Goodwill Tour: Paying It Forward
written by Keith Maginn
published by Keith Maginn
Why did I pick this book: I read Mr. Maginn’s other book, Turning This Thing Around. I enjoyed it (see my review here) and I agreed to read this one. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)
Did I enjoy this book: I thought I was signing up for a feel-good, make-me-want-to-volunteer-somewhere travelogue, but, when half-way through the book Maginn had only actually “paid it forward” once, I decided to be officially disappointed. I loved Maginn’s first book, Turning This Thing Around (you can read my review HERE), but felt that this book was more of a “here’s a book about a road trip I took while I was unemployed” than a “here’s a book about the awesome things I did for other people while on a road trip.” I guess I was expecting Maginn and Emily to spend more time “Good willing” than “Touring.”
Would I recommend it: Pick up a copy of Turning This Thing Around, but go ahead and pass on Goodwill Tour.
About the book – from Goodreads: In mid-July of 2011, Keith Maginn, and his friend, Emily, set off from Cincinnati, Ohio, on a 3,000-mile road-trip through several southeastern states. The pair stopped in Memphis, New Orleans, Savannah, Charleston, Asheville and smaller towns in between. Goodwill Tour: Paying It Forward is a travelogue detailing a philanthropic experiment in this incredible country the two call home.
What makes their trip unique-and Maginn’s book fresh-is that sightseeing wasn’t their sole purpose. Emily and Keith were determined to spread kindness as they worked to make a difference in the lives of others along the way. They gave their own money to hand-picked strangers, who then had to pay the money forward to someone else.
Goodwill Tour is the narrative of the places Emily and Keith visited and the people they met on their journey. It is an ode to the United States and, even more, a tribute to its people. From Beale Street to Bourbon Street and Graceland to the Biltmore Estate, from feeding the needy in downtown Charleston to brainstorming ideas with a female Buddhist monk to help abused teens and high school dropouts in North Carolina, readers will enjoy riding shotgun on the trip as they relive the experience of these life-altering events, and contemplate how people changed as a result.
Supplemented by quotes from Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild, Douglas Brinkley’s The Majic Bus and Try Giving Yourself Away by David Dunn, this book satisfies two longings at once: to have a fun, interesting journey and to motivate readers to have an impact on the people around them. With so much negativity in the news and so many struggling in a beaten-down economy, the public is crying out for a feel-good, transformative book like Goodwill Tour.
Many have driven around the country for adventure; countless others serve their community. Maginn and his friend set out to accomplish both at once. Their pay-it-forward mission will touch and inspire readers to take the trip that they’ve always dreamed of or to have a positive effect in the life of a loved one, an acquaintance, or even a complete stranger.