From the author of the Wall Street Journal bestseller The Kindness of Strangers comes a humorous and deeply revealing memoir about travel, perseverance, and the surprising places we find inspiration.
In 1962, when Mike McIntyre’s colorful grandmother becomes the first member of his working-class California family to travel overseas, she returns with a Pan Am tote bag, its side emblazoned with a big blue ball, the airline’s iconic blue globe logo.
Enchanted through childhood by the magical bag, McIntyre hurtles headlong into a life of wanderlust and adventure, transforming himself from a small-town slacker into an acclaimed, globe-trotting journalist. In a book that is both coming-of-age story and travelogue, he illuminates his journey with a candid, compelling prose that has earned him praise as “a reader’s dream” (San Diego Union-Tribune).
Funny, moving, offbeat, and ultimately, unforgettable, The Big Blue Ball vividly captures one man’s meandering search for his place in the world.
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Mike McIntyre was a late bloomer, latching onto journalism at age twenty-seven. He’s been a travel columnist for the Los Angeles Times, a theater columnist for the Washington Post, and a feature writer for the San Diego Union-Tribune and the Budapest Sun. His first book, The Kindness of Strangers, was a Wall Street Journal bestseller and featured on Oprah. He’s lived, worked and traveled in more than eighty countries. He spent much of his youth in Lake Tahoe, later earning degrees from the University of California, Davis, and the University of Michigan. These days he and his wife divide their time between San Diego and the world.