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Junk, Cartels and Asian Adventure – Book Reviews

WTF?!, Willing to Fail by Brian Scudamore:

  • entrepreneurship is a roller coaster of trial and error, laughter and tears, confusion and triumph
  • in this book, serial entrepreneur Brian Scudamore takes you on an adventure that shows that a University education is not a prerequisite to success and ideas can come from the most chance of encounters
  • the founder of 1-800-GOT-JUNK shares simple and fun stories that are beneficial to anyone who enjoys the machinations of growing a business
  • having previously listened to Brian’s podcast, I found that most of the stories were a repeat, with a few additional tidbits thrown in
  • some of his guerilla marketing techniques are incredibly funny and amazingly successful
  • this is a short, easy, fun read for anyone that wants to understand the ups and downs of an entrepreneurial journey and also an enjoyable life
  • many thanks to my friend Clemm who recommended this book partly based on a chance encounter that his son had with Brian’s family in West Van that led to his son being hired to work for Brian


American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins:

  • Lydia Quixano Perez lives in the Mexican City of Acapulco where she runs a bookstore and lives with her eight-year-old son Luca and her journalist husband
  • the growing cartel movement, led by Javier Crespo Fuentes, changes her life forever as the reader is led on a fascinating journey that typifies the lives of many migrants in this part of the world
  • this book is gripping from start to finish and will likely be one of my favorites of 2020
  • as a person who has done business in Mexico, traveled there on vacation and loves the people of this wonderful country, this was a fascinating but disturbing story of what these wonderful people have had to encounter for many decades
  • this book is a good reminder of what migrants around the world have had to endure to lead their families to a better life
  • DO NOT let this book stop you from traveling to this wonderful country


From Heaven Lake by Vikram Seth:

  • in 1981, after two years at Nanjing University in China, Vikram Seth decided to save money and hitchhike home through rural China, Nepal, and Tibet to get to New Delhi
  • he was an observant, irrepressible, and resourceful traveler who took in stride his battles with Communist bureaucracy, climatic extremes and the amiable but agonizing discomfort of riding long distances in bad weather over inferior or nonexistent roads in antiquated trucks
  • his knowledge of cultures, history, geography, and politics is exceptional
  • this story provides insight into a part of the world that I have no experience in and hence was very educational and interesting
  • as much as I love to travel I can’t even fathom the experiences that he encountered along his route
  • it was hard not to wonder how much things have changed in the forty years since he made this journey
  • I liked the fact that this book was on the shorter side (178 pages), so he didn’t see the need to drag out his stories
  • Vikram was the winner of the Thomas Cook Travel Award for this book