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review 2017-07-26 14:13
Noooooooooooooooooooooo.
Will Travel For Vegan Food: 2 Years, 48 ... Will Travel For Vegan Food: 2 Years, 48 States, 547 Restaurants, +39,000 Miles - Kristin Lajeunesse

This sounded like a fun, different read. Young woman decides she's going to take a chance and despite having a new graduate degree, a new job that she loves and a new relationship, Kristin Lajeunesse is going to take a road trip and eat at every single vegan restaurant in the US. Based on the cover (back and front), it looks like it took about 2 years across 48 states and 547 restaurants. Cool! I've read books on similar premises (for example, 'Slice Harvester' is one man's quest to eat a slice of pizza in *every* single pizzeria in NYC) and so this seemed like a good book to read to continue my food theme. 

 

And that's where my enthusiasm basically ended. Initially it seemed like an endearing read of what drove Lajeunesse to decide to just pick everything up, drive around in a van and take this road trip. But as she talks about her various relationships the book very quickly and steadily deteriorates into something that is not at all reflected by the book blurb and cover. 

 

It's not about the food. The restaurants and food, in fact, are barely covered. It's about finding herself, stumbling through various romantic relationships and her general love life, what's going on in her family. The "vegan food road trip" appears to be a hook. I don't know. My eyes started glazing over after the first few chapters. I don't have a "read until X point" rule but once I saw that by page 48 we're still not really talking about the restaurants or the food I could tell that this was going to be a loss.

 

For the right person this could certainly be a good read. But the criticisms are on target: sometimes the writing isn't just very good at all. How on earth did she manage to crowdfund this thing? Did she *ever* really think about how she was in a position to safely undertake an endeavor like this under relative safety (financially, physically, etc.)? There wasn't even a list of restaurants in the book? For a title that's priced at $20 (yes I know it's printed on recycled paper and it's a smaller/indie imprint) the least we could get would be a list or an index as a guide for the restaurants she apparently visited. I have no interest in the blog, thanks.

 

I wasn't expecting something like 'Sistah Vegan' because I could see that these were two entirely different books (I only read them close together because they were about vegans and veganism). But this is absolutely not what the title/blurb says it is and it is much too expensive. I'm glad I got this as a bargain book but I wish it had been available at my library instead. Borrow if something about it something like an 'Eat, Pray, Love' for vegans appeals to you but I'd skip it.

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text 2017-07-18 20:09
[Guest post] How I became a travel writer

 

Summer time means travels! Have a look at the confessions of a debut travel author, Nicholas Kontis, who encourages readers to focus more on the local experiences and local people when traveling. Maybe this read will inspire you to hit the road and explore something amazing this summer!

 

*

A guest post by Nick Kontis

Follow Nicholas Kontis' blog on BookLikes HERE

Nick Kontis' author page on BookLikes is HERE

 

Being a child of Greek immigrant parents, it was important that I learned about my heritage. I was blessed to spend my childhood summers in Greece. I learned the meaning of family and of sharing. I slept on couches in spare rooms, hitched rides, and helped with the preparing of meals. I even learned to bake bread when I was 12 years old.

 

At age 24 I left my native San Francisco, and took a backpack and on what was to be a last trip to the Greek Islands before buckling down and becoming a productive American citizen.

 

On the island of Ios, I met Swen and Maria from Sweden. After many shots of the chalky Greek liquor Ouzo, I forfeited my return ticket home and traveled to Bangladesh and later all throughout the Indian subcontinent.

 

Moving on, I manage to tread lightly all throughout India, Nepal, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Bali, Australia, New Caledonia, Tahiti and then finally back to California.

 

Without a job prospect in sight, I ended up creating one. I started the first travel agency in the U.S. specializing in discount around the world airfares. I was the Lonely Planet guidebooks of travel agencies catering to backpackers. I actually sought out world travelers finding them in various locales of San Francisco. I turned them into productive sellers of around the world airfares. Productive travel agents.

 

I never left the travel industry. In a field where people scoffed and said that I wouldn’t make a dime,  I did extremely well.

 

Going Local: Experiences and Encounters on the Road - Mr. Nicholas Kontis  Now, as a travel journalist, I wrote my first book on the timely subject matter of experiential travel titled, Going Local Experiences and Encounters on the Road.

 

Ever since the birth of Airbnb, immersing into local society and the buzz word, "sharing economy," came to fruition. Today's modern day explorers seek a better understanding of people. Going Local details how to implement a local point of learning from local cultures.

 

 

With the assistance of technology, never before has it been so easy to stay in someone's home, share a meal, hitch a ride, and to be guided by a local to gain greater wisdom from a society.

 

"Going Local" delves into the rise in peer-to-peer travel and shows how to use meal sharing apps, and other ways in which a nation's food and cuisine is a glance into a nation's culture.

 

Other subject matter includes: how a trip around the world is a life-changing experience, moving out of your comfort zone and living abroad, why it is of the utmost importance to practice responsible travel, along with choosing responsible tour operators to guide you, volunteering and why we all should give at least a small portion of our journeys to help others.

 

With keynote talks with travel visionaries, icons and explorers in the field of travel, including Tony Wheeler, Richard Bangs, Rick Steves, Don George, Judith Fein, James Dorsey, Tim Leffel, Dr. Harald Goodwin, David Noyes, Andrew Zimmern, Eric Wolf, Larissa & Michael Milne, Tomislav Perko, Tamara Lowe.

 

The great Lonely Planet guidebook founder Tony Wheeler, gives the cover endorsement stating:

 

“Many people - Mark Twain included - have noted how travel is a certain cure for bigotry and narrow-mindedness. I hope Nick’s book may help persuade people to take the treatment.”

 

As some of my luminary travel author colleagues have reminded me, travel books are a breed of their own and not interesting to most readers.

 

The average American reads fewer than two books a year and a paltry 38% of Americans have passports. So there aren't many travel books that are robust blockbusters. Expect slow and steady, not a mad rush.

*

 

Going Local: Experiences and Encounters on the Road - Mr. Nicholas Kontis You can find the book on BookLikes here: Going Local: Experiences and Encounters on the Road by Nicholas Kontis  

 

The author is also willing to e-mail a PDF copy in exchange for a review.

If you're interested, please leave a comment below.

 

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review 2017-07-16 22:27
Mendoza in Hollywood by Kage Barker
Mendoza in Hollywood: A Company Novel (The Company) - Kage Baker

Series: The Company #3

 

This installment of the Company time travel series finally reveals who Mendoza is telling her story to. I’d forgotten about this aspect of the first book because the glimpses of it are so quick, but I’m pretty sure they were there. This mostly takes place in Los Angeles, California, in 1862 where Mendoza is tasked with saving botanical specimens from their upcoming extinction due to the upcoming droughts and subsequent over-grazing. Anyway, there were some interesting Civil War aspects to the plot with the Company operatives uncovering a British conspiracy to gain control of California.

 

There was one really long chapter that covered one of the operatives’ movie nights in excruciating detail that I feel could have been mostly cut, but I’m left with more of a desire to continue the series now that I had at the start of the book.

 

I read this for booklikes-opoly square Cars Land 16 “Read a book set in…California”. Various sources put the paperback page count at 352 so I’m adding another $9 to my bank balance since this the second time I’ve landed on this square since the shake-up.

 

New Bank Balance: $229                  

 

Previous Update:

77%

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text 2017-07-16 16:16
Reading progress update: I've read 77%.
Mendoza in Hollywood: A Company Novel (The Company) - Kage Baker

The setting for this book is (mostly) Civil War era California:

"As far as I can tell, the Yankee’s idea of freedom is his right to carry a pistol with which he may shoot strangers in the street."

On a previous page, the same character had remarked:

"Surely there’s been enough blood shed in this poor country. Wouldn’t you like to live in a city where you could walk down the streets without fear of being shot? I can assure you, in her native land your mother had no need to wear a pistol. Order and safety and the rule of law, that’s the blessing of a modern empire."

By the way, this book was first published back in 2000.

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review 2017-07-16 03:52
Outlander fan fictionish
Tales of a Traveler: Hemlock - N.J. Layouni

Thank you to Anne for the recommendation.

Well, this had the unfortunate timing of being read after an amazing 5 star read, it probably only had a hope of paling in comparison. 

It kind of felt and read like slight Outlander fan fiction; the author got inspired after reading Outlander and tried to craft a story like it. The world the heroine time travels to is like a medieval Europe but suppose to be a different dimension. I'm not really sure because it is not truly explained. Honestly, it gives the feeling that the author wanted to set it in a medieval time period but didn't want to do research and work to make it feel authentic. 
The characters and main couple's relationship felt shallow and while this ends on a cliffhanger, I think I'm going to stop here.

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