#BookADay: Travel Book Recommendation

Weekday Wanderlust (WW) is a monthly gathering of travelers, writers, adventurers, and story lovers at the Hotel Rex in San Francisco. In March 2014, I queued at the crowded bar to order a glass of wine. While I waited, I met Lisa Alpine. We easily chatted and I instantly liked her. Learned that she is a world traveler, writer, dancer, and lives part-time in Hawaii where I was born. Like me, she has an adult child. I also learned that she would be one of the guest speakers at the April WW meeting. A road trip to Bend, OR to visit family kept me from hearing her speak in April, but we met again at the May WW gathering.

On June 12, 2014, she had a book release party for Wild Life: Travel Adventures of a Worldly Woman at The Depot Bookstore & Cafe in Mill Valley, CA. When I entered the bookstore I made a beeline to the register where it was stacked. Exotic Life:  Travel Tales of an Adventurous Woman was stacked opposite of Wild Life; I purchased both books. Lisa later told me I should read the former first since some of the stories in that one are connected to the latter.

Exotic Life is a wonderful collection of short stories about Lisa’s adventures around the world. I read the book in a day. Her ability to encapsulate an experience, an emotion, or a connection to place or person is richly summed up, sometimes in the space of a loaded sentence. I reread certain parts. Beautifully illustrated in the figurative sense. Haunting. Longing. Painful. My favorite chapter was “Breaking Open Guadalupe,” maybe because I identified with it so much. Looking forward to reading Wild Life and vicariously transporting myself to another place and time thanks to Lisa.


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