Blog Update - November 2017

The beauty of not having anyone read your blog updates is that there is a delicious feeling of unaccountability. Hence, when you post your monthly update 3 weeks after month end there are no howls of protest!

The stats recap is hardly worth a mention, but I'll do so all the same:

Unique Visitors: 38
Page Visits: 48

No updates to the website that I can remember, but another good month for reading and reviewing books:

Walking the Himalayas by Levison Wood (2016) - 4.5 stars
Nightmare in Laos by Kay Danes (2006) - 3.5 stars
Walking the Americas by Levison Wood (2017) - 3.5 stars
In Search of Captain Zero by Allan C. Weisbecker (2001) - 5 stars
Elephant Complex by John Gimlette (2015) - 4.5 stars
The Trigger by Tim Butcher (2014) - 4 stars
At the Tomb of the Inflatable Pig by John Gimlette (2003) - 3.5 stars
Vroom With a View by Peter Moore (2003) - 3.5 stars
My Holiday in North Korea by Wendy E. Simmons (2016) - 2 stars

One of the great things about reviewing my month's reading, is I get to recall some of the great books I've read all over again. This month, Weisbecker's In Search of Captain Zero was my all time favourite. A surfer's quest for his lost friend that I found really moving and extremely recommended. I'm now keen to get my hand on his novel Comos Banditos, which I think is loosely based on his own life as a drug smuggler.

November also saw me finish all of Levison Wood's books. Having read Walking the Nile last month, it was time to read Walking the Himalayas and Walking the Americas. Neither disappointed, but Walking the Himalayas, for me, was the standout of all of his books. I profess to having a particular love of South Asia, so it may have had an unfair advantage though! Hopefully there'll be another installment from Wood sometime soon.

Keeping with the theme of author doubles, I also read two of John Gimlette's books this month. Both were good, although Elephant Complex was a tighter read once I got used to his writing style. Off the back of these two books, Gimlette has firmly entrenched himself in my top 10 authors.

Butcher's The Trigger also should get a mention as a great read on the life of the man who is held responsible for starting World War 1. Butcher himself spent a fair amount of time in Bosnia reporting on the Bosnian War so was extremely well versed in this area that he revisited when researching the book. Like Gimlette, Butcher also has propelled himself into my top 10 author list.

Lastly, Simmons' My Holiday in North Korea also was of note, although this time for the wrong reasons. Too much about the author and far too contrived but its biggest failing was potentially putting at risk her two handlers by documenting what the NK authorities might deem inappropriate behaviour. Yet, at times, the was quite funny and this probably was one of the longest reviews I've written, so it definitely achieves a goal of getting noticed!

Bring on December!