No state has been so frequently mocked, maligned, or misunderstood as New Jersey. Yet the state is filled with amazing places and people who rarely receive the media attention they deserve. For the past twenty years Star-Ledger columnist Peter Genovese has been one of the rare voices singing the praises of his state’s hidden wonders and gritty charms.
For this new book, Genovese spent months scouring the state for rich stories and fascinating locations. New Jersey State of Mind takes us on a journey to over twenty-five of these places and introduces us to the colorful characters who live and work there, from a demolition derby driver to a female craft brewer, and from a Cuban celebrity chef to a Portuguese pig breeder. He also reveals the many natural wonders that have earned New Jersey its “Garden State” nickname, from cranberry bogs to river tours to wild bird sanctuaries.
Collectively, these pieces paint a picture of a diverse state full of hard-working individuals who care for their communities. This book cuts through the myths and stereotypes surrounding the state and reveals the proud beating heart of the real New Jersey.
About the Author
PETER GENOVESE is a Trenton native and an award-winning features/food writer for The Star-Ledger and nj.com. He is the author of ten books, including Roadside New Jersey, Jersey Diners, and The Jersey Shore Uncovered: A Revealing Season on the Beach, all from Rutgers University Press.
"Peter Genovese’s new book introduces us to colorful characters, unusual locations, and interesting tidbits that make up New Jersey. Who knew that New Jersey has 'the highest density of wildlife per square mile of any state'? New Jersey rocks!" — Dominick Mazzagetti
"New Jersey is overflowing with stories -- and people claiming to be experts on our state. But there are only a precious few who really know our people, neighborhoods and rhythms like Peter Genovese. His words are all the verification you need." — Kevin Whitmer
"From Babe Ruth’s favorite fishing river, to the location of Buttzville, to a Newark-based farm without soil, this book is filled with the people, places, and things that constitute the great – and often misunderstood – state of New Jersey." — Russ Roberts
"A journey through N.J.'s most unlikely oasis of beauty with writer Peter Genovese" https://www.nj.com/entertainment/2020/06/a-journey-through-njs-most-unlikely-oasis-of-beauty-with-writer-peter-genovese.html — Newark Star-Ledger/NJ.com
"For NJ.com’s Peter Genovese, the Garden State is an amazing journey filled with iconic destinations" by Jacquline Cutler https://www.nj.com/entertainment/2020/06/a-journey-through-njs-most-unlikely-oasis-of-beauty-with-writer-peter-genovese.html — Newark Star-Ledger/NJ.com