This book was really interesting. I've always been fascinated by America and after reading this book I have even more of a desire to spend time there...moreThis book was really interesting. I've always been fascinated by America and after reading this book I have even more of a desire to spend time there exploring.
Each state is covered, some in more detail than others. I liked the fact that he focused on things that readers may not have known about each state rather than going for the obvious things. I do feel that some of the states were a little short-changed. I know that he had a timescale to stick to in getting around all the states, but for the sake of a few extra pages in the book he could have written more.
The photographs throughout the book are interesting and some of the landscapes captured are beautiful. Also running through the book is Stephen's dry humour, which made this book feel much more than just a travelogue.
This was a really interesting read and, for me, was the perfect introduction to the USA. (less)
This was only a short book but it certainly packed a punch. The second half made for quite difficult reading.
The book is a mixture of Chekhov's letter...moreThis was only a short book but it certainly packed a punch. The second half made for quite difficult reading.
The book is a mixture of Chekhov's letters to friends and family whilst travelling through Russia, and an account of the horrors of the penal colony on the island of Sakhalin. The letters were the first half of the book and were quite jovial, however the account of Sakhalin was harrowing to read. Reading, in graphic detail, about how the convicts were treated there sent chills through me. (less)
When Rosy Thornton contacted me via my blog to ask if I'd like to review her book, I wasn't sure whether to accept at first. This is not the kind of n...moreWhen Rosy Thornton contacted me via my blog to ask if I'd like to review her book, I wasn't sure whether to accept at first. This is not the kind of novel that I usually read and to be honest I probably wouldn't have picked this up in a bookstore, but I decided to give it a chance because I do like reading about other countries and it has had some great reviews. Having read it, it's clear that I need to re-think how I choose my books in bookstores because I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Catherine was an instantly likeable character. She's incredibly strong willed yet down-to-earth and simply refuses to let anything bring her down. Throughout the book there are a number of occuring problems that would cause a lesser person to become self-pitying but this is never the case with Catherine and I loved her for it. Despite the fact that Catherine is much older than me, I was still able to relate to her and I felt a real affinity for her need to escape and to experience a different way of life. I also grew to really like the supporting characters in the book, especially Monsieur and Madame Bouschet. I loved the way that they took Catherine under their wing and it was nice to see the relationship build between the three. Patrick was an interesting character and it took me longer to warm to him, but I did eventually and it was interesting to see Catherine's relationship with him develop also.
The plot is brilliant in it's simplicity. It's simply a tale of life. There is no mystery, there is no huge twist and there are no vampires, but it's a compelling read. Everytime I picked this book up, I lost myself in the French way of life and I really didn't want to leave. I wanted to stay in the gorgeous French countryside, the slow, relaxed way of life and the sense of belonging and community that comes with living in such a small village. The images painted throughout the book of the mountains and the surrounding area just made me want to get on a plane as soon as possible - the authors use of description is just enough to make you feel like you're there, but not too much that it overshadows the rest of the book.
This book is just beautiful. I could have easily read another 300 pages without becoming bored. I will definitely be looking into Rosy Thornton's previous works.(less)
It's been over a month since I read this book and I'm finally getting around to reviewing it. I suppose the good thing about waiting a while to review...moreIt's been over a month since I read this book and I'm finally getting around to reviewing it. I suppose the good thing about waiting a while to review a book is that you get to see whether the book stays with you after you've finished reading. This one did.
The journey taken by the author is actually one that I'd love to take myself right now. Whilst I've not married yet and therefore have not gone through a divorce, I do feel somewhat lost at the moment and have spent time questioning who I am. Gilbert's journey to 'find herself' is therefore very relevant at this time in my life.
There wasn't one part of this book that I didn't enjoy. The different countries fascinated me and I would love to visit them some day. The spiritual parts of the book in particular were very interesting to me. I consider myself a pretty spiritual person and this book definitely made me want to explore this side of myself in more depth. I loved the peace and serenity of the part of the book that was set in India and I loved the honesty of the author when she confessed that meditation was extremely difficult for her initially. The part in Italy definitely appeared to the food lover in me, and the part in Bali just sounded so amazing that I couldn't help but want to go visit and to meet the Balinese Medicine Man that she became friends with!
It took me a while to read this book, but that's because I wanted to savour it all and so I wanted to take my time. I know that some people have found it difficult to connect with the author because the writing is very self-indulgent, but lets face it, this isn't supposed to be a travel guide, it's a journey of SELF discovery and so doesn't that kind of indicate that the book is going to be pretty much solely about the author?
I actually read this after seeing the movie, which usually ruins a book for me, however I loved them both in equal measure. This is definitely one of my favourite reads and I think this may be one of the few books that I will periodically re-read.(less)