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All Over the Place: Adventures in Travel, True Love, and Petty Theft

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Some people are meant to travel the globe, to unwrap its secrets and share them with the world. And some people have no sense of direction, are terrified of pigeons, and get motion sickness from tying their shoes. These people are meant to stay home and eat nachos. Geraldine DeRuiter is the latter. But she won't let that stop her. Hilarious, irreverent, and heartfelt, All Ov Some people are meant to travel the globe, to unwrap its secrets and share them with the world. And some people have no sense of direction, are terrified of pigeons, and get motion sickness from tying their shoes. These people are meant to stay home and eat nachos. Geraldine DeRuiter is the latter. But she won't let that stop her. Hilarious, irreverent, and heartfelt, All Over the Place chronicles the years Geraldine spent traveling the world after getting laid off from a job she loved. Those years taught her a great number of things, though the ability to read a map was not one of them. She has only a vague idea of where Russia is, but she now understands her Russian father better than ever before. She learned that what she thought was her mother's functional insanity was actually an equally incurable condition called "being Italian." She learned what it's like to travel the world with someone you already know and love--how that person can help you make sense of things and make far-off places feel like home. She learned about unemployment and brain tumors, lost luggage and lost opportunities, and just getting lost in countless terminals and cabs and hotel lobbies across the globe. And she learned that sometimes you can find yourself exactly where you need to be--even if you aren't quite sure where you are.


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Some people are meant to travel the globe, to unwrap its secrets and share them with the world. And some people have no sense of direction, are terrified of pigeons, and get motion sickness from tying their shoes. These people are meant to stay home and eat nachos. Geraldine DeRuiter is the latter. But she won't let that stop her. Hilarious, irreverent, and heartfelt, All Ov Some people are meant to travel the globe, to unwrap its secrets and share them with the world. And some people have no sense of direction, are terrified of pigeons, and get motion sickness from tying their shoes. These people are meant to stay home and eat nachos. Geraldine DeRuiter is the latter. But she won't let that stop her. Hilarious, irreverent, and heartfelt, All Over the Place chronicles the years Geraldine spent traveling the world after getting laid off from a job she loved. Those years taught her a great number of things, though the ability to read a map was not one of them. She has only a vague idea of where Russia is, but she now understands her Russian father better than ever before. She learned that what she thought was her mother's functional insanity was actually an equally incurable condition called "being Italian." She learned what it's like to travel the world with someone you already know and love--how that person can help you make sense of things and make far-off places feel like home. She learned about unemployment and brain tumors, lost luggage and lost opportunities, and just getting lost in countless terminals and cabs and hotel lobbies across the globe. And she learned that sometimes you can find yourself exactly where you need to be--even if you aren't quite sure where you are.

30 review for All Over the Place: Adventures in Travel, True Love, and Petty Theft

  1. 5 out of 5

    Amalia Gavea

    This memoir is one of those cases when the title actually matches the book perfectly. And I mean it in the best way possible. It is a lovely creation, a memoir full of hilarious moments (and some really moving ones) and the most unique travel book I’ve ever read. I tend to be cautious when I choose to read a memoir, because there were quite a few instances when self-indulgence took control of the writer and destroyed everything. Also, travel books can easily become boring, in my opinion. Here, Ge This memoir is one of those cases when the title actually matches the book perfectly. And I mean it in the best way possible. It is a lovely creation, a memoir full of hilarious moments (and some really moving ones) and the most unique travel book I’ve ever read. I tend to be cautious when I choose to read a memoir, because there were quite a few instances when self-indulgence took control of the writer and destroyed everything. Also, travel books can easily become boring, in my opinion. Here, Geraldine DeRuiter has created a delicious account of journeys that are of special importance and are related to key moments of her life. New York, Paris and Ireland are in a prominent position but the real star of the book is Italy. This is what made me love it even more since my family on my mother’s side is Italian, coming from Napoli (Naples in English). We’re talking Southern Italy here, a beautiful, wild, sunny place. You have been warned... Geraldine comes across as a lovely person, but you will find no trace of self-indulgence. She apparently has unlimited resources of patience to deal with her mother, unlimited resources of love for her husband and, most importantly, unlimited resources of courage to overcome a very serious obstacle. I really enjoyed the way she narrates her experiences and the optimism that comes from her writing. I bet that she must be a wonderful travelling companion. She is quirky and weird and down-to-earth. I’m not a fan of blogs outside of our book community but judging from this book, I should definitely start reading hers. If you want a memoir that balances humour, life experiences and adversities, along with beautiful descriptions of Italy, then ‘’All Over The Place’’ should find a place in your reading schedule.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Esil

    3.5 stars. All Over the Place is, well, a bit all over the place, but I still quite liked it. I recently read The Yellow Envelope: One Gift, Three Rules, and a Life-Changing Journey Around the World which was a memoir written by a young woman who quit her job and sold her house to go on a long journey around the world. My primary complaint about The Yellow Envelope was that it is too inward looking – I found out far too much about the author’s relationship with her husband and not enough about t 3.5 stars. All Over the Place is, well, a bit all over the place, but I still quite liked it. I recently read The Yellow Envelope: One Gift, Three Rules, and a Life-Changing Journey Around the World which was a memoir written by a young woman who quit her job and sold her house to go on a long journey around the world. My primary complaint about The Yellow Envelope was that it is too inward looking – I found out far too much about the author’s relationship with her husband and not enough about the places she traveled. I could easily say the same about All Over the Place, but in this case it wouldn’t be a complaint. Geraldine De Ruiter is a travel blog writer. All Over the Place is a memoir in which she chronicles some of her travels, but the focus is really her family, her husband, some serious health issues and some inner struggles. What makes this book work for me is De Ruiter’s tone, sensibility and honesty. She is funny and self-deprecating, while delivering a healthy serving of random thoughtful observations about life, death and the universe. It’s light and not light – a book that can be read in a few disjointed sittings. Part of me kept wondering why she wrote this book and why it was picked up by a publisher – another voice told me to relax and enjoy the experience – which I did. It was definitely “all over the place”, but it took me to places I was happy to follow. Thank you to the publisher and to Netgalley for an opportunity to read an advance copy.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Burnett

    All Over the Place had me laughing so hard at times that I had tears streaming down my face. Geraldine DeRuiter has written a travel memoir unlike any other travel memoir that I have read, and the result is fabulous. She writes about both her travels around the world and her own internal journey through brain cancer, spousal trouble, and dealing with her hilarious mother (more hilarious when you are not the one having to deal with her I am sure). DeRuiter manages to cover numerous destinations t All Over the Place had me laughing so hard at times that I had tears streaming down my face. Geraldine DeRuiter has written a travel memoir unlike any other travel memoir that I have read, and the result is fabulous. She writes about both her travels around the world and her own internal journey through brain cancer, spousal trouble, and dealing with her hilarious mother (more hilarious when you are not the one having to deal with her I am sure). DeRuiter manages to cover numerous destinations that I have now added to my list of places to see while telling absolutely hysterical stories about her time in each place. My favorite stories were the one about her mom bringing a pickax through airport security and the time she and her husband went to Italy to meet her relatives and see the towns her grandparents grew up in. I laughed so hard at a section of the Italy story that I had to put the book down for a few minutes to recover. I also love that she is completely prepared for a zombie apocalypse. The book ends with the following sentence about traveling which will stay with me for a long time: “Even if you don’t end up where you planned, you still might end up somewhere great.” This is a great motto to keep in mind when taking a trip, but even more broadly to remember in our day-to-day lives. I also have to mention that I was so excited to see in the Acknowledgements that DeRuiter shares my obsession with Hamilton. I was not aware of her blog but plan to locate it and start following it. I am so glad I read this book and highly recommend it to everyone. It is a quick read that I finished in one sitting. Thanks to PublicAffairs and NetGalley for the chance to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    E

    Am I the only one who found the author's constant, constant heavy handed 'humorous' self deprecation a huge turn-off? Woman, you are writing a book, have (as we hear so very, very much) found a perfect partner, have an extremely successful blog-- but you consistently describe yourself as though you never do anything right, worries about nothing, is 'crazy', foot-in-mouth, etc. etc. She says she has made mistakes in life and lists them: eating a salad at an airport was one of them. Granted, if th Am I the only one who found the author's constant, constant heavy handed 'humorous' self deprecation a huge turn-off? Woman, you are writing a book, have (as we hear so very, very much) found a perfect partner, have an extremely successful blog-- but you consistently describe yourself as though you never do anything right, worries about nothing, is 'crazy', foot-in-mouth, etc. etc. She says she has made mistakes in life and lists them: eating a salad at an airport was one of them. Granted, if this is the type of thing that makes your mistakes in life list (and I even realize the humor, but still,) then it is not surprising that you have a fit over every little thing. The low point was when the author feels overcharged at a restaurant and pisses all over their bathroom floor in return, also stealing a glass and then throwing it away on the way home. That story disgusted me. She mentions, 'I know someone whose fault it wasn't would have to clean that up, but' ---. I mean to me, this is a shocking sense of entitlement and downright lack of humanity. And then to be so unashamed as to write about it, sans any guilt or regret, and write about it with yourself as simply an ever-kooky hero who learns how to 'let go' (her pun, intended.) The writing itself feels 'bloggy.' To me the constant referring to herself and the many ways in which she is just The Worst became pretentious and silly and I think stems from a certain type of blog writing wherein the writer, many of whom have built empires, rely upon this oh-i'm-just-a- (klutz, hobbyist, no darn good at anything!) in order to -- what though? Be relatable? In any case. I tried with this book. But in the end it tried me.

  5. 5 out of 5

    E.P.

    "All Over the Place" is a travel book, except that the travel is at least as much internal as it is external. Geraldine DeRuiter has transformed her popular blog, The Everywhereist, into a book that chronicles her trajectory from unemployment to travel blogger to brain-tumor-survivor to someone who's come to understand her family, her marriage, and herself. Well, at least a little bit better than she did before. As she freely admits at the beginning of the book, this isn't the kind of travel writ "All Over the Place" is a travel book, except that the travel is at least as much internal as it is external. Geraldine DeRuiter has transformed her popular blog, The Everywhereist, into a book that chronicles her trajectory from unemployment to travel blogger to brain-tumor-survivor to someone who's come to understand her family, her marriage, and herself. Well, at least a little bit better than she did before. As she freely admits at the beginning of the book, this isn't the kind of travel writing that explains to you how to save money in Sweden or avoid food poisoning in Fiji. Instead, it's the kind of travel writing where the trips serve as jumping-off points for musings on the meaning of life. If that sounds heavy, stuffy, or boring, it's not: DeRuiter's zany sense of humor comes bubbling out irrepressibly at every juncture, whether she's describing her mother's attempt to bring a pickax through airport security shortly after 9/11 (I may have cried a little during that scene, I laughed so hard), or the difficulties she and her husband face to preserve the happy state of their marriage under the pressure of her recovery from brain surgery and his inhumanly long work hours. There are also stories of her semi-successful attempts to understand her parents, both immigrants to the US, by returning to their original or adopted hometowns in Italy and Germany, as well as various alcohol-fueled bathroom mishaps in restaurants and hotels. Although the madcap adventures are presented in non-chronological order, the book's trajectory traces a gentle arc from 20-something Geraldine's neuroses to 30-something Geraldine's slightly calmer and more accepting approach to life, as she comes to the important realization that getting lost is not the worst thing that can happen to you, and sometimes it might take you where you really need to go. In turns heartwarming and hilarious, "All Over the Place" is one of the best travel books I've read in a long time. My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing a review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lianna

    More about some guy named Rand (short for Randall?), toilet troubles and snacks than travel. Still, pretty entertaining.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Bree Hill

    ‘The Point is, sometimes you have no idea in what direction you’re headed, but you keep going anyway.’ I went into All Over the Place expecting a travel memoir..and in some ways it is but it’s more so recounts of Deruiter’s relationship with her Mother who may or may not have tried to go through airport pickax in her purse. Her brother, who loved her in his own way, and her husband Rand. All with stories of traveling with her husband for his work and travel blogging. I listened to the audiobook wh ‘The Point is, sometimes you have no idea in what direction you’re headed, but you keep going anyway.’ I went into All Over the Place expecting a travel memoir..and in some ways it is but it’s more so recounts of Deruiter’s relationship with her Mother who may or may not have tried to go through airport pickax in her purse. Her brother, who loved her in his own way, and her husband Rand. All with stories of traveling with her husband for his work and travel blogging. I listened to the audiobook which was narrated by the author and she did a great job.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    4.5 Stars. I love a travel memoir. LOVE. It might have been my first favorite genre as an adult. And while this certainly ended up hitting all the notes I usually look for and love in someone’s travel stories, it took an unusual and lovely road to get there. This book made me both literally laugh out loud (girl has got her writer’s voice down PAT) and feel real feels– certainly not what I expected at the onset, and it was beautifully done. What made Geraldine’s story unique wasn’t just how well 4.5 Stars. I love a travel memoir. LOVE. It might have been my first favorite genre as an adult. And while this certainly ended up hitting all the notes I usually look for and love in someone’s travel stories, it took an unusual and lovely road to get there. This book made me both literally laugh out loud (girl has got her writer’s voice down PAT) and feel real feels– certainly not what I expected at the onset, and it was beautifully done. What made Geraldine’s story unique wasn’t just how well and thoroughly she spoke of love and loss and adventure and figuring your sh*t out along the way– but it was also of sharing the adventure with your love, and I just found that so real and truly wonderful. I snagged this book on Indie Bookstore Day 2018 as fulfillment of my promise to myself to buy at least one book I’d never heard of before (which is becoming harder and harder to do these days) and sounded right up my alley. This book hit both those nails on the head, and I’m so thrilled to have discovered a new-to-me writer in such a serendipitous way!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    I expected more of a travelogue about the places DeRuiter's been and what she's seen (and how many time she got lost) but this wasn't so much about travel as much of a candid memoir about the author's personal growth and marriage. The title "All over the Place" could also describe not only where she's traveled but also the broad range of emotions and struggles she has endured over the years. DeRuiter is a marvelous and humorous writer and despite being a wee bit disappointed that I didn't get mo I expected more of a travelogue about the places DeRuiter's been and what she's seen (and how many time she got lost) but this wasn't so much about travel as much of a candid memoir about the author's personal growth and marriage. The title "All over the Place" could also describe not only where she's traveled but also the broad range of emotions and struggles she has endured over the years. DeRuiter is a marvelous and humorous writer and despite being a wee bit disappointed that I didn't get more travel stories (for that I could go to her blog), it was still a great read and I loved it. Those who read Eat, Pray, Love and found it a little self-indulgent but kept reading for Gilbert's personal and world journeys should find this book a little more to their liking. Thanks to Hachette for the print advance copy.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    I'm sort of wishy washy on this memoir. On one hand, the author is funny and certainly knows how to turn a word in ways that few do -- that is, she finds unique ways to describe things and experiences that are not cliche. All good things and usually ripe for a 4- or 5-star review. But... and maybe I should have done my research more before reading this... I came into it expecting a travelogue -- and there was a bit of that -- and went out of it realizing it was really just a sappy love letter to I'm sort of wishy washy on this memoir. On one hand, the author is funny and certainly knows how to turn a word in ways that few do -- that is, she finds unique ways to describe things and experiences that are not cliche. All good things and usually ripe for a 4- or 5-star review. But... and maybe I should have done my research more before reading this... I came into it expecting a travelogue -- and there was a bit of that -- and went out of it realizing it was really just a sappy love letter to her husband, for the most part. Good on her, but I just wasn't too interested. Despite the author being a travel blogger (and we can talk about how every travel blogger now has the chops to get published at another time, although she for sure is a good writer), this is a memoir first and foremost, with a smattering of travel ha-has on the side. 3.5 stars.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Megan Prokott

    Super sweet and super funny book. Full review here: http://meganprokott.com/all-over-the-... Super sweet and super funny book. Full review here: http://meganprokott.com/all-over-the-...

  12. 5 out of 5

    Alexis

    Discovered Geraldine DeRuiter after I googled my guide for a township tour and found out that we'd taken the same tour. I promptly went and read all her blog entries about South Africa. She's a funny, witty writer who concentrates on the wonder of the world, and her connection with other people. She also doesn't pretend that she is some intrepid explorer and comes off as an ordinary woman who has a hard time finding her way around. I did laugh out loud at a few places in this book and found it a Discovered Geraldine DeRuiter after I googled my guide for a township tour and found out that we'd taken the same tour. I promptly went and read all her blog entries about South Africa. She's a funny, witty writer who concentrates on the wonder of the world, and her connection with other people. She also doesn't pretend that she is some intrepid explorer and comes off as an ordinary woman who has a hard time finding her way around. I did laugh out loud at a few places in this book and found it a quick and easy read. I thought this was also a book about family and romance as much as it was about love.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Amy Secretan

    I devoured this book. As a long time fan of the author's blog The Everywhereist, I have followed Geraldine's (mis)adventures for years, and have enjoyed them all immensely. Her book is no less enjoyable. It is warm and honest and moving and hilarious and BEAUTIFULLY written. It is not, as the author explains, a true travel memoir, in that it won't teach you how to travel. But Geraldine has never claimed to be a travel writer, she's a writer who happens to travel a lot, and gets to talk about wha I devoured this book. As a long time fan of the author's blog The Everywhereist, I have followed Geraldine's (mis)adventures for years, and have enjoyed them all immensely. Her book is no less enjoyable. It is warm and honest and moving and hilarious and BEAUTIFULLY written. It is not, as the author explains, a true travel memoir, in that it won't teach you how to travel. But Geraldine has never claimed to be a travel writer, she's a writer who happens to travel a lot, and gets to talk about what she learned while doing it. Her story is about discovering yourself, and what happens along the winding and sometimes dead-end road that you take to get there. I reread several passages over again, because they are so profoundly insightful about what it means to know who you are and how you came to be that person. I wish I could read it again for the first time, but I'll just have to settle for buying it for everyone I know and then getting to revisit the story over and over again with them.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Forest Collins

    Sometimes I’m a jerk…I like to mean-girl Rick Steves. When DeRuiter starts off her story talking smack about the title of his travel books, I thought “we are so gonna get along.” Really, “Through the Back Door” ?! And she kind of nailed it when she called him a toe in a wig… (sorry, Rick!) Yet…there were a lot of things that bugged about this book. Such as… Some of jokes felt a little easy or tired. She seems like a fun person to hang with and I think she’d be funny in person. But, things that ma Sometimes I’m a jerk…I like to mean-girl Rick Steves. When DeRuiter starts off her story talking smack about the title of his travel books, I thought “we are so gonna get along.” Really, “Through the Back Door” ?! And she kind of nailed it when she called him a toe in a wig… (sorry, Rick!) Yet…there were a lot of things that bugged about this book. Such as… Some of jokes felt a little easy or tired. She seems like a fun person to hang with and I think she’d be funny in person. But, things that make you laugh in natural, spontaneaous conversation don’t always translate to the written word. Because you have time to think about the writing, I expect premeditated jokes to work a little harder than their off-the-cuff counterparts. (e.g. “Neither of us have secret families. But how would we know?” “Everybody poops. I think Plato said that” “I’ve been to lots of scary places, prison, etc, etc, FLORIDA” Gimme a break…it’s not that bad and those jokes aren’t that funny) And I’m kinda of roughly approximating those jokes…they aren’t exact quotes, but you get the idea. She has that affliction that plenty of modern day bloggers or charmingly self-deprecating writers or eccentric online personalities have, where everyone assumes their foibles are more interesting than they are. It’s like a version of The Bloggess lite…where she’s all quirky and does off beat stuff and has super non-normal thoughts that we are all supposed to find really endearing. I mean, don’t get me wrong…at times the Bloggess and this book made me laugh my a** off a bit. But after a while I’m like “Okay! I get it…your peculiar and do all this “weird” stuff that is supposed to be all funny-loveable” There’s a lot of exaggeration for effect. I really can’t believe the Air France people were that bad. It’s reaches near kafka-esque levels…and I can’t believe it would really happen that way. And that there wasn’t some better resolution. It’s full of first world problems. I mean like really annoying ones. Sure, we are live in the first world, so those are our problems. But, she lost a cushy game job. Her super cute, successful hubbie who adores her now flies her around the world. I don’t feel all that bad when she (by choice, really) misses out on a wedding at home or has a few issues with an airline. Oh, and sorry you find the DLR to Canary Wharf so challenging. (you do have a lot of difficulty traveling for someone who travels so damn much) I enjoyed this book enough to read it through. And perhaps if I were a regular reader of her blog, I’d feel more invested in her and her story (I only read that one about the #metoo sticky buns with the boner). Again, I bet she’s a pretty funny and cool person IRL. But, there just wasn’t enough either tension or hilarity to really rate it highly in terms of writing. I mean this is no Glass Castle or Running with Scissors. The most interesting part for me was the one about her grandparents. Which leads me to believe that with her writing, she’s not sharing her life with the readers, but actually figuring it out and coming to terms with things for herself. These pat little stories, aren’t just pat little stories…they are a respectable attempt to put life in order, figure out why people die or things happen. And despite my criticisms, there’s nothing wrong with that.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Strömquist

    That's one of the great things about marriage. At some point, your beloved will inevitably find you mostly naked, shower-capped, and furiously plunging away, and they'll just hand you a bag of cleaning supplies without comment I'd never heard about the author or her blog before, but was so smittened by my friend Amalias review (I won't mind if you just follow that link and read hers instead, it's better than this one) that I decided to give it a go with no further ado. I'm glad I did, since this That's one of the great things about marriage. At some point, your beloved will inevitably find you mostly naked, shower-capped, and furiously plunging away, and they'll just hand you a bag of cleaning supplies without comment I'd never heard about the author or her blog before, but was so smittened by my friend Amalias review (I won't mind if you just follow that link and read hers instead, it's better than this one) that I decided to give it a go with no further ado. I'm glad I did, since this was a great read and perfectly suited for a lazy day or two under a beach umbrella. I did browse a few reviews now and, while mostly positive, there were some mentioning expecting more travel, or more blog-like or so. Going in blind, I expected nothing and got a very good and nicely written memoire that moves from the funny (here the author has a knack for the kind of not overdone self-criticism that is so hard to balance), the tragic and very much of love and unabashed admiration for the people closest to her. Yes, it gets awfully sentimental. No, I didn't mind. A light, fun, moving and recommended read!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Leah

    I haven’t read a travel memoir in quite awhile, but even though that’s the case, this is very different than all the others I’ve read – in a good way! Geraldine writes in a very authentic, funny, relaxed voice that makes this book easy to read. I laughed out loud several times. Although I liked this book, it doesn’t really go beyond “like.” It was funny and it was nice, but that’s about it. Worth a shot if you like travel memoirs in general!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mindy

    Full disclosure: I am Dog Shit Mindy (or Paris Mindy as Geraldine more kindly calls me) from page 216. That is to say, I am biased. This book is every bit as warm, wonderful, and weird as Geraldine is in real life.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ace

    You can’t read this book in public without looking like a lunatic. You won’t be able to contain yourself from laughing out loud on her hilarious anecdotes

  19. 5 out of 5

    Dr. Pete Meyers

    I could tell you that this book was hilarious and heartwarming, but that much has already been said so much better by so many others whose literary gifts extend beyond believing alliteration is terribly clever. So, instead, I’d like to tell you a story, which, having just finished “All Over The Place” minutes ago, seems like the only appropriate way to express my own feelings on the matter. I was travelling to Portland for an event in honor of a friend whose parents had been brutally murdered. I I could tell you that this book was hilarious and heartwarming, but that much has already been said so much better by so many others whose literary gifts extend beyond believing alliteration is terribly clever. So, instead, I’d like to tell you a story, which, having just finished “All Over The Place” minutes ago, seems like the only appropriate way to express my own feelings on the matter. I was travelling to Portland for an event in honor of a friend whose parents had been brutally murdered. I realize that’s a terrible beginning to a story, but life has never read any of the hundreds of books telling it exactly how stories are supposed to be written (sadly, I have, and life has made the right choice on this particular point). This friend and I were mutual friends with Geraldine and Rand. Geraldine is, to painfully oversimplify, my boss’s wife. This is a relationship that generally consists of nodding politely at Christmas parties and trying not to drink too much and embarrass yourself. I’ve since found that trying not to embarrass yourself in front of Geraldine is almost entirely antithetical to her nature, but that’s yet another story. Somehow, it was decided that I should fly to Seattle (the only part of the next couple of days that made any practical sense, Seattle being our main office) and a group of us would drive up to Portland and return the next day. I pictured 3-4 of us in a sensible rental car, a solemn event, and a return the next morning to dutifully get as much work done as possible. The sensible rental car turned out to be a cargo van – the exact kind of van that children are specifically instructed not to get into when approached by a stranger. While not by strangers, it would not be entirely inaccurate to say that I was abducted. The next morning, instead of returning to the office, we stopped, in typical Portland fashion, for donuts and coffee on the way to breakfast. Being a native Midwesterner, this confuses me, as donuts and coffee are often the entire scope of our breakfast and do not lead immediately to another breakfast. Somewhere along the way, the three of us also became 11, including almost the entire executive team of our company. All of this took an unacceptably long time, as eating all of your meals twice sometimes does, and so naturally we decided to make a quick stop at Geraldine’s mother’s house, which exists not so much on the way between Portland and Seattle as in a pocket dimension that may only be summoned under certain conditions beyond my comprehension. I suspect that the van was our TARDIS, and my abduction occurred across both space and time. I only met Geraldine’s mother for the space of 15 minutes of normal, human time, in a house that was somehow a village, and at a time that was somehow perpetually both Halloween and Christmas. There were decorations for both and neither, and, without knowing why, that seemed right and proper. I met Melba the mannequin, who is inexplicably charming, and experienced a lifetime in a quarter-hour. You may be wondering how any of this is helping you to decide whether to spend $15 on this book. You may also suspect that I’m simply trying to name-drop my limited time with Geraldine so that she remembers me when she inevitably becomes famous. You wouldn’t be completely wrong. The point of all of this, though, is that this book is not simply hilarious and heartwarming. It is also – and I can say this with total confidence from a single road trip – absolutely and completely true. Not a single word is exaggerated, from hand grenades to unspeakable toilet incidents to desperately important boring clocks, and that makes it all the more magical.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Beth Jusino

    I always approach "humor" books cautiously. People who write funny essays, I've learned the hard way, don't always pace themselves well for a book, and their schtick gets stale fast. However, I do love a good travel book, and I've been an Everywhereist reader ever since I saw Geraldine talk about her brain tumor at an Ignite Seattle event. I, too, am not a natural traveler, though I love the idea of being one. So I suspected there would be more here than the poop jokes that she kept mentioning o I always approach "humor" books cautiously. People who write funny essays, I've learned the hard way, don't always pace themselves well for a book, and their schtick gets stale fast. However, I do love a good travel book, and I've been an Everywhereist reader ever since I saw Geraldine talk about her brain tumor at an Ignite Seattle event. I, too, am not a natural traveler, though I love the idea of being one. So I suspected there would be more here than the poop jokes that she kept mentioning on Twitter. And there was. This is a fabulous summer read. It's honest--usually hilariously so, but then, just when the jokes about cake and big noses get a little overwhelming, the honesty shifts from poop to something a little darker, a little more real. Her family is quirky and delightful, but also difficult. And while Geraldine has a clearly charmed life, she's not afraid to point out that it's not all vacations and gelato. "Happily ever after" isn't always happy, and there's a difficult side to living with a partner whose dot-com success made all that travel and writing possible. And even the dark sides can still have humor. Which brings me to the one dropped star. While Geraldine's tone is witty and sharp and delightfully relatable, her experiences aren't. There are some barriers for most readers, myself included, to get past if we're going to relate to a writer who doesn't have to worry about what all this travel and time costs. I wish she'd done more to help us cross that barrier, and more directly addressed the reality of what it's like to go from being mostly broke in a tiny apartment to living a life where she can spontaneously fly off to South Africa for a safari. In the end, the best of her stories are the ones that are relatable, driving to Green Bay, Wisconsin, or trying to track down her distant Italian relatives in a village she barely remembers. Here, the Everywhereist really gets to write for everyone.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Atiya

    Like most basic people I discovered Geraldine DeRuiter's blog through the most basic way: Time Magazine's List of Top 10 (or 25? I forget) blogs. But since 2011, I have been an avid reader of The Everywhereist, commenting and reading on her candid and hilarious posts on travelling, poop and eating exorbitant amounts of baked goods. Her book, like her blog is hilarious, and filled with love for her husband. I loved the chapted on Roosevelt Island because I could literally map her journey in my he Like most basic people I discovered Geraldine DeRuiter's blog through the most basic way: Time Magazine's List of Top 10 (or 25? I forget) blogs. But since 2011, I have been an avid reader of The Everywhereist, commenting and reading on her candid and hilarious posts on travelling, poop and eating exorbitant amounts of baked goods. Her book, like her blog is hilarious, and filled with love for her husband. I loved the chapted on Roosevelt Island because I could literally map her journey in my head because I'VE BEEN THERE. I am glad she talks about seeing the Mona Lisa and being underwhelmed by it just like I was upon seeing the Golden Gate Bridge. The point is, this book is a nice, sweet and gooey (much like the cake Geralidine claims she eats everyday) and written with her classic dark humor and wit. Check it out.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ginny Lurcock

    All Over the Place is funny as fuck. I honestly and truly enjoyed the title. It felt so similar to experiences that my family or I would've encountered while traveling that it felt like validation. And the anxiety! Oh my god. I'm flying to Florida in five weeks and I nearly packed our bags this weekend "just to see." I'm not sure what I would have seen, and odds are those bags would've stayed packed until the trip itself, but... Listen, my neurosis aside... this book was hilarious and engaging. Hu All Over the Place is funny as fuck. I honestly and truly enjoyed the title. It felt so similar to experiences that my family or I would've encountered while traveling that it felt like validation. And the anxiety! Oh my god. I'm flying to Florida in five weeks and I nearly packed our bags this weekend "just to see." I'm not sure what I would have seen, and odds are those bags would've stayed packed until the trip itself, but... Listen, my neurosis aside... this book was hilarious and engaging. Humor that spoke to me (poop and fart jokes... it was poop and fart jokes) mixed with an obvious and all-encompassing love for her husband. It felt like my story. In fact, I resonated so much with this book I plan on bringing a copy as a host gift for my sister-in-law who we're actually visiting in Florida in five weeks. There were a few sticky bits though. Occasionally the author punches down and makes some vaguely offensive jokes. And in those moments (and a few others) it's hard to forget that this is a white girl with a rich husband who was able to quit her job and write a travel blog full time. She was able to take that risk, and I can barely risk checking twitter at work... She does talk about the stress put on her marriage by her husband's high-stress job. That he's a self-made man. That having money didn't save them from personal tragedy and illness... but... well occasionally I suffer from jealousy. Occasionally I'm a hater. I'm trying hard to overcome it, but the urge to judge someone I view as having more than me is still there. Lurking in the back of my head. Which is why nothing I say in this review holds water. At this point, I don't even know if I'm judging it too harshly because of that kneejerk reaction while finishing up the book late at night and already mildly depressed, or if I'm giving her a pass where she doesn't deserve one. I wouldn't have wasted my time writing the review (and the time you just spent reading it) had I not gotten it from Netgalley. I would've recommended the book to friends and talked about it once they were done. But I did get it from Netgalley. So I do have to say something. And here it is, my summary. Aside from bouts of privilege and occasionally punching down, All Over the Place is a wonderfully written: Love letter to the author's husband Chronicle of anxiety Struggles of traveling with mental illness An ode to giving context to family members through changing your perspective. If that sounds like something you're into, check it out from your local library. I'd love to discuss it with you once you've finished.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    I've followed Geraldine deRuiter's blog, The Everywhereist, for years now, and was really thrillled for her when she got a book deal. I really enjoy her voice - frank & a little brash, sometimes foul-mouthed, hilarious and self-deprecating, and always brimming with love for her husband. I knew I would buy her book (I'm generally a library user) so I could support her venture and was waiting for the right moment to pick it up. I was planning on waiting for my summer travels, but I am two weeks in I've followed Geraldine deRuiter's blog, The Everywhereist, for years now, and was really thrillled for her when she got a book deal. I really enjoy her voice - frank & a little brash, sometimes foul-mouthed, hilarious and self-deprecating, and always brimming with love for her husband. I knew I would buy her book (I'm generally a library user) so I could support her venture and was waiting for the right moment to pick it up. I was planning on waiting for my summer travels, but I am two weeks into a reading funk where my usual literary fiction was just not working for me, so I downloaded it on my brand-new kindle (thank you Amazon Prime day) and yes, it worked. I consumed it as easily as a gelato on a hot day in Italy. It's breezy and readable and yes, I laughed out loud at many of the anecdotes she relates in the book. But it is also fearlessly frank. She explores difficult relationships with her parents & her brothers, and talks about very low moments in her marriage. She explores her experience having a brain tumor, and her deep ambivalence in response to having had brain surgery. Yes, there are a lot of jokes about cake and her general cluelessness and she is willing to use her general anxiety as springboard to lots of self-deprecating humor. But the heart of this memoir is her open-hearted acceptance of the flawed people she loves. She spends a lot of the book talking about how scared she has been in the past to travel, to venture out on her own (she tends to get lost a lot) and that may be true, but she is a fearless writer, and that is the real pleasure of the book. Thank you, Geraldine, for getting me out of my reading funk. It worked!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Alison

    This memoir, was written with a lot of humor, which had me laughing out loud at times. Even during her hard times, she tried to make light of her situations. Even though this was labeled a travel book, it is not your normal travels book, as the authors stories are more about how she reacted to the places she went, about her internal fears and inadequacies, more than about the descriptions of the countries. After losing her job, she started a blog and decided to travel with her husband who travele This memoir, was written with a lot of humor, which had me laughing out loud at times. Even during her hard times, she tried to make light of her situations. Even though this was labeled a travel book, it is not your normal travels book, as the authors stories are more about how she reacted to the places she went, about her internal fears and inadequacies, more than about the descriptions of the countries. After losing her job, she started a blog and decided to travel with her husband who traveled a lot for work. What I loved about this story was the love the author and her husband have for one another, and his acceptance of her quirkiness, and his ability to go with the flow.. Well written with great tales of family get-togethers, and of her need for a closer connection with her father, mother, brother and extended relatives. This story takes us on a comical, yet also serious journey to reconnect with not only herself, and her husband, but also that of her extended family. I would definitely recommend this book. I would like to thank NetGalley and Perseus Books Group, Public Affairs Books for the ARC of this book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Aisling

    This is wonderful- there is no other word. The essays in the book lit up my heart and fulfilled my love of travel at the same time. DeRuiter's stories are the real travel stories that we all (to some extent) share- lost luggage, messing up hotel rooms, losing our way. But her connection with her partner and the support they have for one another shines through without being a cliché. The writing is funny- really funny- and I think DeRuiter is someone a lot of people will be able to identify with.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kshitija

    I went into this book with great excitement, but it ended up being a personal memoir/one long love letter by the author to her husband. I pretty much skimmed over the last couple of chapters since I did not have the patience to go through Geraldine DeRuiter's life drama for the last 20 pages. This is second book in the recent times that I have been so disappointed with! Sigh!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ethan Hulbert

    This book doesn't really fit in any of my shelves on here and I guess that's because it's not really any kind of book. It's sort of a self-proclaimed subversion to a travel book, but it's definitely not a travel book... it's just kind of a... book. I don't know. I wanted to like the book a lot more than I did and I went into it with a lot of excitement. I love misadventures and personal tales and that sort of thing. To her credit, Ms. DeRuiter has a very entertaining style of writing. It's tough This book doesn't really fit in any of my shelves on here and I guess that's because it's not really any kind of book. It's sort of a self-proclaimed subversion to a travel book, but it's definitely not a travel book... it's just kind of a... book. I don't know. I wanted to like the book a lot more than I did and I went into it with a lot of excitement. I love misadventures and personal tales and that sort of thing. To her credit, Ms. DeRuiter has a very entertaining style of writing. It's tough to put my finger on what about it is so charming, but it usually is quite charming. The jokes, though, mostly fall flat. The humor reminds me of early-2000s webcomics or those overly-JPEG'd images old people put on facebook or greeting cards in the grocery store. Just stuff like putting Florida on the list of worst places in the world, or bringing up cake a lot, or obsessing over Jeff Goldblum... it's just not really that funny. And those are the jokes that are returned to a lot and they're less funny the second, third, fourth times. Since the stories in the book aren't really travel stories, I expected them to work extra hard to still be entertaining in a "subverted travel" book. But I found that they were mostly introspective and uneventful. And there was so much self-depreciation in this book it was tough to get through at parts. It also made it seem less genuine. Someone who's flying all over the world for her husband's job and going on adventures and owns a successful blog and has a published book doesn't need to spend SO much time explaining how they're the worst at everything, how they're unable to function in most basic aspects of adult life, how they have seemingly as many fears as Adrian Monk, etc. It just got grating. Most of the book was actually just about how much she loves her husband. Which is very sweet, but does not an interesting book make. Worst, though, most of the problems seemed to be caused directly by the author herself, or her family. One of the biggest moments was a story about how her mother tried to bring a hatchet through airport security (because ~~sO qUiRkY~~). It was supposed to be outrageous or something but all I could imagine was the fed up guards, the annoyed lines of passengers behind them, and how completely unnecessary it all was. That's right - I felt sympathy for TSA agents. Another story about an awful Air France employee takes the focus off the root of the problem - that our heroes booked their tickets for the wrong day on accident and caused the initial issue themselves, and then to compound matters, kept that a secret and didn't reveal it was their mistake to try and get the airline to take the expense for it. A lot of stories are just "I got lost on the way to somewhere" or "I overflowed a toilet." By far the worst story, though, which is even mentioned in the subtitle (it's the "petty theft" part), made me lose most all sympathy for Ms. DeRuiter. Due to a miscommunication that her husband was perfectly happy to let go, a foreign restaurant was going to charge them more than they had expected. To get "revenge" for this, she went to the restroom and peed all over a stall. Ummm... ok. She says she realizes that it was probably some other employee who ended up cleaning it up... yeah. It wasn't really revenge, it was just being, sorry, an asshole. As someone who worked in restaurants for years, it's just not behavior that I can forgive. As an excuse, she mentions being drunk. No, being drunk isn't an excuse for anything, it just makes it worse. Then on the way out, she stole a goblet, too, to further her revenge, which she then threw away a short time later. Look at this from the point of view of someone working at a restaurant - she was a piss drunk customer who made a mess in the bathroom and stole something. It is tough to read this and have much respect for her, especially since this is her own book and she's even featuring this aspect in the subtitle. It is very weird to read this in a book that occasionally complains about other rude and disrespectful people. I didn't really know what I expected from this book, but for me, it just didn't deliver.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Gerry Sacco

    So, I got this book for my girlfriend as a present. I honestly didn’t realize at the time I happen to follow the author on Twitter because I find her funny, I just ran a book search on travel and this got really good reviews. Rewind to a few days ago, said girlfriend is crying on my couch while reading this book. I’m very confused. I knew the book had took a turn because she had told me prior, but wouldn’t tell me what the turn was, because “you need to read this when I’m done”. Fair enough, stil So, I got this book for my girlfriend as a present. I honestly didn’t realize at the time I happen to follow the author on Twitter because I find her funny, I just ran a book search on travel and this got really good reviews. Rewind to a few days ago, said girlfriend is crying on my couch while reading this book. I’m very confused. I knew the book had took a turn because she had told me prior, but wouldn’t tell me what the turn was, because “you need to read this when I’m done”. Fair enough, still odd. She shows me the passage, ah, understood. But I think to myself, this wasn’t what I expected at all of the book. And that’s kind of the review. If you go into this expecting the focus to be on travel, you’re going to be very surprised. But, that isn’t a bad thing. There’s a lot of humor, a couple times I did laugh out loud, but it’s really the story of the author, and she has a much different life than you expect her to have after reading the first half of the book. This is a very honest, touching, at times crude book, that is very easy to read. It’s very enjoyable, and the author comes off like someone you’d enjoy being around, which would explain why I followed her on Twitter to begin with. I really liked her travel outlook. I am a meticulous planner. I need to see and do as much as possible. But, the more I travel, the more I see the importance of what I call “walk around” time. Because sometimes, you find the best stuff walking down a random street, which helps offset the previous day where you plan an entire day around finally seeing the Mona Lisa, actually getting through the damned line and sea of people, stopping, turning to your girlfriend as you both exclaim, “that’s it?”, snapping a picture, and leaving to eat a pastry as you internally wonder, why the hell is she such a big deal?

  29. 5 out of 5

    Belinda

    This book is not really a collection of travel memoirs or travel tips but it is about a blogger who chooses to travel with her husband after she is laid off. It is a collection of personal stories set in different countries in the world, nicely varying between the more sentimental and serious (like when she had a brain tumor) to the hilarious and gross (cleaning up an overflowing toilet in a eco-friendly hotel). This is pretty funny read and Geraldine has the same kind of self-deprecating, witty This book is not really a collection of travel memoirs or travel tips but it is about a blogger who chooses to travel with her husband after she is laid off. It is a collection of personal stories set in different countries in the world, nicely varying between the more sentimental and serious (like when she had a brain tumor) to the hilarious and gross (cleaning up an overflowing toilet in a eco-friendly hotel). This is pretty funny read and Geraldine has the same kind of self-deprecating, witty, and slightly weird humor that will attract fans of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Overall, I kind of see this as a love story between Geraldine and her husband, Rand, which is evident on every page of the book. Check out her blog, the Everywhereist.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Duffy

    This is one book I couldn't skim. And usually I'm an expert skimmer. Instead, I found myself trying (and failing) to stay awake in the middle of the night to finish it. What a perfectly hilarious and relatable travel memoir! I wish I could print out quotes from the book and hang them all over my walls. But that'd be a little weird. I'm also totally okay claiming third wheel new-bff status. Not as weird, right? I'd highly recommend this book to anyone -- whether you're a traveler by nature or not. This is one book I couldn't skim. And usually I'm an expert skimmer. Instead, I found myself trying (and failing) to stay awake in the middle of the night to finish it. What a perfectly hilarious and relatable travel memoir! I wish I could print out quotes from the book and hang them all over my walls. But that'd be a little weird. I'm also totally okay claiming third wheel new-bff status. Not as weird, right? I'd highly recommend this book to anyone -- whether you're a traveler by nature or not. * Free ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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