Year 12, Book 97

97. What I Found in a Thousand Towns: A Traveling Musician’s Guide to Rebuilding America’s Communities–One Coffee Shop, Dog Run, and Open Mic at a Time by Dar Williams

Dar Williams talks about the how she has seen towns and cities who were once very down on their luck turn things around and once again become vibrant communities. Each chapter is based on a different place such as Moab, Utah, Wilmington, Delaware, Carrboro, North Carolina, and Gainesville, Florida among others.

She talks about different things they have done to revitalize downtown areas. When I first started reading it I was thinking about how her ideas were all well and good, but that they may be benefitting only small portions of those communities, but almost as soon as I thought that she started talking about gentrification, race, and inequality and how addressing these issues is also an important part of this redevelopment.

This book wasn’t exactly what I thought it was going to be when I picked it up. It’s more about urban planning than people, but it still has some interesting ideas in it and gives a nice little snapshot of places around the country. I give it a 7 out of 10.

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