Book Review: Girl Around the World by Dorothy Kilgallen

“The world is grand, awfully big and astonishingly beautiful frequently thrilling.”

Dorothy Kilgallen, Girl Around the World

Title: Girl Around the World
Author: Dorothy Kilgallen
Genres: Non-fiction, Travel, History, Memoir
Pages: 219 (Hardcover)
Published: 1936

My Rating: ★★★★★
Read: 1/21/2023 – 3/12/2023


When I say that I’ve been looking for a copy of this book to read for years, I’m not exaggerating. Long out of print and a rare/expensive find, I finally traveled to read a library copy. Given how long I’ve waited, my rating may be a bit biased, but I’m also quite confident I would have enjoyed this book without already being an admirer of the author.

In 1936, journalist Dorothy Kilgallen set off on an around-the-world competition to attempt to break the world record at the time. The book catalogs her journey, detailing a number of places from Germany to Manila. Charming as ever, the book is a fun, adventurous, and inspiring account. It’s also interesting to hear what the world was like at that time.

It’s too bad this book didn’t have more printings or a digitalization. People have forgotten what a trailblazer Dorothy Kilgallen was for women during her lifetime. This book is an excellent example, especially since it was still early on in her career. I’m grateful to have finally been able to read it.

Likes & Dislikes:

What I liked:

  • It was super interesting to read about these different countries during this time just before WWII.
  • Dorothy Kilgallen’s writing is relatable, almost like reading letters from a friend.

What I didn’t like:

  • I would have liked more descriptions of each country/city.


Though I’m still going to be scouring used books and antique shops for a copy of this book to own, it feels a bit strange having finally read this. I took my time with it because I didn’t want it to end. I look forward to Dorothy Kilgallen’s second book which was published posthumously.

Where to buy the book:

(This book isn’t currently available to buy online.)

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