Apex, North Carolina - One of the Best Places to Live in America: Background information when reading The Dogs of Littlefield

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The Dogs of Littlefield

by Suzanne Berne

The Dogs of Littlefield by Suzanne Berne X
The Dogs of Littlefield by Suzanne Berne
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2016, 288 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2017, 288 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Norah Piehl

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Apex, North Carolina - One of the Best Places to Live in America

This article relates to The Dogs of Littlefield

Print Review

Apex, NCWhen Dr. Clarice Watkins sets out to academically scrutinize one of the "Best Places to Live in America," she notes that the criteria for making the list include "Good quality of life," along with "Quiet and safe." For many years, Money magazine has compiled its own annual roundups of the "Best Places to Live." According to Money, their rankings feature "places with great jobs, strong economies, affordable homes, excellent schools, and that special something that makes it a great place to live."

Historic Downtown, Apex, NCTopping the list in 2015 was Apex, North Carolina, a town of 42,000 people located about twenty minutes outside Raleigh (thanks to a new toll road built in response to rapid population growth). In their intro, the editors of Money write that "Apex has all the things you'd expect in the No. 1 place to live: a charming downtown, top-notch schools, and… community spirit." Many of the residents are employed at nearby Research Triangle Park, a hub for more than 200 companies, largely in the healthcare and technology sectors. Houses in Apex are only about a quarter as expensive as comparable homes in Silicon Valley, and its high school was ranked best in the county by U.S. News & World Report (another magazine fond of rating things). Plus its student body is nearly 25 percent minorities, making it far more diverse than fictional Littlefield.

Apex LakeAs for that "special something," Apex certainly strives to embody it, hosting a full slate of annual community celebrations, fairs, and festivals, including Founders Day, PeakFest (celebrating the Peak of Good Living with an arts/craft festival), and a Family Basketball Ham Toss, not to mention an Olde Fashioned Fourth of July. Certainly Apex is not perfect — a 2006 chemical fire at a waste treatment facility resulted in the evacuation of nearly the whole town, for example — but one can see why it has proven so popular to so many new residents, doubling its population in just the last fifteen years.

Apex sign, courtesy of active rain.com
Historic downtown district of Apex, courtesy of Seth Ilys
Apex Lake, courtesy of citydata.com

This "beyond the book article" relates to The Dogs of Littlefield. It originally ran in February 2016 and has been updated for the January 2017 paperback edition.

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