Tag: travel

Nov 17

The Sex Lives of Cannibals by J Maarten Troost

Audio Books, Humor, Memoirs 7

Ahoy, Bookworms!

I’ve always romanticized the idea of a deserted island. I mean, beautiful beaches, stunning sunsets, palm trees… Heavenly, no? Perhaps, if your deserted island isn’t a South Pacific atoll. I was positively stoked to discover my library had an audio copy of The Sex Lives of Cannibals by J Maarten Troost available to dispel all my deserted island fantasies. I mean, after how much I adored Headhunters on My Doorstep (review)?! I downloaded that sucker faster than you can say Robinson Crusoe.

sexlivesofcannibalsOkay, I’m just going to come out and say it. I freaking love J Maarten Troost! He is hysterical. Nothing could destroy my island dreams quite the way Troost’s colorful descriptions of life on an atoll did… And he made me laugh while doing it!

At the age of 26, Troost followed his then girlfriend to the island of Tarawa (part of Kiribati), an atoll in the equatorial Pacific. Youthful wanderlust gives way to the crushing realities of life on an extremely remote island and hilarity ensues. Intestinal parasites, folks using the ocean to defecate, marauding packs of wild dogs, and the incessant droning of “La Macarena”? Between the oddball expatriates making Tarawa their homes and the unfamiliar customs of the native population, Troost has QUITE the adventure.

After listening to The Sex Lives of Cannibals, I’ve begun to threaten my long-suffering husband with biting the nose off his face. Apparently, nose biting is totally an acceptable reaction to jealousy in romantic relationships in Kiribati. My threats are more often in reaction to bantering sessions I’m losing than jealousy, but I think the custom is under-appreciated. (Hubs used to threaten to purchase me a gold engagement nose instead of a ring after watching a documentary on the life of Tycho Brahe. He lost his nose in a duel and had a prosthetic made of gold. True story.) Gold noses might be JUST THE THING for the folks in Kiribati with mangled noses.

Y’all, if you like funny books, J Maarten Troost is a MUST READ author. Take my word (and maybe my nose) for it!

Talk to me, Bookworms! Have you ever had a fantasy completely destroyed by harsh realities? Anybody moved to a romantic or exotic locale only to have it fall short of your expectations?

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission. I will be investing in the Tycho Brahe Memorial Nose Fund… Which is something I’ve completely made up that will funnel money back into my book buying habit.*

 

 

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Jun 26

Headhunters on my Doorstep by J Maarten Troost

Humor, Memoirs, Travel 16

Hidey Ho, Bookworms!

It probably won’t come as a huge surprise to any of you, but I’m a bit of a homebody. I like the idea of travel, but I seem to have been born with zero wanderlust. That said, I really like to travel vicariously though books. All the glamour, none of the bedbugs. When I was offered J Maarten Troost’s latest offering, Headhunters on My Doorstep, I figured I’d give it a try. With a title like that, how could I not? I received a  complimentary copy of this book for review consideration from the publisher. The fact that I did not purchase this book in no way influences my opinion on the subject. I feel the need to make that clear, because after reading this, I have a strange urge to become J Maarten Troost’s groupie. Do authors have groupies? Is that even a thing?

headhuntersTravel memoirs are a completely new genre for me, and I’m really glad this book was my introduction. After a stint in rehab to treat his alcoholism, Troost sets out on a journey to find himself. He intends to find himself by getting as off the grid as it’s possible to get in the modern world and retrace the travels of Robert Louis Stevenson (you know, the Treasure Island guy) in the South Pacific.

One part travelogue, one part meditation on addiction, and all parts hilarious, Headhunters on My Doorstep took me on a journey I wasn’t expecting. I typically go into nonfiction expecting that it will be more of a challenge for me than a novel. I chewed through this book in two days. I simply couldn’t put it down!

One of the reasons for my fascination has to do with Survivor. Yep. The reality show. When I was in college, I took a class on Small Group Communication. My professor was really fun, and he realized that Survivor was an excellent way to illustrate small group dynamics. We were required to watch the show as part of our homework, and the season I watched? Season 4: Survivor Marquesas. The only season of Survivor I have ever watched dovetailed PERFECTLY with Troost’s travels. Serendipitous, no?

The other reason I’m so gaga over this book is that Troost is hilarious! Snarky, witty, self depricating- everything I adore in a humorist. I’ve noticed that this book has not gotten as many rave reviews as some of Troost’s earlier books, which honestly has me excited. If this book isn’t considered his best work, what sort of joy do I have in store as I check out his back catalog?! Two super enthusiastic thumbs up for this one, Bookworms. Check it out!

Since this book was set on (very nearly) deserted islands, let’s play a game. What books could you not live without if you were stranded on a desert island? 

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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Mar 25

Top Ten Tuesday: My Bookish Bucket List

Top Ten Tuesday 64

Happy Tuesday Bookworms!

The ladies of The Broke and the Bookish this week have tasked is with a doozy of a list. They have asked us what items are on our Bookish Bucket List. I haven’t honestly given this topic a whole lot of thought in the past, but I can put one together. I mean, why in the heck not?

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1. Go to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios. I’m super super jealous of the trip Jen at The Relentless Reader just went on! (Check out the details here!)

2. Attend BEA one of these years. I believe 2016 will be in Chicago. Who’s going with me?

3. Do something OUTLANDISH! With the show coming out this summer and my over-the-top love for all things Jamie and Claire, I think it would be fun to do something inspired by Outlander. The only problem is that, uh, most OUTLANDISH activities are kind of gross. I mean, I GUESS I could give someone a black eye and then stick a leech on the bruise to reduce the swelling, but ewwwww. Plus, you know. Assault is frowned upon in polite company.

Hello, gorgeous. I can't wait to read you!

Hello, gorgeous. I can’t wait to read you!

4. Meet another book blogger! I’ve got some AMAZING blog friends that I’ve met in real life, but none of them are book-specific bloggers. It’d be nice to meet one of these crazies face-to-face, you know?

5. Increase the traffic Words for Worms gets. That’s not so much a bucket list item as an ongoing thing, but it’s my list. I can make it vague if I want to.

6. Go to a book signing. You guys. I live in the middle of nowhere. We don’t have amazing authors coming into town all the time. The last signing I wanted to go to was totally within driving distance, but on a weeknight. The full time job is a blessing, but occasionally inconvenient. Thankfully, Quirky Chrissy and the amazing Bloggess were able to make my dreams come true from afar. (The whole story is HERE if you’re interested.)

Luckily, my friend was able to make it so I was practically THERE.

Luckily, my friend was able to make it so I was practically THERE.

7. Start a meme. I know, it sounds ridiculous, but I think Top Ten Tuesday is super fun and I’d like to come up with something as awesome. Of course, I’ve been toying with the idea for quite a while and I’m still lacking a concept. Ah well. Bucket lists aren’t supposed to be realistic.

8. Visit some bookish locales! How fun would it be to go to Scotland to get my Outlander on? Or, what about chilling on Prince Edward Island and getting in touch with my inner Anne (with an E!)

9. Throw a book themed party. This one might actually get off the ground. My IRL book club has a member expecting a teeny tiny bookworm! Bookish baby shower, anyone?

10. Read EVERYTHING on my bookshelf. Everything. That includes all those classics I purchased while feeling ambitious only to allow them to languish on the shelves…

What about you, Bookworms? Do you have a Bookish Bucket List? What’s on it? 

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Jun 19

The Trip of Several Lifetimes (I'm Guest Posting!!!)

Blogging, Children's Fiction 6

Hey there, Bookworms!

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Katie doesn’t usually post on Wednesdays.” You’re correct. However. Kelly, who writes the CERTIFIED AWESOME BLOG, The Well-Read Redhead asked me to guest post for her while she’s on vacation.

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True to form, I came up with something completely ridiculous. It’s also quite fun, if I do say so myself. I may or may not have booked an imaginary vacation through five beloved childhood novels and their alternate realities… Okay. I definitely did that. Go check it out. Clickity clickerson!

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Jun 04

Top Ten Tuesday TRAVELS!

Book Club, Children's Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Fantasy, Time Travel, Travel 42

G’Day Bookworms!

It’s time for another edition of Top Ten Tuesday with The Broke and the Bookish! Today’s topic features books with a travel element. This should be fun. Shall we?

TTT3W1.Where’d You Go Bernadette? by Maria Semple. This book rocked for a number of reasons. Quippy sarcasm, ridiculous situations, clever forays into the seedy underbelly of suburbia. My absolute favorite part of this novel? The trip to Antarctica. What would you expect of a self professed penguin enthusiast?

2. Saving Fish From Drowning by Amy Tan. The Griswolds have got nothing on THIS vacation’s crazy turn of events. A group of American tourists tries to travel down the Burma Road and ends up being held captive by a local tribe led by child soldiers believed to have mystical powers. It’s a very cool book, but you may want to stay in your country of origin after reading this bad boy…

3. The Paris Wife by Paula McLain. Hemingway and his first wife Hadley move to Paris during the Jazz Age. Earnest is is search of inspiration, Hadley is in search of a pleasant life. Though they live in Paris, they’re able to do so cheaply thanks to the slow recovery of European economies after WWI. The Hemingways galavant all over Europe spending time in Spain for the bullfights and ski holidays in the Alps. For as “poor” as they’re supposed to be, their travel schedule reveals none of the supposed hardship.

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4. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. The whole doggone series is travel-tastic. From Scotland to France to a rickety boat taking them to the Caribbean and the American colonies, Jamie, Claire, and the gang never stay in one place for long. Plus, TIME TRAVEL absolutely counts as traveling. YOU pass through a rock and head back two centuries and try to tell me it’s no big deal.

5. Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls by David Sedaris. Sedaris takes you along on his travel adventures in this hilarious essay collection. Mugged in Honolulu? Check. Suffering at the hands of a lost passport sticker? Check. Appreciate the sterile disinfectant style of Japan? Checkity check! All sorts of countries, all sorts of weirdness. David Sedaris is my kind of crazy.

6. The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver. A road trip out of Kentucky leads Taylor into a strange set of circumstances that land her with a toddler. Taylor and the child continue to travel and make their way to Arizona, where they establish a life for themselves. Life changing cross country road trips. They’re the stuff great books are made of!

7. His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman. Travel in the traditional sense? There’s some of that. But when Lyra and Will start ripping holes and traveling between dimensions? Awww yeah. Travel-saurus-rex.

8. A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle. You don’t just travel in this book. You travel to OTHER PLANETS! Intergallactic!

9. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. Chase the legend of Dracula from Amsterdam to Istanbul to Budapest to Romania to Bulgaria to… Epic crazy travel, vampire lore, and a side of spooky. It’s good times.

10. 11/22/63 by Stephen King. TIME TRAVEL! That is all.

What about you, my globetrotting Bookworms? What are some of your favorite travel tomes?

*If you haven’t done so already, there’s STILL TIME to enter the contest to NAME THAT BOOK CLUB!

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