book reviews

Email Dave if you would like a book reviewed, or mail it to the address here.
Some but not all of the books reviewed have been sent to us as samples.

Quiet as They Come by Angie Chau


Quiet as They Come is a collection of short interlinked stories about families told by author Angie Chau. The stories are based in San Francisco, California and date from the 1980's until the present. This book highlights families torn between two cultures, America and Vietnam; some of the characters are able to adjust to their new life in America - others find it more challenging. After the fall of Saigon in 1975 thousands of Vietnamese … [Read more...]

A Tour of Lahemaa National Park with Tallinn Traveller

One of many ponds in Viru Peat Bog - Lahemaa National Park

The tour operator, Tallinn Traveler was founded in 2008 by initially offering short day walks around old town Tallinn. They have since expanded and offer a variety of day trips outside of Tallinn and now employ approximately 30 guides. All tours are offered in English. This particular tour was worth every Euro. Led by young, interesting and often humorous guides, this National Park tour touches on a variety of attractions within a 200km … [Read more...]

Rila Monastery – November 2014

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Rila Monastary is located about 2 hours outside of Sofia, the capital city. You can hire a taxi (be sure to bargain - and note that hiring taxis from public transportation places such as bus or train stations are usually higher in price), take a bus or go with a number of Bulgarian based tour companies that visit the monastery (Traventuria, Tandem Travel, Bulgaria-Guide). The road past the small village of Rila is narrow and winds up a river … [Read more...]

Cultivate L.A. 2014, Beverly Hills

The Farm Shop

Cultivate LA is an annual event organized by United Friends of the Children and has become a major fundraiser for Los Angeles area foster kids. This organization helps provide housing and educational opportunities for these kids. This year Cultivate L.A. was held in the Holmby Hills at the opulent Pritzker Estate, one of the largest homes in Los Angeles. This mega mansion is owned by an heir to the Hyatt Hotels fortune and encompasses some … [Read more...]

Oh the “Yurt Mice”, Fermented Horse Milk, Travelers in Kyrgyzstan and Visa Woes

An oasis in a remote area - Yurts along the shoreline of Song-Kul Lake

It was brought to my attention that our latest yurt was infested with little mice running around the edges. I dutifully assumed the role of "mice whisperer" and tried to encourage them to leave our habitation. However this was to no avail, as these pesky little furry critters kept up their scuffling about all night. My spot in the yurt this evening was next to a 2 liter plastic soda bottle filled to the brim with some sort of berry jam that was … [Read more...]

A Place to Unwind: The Ranch at Rock Creek, Montana


There are places in the world that are immediately inspirational based entirely on their natural beauty - I would count the wide open spaces of Montana as one of these inspirational destinations. I remember my trip to Montana a number of years ago, driving the open roads in the Northwest part of the State from Glacier National Park down to Missoula. I was impressed by the countryside, the jagged rocky faces of the mountains in Glacier National … [Read more...]

5 Reasons why Santiago is the Most Underrated South American City For Tourism

A gentleman pouring some "chicha" after serving up two terremoto death sentences

When people think of Chile, what comes to mind are usually the breathtaking views of Atacama, treacherous hikes through Patagonia, and the stunning beaches along the coast. I'm not saying these three extremes are anything short of amazing, or else I'd be lying.  However, Santiago, a metropolitan city of more than 6 million people that sits in the center of these marvels, is an amazing city itself and here are five reasons why. My name is Nick, … [Read more...]

ARIA Las Vegas: A Thousand Ways to Say “Wow!”

Aria Logo

When I first arrived at ARIA Las Vegas, I was a mite rough and dry, like the cotton candy you see in those cocktail glasses below. It took only an hour or so before I was flowing with a glow, feeling much as you see in the second shot, that cotton candy in a better mood. The ARIA is transformative—and a little magical—like that: I spent three days there and couldn’t stop saying “Wow!” (And I said that at night too.) I was part of a media … [Read more...]

Travel Massive October, Los Angeles

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The latest Los Angeles Travel Massive was held poolside at the Sofitel in Beverly Hills. I've been to the mega shopping complex, the Beverly Center across the street a number of times (one of Los Angeles's premium and very profitable shopping centers) but never actually visited Sofitel. Travel Massive Los Angeles is co-chaired by MaryAnn of JetSetExtra and Arnette of Round the World Girl. I've attended these meetups several times in town - … [Read more...]

Rudkobing, Denmark… Wedding Destination?


Red doors welcome guests into warmly decorated homes, basket bicycles sit in front of flower gardens, cozy houses are perched along rocky streets, a colorful market full of fresh goods and happy people and a harbor full of boats waiting to leave for new adventures - all await visitors in the charming town of Rudkobing, Denmark. Rudkobing, located on Langeland Island also hosts many sports and nature related activities similar to other Nordic … [Read more...]