Thursday, February 5, 2015

what I am reading

Although Nicholas Sparks is a popular and successful author, I've never been a fan of his books...or the movies that have been made from them. 

But I wanted to try this book out because it is a memoir and I usually like those. Plus it is a travel memoir, and I've always liked reading about other peoples travel adventures...until this ....

"Three Weeks with My Brother", by Nicholas Sparks and Micah Sparks.

In this book, the author alternates between telling the story of his life and describing a trip he took with his brother.  

He does a good job of this, starting out by talking about his wife and kids,then revealing the story of his childhood and family dynamics a little at a time, sometimes through conversations with his brother. 

I enjoyed those sections of the book...the descriptions and stories about his family members and his non-traditional and often unsupervised upbringing.

What really bugged me was the travel part.  The two brothers took a 3 week trip with a tour company, around the world by private jet.  This included stops in South America, Pacific islands, Australia, Asia, India, and more, culminating with a stop in Norway...north of the Artic Circle.

Now, did you catch the part about visiting all these countries in 3 weeks?  
It was just as you might expect, here they were, seeing some of the most notable travel attractions around the globe ...Machu Picchu, Easter Island, the Taj Mahal, Ayers Rock, and so forth...without enough time in any one place to really " soak up the atmosphere" or feel a sense of place.  That really comes through in the book.

The travel schedule is so hectic and tiring that it seems like they spend a small amount of time seeing things and the majority of the time resting up at hotel bars and pools, often foregoing opportunities for side trips and cultural activities. 
That doesn't make for good travel writing.

It just seems like such a mistreatment of a traveling experience...sort of greedy go just to say you've been there...then off to the next destination.  Shallow.

So, this book has turned me into even less of a Nicholas Sparks fan. It must just be me, though, this book was on the New York Times Best Seller List.

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