Nov 30, 2018

Book Tour: Close Encounters of the Traveling Kind by Amanda Jayne

Close Encounters of the Traveling Kind by Amanda Jayne
Publisher:  Waldorf Publishing (July 1, 2018)
Category: Essays, Travelogues , Travel, Adventure
Tour dates: Oct-Nov, 2018
ISBN: 978-1642556797
Available in Print and ebook, 140 pages
This collection of near-death (and a few almost-near-death) stories take you on adventures in Africa, South America, Nepal, Japan and Thailand. Close Encounters with an angry snake, the edge of an abyss, an unfriendly African tribe, a fake guide or two, a mean Dutch man, a magic whirlpool, a nasty case of Typhoid and a severe case of mountain stupidity are told with the confidence of a traveler who has discovered that no matter what happens, everything works out in the end.
Amanda Jayne never wanted to live a normal life, which she has achieved with resounding success so far. She realized books were magic and could take you to other places, times and universes when she was very young and wanted to become an author immediately. However, she waited several decades so she could do other things first.
Her love for travel began with a six month South Africa trip at age 18 and continued with short jaunts in Eastern Europe during the years she worked in the mental health field.
As soon as she realized offices, rules and regulations were not her thing, she left her job and her native England to find out more about the world and the amazing array of people living in it. She spent 10 years living and travelling in various countries and finally returned to the UK in 2009 after gaining a masters in Spiritual Psychology in the USA and walking 1,200 km around the 88 temples pilgrimage in Shikoku, Japan.
These days she teaches Jikiden Reiki, makes websites and writes books. She’s sometimes quite busy. Some of the things she loves are trees, art, being with friends, making up stories for her nephews, karaoke, cats and dark chocolate, not necessarily in that order. She lives in a quiet corner of Kent in the UK and tries, but usually fails, to stay there for long periods of time.

My comments:
I know people from South America and Thailand, so I was eager to read Amanda Jayne's experiences in those countries, among others. 

The stories from Bolivia, three of them to be exact, warns the traveler to be wary of eating street food and to watch out for unreliable tourist guides, of making sure you see a qualified doctor if you ever get something like typhoid or stomach problems, and being extra careful when biking or riding down the Road of Death, a narrow winding mountain road with fabulous views of the jungle but a harrowing ride if the road is crowded with trucks and/or other vehicles. 

The Thailand rafting experience on a small river in the north could be exquisite, a communion with nature, unless a rafting guide decides to hit a snake out of its resting place in a tree overhanging said river. In Jayne's experience, the snake tried to get out of the water and climb onto their raft, causing panic among the raft riders. 

There are other interesting survival stories: climbing Mt. Fuji in Japan with the wrong schedule, white water rafting in the Himalayas, getting on the wrong bus and landing up in the wrong place in Lesotho, Africa. 

None of the narrow escapes made me want to avoid most of these countries. In fact, the stories could whet the appetite of travelers who would swear they would be able to avoid the pitfalls Jayne experienced.

You can read the short essays in any order, which I did. It was fun, enlightening, and great even for armchair travelers.

Virtual Author Book Tours organized this book tour and provided a review copy of this book.

Page 56:
It had all been worth it despite the guide who wasn't a guide. 

Meme: The Friday 56. Grab a book, turn to page 56 or 56% of your eReader. Find any sentence that grabs you. Post it, and add your URL post in Linky at Freda's Voice. 

Nov 25, 2018

Sunday Post: Currently Reading

My current reads:
Malice

Malice by 4th in the Keigo Higashino
First published September 1996
Genre: crime fiction, police procedural, 4th in the Inspector K. Kaga series
Source: ebook, library

Written by the author of The Devotion of Suspect X and Salvation of a Saint, Malice has been translated and reprinted many times in English by different publishers in 2014.
Improvement

Improvement by Joan Silber
Published November 14, 2017 by Counterpoint LLC
Genre: literary fiction, contemporary fiction
Source: library book

I am caught up in the intriguing, interlocking stories of differing characters whose lives intersect, if only on the periphery, moving from one situation into what is arguably some improvement.

What books will you be reading this week?
Memes:  
The Sunday Post  hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer,
It's Monday, What Are You Reading? by Book Date.

Nov 17, 2018

Sunday Salon: Books New and Books Borrowed

New books on my desk: 
Drops of Cerulean
Drops of Cerulean
Drops of Cerulean by Dawn Adams Cole, 
January 29th 2019, Greenleaf Book Group Press
Genre: family history with magical elements


Hunting Game
Hunting Game
Hunting Game by Helene Tursten
Publication: December 4, 2018; Soho Crime
Genre: Swedish crime fiction

Now reading:
Mr. Flood's Last Resort

A book won from Atria books, for review, thanks to Bianca Salvant
Mr. Flood's Last Resort by Jess Kidd
Published May 1, 2018
Genre: literary fiction, contemporary fiction

French Exit

Borrowed from the library, the book caught my eye because of the cover and the title!
French Exit by Patrick DeWitt
Published August 28, 2018 by Ecco
Genre: comedy

What books will you be reading this week?
Memes:  
The Sunday Post  hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer,
It's Monday, What Are You Reading? by Book Date.
Mailbox Monday

Nov 16, 2018

Book Review: The Huntress by Kate Quinn

The Huntress

The Huntress by Kate Quinn (giveaway on Goodreads available till Nov. 26)
February 26, 2019, William Morrow Paperbacks

Nina, a female Russian pilot, hunts a dangerous Nazi woman for her war crimes against children during the war. She has personal reasons for hunting down Lorelei, also known as The Huntress, who shot and killed an escaped American soldier in Poland and who tried to kill Nina as well.

Nina grew up in the wilds of Siberia near Lake Baikal, but has to flee Russia because of her father's politics. Just after the war ended, she meets Ian, a war correspondent in Poland, who marries her to get her out of Europe and into the safety of England. Nina later uses her skills and training as a former Red Army pilot to help Ian and his business partner Tony, bring The Huntress to heel.

The Nazi, Lorelei/Anna, changed her identity after the war and moved to Boston with her young daughter, Ruth, and blended in by marrying an American with a daughter. Ian and Tony are hunters of war criminals and go after The Huntress after they trace her to the U.S. They have personal as well as professional reasons for wanting The Huntress caught and charged. But the Huntress has a few more tricks up her sleeve.

Suspenseful, well-written and plotted, The Huntress kept me reading well into several nights. Its theme is on the lesser known war criminals, many of whom moved to other countries and blended in, never revealed or convicted of their crimes.

I gave the novel five stars.

Thanks to William Morrow for an ARC of this book.


Nov 12, 2018

It's Monday: Historical Novels

New books on my shelves:

The Huntress
The Huntress by Kate Quinn (see my review)
February 26, 2019, William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: historical thriller

The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding
The Gown:A Novel of the Royal Wedding by Jennifer Robson
December 31, 2018, William Morrow
Genre: historical fiction
How to Be Alone: If You Want To, and Even If You Don't
How to Be Alone: If You Want to and Even If You Don't by Lane Moore
November 6, 2018; Atria Books
Genre: nonfiction, self-help

City of Secrets (Counterfeit Lady, #2)
City of Secrets by Victoria Thompson
November 13, 2018, Berkley
Genre: historical mystery

On the Same Page
On the Same Page by N.D. Galland
December 31, 2018, William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: romantic comedy

What books will you be reading this week?
Memes:  
The Sunday Post  hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer,
It's Monday, What Are You Reading? by Book Date.
Mailbox Monday

Nov 5, 2018

It's Monday: What Are You Reading?


Books I'm reading, on the e-reader, borrowed from the library, or from my shelves:

Little Darlings
Little Darlings

The Light of the Fireflies
The Light of the Fireflies

The Night Tiger
The Night Tiger

What books will you be reading this week?
Memes:  
The Sunday Post  hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer,
It's Monday, What Are You Reading? by Book Date.
Mailbox Monday