Sunday 30 August 2015

Book ~ "A Beginner's Guide to Paradise" (2015) Alex Sheshunoff

From Goodreads ~ So you too can:
  • Move to a South Pacific island
  • Wear a loinclotbooksh
  • Read a hundred 
  • Diaper a baby monkey
  • Build a bungalow 
  • And maybe, just maybe, fall in love! *

* Individual results may vary.

The true story of how a quarter-life crisis led to adventure, freedom, and love on a tiny island in the Pacific.

From the author of a lot of emails and several facebook posts comes A Beginner’s Guide to Paradise, a laugh-out-loud, true story that will answer your most pressing escape-from-it-all questions, including:
  1. How much, per pound, should you expect to pay a priest to fly you to the outer islands of Yap?
  2. Classic slumber party stumper: If you could have just one movie on a remote Pacific island, what would it definitely not be?
  3. How do you blend fruity drinks without a blender?
  4. Is a free, one-hour class from Home Depot on “Flowerbox Construction” sufficient training to build a house?
From "Robinson Crusoe" to "Survivor", "Gilligan’s Island" to "The Beach", people have fantasized about living on a remote tropical island. But when facing a quarter-life crisis, plucky desk slave Alex Sheshunoff actually did it.

While out in Paradise, he learned a lot. About how to make big choices and big changes. About the less-than-idyllic parts of paradise. About tying a loincloth without exposing the tender bits. Now Alex shares his incredible story and pretty-hard-won wisdom in a book that will surprise you, make you laugh, take you to such unforgettable islands as Yap and Pig, and perhaps inspire your own move to an island with only two letters in its name.

Answers: 1) $1.14 2) "Gas Attack Training Made Simple" 3) Crimp a fork in half and insert middle into power drill 4) No.

Back in the late 1990s, the author ran an internet company in New York.  Five years into it, burnt out and in his late 20s, he left New York to look for paradise.  With the 100 books he'd never read in school, he moved to a small island in the Pacific called Yap (population of just over 11,000 in the Pacific Ocean).  He eventually ended up in Angaur (in Palau, also in the Pacific Ocean).  This is his account of his experiences and figuring out what paradise means to him.

I enjoyed this book.  I found it interesting to learn about places I'd never heard of before and their people and customs.  I enjoy travelling but I don't think I could rough it out in some of the places like Alex did.  It was fun to live vicariously through him.

I enjoyed the writing style.  What could have been a dry boring travel journal was actually quite entertaining.  The author was honest, funny and sarcastic (but in a good way).  I think he'd be a hoot to sit and chat with.

Alex built a house .... what a view!
He even took in motherless baby monkey

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