Book jacket cover of Our TownsSo many of the stories that Americans hear are of dysfunction and gridlock at the national level. However, as authors James and Deborah Fallows found out, that does not reflect what’s happening across all of America.  Library Journal wrote: “In 2013, National Book Award winner James Fallows (National Defense) and wife Deborah Fallows (Dreaming in Chinese) set out on a four-year journey via a single-engine propeller airplane to create a picture of the heart and soul of small to midsize towns across America. Their purpose was to compose a narrative about the backbone of various regions to help explain the character of the country. To accomplish this, they spent time being locals-frequenting libraries, schools, restaurants, and civic meetings-in towns known for factories, mining, and mill work for weeks at a time; from Burlington, VT, to Riverside, CA, and 27 additional towns in between. Cases of disappointment mixed with success lead to their conclusion that assumptions of truth about the state of the country as a whole and many of its people are misleading. They explore ten themes they found prevalent in thriving towns, including a focus on regional concerns instead of national politics, a town’s downtown area, a reverence for secondary education, and a welcoming mind-set. VERDICT Reminiscent of Charles Kuralt’s On the Road with Charles Kuralt, this unique look at the heart of America will bring hope and insight to readers. Highly recommended.”