This is a book where descriptive travel writing and food writing appear to be on collision course. Writer/blogger Layne Mosler has cooked up a varied buffet table that takes her reader from Buenos Aries to Queens and to Berlin while taking dining advice from taxi drivers that basically comes down to where the locals go. Actually the reasoning and partial premise for this book is sound. Often travelers hit up locals for dining advice.
This book is probably offers an inconsistent mix of things to salivate over such as a buffet in Germany that offered something called Dead Grandmothers. Mosler's description was borderline barf worthy. However a steak in Argentina was in another category all together.
It is the appealing mix of people and food that makes this travelogue/food guide roll along and keep things interesting. I liked this book but I am not certain that had I not committed myself to reading it I would have stuck with it long enough to review it.
Ultimately, this book is best read and appreciated by lovers of travel books. It is highly detailed, witty, and well written.
Reviewed by G.I Gudrieff
I'm a bit of a fan of adventure treks and mountain climb memoirs to put it very mildly, so this book appealed on many levels. The author decides, almost on the spur of the moment to climb Mount Kilamanjaro along with her teenage son plus a few friends and is happy to leave most of the trip pre-planning to them, but does prepare sensibly by buying a good pair of walking boots and wears them in prior to the climb. The feminine issue of using the toilet up a mountain and the contemplated purchase of various gadgets made me laugh out loud at times, but the problem was solved by the porter with a toilet tent who accompanied them on the trek. The book is very well written in a humerous and honest way with little snippets of historical information about the mountain, it's routes and famous climbers. The climb itself by the author, her son and the rest of the party is told in such a way that I felt as if I was there with them and kept me reading until the end. I hope to read more from this author.
Reviewed by Mrs. Briggs
A Pearl in the Storm is a fantastic read. With the prerequisite white knuckle moments of a good adventure book, it draws you in and keeps you there. Tori Murden McClure sweeps the reader along as she attempts to become the first woman to solo row the Atlantic Ocean. I found myself gripped with apprehension as the communication systems went out, bracing for the next big wave, and pondering, as the author does, about when she would need to call for help and abandon her quest.
However, to categorize this book strictly as an adventure book would be a mistake.
It is first and foremost a book about human nature and the internal battles we all fight in the course of our lives. Whether you are a scholar, an athlete, both (like Tori) or neither, this is a universal experience. Through the seemingly impossible goals the author sets for herself --- whether it is through her academic endeavors, career choice, or the row across the Atlantic --- she attempts to defeat these demons. She isn't always successful, in fact, her first attempt to row across the Atlantic ends in failure, and this defeat almost ends her battle. But that defeat ultimately leads Tori to understand that her demons are what, in fact, make her human. The human battle described within these pages is the facet of the book that I found so compelling. Tori's adventure appeals broadly--not just to super-athletes--but to all of us who have taken up, abandoned, revived, achieved and learned from our personal journeys.
Read this book for an inspiring story about one woman's quest to understand herself. You'll recognize yourself in Tori's human voice and take heart. She takes us on her adventure to be the first woman to successfully row across the Atlantic, and ultimately, on her quest for happiness.
Reviewed by Keiyam1
A Pearl in the Storm