Informative and often entertaining beginner's guide to backpacking, camping, and general outdoorsmanship. I read this in part because I'm contemplatinInformative and often entertaining beginner's guide to backpacking, camping, and general outdoorsmanship. I read this in part because I'm contemplating a NOLS trip even now, nearing the ripe old age of 30… because as much as I love being out-of-doors, I generally end up outside with more experienced and very helpful friends who end up leading (telling me what to pack, route-finding, showing me how to rainproof my pack, choosing a campsite, building the fire, etc.) while I march behind cheerfully. And that's fun, but I think I'd like to gain a little more experience and confidence.
One area where I can hold my own is planning provisions and camp cooking, but even in these areas, I learned plenty from the straightforward, thoughtful section on planning and packing rations.
I liked Harvey's voice and his personal asides... it made me want to take a NOLS trip even more, to hang out with someone practical and knowledgeable with a healthy sense of humor. ...more
Enjoyed this book, especially the narrative voice, which had such an artless, unaffected, and somewhat lackadaisical quality that made me think of somEnjoyed this book, especially the narrative voice, which had such an artless, unaffected, and somewhat lackadaisical quality that made me think of someone who might irritate me in real life, but who I appreciated as my guide to the strange, strange world Yoshimoto weaves in NP. What could have been a much darker, murkier story took on a glowing and even hopeful quality through her innocent eyes. ...more
An enjoyable read with a good mix of humor, romance, longing, and sharp + smart truth-telling about matters of culture and race in America.
The book fAn enjoyable read with a good mix of humor, romance, longing, and sharp + smart truth-telling about matters of culture and race in America.
The book focuses on two characters: the primary protagonist, Ifemelu, a thoughtful, strong, self-described "non-American Black," who immigrates to the US from Nigeria to attend university, and her "true love," Obinze, who stays behind. As the book opens, Ifemelu is on the verge of returning to her homecountry," after 15 years of living in the US. The rest of the book moves between her early life and love affair with Obinze, their respective experiences apart (during which time Ifemelu becomes a well-known blogger on matters related to race & identity in America), and finally, Ifemelu's return to Nigeria as an "Americanah."
For me, the book flowed well, except for a few slower parts during the section focused on Obinze's life, but maybe that's just because I fell in love quickly with Ifemelu and missed her sassiness during his section.
I've bought copies for 3 friends since reading it. A great book for anyone interested in race & culture in American or who's ever experienced "otherness."...more
Just finished reading this book in a particularly long period of doldrums where my natural state of joyousness and exuberance seems to have deserted mJust finished reading this book in a particularly long period of doldrums where my natural state of joyousness and exuberance seems to have deserted me a little bit. Though I have very up days, it's stormy. My moods are all over the map. I'm torn between the Pema Chodron variety of attending to and learning from painful emotions … and Gretchen Rubin's "get up and do something to be happier" / "choose happiness" approach. They're certainly not mutually exclusive but it's tough to understand at least in my predominant state of mind recently - restless, anxious, searching -- what day-to-day tactics to employ to regain a sense of peace, balance, deep joy and "rightness." Rubin's book gave me ideas, got me thinking about how I might find a middle way where I don't focus focus focus on negative emotions -- even trying to "just be" with them right now is too much for me sometimes. Sometimes it makes more sense to actively guide myself into happiness. Not fake it necessarily, but choose it…even when it doesn't feel so natural. The question for me now is how to balance between just paying attention to whatever I'm feeling in the moment even if it's not nice (because it may be telling me something about how I got to the low emotional state I'm in) and just trying to distract myself or change my state of mind to something positive....more