I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.A Beginner's Guide to Paradise by Alex Sheshunoff
Published by NAL on September 1, 2015
Genres: Biography & Autobiography, New Experience, Personal Memoirs
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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.
♦ So another memoir that was fine. Not bad but not great. I am really looking for a memoir that draws me into that period in another’s life and immerses me into their truth. This one, while a good read, did not suck me in. It read as more of a series of lists and conversations then a cohesive story. Though I should not be surprised by this as even in the description from the publisher it says the author has written only Facebook posts and emails. I know this was tongue-in-cheek but it did read like a series of internet posts. The author also employed a device where at the beginning of every chapter he would say “What can you expect to learn in this chapter” then include a snippet about what would happen. I found this very distracting to the story as it broke up the flow. If you are looking for the true tale of a twenty-something leaving New York with no solid plan and just the dream of Paradise (with the capital P) this is for you. If you are looking for a mesmerizing trip through someone else’s world this is not the memoir for you.
◊ Favorite lines from Chapter 70 – “For me,” I said, “the question is how to lead as rich a life as possible. As fully as possible. Because who knows how many more spins around the sun we have. So you got to have a plan.”
Δ Would you ever leave it all to go live on an island with 7,000 residents?