The Heart of the Buddha by Elsie Sze This is a story of twin sisters who find themselves in Bhutan for different reasons. Marion goes to Bhutan to direct and improve a local library but instead becomes passionate for a Bhutanese monk, overstays her visa, and then disappears. The story takes place in the late 1990's before email comes to Bhutan and Marion shares her story with her sister Ruth until the letters mysteriously stop. Fearing the … [Read more...]
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Some but not all of the books reviewed have been sent to us as samples.
Scandalous Metropolitan by Kim Laughton and Holly Stephens is one of the more unusual books that has come across our desk. It represents three years of work photographing Tokyo. The inside cover can almost be used as a mirror it is so reflective. In a way this is only a foreshadow of the book's content. This is a photography book that captures reflections of of the "coolest city in the world" with photos loosely capturing a 24 hour period. … [Read more...]
Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini This is a gripping read starting with a boy's (Amir) childhood life in Afghanistan before war tore apart this country. This is fiction but it reads like real life and is interwoven with real life events and places. Eventually the principal character Amir moves to the USA with his father (baba, meaning father). Where else can you find Afghan culture, love and the Berryessa Flea Market in San Jose, California … [Read more...]
Postcards from Europe by Rick Steves Rather than being a formal guidebook listing where to eat, what to do, where to stay etc, this is a refreshing at times entertaining collection of experiential stories and people that Rick has met during his travels in Europe. From the "coffee shops" in Amsterdam to the Mediterranean beauty of the Cinque Terre along the Italian Riviera, Steves brings Europe to life. Over 35 years of traveling to Europe … [Read more...]
The Wishing Tree by John Shors This is a compelling tale of a father and daughter as they embark on an International journey to help recover from the death of their wife/mother Kate. The story is imbued with sadness throughout as both father and daughter shared an extraordinary closeness to Kate. Kate has instructed them on this journey by sharing letters to both the mother and the daughter to be opened only during certain parts of the trip. … [Read more...]
Maya Roads by Jo McConahay Author Mary Jo McConahay was first inspired to explore the rainforests in Central America during a vacation with her sister in Mexico City when she saw an exhibit about the Lacandon Maya Indians. After visiting the Lacandon Rainforest her life turned to journalistic activities for twenty years and it wasn't until the 1990's that her mind began to wander back to the rainforest. Her "ticket" back was through an … [Read more...]
This is a collection of short seven stories set in contemporary Thailand. Family relationships and dynamics are integral to each story. Although the stories take place in Thailand they incorporate themes that are International in nature. The stories take place in Bangkok and also in rural Thailand. … [Read more...]
"Seeing is Believing" by Ripley's Believe It or Not , is not your typical picture and caption book. The cover features a hologram type image of a very real human eyeball. Turning the pages, quickly leads one through a maze of the world's wackiest, weirdest and wildest stories and events. Read about the child raised by dogs, the worlds smallest muscle man, how a man's site was restored 60 years after he lost his vision in WWII and hundreds of … [Read more...]
The Places in Between by Rory Stewart An amazing modern day tale of one man's journey walking across Afghanistan in the middle of the winter, mostly with just his dog. Takes place right after the "fall" of the Taliban and is a unique insight into the Afghan culture. Throw in freezing temperatures, heavy snow, and some hostile villagers and you have an epic tale. Rory stayed with local villagers during this entire hike - his "guides" … [Read more...]
Papillon by Henri Charriere This is a classic story of a wrongly jailed Frenchman and his prison life which involves fascinating stories about escaping prison and evading capture including living with local villagers. Rarely has one man gone to such great lengths to escape a wrongful imprisonment. … [Read more...]