Is Solitudelust a Word? Because Now I Have It.

Just finished this quick book…so fascinating!

 

The Stranger in the Woods

It is the true story of Christopher Knight…a self-imposed isolationist that lived for 27 years in a makeshift camp in the Maine wilderness. In that time, he only spoke to four people, who were hiking in the area….he didn’t even speak to himself out loud. For 27 years (seriously?).
To survive, especially the brutal Maine winters, he expertly broke into camps and cabins near the lake not far from his campsite. For 27 years (seriously) he carefully and stealthily broke into homes to steal clothes, soap, frozen hamburgers and other items to stay alive. Until he finally got caught.


For years he was a local myth. People tired of having their stuff stolen left bags of books for him or paper to write a wishlist that they would fulfill. He never accepted them, further adding to his mystique.
The author spends months with Knight after his arrest, learning about what drove him to disappear into the woods, what entertained him there, and most importantly, what kept him there.

I learned a TON from this book, not just about how Mr. Knight survived in the woods for (OMG) 27 years, but also about the author Michael Finkel’s troubled career and stolen identity (you can’t make THIS story up!). I also learned that there was a weird fad in the 18th century where wealthy people found it fashionable to house a hermit on their grounds, and show him off at dinner parties. I also learned that their is an entire hermit community that you can only join if you can totally prove you are a hermit. Which is very hard to do since using a computer is the antithesis of hermitism (new word, Webster’s!).

Not going to lie, after reading this, I started to wonder how many days I’d last in a self-imposed silent camp. Is that isolationlust? Solitudelust? Sololust? Whatever it is, my husband is ready to try it. And maybe I am too….

Our camp at Manzanita.jpg

Been There, Seen This Scene, Still Love It

I originally purchased this book at a bookstore in St. Thomas. I like purchasing books by local authors when I am in a foreign country. It was written by Tiphanie Yanique, an author who was originally from The Virgin Islands.
land-of-love-and-drowning
I started this book late last year, and admit, it took me a while to get into it. At about 1/3 of the way through, I was hooked, and off we went on a beautiful, torturing, mythical journey. It is the story of two sisters from St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands- Eona and Anette. The first bit of the book talks about their parents, where they came from and when the girls were born. The rest of the book is about the sisters’ loves, children, and lots and lots about the island itself. Having been there, I loved reading about the familiar areas where we had traveled and imagining them in this book. St. Thomas (and the surrounding islands of St. John, St. Croix and Anegada) were strong characters in this story.

This is historical fiction, and includes the events of World War II, the Korean War, the Civil Right’s Movement and the purchase of the island by the US from the Dutch. Other events include a hurricane (Mary) and a protest by the islanders to keep the beaches public. The timelines at times didn’t line up for me. Anette has a child when her husband goes to fight in WWII (and she is still youngish), but then mentions she is in her 30s when it seems as if she should be much older (given the age of her children). The author does admit to taking some liberties with the timeline. I also love that the author explains that much of this story is based of her own mother and grandmother’s lives, and that they went to Anegada, where her grandmother’s family was from, but had never been. This tied up the book nicely.

I liken this book to a mix between Edwidge Danticat’s Breath, Eyes, Memory and Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude for the mysticism that is included in the story.

And just for fun, here is a picture of me reading Land of Love and Drowning with one of my cats, John Snow. #johnsnowisalive

me-and-js-reading

And finally, if you’ve ever wanted to travel to St. Thomas, may I recommend the Allure of the Seas Cruise Ship, operated by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines? We used this ship to get their last September and it is indescribable, as the second largest cruise ship in the world (shorter only by 1 foot from its sister ship, Harmony of the Seas).

Here I am!

I finally took a few moments away from reading to publish my first post on this new blog.

I hope you all enjoy it.

My plan?

  • To share the books I read and my reviews of them (in a step towards beginning my new literary/library career.)
  • To share the wine I drink and my reviews of them.
  • To share the cheese I eat and my reviews of them.
  • To share the places we travel to and my review of them and the places in between.
  • And of course, to post pictures of my pets 🙂
  • Any combination of the above.

I am a credentialed veterinary technician specialist in emergency and critical care that gave up on that profession after 20+ years of being mentally, verbally, physically and emotionally abused by coworkers, employers and clients.  Yep, y’all made me run for the hills and follow my other dreams. On one hand, it sucks because I was GREAT at my job. On the other, I still have time for a second career, so thanks!

I am a breast cancer fighter. I am only one year into my battle (I refuse to call this a journey- my journeys are FUN-this is NOT) with several years to go.

I am a devoted wife whose goal is to make my husband smile and laugh, the best sound in the world. We have 4 cats and one dog.

I am a world traveler who has only been to a few countries, but whose bucket list and travel journal is long and open wide. I have a case of wanderlust.

I am a lover of wine, of spending time at local vineyards and wineries, supporting local business and my own relaxation. Sometimes doing this involves perching in my backyard with a bottle and no where to go.

I am a lover of fromage, in all forms and flavors. My secret is that I’d love to be an affineur, but until then, I’ll share my faves here with y’all.

And finally, I am a mad bibliophile, with piles and piles of books to read. With more on the way each day (shhhh! don’t tell my husband!). I can’t help it. The smell of an old book, the feel of the paper, the places my mind goes………

I can’t wait to share it all with you!