Every Wednesday we will each share two books that caught our eye from that week’s Mailbox Monday.
We encourage you to share the books that caught your eye in the comments.
All Over the Place: Adventures in Travel, True Love, and Petty Theft by Geraldine DeRuiter @ Luxury Reading.
Most travel memoirs involve a button-nosed protagonist nursing a broken heart who, rather than tearfully watching The Princess Bride while eating an entire 5-gallon vat of ice cream directly out of the container (like a normal person), instead decides to travel the world, inevitably falling for some chiseled stranger with bulging pectoral muscles and a disdain for wearing clothing above the waist.
This is not that kind of book.
Geraldine met the love of her life long before this story began, on a bus in Seattle surrounded by drunk college kids. She gets lost constantly, wherever she goes. And her nose would never, ever be considered “button-like.”
Hilarious, irreverent and heartfelt, All Over the Place chronicles the five-year period that kicked off when Geraldine got laid off from a job she loved and took off to travel the world. Those years taught her a great number of things, though the ability to read a map was not one of them. She has only a vague idea of where Russia is, but she understands her Russian father now better than ever before. She learned that at least half of what she thought was her mother’s functional insanity was actually an equally incurable condition called “being Italian.” She learned about unemployment and brain tumors and lost luggage and lost opportunities and just getting lost, in countless terminals and cabs and hotel lobbies across the globe. And she learned what it’s like to travel the world with someone you already know and love. How that person can help you make sense of things, and can, by some sort of alchemy, make foreign cities and far-off places feel like home.
In All Over the Place, Geraldine imparts the insight she gained while being far from home—wry, surprising, but always sincere, advice about marriage, family, health, and happiness that come from getting lost and finding the unexpected.
I think this would be a fun read.
Margaret Douglas has worked hard to put her painful past behind her. Raised off the grid in an abusive home, her only escape was the nearby forest where she sought refuge whenever she could. There, in the peaceful woods, she discovered a strange gift: the ability to understand animals and to communicate with them. And so those creatures became her only friends, her only joy during a desolate childhood. Now Margaret wants nothing more than to live a quiet life, close to the animals and under the radar. But her abilities have not gone unnoticed and there are those who would use them for their own purposes. Determined not to be a pawn in anyone’s game, every time someone gets too close, Margaret uproots her life and outruns them.
When John Lassiter breaks into Margaret’s apartment, she vanishes again, but Lassiter has good reason to be persistent. As a CIA operative, he owes his life to his men , one of whom is being held captive by an unrelenting enemy―an enemy who has set his sights on Margaret. Which means that Lassiter must control her to use her as bait.
With danger in hot pursuit, Margaret finds herself matching wits with a man who refuses to stop or be stopped. Turning from the hunted to the hunter, Margaret must use everything she has ever learned to not only survive, but to defeat a great evil. And to prove once and for all that she’s no easy target.
Occupied Norway, 1943. After seeing an allied plane go down over the mountains, headstrong fifteen year-old Kari Dahlstrøm sets out to locate the wreck. She soon finds the cocky American pilot Lance Mahurin and offers to take him to Sweden, pretending she’s a member of the resistance. While her widower father Erling and the disillusioned Nazi Oberleutnant Conrad Moltke hunt them down, Kari begins to fall for Lance, dreaming of a life with him in America. Over the course of the harrowing journey, though, Kari learns hard truths about those around her as well as discovering unforeseen depths within herself.
Jarlath “Jar” Costello’s girlfriend, Rosa, committed suicide when they were both students at Cambridge, and Jar has thought about her every day since. It’s been five years, yet Jar is still obsessed with the idea that Rosa, the one true love of his life, is alive. He’s tormented by disturbingly real sightings of her—experiences the psychologist treating him describes as “post-bereavement hallucinations.”
When Rosa’s aunt uncovers an encrypted file on her laptop that she believes is Rosa’s diary, she gives Jar the hard drive, sending him on a frantic quest to unlock the mysterious document and finally make sense of the suspicious circumstances surrounding Rosa’s suicide. But the deeper he digs, the more confused he becomes as he is pressed into a dark underworld where nothing is as it seems and no one can be trusted. When a startling discovery convinces him more than ever that these are not just hallucinations—that Rosa really is alive—Jar is thrust into the heart of a larger intrigue that may finally shed some light on Rosa’s death…even as it dangerously threatens his own life.
No need for the Tardis when you can mind travel through “wibbly-wobbly” theories of Time Travel, how alcohol makes you speak louder, how to tell what part of a movie the audience is watching without looking, and why Americans are no longer the tallest people on Earth. What will the discovery of Gravitational Waves do for you? Why do you sleep badly in an unfamiliar bed?
Why should you exercise before breakfast (not after) to stop weight piling on?
Is Bitcoin the currency of the future? What connects God, caffeine and chocolate? How does streaming a video for an hour use more electricity than running a fridge for a week? What are the secrets of immortal jellyfish and vampires? Are smoothies good for you? And just what is a “vomitorium”?
The Doctor lays it all down – without resorting to a Sonic Screwdriver.