Friday, December 25, 2009

A Bike Ride- 12000 miles round the world by Anne Mustoe
In her fifties, headmistress Ann decides to retire and travel round the world by bicycle, even though she's not a cyclist, and can't even mend a tyre. Whilst this sounds like a novel, this is actually a true account.

I've read a later book by Anne Mustoe (Cleopatra's Needle - review is in a previous post) and I enjoyed it thoroughly, so I thought I'd read her first book. This was inspired by great journeys of the past- through Europe it's the voyage of Alexander the Great, through Asia it's the Silk Road, and through America it's a backwards version of the Pioneer trail (West-East, as opposed to East-West). The book is a good mixture of history, geography and diary. There is a real passion in this book, though by the end of it, in the American section you can tell she wants the journey to be over, as it takes over a year, which I feel lets the book down, but only a tiny bit. I think it's compounded by the fact that she has seen immense poverty yet extreme kindness in Asia, and in America she sees waste and feels as a cyclist she is treated as second class. This book comes highly recommended.
The Year of Living Biblically by A J Jacobs
This is subtitled "One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible" which sums the premise up really. After reading the Bible (in many forms, a trip to a Bible bookshop brought many new styles of Bible to his attention, including a rap bible and one that looks like a teen magazine) Jacobs makes a note of all the rules he must obey, and does so for a year.

This was in the "humour" section of Borders, so I was expecting something slightly different, but I did like this book a lot. Whilst at times it is very funny, it was also a very personal account of Jacobs' journey. Indeed, AJ feels he is two people at times- secular AJ and religious Jacob. This book also made me think- for example, we are told that telling lies is sinful- yet how hard is it to always tell the truth? There is also the discussion of why these rules exist, and their relevance to modern-day society.
First off - Merry Christmas! I got The Legend of Zelda - Spirit Tracks for my DS from my lovely other half, so I'll be doing a review of that soon (well, when I finish- it's not really in the spirit of things if I review it halfway through the game).
I've found some other reviews I did a while ago, so I'm going to post those as interim content!