I was first introduced to the humor of John Hodgman through his podcast “Judge John Hodgman” where he solves simple disputes between friends and family. Disputes such as: who gets to choose the music on car trips? Or: is cereal rightly considered a soup? Or even:  does a paining of a llama counts as tasteful apartment decor? His judgements are usually fair, often thoughtful, and always funny. When I saw that his latest book, Vacationland, shelved with the new releases at our library, I snatched it up.

Vacationland, True Stories from Painful Beaches, is kind of a memoir, kind of a book-long series of essays, and kind of a comedy. Hodgman filled his previous books with fake news and invented facts, and he vows not to do that in this tome. Instead, he takes a look at his own life and maturation and is, by turns, funny, poignant, and insightful. Fans of John Hodgman will not be disappointed. I recommend this book to adult readers. See my caveats below.

Christian Cautions: There are swear words throughout the book. There is also mention of casual drug use, though Hodgman tells a cautionary tale to go along with the marijuana. Lastly, there are a few sentences which reference sex directly and a few more oblique innuendos.