Thursday, July 12, 2012

July Booking It

Please check out what everyone is reading at Life as Mom.

Continuing along with my theme of hiking books.  This one is about Appalachian Trail called Becoming Odyssa by Jennifer Phaff Davis. Odyassa is Jennifer's trail name.  She does the Appalachian Trail solo.  The Appalachian Trail is a 2175 mile trail stretching from Georgia to Maine. This book is about her journey for college student to becoming a student of the trail.  I thought it was a good book.

I also read Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay which is about an aging Russian Dancer who put up her jewelry collection for auction. The book is about secrets and a mysterious amber pendant and how it ended up in the hands of a professor.  I really liked it.  The ending seemed incomplete to me .  I had some questions that weren't answered.  All in all it was a decent book.

I love to geocache so I picked up the book Local Treasures: Geocaching Across America by Margot Anne Kelley.  I love all the stories that went with the pictures at various caches.  There was one quote in her book that struck a chord with me
"... he wished we'd found the cache, but that, sometimes, one simply fails. I started to argue, to say that we hadn't failed, that we'd just had a different experience than the one we set out to have. But , even as I spoke, I could hear how ridiculous, how disingenuous, the words sounded."
We have had this experience many many times.  We don't find the cache.  Sometimes you simply fail for a whole bevy of reasons.  Margot delves into the wider social implications of geocaching- how technology is actually facilitating human explorations and interaction. There is lots of food for thought in this book.

Yet another book on the theme of hiking also about the Appalachian Trail called Hiking Through by Paul Stutzman. This book is about Paul's personal journey on the trail. Paul lost his wife to cancer. He quits his restaurant management job. His trail name is Apostle Paul. Paul is searching after his searching for his purpose after he lost his wife.  He is questioning God. On the trail, he rediscovers God. Of all the books, I have read about the Pacific Crest Trail and the Appalachian trial this one really touched me the most. This is a very spiritual book. Paul's favorite verse from the bible is Psalms 91.

The hot reads at the library got me again. I picked up the Voluntourist by Ken Budd.  This is a true story about Ken and how he becomes a volunteer and tourist.  He started doing this after the death of his father and when he realized that fatherhood wasn't in his future. He did 6 different volunteer stints. He volunteered in New Orleans after Katrina, China with special needs kids, Africa with an orphanage, Costa Rica with scientists studying climate change, and Palestine at a refugee camp.  He had some interesting insights.  I particularly like the chapters on China and Africa were Ken worked with kids.

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