My Rick Steves book contribution

Perhaps my luck in the travel world started from birth. I grew up a few hours from Edmonds, just north of Seattle, the home of Rick Steves’ Europe Through the Back Door where hundreds of travellers and like-minded individuals work tirelessly to constantly update and improve guidebooks for those who want to enjoy Europe on a budget.
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Book review: The Devil’s Cup by Stewart Lee Allen

For all you caffeine fiends and java junkies out there, this is your book!

Stewart Lee Allen has travelled around the world and chronicled the history of the world according to coffee in The Devil’s Cup. From Ethiopia to India and from Paris to Oklahoma, this books leaves no ground unexplored – coffee grounds, that is.
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Book review: French Women Don’t Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano

French women must have magical powers. It seems they are somehow able to eat and drink whatever they want and still stay thin and healthy.

In French Women Don’t Get Fat: The Secret of Eating for Pleasure, author Mireille Guiliano helps us understand their secret of enjoying local, seasonal and delicious food while still staying healthy and happy.

With spring approaching and summer on the horizon, it’s a good time to learn from the French and not go on a diet but change your eating habits for good.
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Book review: Iris and Ruby by Rosie Thomas

Iris & Ruby is a book with two stories.  On one side, we have Ruby, a rebellious teenager, who leaves her family in England to seek refuge in Cairo with her grandmother Iris, who is practically a stranger.  On the other side, we have Iris, 82 years old at the time of Ruby’s arrival, remembering different parts of her younger life. In Ruby’s time with Iris, both women are pushed to their limits. Ruby grows more mature as she spends more times with Iris and Iris sees Ruby’s teenage passion and remembers her own youthfulness.
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Book review – Hokkaido Highway Blues: Hitchhiking Japan by Will Ferguson

A few months ago I read Hokkaido Highway Blues: Hitchhiking Japan (also under the title Hitching Rides With Buddha) by Will Ferguson and it’s recently been on my mind. Between Japan being hit with an earthquake and tsunami, the sakura zensen (cherry blossom front) passing the country and my current week-long trip to Vancouver where I’m attending a Cherry Blossom event, it feels very applicable today. While it didn’t completely enthrall me like a really good book would, it was still a book I couldn’t put down because I knew it was teaching me really interesting and culturally important stuff.
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