This is Where You Belong: The Art and Science of Loving the Place You Live
by Melody Warnick
Viking, 2016, 320 pages, Non-Fiction
Austin, Texas, was supposed to be the city where Melody Warnick and her family stayed forever. But soon after moving there, they packed their belongings and, like millions of restless Americans, ventured cross-country. This time, though, Melody had an epiphany. Rather than hold her breath and hope Blacksburg, Virginia, was her perfect town, she would figure out how to fall in love with her new home. Warnick's journey to find out what makes us love our towns and cities, and why it matters, is at the heart of This Is Where You Belong. She dives into the body of research about place attachment--the deep sense of connection that residents sometimes feel with their towns--and travels to towns across America to see it in action.
I’m a Provo native, so there’s a lot about Provo that makes it feel more like home than anywhere else I’ve lived. At the same time, I’ve also really enjoyed the other places I’ve lived too, and there’s a special place in my heart for each of them. Warnick’s pointers on how a person can become place-attached weren’t that surprising, but discussing the merits of things such as getting to know your neighbors, being involved in local events, volunteering, shopping locally, and exploring the outdoors made me wonder what more I could be doing to be involved in my community. I think this book goes along really well with our summer reading theme: Build a Better World.