Book 67 Completed
I keep hoping I can make up some time, but then life gets way too busy to actually read a book in a day or two days like I need. And, of course, because I’m Shelbi and am a glutton for punishment, I just picked up some freelance editing work. The timeframe for the edits? 2 months. In one week I start a class for continuing education credit too. I tell you all this because…under the extreme misfortune that I can’t finish all 80 books by December 31st…at least you’ll know that I tried my hardest.
I’m not conceding yet!! But I’m feeling pretty pessimistic about the whole thing. Something will suffer; probably grading, cleaning, and general personal hygiene. I’ll be depressed if I can’t read 13 books in the next eight weeks. Okay, just writing about not accomplishing this is making me depressed. I’ll just stop and tell you about Kiribati…
The Sex Lives of Cannibals might be a slightly misleading title because the only cannibals with active sex lives on Kiribati appear to be the untamed dogs that roam free and embody the dog-eat-dog world quite literally. (A tough chapter for PETA members and Humane Society enthusiasts.)
I was prepared to think Troost was a giant douche bag after his smug opening section. But after the author and his girlfriend arrived on Kiribati, I actually found his adventures and insights interesting. He wasn’t dismissive of the culture, he’s informative about the history, and navigates the differences with humor and sensitivity. Although, he doesn’t seem to think very highly of the island’s government and I’m a little skeptical that Kiribati can be that under-managed.
I suppose I got a little bored during the “Maarten learns to surf” stuff — while I’m sure it had significance to his own life, I didn’t feel particularly compelled to go with him on each wave and wipeout. But when he’s having a conversation with the locals about the treatments of the foreigners on the island (I-Matang), I couldn’t help but feel a strong connection between navigating that “always an outsider” type of situation from my time as a Gaijin in Japan. As a matter of fact, his roller-coaster of an “outsider’s” emotions often mirrored my own life — so, because that resonated with me, I found myself endeared to his experience.
Anyway, there is a line later in the book where Troost says: “I like my entertainment not too serious, not too stupid. Sort of like this book.” And I found that sentence a pretty apt description. It’s not too serious, but not too stupid. For a light read filled with an American’s observations of a small Pacific atoll, I’d recommend this book.