18 year old Tania has been given the opportunity of a lifetime: the opportunity to sail around the world. The catch: she has to do it alone, and she h18 year old Tania has been given the opportunity of a lifetime: the opportunity to sail around the world. The catch: she has to do it alone, and she has to do it in under 2.5 years, fast enough to set the world record. Tania is a troubled child and her dad is concerned she's going no where fast. So in an attempt to rescue her from this fate, he makes a risky proposal: he'll buy her a boat, but she has to sail it around the world and support herself while she's sailing. Tania jumps at this scary but exciting opportunity, and sets off to see the world. While she's out there she finds challenges, adventure, love, and herself.
This book was a little slow to start for me. I wasn't a fan of how she would introduce an important topic, such as why she was on this journey, but then not give any details. She seemed to jump around a bit too much, and would discuss seemingly irrelevant details, instead of getting to the point of how and why she was doing this. However, once the story got going, that jumpyness seems to smooth out, and the story finally hooked me.
I didn't love this book because there were a lot of details that I don't understand, being that I don't have any experience sailing. However, I did like this book and constantly found myself envious of this opportunity that Tania was given to see the world in such a unique way. I often found myself wondering how I would handle the challenges she faced, and I don't know that I could have done what she did. I would recommend it as it's an interesting story, particularly for adventure lovers like myself, but if you're not a sailor, then be prepared to skim through a lot of boat details....more
I read this book a while back and it was way outside my usual genre at the time but it's a great book and has stuck with me over time. You find yourseI read this book a while back and it was way outside my usual genre at the time but it's a great book and has stuck with me over time. You find yourself absolutely riveted and even frustrated at times as the story unfolds. It's terrible b/c it's based on a true story, and knowing how it ends before it begins makes the tension even thicker. It's the process of getting through the story that captures you. I definitely recommend it for people interested in hiking, climbing, and especially undertaking the climb to the top of Mt Everest. While I am interested in both hiking and climbing, I am amazed that anyone would undertake such a dangerous adventure. However, at the same time, I totally understand the draw... ...more
Julia Child certainly led a fascinating life... I didn't know much about her, other than the obvious, going into this book so I found a lot of this neJulia Child certainly led a fascinating life... I didn't know much about her, other than the obvious, going into this book so I found a lot of this new and quite interesting. She was certainly an inspiring woman and I would have loved to have known her and been friends with her. She seemed like such a fun and exciting person, always up for anything....more
I enjoyed this book so much more than I expected to. I have some, but very limited knowledge of 18th Century history, and while I think even a small bI enjoyed this book so much more than I expected to. I have some, but very limited knowledge of 18th Century history, and while I think even a small basis was helpful because it made the satire all the more telling and enjoyable, I don't think it was necessary. I think that many of Gulliver's satirical character and political analyses, particularly in the 4th story with the Houhynhyns and Yahoos, are pretty telling still today. I found myself laughing out loud at so many of his characterizations and descriptions and thinking "so true".
I enjoyed all 4 stories, but the 3rd adventure to the floating island was the least enjoyable for me. I found it to be a bit too scientific and technical for me at times, as these are not where my greatest interests and knowledge lie. However, I still understood the satire that Swift was trying to convey.
While I think all of these would make interesting reads for children, I could particularly see myself reading the first two to children and having them love it. Although there is obvious satire embedded in all of these adventures, they are also just fun fantasy stories.
I've read a few reviews where people mention how unbelievable these stories are, and I find that silly. This is not meant to be a story you read for it's literal nature, it's a satire and the locations, characters and extreme nature are written to point out the flaws as Gulliver sees them in contrast to his own country, which he does quite well. It makes for a much better message, as well as a much better read, when written as a "true story".
I think this book absolutely deserves it's label as a classic as I think it stands, and will continue to stand, the test of time. Although a knowledge base of 18th century history would help to understand this book at a deeper level, and as Swift likely meant it to be, so much of his satire is still so true today that I believe readers with little/no knowledge of history will still enjoy this book. It's a great fantasy/adventure story and a great political satire no matter what the day and age....more
I listened to this book on tape. It was my first Bill Bryson book, and I loved it. He had me absolutely laughing out loud throughout the whole story.I listened to this book on tape. It was my first Bill Bryson book, and I loved it. He had me absolutely laughing out loud throughout the whole story. After finishing this one, I promptly went out and bought In a Sunburned Country and loved it too. Bryson has a way of poking fun at himself and making fun of things the rest of us don't even think to question. I highly recommend this book and if you can listen to it on tape, I'm sure you'll enjoy it even more b/c Bryson reads it, so you get everything exactly as he intended it, tone of voice and all. Hilarious!...more
Bill Bryson is a wonderful writer. I found myself laughing out loud at some of his stories and perspectives. I appreciate his natural curiosity and thBill Bryson is a wonderful writer. I found myself laughing out loud at some of his stories and perspectives. I appreciate his natural curiosity and the amount of research he seems to do for his books. He gives a well-balanced account of the history of a place and his perspective on it. You don't get the feeling that you're reading a travel guide when you read this book, but you come away with a strong desire to visit the places he's been and an understanding deeper than you would get from a typical travel guide in many ways. This is an enjoyable read and I would recommend it to anyone considering a trip to Australia as a supplement to the travel guides you are likely pouring over....more
I really did not like this book. I bought it to read on my return flight from NZ in Jan and I just finished it - 4 months later. I love travel biograpI really did not like this book. I bought it to read on my return flight from NZ in Jan and I just finished it - 4 months later. I love travel biographies in general and my husband is from NZ, so I was excited to read this book, but in the end I only finished it because I can not leave a book unfinished and forced myself to finish it. I will admit that the second half was a bit better than the first, and so I am glad I forced myself to finish it. However, overall I find Joe to be arrogant, negative, and boring. He hardly has anything nice to say about the country and spends almost the entire book making fun of Kiwis and their lifestyles in various capacities. He seems to have little interest in learning more about the country and even less in educating the readers or enticing them to visit. This book was more a story about a middle-aged man recapturing his youth by hitch-hiking and the characters he meets along the way (which he rarely has anything nice to say about) than anything else. I was really disappointed in this book and don't really recommend it to others. There has to be a better book about New Zealand than this one....more