Sunday, April 29, 2012

Birthday Boy

My boy is turning 22 today!  I've been missing him a lot lately--his quiet ways, soft nose, and steady clip clop.  I'm so thankful for the countless happy memories we've shared out riding among the hills. 

Happy Birthday, Charlie!
♥, Molly

Friday, April 27, 2012

Memoirs of a Giesha


Another hostel find.  Another quick read. 

It's an interesting (though fictional) glimpse into the life of a geisha working in Kyoto, Japan before and after World War II.  I'm sure it's full of stereotypes but I honestly don't know enough about Japanese culture to sort between the truths and the fallacies.  The main character does a beautiful job of narrating her life, but after awhile I wanted to smack her.  Her identity is wholly dependent on the love of a certain character.  The sappy ending was also a bit much.  When I think of it as "memoir" it bothers me.  When I think of it as fairytale, then it's much easier to like.

♥, Molly

Monday, April 23, 2012

It's Not About the Bike


It's always interesting to exchange books at the hostel. On one hand, the selection can be less than ideal.  On the other, it nudges you towards books you might otherwise ignore.  I found this little book sandwiched between 15 books in German, the 3 Paul Coelho novels, and a token Stephen King title.  Although skeptical at first, I actually consider it a decent find.

Let me be clear:  Lance is defintely a better biker than writer.  (Then again, I've never read a sports memoir.  Maybe his isn't so bad?)  Even if  putting his experiences into words isn't his strength, choosing to write a good story with his life kind of speaks for itself.  He's had to overcome intense challenges, puts his whole heart into what he's doing, lives an extremely disciplined and dedicated life, and never ever gives up.  If you can read past his sexist comments and the way he doesn't always treat people very nicely, you start to cheer for him and you want to see the underdog win.

On a more personal note, the #1 reason I liked this book was because I was able to relate to his experience with cancer.  The unknowns, the hundreds of trips to the hospital, his frustration with being sick, the floundering during "survivorship," and the battle for his thoughts were all too familiar.  His long, painful, and extremely difficult road to recovery somehow makes my road seem easier.  His determination, his commitment, and his appreciation for life are clearly inspiring.  It's obvious why he became an American hero.

♥, Molly

P.S. I was disappointed to learn that after the publication of his book he seems to have lost focus.  He divorced his wife (whom he openly adores in his book), faced several messy doping allegations, and was associated with a few too many racing scandals.  Bummer.

Friday, April 20, 2012

On the Road


According to, the average reader only gets through 5 books a year.  Thanks to On the Road I'm proudly wearing my "5 Book" badge.  Yay! 

However, don't mistake my cheering as praise for this book.  I know it's well loved, but I really didn't like it.  It was just too depressing.  The more I read, the more unhappy I felt--like I was absorbing the characters' dissatisfaction with life, their constant searching, their lack of fulfillment.  The selfishness of it all really got to me.  So many people hurting one another, leaving spouses and kids behind, lying, taking advantage, throwing away potential, etc. etc. etc.

At least I have to give this book props for being honest.  Life is hard.  Hurt people hurt people. Happiness is fleeting.  True, true, true.  BUT a downer isn't exactly what I'm looking for when I pick travel books.  If you do read it, prepare yourself--it's going to be bleak.

♥, Molly 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Hobbit


A good little adventure book.  It's much easier (and more enjoyable) to read than The Lord of the Rings.  Plus, did I hear they're making a movie?

♥, Molly

Saturday, April 14, 2012



Beautiful description.  Flat plot.  Magic realism.  Interesting characters.  Unanswered questions.
Not the greatest, but at least it's good enough to make me want to see the movie.

♥, Molly

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Down Under

If it weren't for school holidays, I'm not sure I would ever finish a book.  When I try to read before bed, I usually seem to nod off after the first paragraph.  (And I'm not exaggerating--according to my fitbit, it usually only takes me 7 minutes from the time I lie down to the time I fall asleep!)  Thankfully, travel time usually means good reading time.  I was able to finish 6 books while I was in Vietnam.

I started my trip with this book.  It's actually my first Bill Bryson book--but certainly not my last.  He has a funny, easy-to-read, informative style that makes you turn the pages faster than you think.  I've been wanting to go to Australia for a bit and this book only fueled the fire.  Aside from so many deadly creatures (on which this book places significant emphasis!) it sounds like an amazing country.  Yes, thanks to this book, Australia just got bumped up a few notches on my ASAP destination list.

♥, Molly

Sunday, April 8, 2012

aaand we're back!

not only back, but back with an abundance of stories and pictures to prove it! 

spring break in vietnam was delightful.  i certainly live a charmed life.
♥, molly