John Hodgman’s last book, Vacationland was one of my favorites of the last few years. I knew Hodgman from his appearances on The Daily Show, his books of made up trivia and ridiculous lists of fake facts, and his podcast Judge John Hodgman but I wasn’t expecting the level of melancholy mixed into his comedic essays about parenthood, growing older, and living part-time in Maine.
Medallion Status: True Stories from Secret Rooms, his newest collection is just as funny as Vacationland.
This time, Hodgman focuses his stories on life as a mid-level celebrity, criss-crossing the country, from his home on the east coast to Los Angeles, hanging out with the Property Brothers, the Famous Corgis of Instagram, and other celebrities more famous than him, breaking security protocols at both the Scientology Super Power Building and Trump’s Winter White House, and learning how to act on television without looking directly at the camera, all while earning miles and leveling up his airline “medallion status.”
Although I thoroughly enjoyed Medallion Status, it isn’t as grounded and moving as Vacationland. So my recommendation is this: read Vacationland if you haven’t, listen to a few episodes of Judge John Hodgman, and if you’re wanting more of Hodgman’s perspective, give Medallion Status a try.
Or skip all that and watch an episode or two of Property Brothers on cable.