and a reporter rooted in his region's way of life. (Charles Kuralt, author of On The Road With Charles Kuralt and Charles Kuralt's America)
Kim Barnes
In Johnson's hands, the everyday lives of rural folk and townspeople take on a magical transcendence. (Kim Barnes, author of In The Wilderness: Coming Of Age In Unknown Country)
Bill Graves
Johnson truly understands that practicing his craft means not just writing but listening. He does both with skill and warmth. (Bill Graves, author of On The Back Roads: Discovering Small Towns Of America)

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