It’s hard to give book recommendations, especially since there are SO MANY GOOD BOOKS OUT THERE! I’m a pretty eclectic reader who swings from fiction to non-fiction fairly regularly.
While those two books describe my taste, they do not define it. I’ll give most things a try (aside from dystopian novels or horror) I’m not a fan of downers and I’m a wimp.
To me a good book takes me away from my everyday work life and allows me to move into a different world. Good books make me ask questions about myself, my country and how I want my future to look. They make me laugh out loud when I’m lucky and on the rare occasion dampen my eyes.
These five books came my way through friend recommendations, thanks to a stellar bookseller and if I’m being completely transparent because I’m a former graphic designer. If you design a good book cover I’m a guaranteed buyer.
Round Ireland with a Fridge by Tony Hawks
We are all one drunken bet away from this experience. A true adventure, albeit one that makes a man drag a refrigerator around an entire country. Round Ireland with a Fridge is a raucous feat filled with laughs and ridiculousness.
Travels with Charlie in Search of America by John Steinbeck
Full disclosure…I have not read this book. BUT, Catherine has and she puts it at the top of her list. One of Steinbeck’s lesser known works (at least that’s what I would say), Travels with Charlie (who happens to be his French poodle) walks you through America and teaches you about Americans.
The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore by Kim Fu
An excellent camp read if I do say so myself. Fu brings together a group of girls who are not only diverse in ethnicity, but also in upbringing. When their canoe adventure takes a bad turn the girls are forced to work together (or not) to survive. As the story unfolds we see how their upbringing shapes their decisions and how those decisions go on to effect them as young adults.
Crow Planet by Lynada Lynn Haupt
If this book did one thing for me it was to remind me that nature is all around me and that I don’t need to drive to a trail head and hike through the mountains to be in nature. All I need to do is look out my apartment window, walk down the sidewalk or pay a little more attention when I’m waiting to cross a street.
The Bedlam Stacks by Natasha Pulley
An epic journey that takes you through the cinchona forests of Peru. The bark of the cinchona tree contains quinine, which incidentally is used to treat malaria, a disease that’s rampant in England’s Indian colonies. Tremayne’s job is to smuggle out some of the cinchona plants to break the Peruvian monopoly on the stuff. Along the way he makes friends with his guide Raphael, discovers family relations, travels through magic glowing pollen, and is chased by statue assassins.
These five might not be the epic thru-hike memoir Wild by Cheryl Strayed (which I’m currently reading), but they all made me want to go out and explore whether it was the Santa Monica Mountains or my own neighborhood.