Book Reviews Archive

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Country Driving: A Journey through China from Farm to Factory – Book Review

Hessler was a journalist for the New Yorker magazine based in Beijing. In the period from 2001 to 2007, he frequently drove around China and wrote about the changes in the local culture. An American who spoke Mandarin, he was able to interact with the locals in ways a tourist cannot.

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Eat Smart in France – Book Review

This entry to the Eat Smart series of guides tackles French cuisine in a most interesting manner. It is not simply about the cooking, but rather it covers the historical and regional aspects of how the foods came to be what they are today, immersing the reader in the culture of the country. It brought back memories of the aromas around an open air market in Paris so many years ago…..the bread, the cheese, the garlic…..

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Strolling Through Istanbul: The Classic Guide To The City – Book Review

Turkey, and especially Istanbul, are favorite travel destinations for many people. Because of this, I was more than willing to review this revised travel guide. Sadly, I was not up to the task. It took months to get through the first 100 pages, and having not been to the country/city (nor planning to visit anytime soon), I was bogged down by the intricate details it contained. Giving up all hope finishing the guide, I offered it to my sister-in-law as she and her husband have been to Istanbul and found it truly an amazing place.

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On the Other Guy’s Dime: A Professional’s Guide to Travel Without Paying – Book Review

I have always liked the idea of a working holiday. Especially if it’s a paid (working) holiday and I’m not the one “flitting (most if any) the bill”. Okay, maybe not so keen on the working part, but it comes with the territory. If you want to visit other countries – such as the United Kingdom, Israel, Bhutan, Turkey and Kenya – then the working holiday idea just may be your ticket to exotic locations. Professor Michael Schneider has done just that for several years and has authored his most recent book, sharing his secrets, upsides and pitfalls. Yup, there have been those too.

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100 Sporting Events You Must See Live: An Insider’s Guide to Creating the Sports Experience of a Lifetime

When I received the offer to review this guide book, I thought “Uh-uh, not for me”. I’m not a big fan of sporting events. But, I took time to read down the list of things covered and discovered – I was a fan in a roundabout way. I love racing, whether it be cars or horses or camels. I have reconnected with golf as I’ve gotten older and I fully believe in the Special Olympics. What really captured my attention were the unusual items – such as the Westminster Dog Show at Madison Square Garden in New York City and the Calgary Stampede in Canada. I love dogs and rodeos too. Obviously, I decided to check this guide out for myself. I was pleasantly surprised at the contents.

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The Lunatic Express – Discovering the World… via Its Most Dangerous Buses, Boats, Trains, and Planes

Some people might think Carl Hoffman is a lunatic. Hoffman is a veteran contributing editor to various magazines. I’m not sure what his agent and editor thought when he pitched them on his latest idea, traveling around the world on the most dangerous modes of transportation. Whatever they thought, they bought it and Hoffman took off from New York City in a bus to Canada. That doesn’t sound too dangerous, depending on the time of year. However, it got worse…

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The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want and Change the World

Who’s fooling who? Whether the question is (grammatically) correct or not doesn’t really matter. (That grammatically incorrect question worked very well for Eric Clapton so I stole it. Thank you, Eric.) What does matter is the essence behind the question. Are you happy with the life you lead or are you just fooling yourself into believing it’s all good? Do you like the 9:00-5:00 routine? Letting someone else write your playbook? Being a follower rather than a leader? Putting off what you really want to do for something you have been told needs doing?

If the answer to these questions are all “big fat yeses”, then it’s time to read ” The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want and Change the World” by Chris Guillebeau. I’ll just leave it at that…

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Step Back from the Baggage Claim: Business Leader Edition

“The scene is all too familiar. A couple hundred people, weary after their flight, bunch around the cold metallic baggage claim, waiting for the first bags to appear. Minutes pass. The conveyors start turning. More minutes pass. Finally bags start falling on to the conveyor. Everyone edges a little closer to the carousel.”

Those words were taken from the review of Jason Barger’s original book. Not much has changed except Jason’s take on the concept. In the Business Leader Edition, he adds a new twist to the “Step Back” movement.

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The Art of Solo Travel: A Girls’ Guide (e-book review)

I’m not quite sure why, but the title of this book has reminded me of “She’s Leaving Home” by The Beatles. Perhaps it struck a chord. Harkening back to my more youthful days when women dreamed about leaving home on some “wild” adventure but settled for the alternative – a domicile existence and the few days on vacation. Packing it all in to follow the dream was something few of us dared to attempt. Men went on adventures. Women just kept dreaming about them. Thankfully, the tides have changed…

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Around the World in Easy Ways: A Guide to Planning Long-Term Travel With or Without Your Kids.

You began your travels at an early age. You continued to travel until real life intervened – meaning fell in love, got married, bought a house, had children and worked for a living. It may not have happened in quite that order (for some) but the end result remained the same. Travel was relegated to family vacations and work-related trips to here or there. Regardless, a nagging little voice kept tapping you on the shoulder, “Take a year off. Travel. See the world. Bring the family. Just do it!” And, so it went for lisa Shusterman.

  • The Guy: I think Dave and Jodi raise some very valid points and they are consistent with my perceptions based on over...
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  • John: I’ve always wanted to hitch hike across the USA.
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  • John: Great advice, I always buy charcoal tabs in case I get an upset tummy.
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