book reviews

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Some but not all of the books reviewed have been sent to us as samples.

Ride of Your Life by Ran Zilca


Author Ran Zilca sets out on a journey, not a long one but a journey nonetheless. A journey doesn't need to involve months or years but it should involve elements of being able to revitalize oneself and see things from a new perspective. This book is both a travel memoir based on the experiences and people that Ran meets as he makes his way from New York to California solo on the back of a Yamaha V-Star 950. Remarkably Ran had never owned a … [Read more...]

Chance Encounters edited by Janna Graber


Chance Encounters features 23 true short stories from select travel writers and wanderers. Nineteen authors are featured - their works are edited and curated by award-winning travel journalist Janna Graber. The stories cover a wide range of topics; as Janna shares in her introduction "...the stories I remember most are of the people I've met...". Along with unique experiences, these are the memories that travelers keep with them for a … [Read more...]

2 Years 4 Months 2 Hours by Chiara B. Townley


2 Years 4 Months 2 Hours is story of love based on passion and persistence. It all started when a young Italian woman (author Chiara B. Townley) working in a hotel in London spots a young American guy (Tyler Townley) staying at the hotel. They share a glance at one point but never speak. She then writes him a note which her co-worker personally delivers on her day off. Their relationship starts there - and is built over time based on this … [Read more...]

Backpacks and Bra Straps by Savannah Grace


This is book number two of the Sihpromatum series and hopefully not the last as there is still plenty of this family's round the world trip left to cover. Author Savannah Grace continues with stories from the perspective of a wide-eyed 15-year old (her age at the time of this part of their trip) who is in the enviable position of being able to experience a diversity of countries, cultures, foods and people at such a young age. This is the … [Read more...]

Inside Tracks: Robyn Davidson’s Solo Journey Across the Outback


This sizable photo epic by acclaimed author and photographer Rick Smolan details a 1,700 mile trek from Alice Springs (interior Australia) to the ocean along the shores of Western Australia made by Australian Robyn Davidson in 1977. This trek was made mostly solo but with several camels and her dog and at one point an Aboriginal man. "Tracks", a movie about this epic journey was released in 2013. This book contains both photographs from the … [Read more...]

Backpackers – by Paul Bellamy


This is not just your ordinary tale of backpackers seeing the world. The scene is the late 1980's in South East Asia - before Internet, before cell phones, before instant communication around the world. Two budget backpackers (Andrew and Kirsten) are trying to see the world on the cheap - pinching pennies by staying in ratty cockroach infested hostel dorms and quickly running out of money. Then Andrew discovers a money belt full of money and … [Read more...]

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...]

The Weight of a Human Heart by Ryan O’Neill


This is a collection of fictional short stories by creative writer, Ryan O'Neill. The stories are fiction but you wonder how much Ryan draws upon his personal experience in writing these based on all his time lived abroad. He has called Africa, Europe and Asia 'home' before moving to Australia where he now resides. Words are his literary playground and creative outlet. Some of the stories are exercises in linguistic extremes such as "seventeen … [Read more...]

Freak Show Without a Tent by Nevin Martell


This book is a fast, engaging and at times humorous read - highlighting stories from the author's childhood trips gallivanting with his family around the world. They visit exotic destinations - remote islands in the middle of the South Pacific and fish in Piranha infested waters - always in search of "local" non touristy experiences. The author's father was infected with wanderlust, taking trips without making many plans and always bringing … [Read more...]

Learning to Breathe


Long time Photojournalist Alison Wright has traveled to the far corners of the planet photographing endangered cultures and people. Her work has been dangerous at times - including covering demonstrations that became violent in Nepal. And she has certainly been involved in a number of mishaps in her career. But this story is not about those adventures. It is about a horrific crash involving a bus she was in and a logging truck on a windy … [Read more...]

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