The Danish Girl

The Danish GirlThe Danish Girl by David Ebershoff

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a beautifully written book about the marriage of one of the first people to have sexual affirmation surgery. While I appreciate atmosphere and good writing, it did take an awfully long time for the story to feel like it got going, which is why I gave it four stars instead of five. I also didn’t realize it was very loosely based on a true story. I don’t generally read novels based on true stories. Normally I would just get the biography, so that was troubling to find out at the end. Anyway, it’s worth a read, but not if you’re looking for the facts of Lili Elbe’s life or if you’re looking for a quick read.

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Turn Right at Machu Picchu

Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a TimeTurn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time by Mark Adams

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed Mark Adams adventures in Peru as he followed in the footsteps of Yale professor Hiram Bingham who brought pictures of many of Peru’s ancient Inca sites to the western world, some for the first time. Mark’s intrepid guide, Jon, is a living breathing Crocodile Dundee and just as charming. I listened to the book through Audible and found Andrew Garman’s performance to be perfect for the material. I’m not sure I would have given the written material five stars, it probably would have only gotten four from me, but Garman really brings it alive. If you like travel writing and get a chance to listen to this, I highly recommend it.

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Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void

Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the VoidPacking for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve read several of Mary Roach’s books and they never disappoint. Packing for Mars is no exception. Roach does a wonderful job of answering all those day-to-day questions about life in space. She doesn’t shy away from questions that many books just gloss over or skip entirely. Her books have humorous moments but she never fails to take her topic seriously. She must be fantastic in person because she really gets the NASA folks to talk to her about everything. This is an amazing book.

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