Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #travel #memoir Notes Of A Naive Traveler by @JSAauthor

Today’s team review is from Shelley, she blogs here http://shelleywilsonauthor.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Shelley has been reading Notes Of A Naive Traveler by Jennifer S Alderson

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Category: Memoir/Travel Guide

My Rating: 4 Star

My Review:

Travelling is something I love to do and would enjoy doing more often if time and funds allowed. When I spotted Notes of a Naïve Traveler by Jennifer Alderson on the RBRT review list,I knew it was the book for me.

I love how this story is told in a diary/email format as it brings the adventure to life. Alderson throws herself into her travels embracing the cultures, highs and lows of family life, and opportunities presented to her by the Nepali people before moving on to Thailand. She spends Christmas and New Year away from her family but doesn’t deny herself the occasional present.

There is plenty of humour as Alderson’s bubbly personality shines through. She writes in such a way that you feel connected to her and her journey.

 Nepal:

While going to Durbar Square – I never made it – a young Nepali named Khamel started chatting me up while I was freaking out over a miniature stupa covered in the most ornate ceramic tile mosaic. He ended up being my guide for the day and took me to places I never would have been or understood.

Thailand:

I’m sitting in a pub that The Book (Lonely Planet Thailand) recommends, sipping whiskey and coke, staring at a gigantic Christmas tree, and listening to US and Radiohead. A frail Thai man selling Santa Claus hats with flashing battery-operated balls dangling off them walks up and down the street in front of me, displaying his wares and a toothless grin to all potential customers.

Part memoir and part travel guide, Notes of a Naïve Traveler, includes all the necessary ingredients for anyone hoping to visit Nepal or Thailand. The inclusion of photographs helps the reader to engage with what Alderson is experiencing.

Thoroughly enjoyable read. I look forward to more from this author.

Book description

“I never thought I would have reason to say to someone, ‘Sorry I’m late, it took longer to dismember the goat than originally planned.'”

I was twenty-six years old, worked at a well-paid job, rented a fantastic apartment, and enjoyed a large circle of friends. I had everything, except I didn’t. I couldn’t shake the feeling I was missing out on the experience of living.

Part guidebook on culture and travel, part journey of self-discovery, this travelogue takes you on a backpacking adventure through Nepal and Thailand and provides a firsthand account of one volunteer’s experience teaching in a Nepali school and living with a devout Brahmin family.

Trek with me through the bamboo forests and terraced mountaintops of eastern Nepal, take a wild river-rafting ride in class IV waters, go on an elephant ride and encounter a charging rhinoceros on jungle walks in Chitwan National Park, sea-kayak the surreal waters of Krabi, and snorkel in the Gulf of Thailand. Join me on some of the scariest bus rides you could imagine, explore beautiful and intriguing temples, experience religious rituals unknown to most Westerners, and visit mind-blowing places not mentioned in your typical travel guides.

Notes of a Naive Traveler is a must-read for those interested in learning more about – or wishing to travel to – Nepal and Thailand. I hope it inspires you to see these amazing countries for yourself.

Related subjects include: travel, adventure, memoirs, non-fiction, backpacking, volunteering, travelogue, travel writing, solo travel, culture, journals, cultural heritage, cultural travel, Asia, Nepal, Thailand.

About the author

Hi! I worked as a journalist and website developer in Seattle, Washington before trading my financial security for a backpack. After traveling extensively around Asia and Central America, I moved to Darwin, Australia, before finally settling in the Netherlands. There I earned degrees in art history and museum studies. Home is now Amsterdam, where I live with my Dutch husband and young son.

My travels and experiences color and inform my internationally-oriented fiction. Down and Out in Kathmandu: A Backpacker Mystery is a travel fiction adventure through Nepal and Thailand. The Lover’s Portrait: An Art Mystery is a suspenseful ‘whodunit?’ which transports readers to wartime and present day Amsterdam.

Both novels are part of an on-going yet stand-alone series following the adventures of traveler and culture lover, Zelda Richardson. The third installment, another art-related travel thriller (working title: Rituals of the Dead: An Artifact Mystery) will be released in the January 2018.

My travelogue, Notes of a Naive Traveler: Nepal and Thailand, is now available as paperback and eBook. A must-read for those interested in learning more about – or wishing to travel to – Nepal and Thailand.

Jennifer S. Alderson

Goodreads | AmazonUK | AmazonUS | Twitter

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Sunday Connection – Books We’ve Reviewed This Week, Plus Links To The Blogosphere #SundayBlogShare

This week we’ve reviewed the following books:

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Monday – Georgia reviewed WW2 naval thriller Jonah by Carl Rackman

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Tuesday – Olga reviewed horror Freaky Franky by William Blackwell

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Wednesday – Karen reviewed mystery The Maori Detective by D.A. Crossman

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Thursday – I reviews romantic suspense Wild Card Undercover by Kari Lemor

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Friday – Cathy reviewed vintage mystery A Clerical Error by J New

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Saturday – Terry reviewed travel memoir Notes Of A Naive Traveler by Jennifer S Alderson

 Plus Links From The Blogosphere

Books which feature great senior characters whilst still being #YA

http://weliveandbreathebooks.blogspot.co.uk/2018/03/discussion-lets-hear-it-for-seniors.html

How accurate are Goodreads recommendations?

http://ajsterkel.blogspot.co.uk/2018/03/discussion-how-accurate-are-goodreads.html

What are blog linkups all about?

http://ajsterkel.blogspot.co.uk/2018/03/discussion-how-accurate-are-goodreads.html

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Notes Of A Naive Traveler by @JSAauthor #Travel #Nepal

Today’s team review is from Terry, she blogs here http://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

#RBRT Review Team

Terry has been reading Notes From A Naive Traveler by Jennifer S Alderson

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4 out of 5 stars

This is quite a short book, written in semi-diary format, partly in emails, about the author’s travels in 1999.  The then 26-year-old Jennifer plunges in at the deep end, living first with a Nepali family, trekking around the country, then teaching Nepali children, after which she hits the tourist trail in Thailand.

This book would be most useful as a guidebook for those hoping to travel to Nepal, as it certainly paints a realistic picture; any traveller with whimsical dreams of entering a spiritual heaven as soon as they get off the plane should read the account of Thamel, of the families who assume Westerners are fair game, and of the bloody temple sacrifices ~ the lunch of goat’s blood will stay with me, I think…

I grew to like Jennifer more and more as the book went on (important when reading a memoir!), especially when she described the father of one of her Nepali families as ‘kind of a schmuck’ and the son as a ‘little shit’ – I have a fondness for those who dare to tell it like it is!  Her youthful enthusiasm is charming – everything is ‘amazing’, ‘gorgeous’, ‘incredible’, etc, though now and again I felt I would have liked to read about the place as seen through more mature eyes.  The most interesting parts of the book, for me, were her observations about the day to day habits and culture of the Nepalis and just little incidents that happened.  Her ‘characters’ really jumped off the page.  

On to Thailand, and Jennifer experiences the westernised tourist route of the famous Khao San Road and rejects it for more of the ‘real’ Thailand, though she was disappointed that the hill tribes lived not in mud huts but in shacks with corrugated tin rooves, with motorbikes and trucks parked outside, and that the caves where the Buddhist monks worked were strewn with electric cables.  Generally, though, her time in Thailand sounded so wonderful it almost made me whimper with longing.

I’d say that anyone who is thinking of visiting these countries, Nepal in particular, should take time to read this warts-and-all account, especially if they’re signing up for the volunteer work that entails being placed with a family.  Jen comes across as a very open-minded and non-egotistical sort of person; maybe why she felt like a fish out of water in the working world of Seattle, and wanted to experience different lifestyles.  I’d definitely read more about her travels; I liked the conversational tone of this book very much.

There are pictures, too ~ always a plus, with a travel guide!

Book description

“I never thought I would have reason to say to someone, ‘Sorry I’m late, it took longer to dismember the goat than originally planned.'”

I was twenty-six years old, worked at a well-paid job, rented a fantastic apartment, and enjoyed a large circle of friends. I had everything, except I didn’t. I couldn’t shake the feeling I was missing out on the experience of living.

Part guidebook on culture and travel, part journey of self-discovery, this travelogue takes you on a backpacking adventure through Nepal and Thailand and provides a firsthand account of one volunteer’s experience teaching in a Nepali school and living with a devout Brahmin family.

Trek with me through the bamboo forests and terraced mountaintops of eastern Nepal, take a wild river-rafting ride in class IV waters, go on an elephant ride and encounter a charging rhinoceros on jungle walks in Chitwan National Park, sea-kayak the surreal waters of Krabi, and snorkel in the Gulf of Thailand. Join me on some of the scariest bus rides you could imagine, explore beautiful and intriguing temples, experience religious rituals unknown to most Westerners, and visit mind-blowing places not mentioned in your typical travel guides.

Notes of a Naive Traveler is a must-read for those interested in learning more about – or wishing to travel to – Nepal and Thailand. I hope it inspires you to see these amazing countries for yourself.

Related subjects include: travel, adventure, memoirs, non-fiction, backpacking, volunteering, travelogue, travel writing, solo travel, culture, journals, cultural heritage, cultural travel, Asia, Nepal, Thailand.

About the author

Hi! I worked as a journalist and website developer in Seattle, Washington before trading my financial security for a backpack. After traveling extensively around Asia and Central America, I moved to Darwin, Australia, before finally settling in the Netherlands. There I earned degrees in art history and museum studies. Home is now Amsterdam, where I live with my Dutch husband and young son.

My travels and experiences color and inform my internationally-oriented fiction. Down and Out in Kathmandu: A Backpacker Mystery is a travel fiction adventure through Nepal and Thailand. The Lover’s Portrait: An Art Mystery is a suspenseful ‘whodunit?’ which transports readers to wartime and present day Amsterdam.

Both novels are part of an on-going yet stand-alone series following the adventures of traveler and culture lover, Zelda Richardson. The third installment, another art-related travel thriller (working title: Rituals of the Dead: An Artifact Mystery) will be released in the January 2018.

My travelogue, Notes of a Naive Traveler: Nepal and Thailand, is now available as paperback and eBook. A must-read for those interested in learning more about – or wishing to travel to – Nepal and Thailand.

Jennifer S. Alderson

Goodreads | AmazonUK | AmazonUS | Twitter

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT Notes Of A Naive Traveler by @JSAauthor #Travel #Nepal

Today’s team review is from Robbie, she blogs here https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Robbie has been reading Notes Of A Naive Traveler by Jennifer S Alderson

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My review

Notes of a naïve traveler tells of a young American woman’s adventure as a volunteer teacher in Nepal. The book is presented in the form of a series of emails home from the woman, in a very similar style to a diary.

For me, the beauty of this book lay in learning, in such an intimate and first-hand way, about life for a woman with a Hindu family in Nepal. Jennifer Alderson does a great job of telling it exactly as it is, and it was quite a shock for me, another woman living a western style life, albeit in Africa, to read about how traditional and stereotypical the lives of some woman still are. Of course, I do know that, but it is quite a different experience to read about it like this.

The first two-thirds of the book are about life in Nepal and the writer’s experiences as a volunteer teacher in a school there. It certainly removes the glamour of such a role and illustrates exactly how hard it is to teach in difficult circumstances, with few teacher’s aids and an expectation from the children of harsh discipline. When Jennifer does not meter out corporal punishment it is seen to be weakness by the children.

Jennifer describes the challenges of keeping clean when having to use a bucket shower and very basic bathroom facilities, intermittent electricity and a father who is completely disinterested in his wife and children but prefers the company of his male friends. She also describes her gradual disillusionment with the family and school as various parties try to manipulate her into making a financial contribution to the school. Their focus on monetary contributions and disregard for the time and effort contribution of a voluntary teacher is highlighted.

The last third of the book is much less intense and tells the story of Jennifer’s experiences in Thailand. She has a great time and participates in fun and exciting activities. Jennifer describes the beautiful beaches, terrific heat, boat tours and snorkeling. This section creates an interesting contrast to the first part of the book.

I rated this book four stars out of five.

Book description

“I never thought I would have reason to say to someone, ‘Sorry I’m late, it took longer to dismember the goat than originally planned.'”

I was twenty-six years old, worked at a well-paid job, rented a fantastic apartment, and enjoyed a large circle of friends. I had everything, except I didn’t. I couldn’t shake the feeling I was missing out on the experience of living.

Part guidebook on culture and travel, part journey of self-discovery, this travelogue takes you on a backpacking adventure through Nepal and Thailand and provides a firsthand account of one volunteer’s experience teaching in a Nepali school and living with a devout Brahmin family.

Trek with me through the bamboo forests and terraced mountaintops of eastern Nepal, take a wild river-rafting ride in class IV waters, go on an elephant ride and encounter a charging rhinoceros on jungle walks in Chitwan National Park, sea-kayak the surreal waters of Krabi, and snorkel in the Gulf of Thailand. Join me on some of the scariest bus rides you could imagine, explore beautiful and intriguing temples, experience religious rituals unknown to most Westerners, and visit mind-blowing places not mentioned in your typical travel guides.

Notes of a Naive Traveler is a must-read for those interested in learning more about – or wishing to travel to – Nepal and Thailand. I hope it inspires you to see these amazing countries for yourself.

Related subjects include: travel, adventure, memoirs, non-fiction, backpacking, volunteering, travelogue, travel writing, solo travel, culture, journals, cultural heritage, cultural travel, Asia, Nepal, Thailand.

About the author

Hi! I worked as a journalist and website developer in Seattle, Washington before trading my financial security for a backpack. After traveling extensively around Asia and Central America, I moved to Darwin, Australia, before finally settling in the Netherlands. There I earned degrees in art history and museum studies. Home is now Amsterdam, where I live with my Dutch husband and young son.

My travels and experiences color and inform my internationally-oriented fiction. Down and Out in Kathmandu: A Backpacker Mystery is a travel fiction adventure through Nepal and Thailand. The Lover’s Portrait: An Art Mystery is a suspenseful ‘whodunit?’ which transports readers to wartime and present day Amsterdam.

Both novels are part of an on-going yet stand-alone series following the adventures of traveler and culture lover, Zelda Richardson. The third installment, another art-related travel thriller (working title: Rituals of the Dead: An Artifact Mystery) will be released in the January 2018.

My travelogue, Notes of a Naive Traveler: Nepal and Thailand, is now available as paperback and eBook. A must-read for those interested in learning more about – or wishing to travel to – Nepal and Thailand.

Jennifer S. Alderson

Goodreads | AmazonUK | AmazonUS | Twitter