Our 2022 selection is If You Lived Here You’d Be Home by Now: Why We Traded the Commuting Life for a Little House on the Prairie by Christopher Ingraham.
Author Christopher Ingraham with radio host Miss Shannan Paul
When: Saturday, April 23, 2022
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Place: Lakeville Area Arts Center
About the Book
An NPR Best Book of the Year, this hilarious, charming, and candid story is about the author’s decision to uproot his life and move his family to Red Lake Falls, Minnesota, population 1,400 — the community he made famous as “the worst place to live in America” in a story he wrote for the Washington Post.
Like so many young American couples, Christopher and his wife Briana were having a difficult time making ends meet as they tried to raise their twin boys in the East Coast suburbs. One day, Chris — in his role as a “data guy” reporter at the Washington Post — stumbled on a study that would change his life. It was a ranking of America’s 3,000+ counties from ugliest to most scenic. He quickly scrolled to the bottom of the list and gleefully wrote the words “The absolute worst place to live in America is (drumroll please) … Red Lake County, Minn.” The story went viral, to put it mildly.
Among the reactions were many from residents of Red Lake County. While they were unflappably polite — it’s not called “Minnesota Nice” for nothing — they challenged him to look beyond the spreadsheet and actually visit their community. Ingraham, with slight trepidation, accepted. Impressed by the locals’ warmth, humor and hospitality — and ever more aware of his financial situation and torturous commute — Chris and Briana eventually decided to relocate to the town he’d just dragged through the dirt on the Internet.
If You Lived Here You’d Be Home by Now is the story of making a decision that turns all your preconceptions — good and bad — on their heads. In Red Lake County, Ingraham experiences the intensity and power of small-town gossip, struggles to find a decent cup of coffee, suffers through winters with temperatures dropping to forty below zero, and unearths some truths about small-town life that the coastal media usually miss. It’s a wry and charming tale — with data! — of what happened to one family brave enough to move waaaay beyond its comfort zone.
OneBook OneLakeville sponsors:
City of Lakeville
Cornerstone Copy Center
Dakota County Library
Green Mill Restaurant & Bar
Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund
Minnesota Association of Library Friends
Rotary Club of Lakeville
Subway Heritage Square
OneBook OneLakeville past selections:
2018 – Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann
2017 — The Song Poet: A Memoir of My Father by Kao Kalia Yang
2016 — Miss Hazel and the Rosa Parks League by Jonathan Odell
2015 — Enrique’s Journey by Sonia Nazario
2014 — Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
2013 — Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
2012 — Waking by Matthew Sanford
2011 — Call of the Wild by Jack London
2010 — Haunted Ground by Erin Hart
2009 — Population 485 by Michael Perry
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