With a view like that how can you not lay in a hammock and read? One of our favorite pastimes in Costa Rica on this vacation was reading. When we went on this trip the one thing that I wanted to do was sit on the beach and read a book. I got to do this everyday and I couldn't have been happier. The Doctor even started reading a book, something he insists he hasn't done for fun in a long time. I finished two books while I was on vacation.
I Know You're Out There
This was a book that I picked up after a former employee recommended it on this blog. It was supposed to be very "David Sedaris" so I figured it would be worth a shot. The main idea of the story is that the author works for a newspaper in the personals. He tells his story through his experiences at the newspaper. The personals are a centerpiece but they are also used as a reflection of his own relationships. When I picked up this title I was expecting to get some insight on the authors life, but I was expecting to read more about his job at the personals. I won't say that I am disappointed in the book as a whole it was just not what I was expecting. Overall it was a light read and it was very enjoyable. He wrote with a great sense of humor, this was a perfect book for a vacation.
A Year In The Merde
This was another recommendation, and while I enjoyed I Know You're Out There, I loved A Year in the Merde... and not just because he was brutal in his criticism of the French. (Sorry French readers and friends). His humor and his experiences were so entertaining I loved every minute of reading the book.
As the book jacket says this is a book for Francophiles and Francophobes, and it is an enjoyable read for the armchair traveler such as myself. The author creates the story of an ex pat living in France for a job, and his character is a fierce observer of those funny aspects of living in a country different from your own. Paul West (the main character) is a thirty something British man who has come to Paris for a job opening a bunch of English tearooms (I pictured the British version of Starbucks) who is in Paris to open a string of very English tearooms. There are a number of obstacles Paul faces in Paris including difficult employees (even more so than some of mine, a tyrannic boss, numerous strikes and of course doge merde in the streets. On the positive not for Mr. West he also endeavours into the adventures of love while in Paris. Some go well, others do not, most of them end. This is an interesting adventure through French life, and is laugh out loud funny. I would recommend picking it up.