Rowed Trip

This had been a week and then some. The hard drive on my Mac died. *poof* And erm, perhaps I should confess that I suck at doing backups? Surprisingly I really didn't lose much that can't be recovered seeing as Lee and I PDF and email each other important documents. I lost a few iPhone photos that I had downloaded but not yet backed up. Nothing big. Thank goodness. Of course after getting my new hard drive it took two hours for me to get email to work with my ISP. But it works! Woohoo! And then I spent last night on the couch pretty much convinced that I had caught the flu. Thankfully it does not appear to be the flu as I'm feeling much better today but I sure as heck wasn't too healthy last night. I'm behind in everything, including blogging so maybe I should just get talking about books and stop rambling.

Awhile ago I had fun digging into the memoir category on my library's catalogue and I pulled a bunch of books into a save for later list. I'm periodically pulling books from that list and adding them to my request list. That how I found Rowed Trip: From Scotland to Syria by Oar by Colin Angus and Julie Angus.

I really wanted to love this book. It's the type of book that, in general, I mightily enjoy. I love stories about people undertaking the kind of journey that I would never attempt. I love reading about their experiences. I do.

But I didn't love this book.

Colin and Julie alternate chapters and each chapter covers a country. Colin wrote about Scotland, Julie about England and so on. I really liked how they set it up. I was interested in their journey. My problem was that I never really felt connected to either of them. Just when I'd start to get into their story they'd be off and talking about the engineering of varies locks or the history of something of other. That's not to say that this all wasn't interesting, but it wasn't about the and I was reading it to get their story.

You see, when I read about a journey like this I'm mostly interested in the people. Yes, the places they are going through are interesting in their own ways but I'm a people person. I want to know what people where thinking. How their day was. How they felt about various experiences.

This book just skims the surface of that. It's not a memoir the way I like a memoir to be. When I read a memoir I like to feel a bit like I'm sitting around being let in on something. With this book I always felt like I was being kept at arms distance.

All that said, I have a friend who would probably be really interested in this book, including the engineering of various locks, and I'm going to pass along the recommendation to him. It's not a bad book, it's just not my preferred breed of memoir. I'm also planning on putting Julie Angus's book Rowboat in A Hurricane on my request list. I didn't love this book but I'm sure as heck interested in how they rowed across the Atlantic, and yes they really did encounter hurricanes. And cyclones. Even if I'm held off at arm's length in that book I think it'll be a story worth reading.