#BookReview: The New Nomads by Felix Marquardt

Strong Claims Need Strong Evidence, But I Read The Audible. This is another book that has a lot of strong claims that thus requires an extensive bibliography to back up to make truly solid – but I read the Audible version of this book, where such bibliographies are not available due to the nature of the format. Beyond that issue though, the book is an interesting use of mostly case studies, and yes, largely cherry picked, successful, ones showing how nomadism (pre-COVID forced so-called “digital nomadism”, which the author decries in later chapters) can be good for individuals and cultures – while acknowledging that, at least for those who believe in human-caused climate change, the harm done to the environment may well outweigh the benefit to individuals and cultures. Indeed, cries of “elitism” in some reviews ring hollow here, as while Marquardt does in fact come from an elitist position, he openly acknowledges that he could in fact be completely wrong about all of this, that the entire idea presented here is largely based on his own observations through his own rather unique upbringing and adult life that he has then pieced together an effort at a modicum of journalism to explain. Overall, an interesting tale that can add to the overall conversation. Recommended.

This review of The New Nomads by Felix Marquardt was originally written on July 18, 2023.

#BookReview: Meander Belt by M. Randal O’Wain

Moving Collection of Essays That Could Have Used Better Editing. I picked this book up because I thought it would be brutal in its similarity to my own life – I too am a son of the South that left home years ago to live a bit of a nomadic life (though far less transient than the author’s). And it did hit home quite a bit, though maybe not as much as I was both hoping and fearing it might. Truly a stark, very real look at life and growing up in the South in the lower middle class. But in the acknowledgements, it becomes clear that this is a collection of essays rather than a truly unified narrative, and that makes the at times disjointed nature of this book become at least slightly more understandable. At the end of the day though, the book could have used a bit more editing to make this a bit more clear in some way or another and thus provide a bit more clarity and structure to the overall narrative. Still, an intriguing look and one that will certainly be enlightening to those who have never lived at this level in the region. Recommended.

This review of Meander Belt by M. Randal O’Wain was originally written on July 21, 2019.