Dean Johnston was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada back around the time Canada was playing Russia in the original Summit Series. Duff Pounder is his pen name but don’t be intimidated, he does other stuff, too. He is a former financial planner who has blogged extensively about his travels and written numerous travel articles and financial resources.
He owns a bike and several pillows. His pet peeves are television commercials for other television shows and getting stung by things. He hates onions yet loves onion rings. Head colds make him sombre, but resolved to concentrate on no longer having a head cold. He plans to continue travelling the world and writing whatever pops into his head. He likes turtles.
A detailed and, according to the author's mom, hilarious account of the 5 weeks he and his wife spent hiking the popular 800 kilometre pilgrimage route, the Camino de Santiago, in the fall of 2012. It mixes stories, advice and humour in a way unique among travel books and is a terrific read for past pilgrims, future pilgrims, travel buffs, and those who simply love reading about people in pain.
Travelling through our diverse and fascinating world can be invigorating, uplifting and life changing. Of course, it can also be baffling, disgusting, aggravating and ridiculous. This hilarious tribute to world travel is full of humorous stories and shocking advice that will inspire you, make you laugh out loud and slowly but surely convince you to stock up on hand sanitizer.
Train to Nowhere is a very creative sci-fi journey that portrays a strange future society on an Earth ravaged by overpopulation (if I've read the clues correctly). It doesn't provide any straightforward recounting of the history of this new world but lets you learn as you go based on the lives the characters lead. In general I much prefer the subtlety of this style, although I did find it a little difficult to come to a full understanding of this unfamiliar era and could have used maybe just a bit more structural background.
The main characters are set up to be compared and contrasted at every turn and, personally, I was fascinated by the ongoing nature vs nurture undertones. But make no mistake, the two characters, Garland and Hedge, are nothing alike in the end as it builds to a suspenseful conclusion.
All in all, Piper has created a very imaginative world with well-nuanced characters and leads the reader through a captivating story. My only complaint is that in the context of this post-apocalyptic world the characters' story lines, while surely symbolic, seemed a touch mundane considering the epic nature of the changes our world had undergone. I kept expecting things to tie together into a larger narrative that effected everyone we had been introduced to. But regardless, it is an enjoyable, exciting read, and one I can definitely recommend.
Besides raising money for a great cause this book is a very entertaining collection of stories and poems from a vastly different group of authors. The stories range from practical to touching to romantic to humorous, meaning that every reader should be able to find something that strikes their fancy. Very commendable of these authors to donate their time and talent to such an important issue. I highly recommend checking this book out and making a donation at https://www.justgiving.com/Of-Words-And-Water.