Great Travel Books: Orange Is The New Black by Piper Kerman

It might seem odd to include a book about prison in my Great Travel Book Round Up, but when you come right down to it, Orange Is The New Black is actually quite similar to Cheryl Stray’s Wild. Both memoirs involve bad choices,  drugs, self-growth in response to adversity, and care packages that help our hero cope with the elements (books and boots respectively). Yes, Piper did not have much choice in her spiritual journey, but I think it is clear that Cheryl also felt that she had little choice in leaving her routine for the unfamiliar. And in the end both women appear better for their ordeal.

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Special note: One way that the books differ is in their treatment by the big/little screen. The movie Wild keeps true to the text and is as inspirational as the book. Not so true for the television version of Orange which trades Piper’s uplifting vision of women banding together against the dehumanizing forces of incarceration for an entirely fictional and over hyped world of sex, violence, and more sex. Not going to judge you if your into that kind of thing (I, um, had to watch several episodes before I decided it was not for me and then watched a few more just to make sure). But you really need to check out the book.

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