Monday, March 20, the Key West Friends of the Library will present author Doug Mack as their final speaker in this year’s lecture series. Talks are at the Key West Theater, 512 Eaton St. Admission is free. The lectures in this series begin promptly at 6:00 p.m., but seating starts at 5:30 on a first come, first served basis.
Doug Mack is a travel writer based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a city he is convinced is one of the greatest cities in the world. (“Come visit, you’ll understand,” he says.)
To many in Key West he is a familiar face, largely because he has been volunteering and making himself indispensable at the Key West Literary Seminar for longer than anyone can remember.
Mack’s first book, Europe on Five Wrong Turns A Day, was an account of trying to navigate his way through Europe with an extremely outdated guidebook, a 1963 edition of Arthur Frommer’s Europe on Five Dollars a Day.
“I soon learned that this book, first released in 1957, essentially invented the modern guidebook—leading the way for the likes of Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, and Rick Steves. It also coincided with a tipping point in tourism—in the late 1950s, Europe welcomed (or at least tolerated) some 800,000 American visitors annually, a number that rose to 4 million by the early 1970s and to nearly 9.8 million in 2010 (down from a peak of 12.3 million in 2007),” Mack wrote.
Mack’s latest book is The Not-Quite States of America: Dispatches from the Territories and Other Far-Flung Outposts of the USA.
It is an account of Mack’s adventures in places like American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. They are places that, along with their 4 million residents, are often forgotten, even by most Americans, even though they are filled with American flags, U.S. post offices, and Little League baseball games.
“Mack uncovers such obscure yet evocative facts that it’s hard to see his book as simply a travel book. The overall effect sheds the kind of light on our country that we typically only glean from getting away from it—far away from it—for a large chunk of time,” wrote one reviewer.
For more information go to http://friendsofthekeywestlibrary.org and click on lecture series.