Junk: Digging Through America’s Love Affair with StuffBy Alison Stewart (Chicago Review Press, 2016) Buy It Now
Every household has a place where odds and ends accumulate, whether it’s a catchall kitchen drawer or floor-to-ceiling stacks. For award-winning TV journalist and Woodstock weekender Alison Stewart, the no-toss zone was her late parents’ basement. When she and her sister spent eight months on an epic cleanout, she put on her reporter hat and started asking questions. What compels people to hang on to things like used Christmas bows and watch shows like Pawn Stars? What kinds of businesses take out the trash, from multimillion-dollar hauling chains to the 250-mile yard sale along Alabama’s Route 411? What’s the slippery slope between collecting and hoarding? Is there garbage in space? Lively, well researched, and wincingly relatable, Junk is a jaunty ride through our national trash habit.