Tag Archives: Cabin Pressure

WWW Wednesday, 7-May-2014

7 May

I feel more in control of my reading now. I hope it’s not a false sense of security. I’m glad MizB’s WWW forces me to deal with my obsession. www_wednesdays4The Three Ws are:

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

Currently reading: I’m going to pick up The Geography of Memory by Jeanne Murray Walker today and get started on that again. I was really enjoying it so we’ll see where this goes. On my phone I’m reading The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson. I’m slowly getting more and more into this one. Slowly. I’ve also started The Maze Runner by James Dashner. You can expect to see this on my list for a few months because it’s my first Read-Along selection. If you’re interested in joining, let me know soon before we get too far along! We’ll have read Chapters 1-9 by May 10th. I’ve finished the selection and now I’m working on writing some good questions to ask my fellow readers. On audiobook I just started I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak. The narrator is amazing and I’m really getting into it. I just joined a carpool so my audiobook usage is going to go down significantly but I’ll keep working on this one.

Recently finished: I finished Cabin Pressure by Josh Wolk. I posted my review of it yesterday. I still owe you all a few more reviews. I’m working on them, I promise! Work has been a bit hectic but I’ll have catch-up time this weekend. Last night I finished  The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa. It was a really quick and fun read. I’m looking forward to the book club discussion.

Reading Next:  I still want to read my NaNo book, so that’s the plan! I’ve got to get that re-written this year.

You can see the numbers really are going down. What are your three Ws? Leave a comment and let me know and also check out the original post on MizB’s blog!

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: Cabin Pressure by Josh Wolk (4/5). Reminder that being a grown-up is awesome.

6 May

As a kid, I went to sleep-away camp a few times. Northern Michigan is filled with wonderful week-long camps for sports, music, whatever you want to explore. I remember orchestra camp in particular. Probably because I had to lug a cello around the woods for a week. That’s pretty darn memorable. My book calendar from 2013 suggested this title and I was excited to reminisce.

Cover Image via Goodreads.com

Cover Image via Goodreads.com

Cabin Pressure: One Man’s Desperate Attempt to Recapture his Youth as a Camp Counselor by Josh Wolk

On the brink of turning thirty-four and almost on the eve of his wedding, Josh Wolk decides that there’s no better way to say goodbye to his bachelor status than to spend a summer as a counselor at his old boys camp in Maine, Camp Eastwinds. Leaving his fiance to work through wedding details, Josh ventures into the woods to teach swimming and life lessons to 14-year-olds who sleep five feet from him. What Josh learns from a summer of adolescent humor, faked enthusiasm, and genuine human connection is that he’s ready for a change but he’ll always be the same person he was when he first started at Camp Eastwinds

This book was a much-needed breath of fresh air for me. I read a lot of heavy and blah books around this one and I needed to remember that books can be funny. My break from writing reviews and summaries was to put my headphones on, turn on Cabin Pressure, and take a walk to the park. I split it up over a long time and the relaxed feeling I got from picturing this Maine camp filled with hyper campers and sarcastic counselors kept me smiling throughout.

Because the book is a memoir, I assume the characters are based on real people. I liked how distinct each of the counselors was, especially Mitch, Charlie, and Helen. I can’t recall the name of the Australian who shared a lunch table with Josh, but he was one of my favorites. Each of the campers had a wonderfully descriptive nickname, which helped me remember them. I remembered that Mensa liked to read and that Windup wouldn’t stop talking. I did think the kids seemed a bit younger than 14 from Josh’s description. I’m not claiming to have spent time with a large group of 14-year-olds, but the portrayal struck me as more like 11 than 14.

Josh’s fiancée, Christine, was my favorite character. Having gotten married less than a year ago, I know how stressful planning a wedding can be. As my husband graduated from college two weeks before our wedding, I had to do a lot of detail planning by myself as well. I think she faced the whole endeavor with a lot more grace and strength than I mustered. I loved her wit and the loving way Josh portrayed her let me know she is an amazing person. I loved the detail he gave about her gift-giving habits. I have a similar quirk about making things personal.

As I said in my intro, I did do a few summer camps as a kid. A lot of them were Girl Scout camps that I attended with my troop and our leaders, one of whom was my mother. Though I did do orchestra camp and I arrived only knowing my best friend, who had accompanied me. When I left, I had made some great friends, learned a lot about playing cello, and had brought myself out of my shell. I related to the boys’ experiences at camp and how it helped them grow as people. I wish I’d been able to go to the same camp for a few years in a row to know the sense of belonging that Josh felt.

My favorite parts of the book were the times Josh spent in the cabin with the boys, moderating their word games and finding their lost clothes. These felt the most real to me and so wonderfully commonplace that only the most connected could find the beauty in them. I think Wolk described them with enough detail that I was drawn in and could still enjoy the scene.

The counselor drama was my least favorite part of the book. When I was a camper, I didn’t want to know that the counselors didn’t like each other or resented each other. I wanted to think they were a big happy family when we weren’t around. It was a bit shattering to see the drama that exists behind the scenes. As if the kids didn’t have their own drama! Mitch added a lot of this and he was the closest thing Josh had to a nemesis in the book. However, he still seemed like an okay guy, just very different from Wolk in every way. He was more of a foil than a villain.

Wolk was able to explore the meaning of youth in this book. His co-counselor, Charlie was retired from the working world and still loved every minute of camp. Josh went through bouts of feeling old, but in the end had enough energy and pep to keep up with a pack of pubescent boys. It’s good to know that getting married isn’t the end of youth that Josh feared it might be. I guess I have some years left in my after all.

Writer’s Takeaways: The humor Wolk used kept me engaged. I don’t think all memoirs should be funny, but Wolk gives a good example of how to pepper it in without being cheesy or overwhelming. His similes were great and never failed to make me laugh. They were well placed to keep the tone light and playful.

A wonderful and needed lighthearted read. Four out of five stars and recommended for those who like a humorous memoir.

This book fulfilled ‘Maine’ for my Where Are You Reading? Challenge.

Until next time, write on.

Related Posts:
Under Pressure | Martin’s Musings
Review: CABIN PRESSURE by Josh Wolk | Michelle I. Mason

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!

Like this review? Like it on Goodreads!

WWW Wednesday, 30-April-2014

30 Apr

My number of in-process books is slowly going down. Slowly. It’s still a bit out of control. I’m glad MizB’s WWW forces me to deal with my obsession.
www_wednesdays4The Three Ws are:
What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently reading: I’ve got one book more or less on hold right now. It’s The Geography of Memory by Jeanne Murray Walker which is a Goodreads First Read I’ve been wanting to get into for months now. I hope to power through it in a few weeks when the book club stack slows down.

On audiobook I’m back to listening to Cabin Pressure by Josh Wolk. I think I’m getting close to the end on this one and I’ve really enjoyed it for the laughs.

I just started The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa for my book club. No report on it yet but I’ve heard it’s a fast read. On my phone I’m reading The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson. It’s slow going but it’s starting to get interesting again and I’m excited to keep at this one. I think it will be well worth it in the end. I’ve also started The Maze Runner by James Dashner. You can expect to see this on my list for a few months because it’s my first Read-Along selection. If you’re interested in joining, let me know soon before we get too far along! We’ll have read Chapters 1-9 by May 10th.

Recently finished: Finished one book Monday and one on Tuesday! I’m so glad I can report something. I finished the audiobook for And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini and a physical copy of The City and the City by China Mieville, which was a book club selection. Reviews coming… eventually!

Reading Next:  I want to re-read the book I wrote during NaNoWriMo so that’s next on my list. Sadly, no link to a webpage for it yet.

Phew that was long! What are your three Ws? Leave a comment and let me know and also check out the original post on MizB’s blog!

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, 23-April-2014

23 Apr

I’m always overwhelmed by my own post for WWW Wednesday hosted by MizB. I hope I can finish all the books I’m starting. Also, should I start including pictures? What do you all think?
www_wednesdays4The Three Ws are:
What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently reading: I feel like I’m adding more to this list than I’m taking off. I started reading The Geography of Memory by Jeanne Murray Walker which really excited me because I didn’t think I’d get to! This is a Goodreads First Read I got ages ago and haven’t been able to start. I’m only a little bit in and really enjoying it, but I’m putting it on hold because I’ve got a wave of book club books tumbling down on me. The first is The City and the City by China Mieville. Can anyone spell his name phonetically for me? I’m curious. It’s very science-fiction-y and that’s not usually my thing so we’ll see how this goes. So far, so good. On my phone I’m still working through The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson. It’s slow going here. The story is good, but not grabbing me the way I hoped it would. I hope it picks up soon.

On audio I’m about half way through And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini. I’m sad to announce that I’m not as into this story as I’d hoped to be. I’m hoping it’s a slow start, but it’s dragging a little. I think part of it is the narrators. Two of them have such strong accents that it distracts from how much I’m enjoying the story. I still have Cabin Pressure by Josh Wolk to listen to while I’m cooking and cleaning and I’m really enjoying this option. It makes cooking funny.

Recently finished: I finished reading Before You Know Kindness by Chris Bohjalian on Friday. I adored the book, a full 5 out of 5 stars. I’m writing the review now and it should be up next week. I got tweeted by the author and it made my day!

Reading Next:  I’ll be starting two more books in the next week. The first is The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa which is for my book club. It’s a short one so I’m hoping I won’t be held up on it for too long. The second is The Maze Runner by James Dashner. This is the book chosen for my first Read Along With Me series. We haven’t started yet and there’s still time to join. There’s more information here and you can email me at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com if you’re interested in joining us.

Phew that was long! What are your three Ws? Leave a comment and let me know and also check out the original post on MizB’s blog!

Be sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. You can see all of these on the right hand bar. (You know you want to.)

Until next time, write on.

WWW Wednesday, 16-April-2014

16 Apr

A couple of updates for this new installment of WWW Wednesday hosted by MizB. I hope I can keep up this reading pace!
www_wednesdays4The Three Ws are:
What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently reading: I’m getting toward the end of Before You Know Kindness by Chris Bohjalian. The book was a little slow to start, but Bohjalian is a beautiful writer and it kept me interested through the long yet necessary exposition. I have another of his books waiting on my shelf. I’m hoping to get it autographed when I hear him speak on the 30th! I know I said I put Cabin Pressure by Josh Wolk on hold but I’ve found time to listen to it while I clean or go on walks and it’s a nice thing to listen to at those times because it’s so darn funny. The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson is keeping me entertained on my phone. It’s going slowly, mostly because I read during breakfast only. And if I have to wait at the chiropractor. But mostly breakfast. I’m really excited to say that I started And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini. I’m lucky enough that I got to hear Hosseini speak when I was in school and he is such a wonderful person and writer. I have a ton of respect for him and I’m really excited to read this book! I’ve heard wonderful things.

Recently finished: I finished the audiobook for The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith. The review should be up next Tuesday, barring any emergency that might arise. I give it a 4/5.

Reading Next:  I might have time to squeeze in an ARC book, but probably not. Book club timing is pretty tight between my two groups. The next one up is The City and the City by China Mieville which sounds like a trippy science fiction. Jury’s out on how I’ll feel about it.

That’s it from me. What are your three Ws? Leave a comment and let me know and also check out the original post on MizB’s blog!

As a reminder, if you’re interested in doing a Read-Along, please respond to this post. There’s a poll where you can vote on what book you’d like to read. I’m closing the voting at 5 PM today (Eastern time). Be sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. You can see all of these on the right hand bar. (You know you want to.)

Until next time, write on.

WWW Wednesday, 9-April-2014

9 Apr

Being a part of MizB’s WWW Wednesday has really encouraged me to keep reading at a break-neck speed!www_wednesdays4The Three Ws are: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently reading: Last night I was finally able to pick up Before You Know Kindness by Chris Bohjalian. This is the next book for my book club and I wanted to pick it up right away, but had another book to finish first. I’m only 12 pages in, so no assessment yet. On audio book I put Cabin Pressure by Josh Wolk on hold. I was able to listen to a little while I was cleaning the other day, which kept me in a good mood while I vacuumed. The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith is my main audiobook focus. I’ve been listening on the way to and from work (as opposed to just on the way home as I normally do). I’m scared my next hold is going to come in before I finish it. These are my real problems. The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson is keeping me entertained on my phone. It’s going slowly, mostly because I read during breakfast only.

Recently finished: I finished Life After Life by Kate Atkinson last night! When I drafted this and realized I had no finished books to report on I was devastated! I’m glad I can report some progress today. Look for a review next week.

Reading Next:  As much as I want to read one of my own books, it will probably be a book club book. The next one up is The City and the City by China Mieville which sounds like a trippy science fiction. Not normally my cup of tea, but we’ll see how it goes.

That’s it from me. What are your three Ws? Leave a comment and let me know and also check out the original post on MizB’s blog! Until next time, write on.

WWW Wednesday, 2-April-2014

2 Apr

Being a part of MizB’s WWW Wednesday has been such a great experience. Please join in if you haven’t yet! www_wednesdays4The Three Ws are:
What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently reading: My co-worker lent me Life After Life by Kate Atkinson so I’ve started in on that. I’m about 200 pages in and it’s slowing down a bit, but I’ve heard it will pick back up. On audio book I put Cabin Pressure by Josh Wolk on hold. I will finish it, but I finally got The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith on audiobook! I’ve been waiting since October and it’s finally here! I’ll be powering through because I have another hold coming in soon. On my phone I’m still working through The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson. It’s getting slowly better, but it really is slowly.

Recently finished: After a year, I finally finished Harry Potter y la Orden del Fenix by J.K. Rowling! I’m so excited, it’s a huge accomplishment for me.

Reading Next: I shouldn’t even try to tell you what I’m reading next at this point. I guess I can say for sure that I’ll be reading Before You Know Kindness by Chris Bohjalian for my book club. I’m going to hear him speak at the end of the month so you can look forward to a review and pictures of that as well! Yay!

That’s it from me. What are your three Ws? Leave a comment and let me know and also check out the original post on MizB’s blog!

Until next time, write on.

WWW Wednesday, 26-Mar-2014

26 Mar

Being a part of MizB’s WWW Wednesday meme is making me read faster! I want to be able to post about different books each week!

www_wednesdays4The Three Ws are:

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

Currently reading: If you’ve been following me it should be no surprise that I’m still reading Harry Potter y la Orden del Fenix by J.K. Rowling. But what will surprise you is that I’m almost done! I’m within 100 pages of the end of this 900 page behemoth and I’m at cruising speed now that they’re at the ministry for the final fight. On audio book I just started Cabin Pressure by Josh Wolk. This is my first comedic book in a while and I love that I’m laughing while driving home from work. It’s a nice way to end my days. On my phone I’m still working through The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson. I’m at a snail’s pace here. Maybe it needs more time, but I’m not invested in this one yet and it’s a bit of a struggle.

Recently finished: My review for Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher went up yesterday. I had mixed feelings on this one, please let me know what you thought.

Reading Next: My attempts to read First Reads books have been foiled! My coworker just lent me Life After Life by Kate Atkinson so that’s next on my list. We started an unofficial mini-book club at work and I’m the last one to read this so I better hop to it! Another friend is going to loan me Terra Incognita by Ruth Downie, the sequel to Medicus, which I read in high school. I lent the first one to her and she went out to buy the sequels that I didn’t even know existed! I promise to eventually get to my First Reads book. Finish Harry Potter is step one!

That’s it from me. What are your three Ws? Leave a comment and let me know and also check out the original post on MizB’s blog!

Until next time, write on.