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How Much Do You Read on Vacation?

15 Jul

Readers, I need advice!

I’m leaving Wednesday for a two-week vacation. My husband and I are doing it all carry-on only! So, that, unfortunately, means no books! I can hear you all gasp in horror. I’ll clarify. That means no print books. If you know me, you know I’m a dedicated print reader so I’m going out of my comfort zone and doing ebooks on my phone for this trip. I have one I’m in the middle of and one more downloaded and, well, that’s it!

I’m nervous I don’t have enough. I’m 90% sure I can download more while I’m abroad but I know there are weird phone rules with some services and I’d prefer to have books on my phone before we head out. I think I might have enough? Maybe? I don’t know!

We have several flights on this trip so there will be a good amount of time spent waiting in airports. I think that will be the majority of my reading time. I’ve packed the rest of our days pretty full.

How much do you all read on vacation? Would two books be enough for anyone out there? I feel like I’m really skimping but I’m also being a bit logical about my time. Would you suggest another book? …or two?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

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WWW Wednesday, 11-July-2018

11 Jul

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: I’m still slowly making my way through The Post-Birthday World by Lionel Shriver. I have a feeling it’s about to take a dark twist so I’m excited and finding more and more time to devote to reading it. I’ll for sure finish it in Europe if not before!
I started up with Dreams of Joy by Lisa See again. Thankfully I haven’t forgotten anything and I’ve been able to dive back in with no problem. I have the audiobook for another two weeks so I hope I can finish it in time!
It’s embarrassing but I’m still reading The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan. It’s hard to read a lot of a non-fiction book like this in one go. I’m doing pretty good, though, and making steady progress. I can’t wait to be done with it.
I’ve just started The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan. It’s not as long as I thought it would be but I’ll still be a couple weeks working on this one. I’m just excited to be onto another audiobook, I felt like the Meltzer one went on for too long at the end.

Recently finished: I wrapped up The Fifth Assassin by Brad Meltzer on Sunday morning. It’s the second in a series of three but I’m not sure if I’m going to continue with the series. If I do, I’ll be in no rush to get to it. I’m not even sure what the last book is called if I’m being honest. My review went up yesterday and I gave it Three out of Five Stars.
I also finished Critical Chain by Eliyahu Goldratt over the weekend. It was a good weekend of finishing books and hurriedly writing reviews of them. This one was just what I was expecting and I enjoyed Goldratt’s method of teaching business lessons through a novel. I gave this one Three out of Five Stars as well.

Reading Next: I’ll start Brainiac by Ken Jennings as soon as I can but I’m nervous about finishing it before I leave for Europe! I’ll have to return it to the library before I go. I’m hoping I can fly through it, even though it’s another non-fiction. I’m guessing it will be a lighter topic.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Book Review: The Fifth Assassin by Brad Meltzer (3/5)

10 Jul

I throw a thriller into the mix every once in a while, just to keep things fresh. Meltzer has been a go-to author for a while since I picked up a few autographed versions of his books at an author event a few years back. I’ve turned to audiobooks for a few of them just to save myself some reading time. They also make for good distractions while driving.

Cover image via Goodreads

The Fifth Assassin (Culper Ring #2) by Brad Meltzer

Other books by Meltzer reviewed on this blog:

The Book of Fate
The Book of Lies 
The Inner Circle (Culper Ring #1) and Book Club Reflection
Meeting Author Brad Meltzer

Summary from Goodreads:

From John Wilkes Booth to Lee Harvey Oswald, there have been more than two dozen assassination attempts on the President of the United States.

Four have been successful.

But now, Beecher White discovers a killer in Washington, D.C. who’s meticulously re-creating the crimes of these four men. Historians have branded them as four lone wolves. But what if they are wrong?

Beecher is about to discover the truth: that during the course of a hundred years, all four assassins were secretly working together. What was their purpose? For whom do they really work? And why are they planning to kill the current President?

Beecher’s about to find out. And most terrifyingly, he’s about to come face-to-face with the fifth assassin.

It’s been a few years since I read the first book in this series but I was able to pick up on things pretty quickly as I went along. I’ve read a few Meltzer books now and it always catches me off guard when people show up in more than one of his books. It makes them all run together a bit more than I’d like, but it’s also a nice touch to those who have read a lot of his books. My frustration with this one was that it felt too much like all of his book. Presidential thrillers don’t allow for too much variety because they’re going to involve a lot of politics and Secret Service and likely a good amount of presidential history. There’s not much more to it than that. These books can get a bit repetitive if you read too many in a row so I’ll probably take a break for a while.

Credibility isn’t something I look for in characters in this kind of book. The fact that the characters are unbelievable is part of their appeal. Nico isn’t a normal religious fanatic or assassin. Beecher is much more than an archivist. Something’s fishy about the small time Beecher, Marshall, and Clementine come from and none of it is believable. If it were, it wouldn’t be fun.

I didn’t really have a favorite character in this book. None of them were very likable to me. In the end, I think Marshall was my favorite, but I still didn’t care for him much. His motivation ended up being great and, without spoiling anything, he was very different from what everyone thought and ended up being a great, deep new character for this series. If I read more, it will only be to answer questions I have about Marshall and his background.

These characters were hard to relate to but I didn’t expect that out of this genre. I’ve never suspected my father’s death was faked or that there was government interference in my run-ins with old friends. Beecher’s life is a bit too fantastical to be relatable to a 20-something in the Midwest working in Automotive.

Brad Meltzer and me

I thought the trip to Camp David was pretty cool. It seemed well researched for a place no media has seen. I wonder how much of it was made it. I bought the whole thing. I’ve never thought too much about the Camp and how remote it is before. That’s really great that the President has somewhere like that to retreat to.

I’m not sure how much this book advanced the plot of the trilogy. It was good as a stand-alone but Clementine, Nico, Wallace, and Beecher didn’t change much as a result of this book. If Meltzer wanted Nico free and Marshall introduced, I think that could have been done much simpler at the beginning of a book that was going to advance the plot more. Maybe I’d have to read the third book to understand the significance of what’s happened in this one but now, I’m shrugging my shoulders a bit.

The audiobook was narrated by Scott Brick. He did a good job building tension through eventful scenes. He didn’t differentiate his voice much for characters and it threw me off a few times but over twelve disks, that was almost negligible. I don’t have too much very positive or very negative to say on this narration. It was good but not stand-out.

This genre doesn’t lend itself well to themes and morals. I guess not trusting your government could be part of it but you could just as easily derive the history of playing cards being critical to major assassinations. It seems silly to try too hard to gather a moral message from this one.

Writer’s Takeaway: Meltzer had me guessing until the end who the Knight would be and what role Marshall would play in the book. Sometimes these things can seem overly obvious in thrillers but it was disguised well here. I think this is a good trick for any writer to master because it helps build tension in a story and can make for a very exciting conclusion.

This was a good book for its genre but I wasn’t in the right mood for it. Three out of Five Stars

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Posts:
Book Review – The Fifth Assassin by Brad Meltzer | Tim Busbey
Book Review: The Fifth Assassin by Brad Meltzer | Just Rochelle

 

Book Review: Critical Chain by Eliyahu Goldratt (3/5)

9 Jul

Y’all, I finished a book! I know, I’m shocked, too. I may have cooked some chicken a few minutes longer than needed to finish it up, but we don’t need to talk about that. I’m so glad to have something finished to share here and be able to move on to some other books.

Cover Image via Goodreads

Critical Chain by Eliyahu Goldratt

Summary from Goodreads:

“Critical Chain,” a gripping fast-paced business novel, does for Project Management what Eli Goldratt’s other novels have done for Production and Marketing. Dr. Goldratt’s books have transformed the thinking and actions of management throughout the world.

If you’re unfamiliar with Goldratt, you probably didn’t study business in higher education. His book, The Goal, is considered a must-read for anyone studying production or supply chain. I read it in my undergraduate and enjoyed it, despite it being for an operations course. I liked how Goldratt combined characters and a plot to tell his theory rather than writing a paper or textbook. I was glad to read another of his books, this time about project management.

Given that Goldratt’s characters are created to tell you about business theory, they’re fairly well developed. Rick Silver and his wife have a very believable marriage and the three employees at Genemodem each have their own personalities and strengths. I honestly didn’t expect much from the character development but was happily surprised.

Rick was a very likable character. I felt bad for him when it came to his relationship with his wife and I admired him for his teaching styles and abilities. I would have loved to take a class with him. I appreciated how he developed his theories and the work he put into his research. It was believable that he had to struggle to create the program he did. I liked that things weren’t just handed to him or easy for him.

I related to the three Genemodem characters. They saw a problem developing at work and they had no idea how to solve it. I think most employees feel that way pretty often! They were lucky enough to be given all the resources they needed and the means to solve their problem. No, it wasn’t easy, but they were able to do it. It helped that people were receptive to what they were saying because, you know, it’s a book about business.

Eliyahu Goldratt
Image via Historia y biografia

I liked the end when Rick was able to show his theories worked in practice and implemented them. I enjoy the way Goldratt introduced the theory and then had to fight through all the times that there are ‘exceptions’ and show how they’re not really exceptions at all. The one with the contracts was my favorite because there was no way being late could be a good thing for this theory. I thought the way it was explained was good.

There wasn’t a part of this book I particularly disliked. The pacing was good and I knew I was getting a lesson in project management and the theory of constraints even though it read like a novel. It was what I expected out of it and nothing more or less.

The audiobook was narrated by Alexander Cendese. I got some of the students mixed up from time to time because his voices for them were very similar but I think there were one too many students anyway. I also didn’t like his voice for the women, it seemed condescending which I was OK with for Janice but it bothered me for Ruth. Ruth was a smart and able woman and her voice made her seem like an oblivious airhead.

I think Goldratt got his theory across well. It would be good to have a more concise summary of the theory if one was trying to implement it so that you weren’t searching through this whole book for what to do when a shared resource is a bottleneck. The idea of the critical chain came up very late in the book. For it being the title, I was expecting it to be prevalent much earlier. It’s a really great idea and I hope it’s widely used now.

Writer’s Takeaway: I’m far from an academic but I can see how this is an odd format for someone writing about a theory they have. I think Goldratt has been so successful because it’s much more engaging. Jesus told stories in parables and Goldratt spews business theory hidden in novels. People learn and remember better when something is relatable and they can see the application. I think he’s onto something good with this style.

I enjoyed this book and learned a lot but I miss fiction a bit so my rating has been lowered. Three out of Five Stars.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 4-July-2018

4 Jul

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: I’m a quarter of the way through The Post-Birthday World by Lionel Shriver. I’m enjoying it still, just a matter of having lunchtimes to read it. Maybe I’ll try leaving the office for lunch a bit more this week since it’s a slow one.
I’ve got Dreams of Joy by Lisa See back but I’m hoping to finish Critical Chain first. I just want to finish a darn book! We’ll see how it times up.
I’m still working on The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan which I’m embarrassed to admit. I’m trying to make more time to devote to reading it but the subject is so dense that it’s hard to read a lot at once.
I am really close to finishing The Fifth Assassin by Brad Meltzer which is encouraging. I was hoping to have this one finished this week, but it looks like I’m waiting one more week. Sigh.
I’m getting close to finishing Critical Chain by Eliyahu Goldratt as well. I think this one will be finished off within the week, hopefully, sooner so I can get back to my other audiobooks.

Recently finished: No comment.

Reading Next: I’ve been so tempted to start Brainiac by Ken Jennings every time I read four pages of Friedan and put it back down. I want a book to binge and enjoy and I’m hoping this can be it!
The audiobook is all set and ready for The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan. Just got to finish Meltzer and I’ll start it immediately.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

‘Murder on the Orient Express’ (2017) Movie Review

3 Jul

Movie Poster via Wikipedia

I won’t lie, I watched this movie because I didn’t have time to finish a book and write a review here for you all. I’ve been wanting to see this one for a while so it was a good kick in the pants to finally rent it and watch. I figured that anything with Johnny Depp and Kenneth Branagh would be worth seeing.

Things I Thought Were Awesome

All of the characters. I remember getting many of them confused while listening to the audiobook. Being able to see a face to go with the name was beyond helpful and made the movie much more enjoyable.

The train. It was so beautiful! I’m contemplating a train trip in the next few years and I’ll be sadly disappointed if the train doesn’t look like that. My husband says I’m going to be sadly disappointed by Amtrak.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

Dr. Constantine. I honestly forgot about him until reviewing the original book. His absence was very minor and not a bit loss for the film. I thought it was good to reduce the number of characters, even just a little.

Dr. Arbuthnot. Here’s how they got away with it so well. By making Arbuthnot a doctor, they were able to use his skills in that field and fill in anything missed. Sly. It was also interesting that they decided to add some racial diversity with the casting. I thought it was great to address racial tensions at the time of the story with him.

Cover image via Goodreads.com

Things That Were Taken Out and I’m Still Wondering Why

I honestly can’t think of anything that was left out. It seems more was added to round out the run time of this movie. Granted, it’s been a while since I read it so I may have forgotten.

Things That Changed Too Much

Too much action. Chasing McQueen on the bridge and Mrs. Hubbard being stabbed were just a bit too much for me! The murder was gruesome enough for me and I didn’t need the added suspense. Maybe someone who didn’t know how it ended would feel differently, but I wasn’t a fan.

The ending. Spoilers in this one! But seriously, Poirot telling them to kill him so he won’t reveal his secret? Really, that was too much. As was Hubbard/Arden sacrificing her life. It was too dramatic for me. The book had a degree of calm to it despite the tragic situation that the movie seems to have tried to avoid at all costs.

Interestingly, I can also compare this movie to the BBC Poirot episode on the same book. I honestly liked the BBC version better. It was true to the book and didn’t deal with over-dramatics. I also liked the portrayal of Poirot better. Branagh’s version was a bit too comical and not a world-renown detective for me.

I’m buckling down with my reading with the sincere hopes of getting you a book review next week! I don’t want to be watching movies over and over to have something to talk about. Though, it is very relaxing. Reader, have you seen the 2017 Murder on the Orient Express movie? What did you think?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Challenge Update, June 2018

2 Jul

This was a rough month for reading. School took over and my books have me stuck in a bit of a rut. I’m hoping July can turn that around as I’m traveling and have dedicated reading time on the planes. Well, hopefully, that will be the case. You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page.

Books finished in June:

A Walk in the Woods // Bill Bryson (5/5)

Yep. That’s it. I’m embarrassed to type this. I’m in the middle of many books but I’ve really fallen behind the curve this month and not been able to dedicate much time to reading. It’s really hitting me over the head now that things have slowed down. Wow.

When Are You Reading? Challenge

7/12
No change this month. I’ll start looking at books that will help me round this one out pretty soon. I usually start purposeful picking after the summer’s over to finish without much stress through the holidays.

Goodreads Challenge

24/55
I went from ahead to three books behind! This is literally the worst status I’ve ever had in my four years of doing this challenge. I’m really determined to make up some ground now. I don’t want to be behind again next month!

Book of the Month

With no competition, the winner this month is clearly A Walk In The Woods by Bill Bryson. This book was really enjoyable and would likely have been my pick with some other contenders. The story was well told and had a good mix of memoir and fact. I’ve enjoyed my Bryson reads so far so there are likely more coming.

Added to my TBR

Same as last month, I’m at 96. I’m a bit proud of that but I added more books than I finished, which is probably a terrible thing for someone trying to shrink her TBR. I’ll get over it.

  • Burial Rites by Hannah Kent. I found out this is set in Iceland and I’ll be visiting this summer. If I can read it before I go, that’d be great, but I’m excited to just enjoy it anyway.
  • Artemis by Andy Weir. I’ve been talking about how good Weir is lately so it just makes sense that I have to add his latest to my list. I know I can’t compare the two, but I know I will anyway.

Personal Challenge

I used these monthly posts to keep myself accountable to my personal goals for 2017 and I’m excited to do that again this year. You all were so supportive before.

  • Graduate and keep my 4.0- I got my final grade over the weekend and I got an A for the summer semester! One more class to go this fall and I’ll be done!
  • Travel to Europe with my husband- Everything is booked and bought. We’re leaving next month and I’m ecstatic! I’ll post when I get home.
  • Complete a race per month- I had my first triathlon of the summer this month. It went OK. I’ve been struggling with calf cramping and it hit me in the middle of the bike. I still had a PR on the course, but I felt I could have gone faster.
  • Complete a 2018 Weather Blanket- I’m caught up through May but I’ve got to do this month. I’ll get to it on a dull evening.

How are your challenges going so far? I hope you’re off to a good start If you love historical fiction, give some thought to my challenge for 2018, it’s fun!

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 27-June-2018

27 Jun

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: I think I made it through one chapter of The Post-Birthday World by Lionel Shriver. I’ve been studying during lunch when I can and finally got back to it some today. I’m really enjoying this book and its unusual format so I look forward to reading more when I can.
Still waiting on the hold of Dreams of Joy by Lisa See to come back. Sigh.
I didn’t finish The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan before the book club meeting and ended up skipping it in order to study a bit more. I felt bad, but I wasn’t sure how much I’d get out of the discussion if I was only a bit over half-way through it.
With all my driving to school, I’ve made great steps forward with The Fifth Assassin by Brad Meltzer. These books are fun and exciting but I do sometimes get frustrated feeling I’m kept in the dark. Toward the end, I’m sure everything will start to come together so I’m just looking forward to that.
Critical Chain by Eliyahu Goldratt has been a good read for me so far. I don’t read many business books because I’m usually trying to escape from B-School by reading, but Goldratt makes it all seem more fun by giving his stories a plot.

Recently finished: Let’s not talk about it. Maybe next week?

Reading Next: I’m not going to start Brainiac by Ken Jennings until I finish Friedan. I have to keep telling myself that since the book is so tempting right on my bedside table…
I forgot to cancel my hold on another car audiobook so I have The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan ready to go when I finish Meltzer. I think another week or so and I’ll be able to start this one.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 20-June-2018

20 Jun

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: Almost no progress on The Post-Birthday World by Lionel Shriver this week. School ends next week and it’s in high gear now so I did a lot of textbook reading during my lunches. I hope to return to it soon.
I am very disappointed to say that I lost my hold on Dreams of Joy by Lisa See! I put a hold on it to get it back but it might be a bit before I’m able to jump back into this one.
I am starting to think I won’t finish The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan before my book club meeting. I’m out of free time until my class ends so I’m reading about ten pages a night, not enough to help me finish. Seeing as the meeting is the day before my final exam, I might skip it entirely.
I’ve made great progress in The Fifth Assassin by Brad Meltzer. I think that’s solid proof of how seldom I’m home! I’m about halfway through the book now and I should easily finish before I leave for Europe. I don’t want a lingering audiobook while I’m gone.
I started another eaudiobook while I wait for Joy to come back. I started Critical Chain by Eliyahu Goldratt. I’m enjoying it so far and it’s very relevant to the business class I’m taking. It’s not too long so I should wrap it up in a week or two.

Recently finished: Nothing! I’m moving slowly now but I’m optimistic that it will pick up soon. It has to, right?

Reading Next: I’m very tempted to pick up Brainiac by Ken Jennings since Mystique is dragging so much for me. This one looks fun and full of trivia facts. That seems so far off now…


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

‘A Walk In the Woods’ Movie Review

19 Jun

Image via Movie Poster Shop

It’s been a while since I read a book that had been turned into a movie and it was a nice break. It let me say to my husband on Saturday, “I have to watch this movie!” I enjoyed A Walk In the Woods a lot as an audiobook and I was curious how it would be turned into a movie so it was a delight to see this and see how things developed.

Things I Thought Were Awesome

Nick Nolte. I had an idea in my heads of what Katz would look and act like, much of it derived from the narrator of the audiobook. Nolte didn’t hit it exactly, but he was pretty darn close! I enjoyed his portrayal and how he struggled with the hiking but became so much better as the film went on. When he wanted to give up, he let Bill talk him out of it. That was a lot of growth from when he got off the plane.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

Katz’s drinking. I’m glad this still got brought up. I thought with the direction the film was going that it would be cut since it was at the end of the book. It was one of Katz’s biggest demons and another big moment of growth for his character.

Running into bears. This was a bit much for me. The two did run into some kind of creature (I suspect a bobcat) but the encounter was nowhere near as exciting as the one in the film. It seemed a bit too convenient that the bears were scared off by the men in their tents. Honestly, that wouldn’t always work.

Cover image via Goodreads

Things That Were Taken Out and I’m Still Wondering Why

Nature facts. Toward the end, Bill goes off about the American Chestnut but it’s the first time he’s talked about nature or the trail at all for their entire trip. The book had Bill giving facts about the trail’s history and the landscape they’re walking through the whole time. Why take it out at the beginning and leave only the Chestnut?

Things That Changed Too Much

Not stopping in Tennessee. When Katz brought up fast forwarding the trip, I was ready for it. The Smokey’s were the worst part of the trip for both of them. I was really surprised when Bill kept going and they didn’t skip ahead to Virginia. That was a bit too much for me.

Not taking a break and coming back to it. I didn’t like the pace of hiking the trail in the book, but this was weird. Instead of taking the summer apart and Bill hiking parts of the trail by himself, they stopped completely in Virginia. In my mind, they weren’t as close to ‘finishing it’ as they came in the book. They had all of New England that wasn’t touched. Either way, the book and movie fell short of what I was hoping for in the story, but the movie even more so.

This was what I was looking for in a fun read about hiking and being outside. I’ve been couped up inside with school projects and I’d love to get out like Katz and Bill. Reader, have you seen the A Walk in the Woods movie? What did you think?

Until next time, write on.

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