Most of the book review blogs I now visit and read I discovered during last year’s event. It is extremely difficult to choose just one, as there are so many talented reviewers out there with many different genres and styles. I do not have a favourite, yet the question asks us to pick one, so after much thought I would say Bermudaonion’s Weblog. Kathy has a diverse list of books ranging from classics to YA and she happens to have a fondness for Unbridled Books as well as Reagan Arthur books which makes my heart sing. She has not convinced me to try any of the YA books (no one has), however she is giving away a copy of Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins today, so stop by her website.
Title: My Maasai Life: From Suburbia to Savannah
Author: Robin Wiszowaty
Publisher: Greystone Books; Reprint edition
Publication Date: September 7, 2010
Paperback: 300 pages
Genre: Non-fiction, Memoir
A memoir of a girl’s choice to leave childhood comforts behind to live in her adoptive country of Kenya
Growing up in suburban Illinois, Robin Wiszowaty never pictured herself living with an impoverished Maasai family in rural Kenya. Yet in her early twenties Wiszowaty embarked on an incredible journey that would shake her from complacency, take her to unimaginable locales, and change her life forever. My Maasai Life follows Wiszowaty’s remarkable voyage as she explores some of the most remote areas of East Africa and has her eyes opened to the diverse issues facing the fascinating Maasai people.
After high school and during college it is not uncommon for one to question what one wants out of life, however, rarely does one hear a student declare they are selling their belongings to live with a semi-nomadic tribe in Kenya, yet this is what Robin Wiszowaty did and writes about in her memoir My Maasai Life.
Robin grew up in a nice middle-class family with two siblings and two loving parents yet something just was not settled in her. While in college she decided she needed to distance herself and before long her parents were bidding her safe travels as she boarded a plan for Kenya. After a few weeks in Nairobi taking Swahili lessons and learning about the Maasai, the semi-nomadic tribe she would be living with in the southern region of the Great Rift Valley, she found herself in her second home, being greeted by her Mama and by her Kokoo, who together gave her the Maasai name of Naserian and soon found herself meeting her four new brothers and two new sisters.
My Maasai Life is an extraordinarily beautiful and blunt look at life in Kenya, primarily in Maasailand, through the eyes of a young, middle-class American whose experience living as part of the Maasai proves to be an invaluable lesson. Wiszowaty writes about her experiences in a beautiful and reverent manner, the reader will feel as though they are witnessing what Robin is experiencing as she takes the reader through the day-to-day activities as well as the cultural differences, practices, and beliefs. The similarities and differences are astonishing and a reader would be hard pressed to come away from this book unchanged. Wiszowaty wants the reader to understand the Maasai, to see the beauty they see, share in their joys, sorrows and of course the suffering brought on by poverty. Words truly fail me when I try to describe how profoundly this memoir affected me. It is my hope that all readers will pick-up a copy of My Maasai Life, if for no other reason than it is an unforgettable memoir.
Robin Wiszowaty, born and raised in Schaumburg, Illinois, currently resides in her adoptive home of Kenya. She currently serves as Free The Children’s Kenya Projects Director.
I received a complimentary copy of My Maasai Life by Robin Wiszowaty from Little Bird Publicity. Receiving a copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned novel.
A French teacher who collects fiancés; a fortune-teller who fails to predict the heartbreak of her own daughter; an aging cowboy seduced by a city girl . . . these are some of the unforgettable people who live in these pages.
In Vanishing and Other Stories, secrets are both kept and unearthed, and lives are shaped by missing lovers, parents, and children. With wisdom and dexterity, moments of dark humor, and a remark- able economy of words, Deborah Willis captures an incredible array of characters that linger in the imagination and prove that nothing is ever truly forgotten.
Vanishing and Other Stories by Deborah Willis is a beautiful and emotional composition of short stories linked together with a common theme of loss. While not one to usually enjoy short stories, I found myself unable to put the book down as I greedily went from one story to the next in eager anticipation. Willis’ use of prose is both lyrical and deeply emotional, moving the reader in each of her fourteen stories, with the commonality of something missing; this continuity of the theme keeps the stories flowing smoothly. Willis’ descriptive use of imagery, circumstances and an eclectic ensemble of characters make Willis’ stories intense, emotional, interesting and deeply engrossing. Vanishing and Other Stories is a beautiful work of literary fiction and I would not hesitate to recommend Vanishing and Other Stories to any reader.
Deborah Willis’s work has appeared in the Bridport Prize Anthology, Event, and Grain, and she was a winner of PRISM International’s annual fiction prize. Short-listed for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction and long-listed for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, Vanishing and Other Stories is her first book of fiction.
For more reviews of the book, please follow the book tour.
I received a complimentary copy of Vanishing and Other Stories by Deborah Willis from TLC Book Tours to be a part of this tour and offer my honest review of the book. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned book.
It’s Monday What Are you Reading is the perfect way for me to begin my week and allows me to focus on what needs to be read and to see what I have or have not accomplished the previous week. I also enjoy discovering new books by visiting other participants blogs.
I Read and Reviewed (click the title to be taken to the review):
- The Hypnotist by M.J. Rose
- Last to Die by Kate Brady
- What Alice Knew: A Most Curious Tale of Henry James and Jack the Ripper by Paula Marantz Cohen by Kristina Riggle *tie for favourite book of the week
- Ugly As Sin by Toni Raiten-D’Antonio
- The Home For Broken Hearts by Rowan Coleman
- For the King’s Favor by Elizabeth Chadwick *tie for favourite book of the week
- Terminal Care by Christopher Stookey
- For Time & Eternity by Allison Pittman
- Mr. Darcy’s Little Sister by C. Allyn Pierson
- The Good Daughters by Joyce Maynard
- Vanishing by Deborah Willis
- My Maasai Life by Robin Wiszowaty
- Naked In Eden by Robin Easton
- A Geography of Secrets by Frederick Reuss
- Blue Nude by Elizabeth Rosner
- The Book of Unholy Mischief by Elle Newmark
- The Gendarme by Mark T. Mustian
- Lies My Mother Never Told Me by Kaylie Jones
- The Black Madonna by Davis Bunn
- Fixing Freddie by Paula Munier
- Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer
- A Memory Between Us by Sarah Sundin
This week I am planning to read: