Alex Sheshunoff was having a quarter-century crisis. Seems computers and the internet aren’t necessarily making life easier as technology had promised and burnout is taking half the time it used to. Five years after founding his company, E-The People, Alex decided to go in search of an island paradise. It was time to make that screensaver a reality. He was feeling guilty over the books he had never read but felt he should have. So he booked a one-way ticket and took 100 books with him.
With over 26,000 islands in the Pacific, he chose Yap. Then Pig. No, I’d never heard of them either. It was quite a geography lesson reading this memoir. Culture shock was bound to happen. But he survived; he thrived. The women were topless and the men wore a thu (loincloth). Oddly, when I Googled “thu”, nothing came up.
At times I struggled to maintain motivation to continue on this journey with him. With 464 pages, it was probably too long. At one point, it occurred to me that I didn’t have to finish but knowing that I would be having laugh-out-loud moments in a couple more pages, I was encouraged to keep reading.
If you are curious about life in the South Pacific or fantasize about running away from it all, A Beginner’s Guide to Paradise should answer all your questions. A great book to read if you are booked on a long flight.
Thank you NetGalley and New American Library for this advanced digital copy in exchange for my honest review.
Photo credit: New American Library