I know lots of people—people I admire—who admire Sarah Vowell. It seems like the kind of thing I should like. Her writing, though, seems to lack depth, which may be because she's writing for radio. This collection of short pieces includes "What I See When I Look at the Face on the $20 Bill," which makes up for all of that. It's a travelogue/history lesson/personal journey that follows the Trail of Tears, and like Tony Horwitz's excellent Confederates in the Attic, examines how modern Americans accommodate, process, and live next to a tragic past.
While I could take or leave the writing, I absolutely love the artwork on the covers of Sarah Vowell's books. They're mysterious, complex, and menacing in a banal sort of way.
What do you think?