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A Beginner's Guide to Paradise: 9 Steps to…
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A Beginner's Guide to Paradise: 9 Steps to Giving Up Everything

by Alex Sheshunoff

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I laughed out loud, I chuckled and chortled, I wondered why he chose such obscure places but I never wondered why he did it. I did ponder a bit on his choice of reading material but never his style of writing - it just fit the way he told his story. It took me longer than I anticipated to finish the book and I have to attribute that to my perception that this was a memoir and I never race through someone's life.

Thank you NetGalley for the advance copy. ( )
  kimkimkim | Aug 21, 2017 |
When is Alex Sheshunoff’s, “A Beginner’s Guide to Paradise” a good book to read?

When you are:
a. Considering moving to a remote island in search of paradise?
b. Waiting for a root canal procedure to commence?
c. Trapped beneath something heavy and the only item within reach is this book to pass the time before help arrives?
d. Procrastinating from writing your own book?
e. Wanting to read a delightfully absurd and insightful memoir by a talented, debut author.
or
f. All of the above.

To give you a hint, Sheshunoff’s treasure chest of poignant witticisms sprinkled with reflective prose embodies universal appeal. We have all dreamed of “getting away” from it all, but few of us have the moxie to do it. Albeit fueled by a quarter life crisis and an embarrassment for not having read several literary classics, Sheshunoff’s pursuit is familiar and captivating, bringing us closer to understanding ourselves as we follow along with his outlandish adventures.

Do yourself a favor; make a frothy, fruity drink, sit beneath a palm tree (or poster of a palm tree) and read this book. You’ll laugh, cringe, and be fully engaged with Sheshunoff’s life choices and results. Fun, creative, and sharp-witted, "A Beginner’s Guide to Paradise" is a book you don’t want to miss.

The answer, by the way, is f.
( )
  CherieKephart | Aug 3, 2017 |
Alex gives up the city life and moves to a small island in the Pacific. He brings few provisions, but he does bring 100 books. How can you not like that premise. He starts out on the island of Yap and ends up on the island of Palau. Who wouldn't like to do this? Interesting read. The only fault with the book was that I found it a bit lengthy, I found myself skimming after about page 290. This book was a fun journey to follow and it will certainly make the reader think about how nice it would be to leave the rat race behind sometimes. ( )
  bnbookgirl | Aug 2, 2016 |
A Beginner's Guide to Paradise: 9 Steps to Giving Up Everything by Alex Sheshunoff is a highly recommended humorous, anecdotal travelogue. This is the guide for those who want a hilarious look at someone who drops everything to move to an island. He lists the nine titular steps as: 1. Pick an Island; 2. Ask some Questions (but not too many); 3. Adjust Loincloth; 4. Find a Safety Pin... 5. And some Lucky Strikes; 6. Study the Art of the Rope Ladder; 7. Do as Chief Chuck does; 8. Reflect, Briefly; 9. And Hope for the Best.

After having a quarter life crisis, Alex left his dot com start-up business in NYC, broke up with his girlfriend, packed up 100 books he felt he should read, and took off for a South Pacific Island hoping to find paradise. He visits the islands of Yap, Pig, Palau, Angaur, and Guam. At the beginning of each chapter is a short, humorous "What You Can Expect to Learn in This Chapter" section that can take the form of quizzes, anecdotal information, or questions that will be answered in the chapter. For photos and much more information visit his website: http://www.abeginnersguidetoparadise.com/

Alex didn't have much of a plan before he took off to discover paradise so this travelogue is more of a travel misadventure full of happenstance and surprises as he tries to negotiate his way among the islanders and find a place for himself. While nothing really startling actually happens (except for the turtle incident which some readers might want to skip) Alex tells the story of his travels and adventures, such as they are, in a self-deprecating humorous style that should keep readers entertained. In the end he does, in fact, wear a loin cloth, find love, build a house, and diaper a baby monkey. While doing all of this there is a generous amount of humor along with some personal reflection.

This is a seriously funny book perfect for a relaxing night of escapism. The writing style flows smoothly in an almost conversational-story-telling style. Sheshunoff is not trying to change the world or come up with some profound thoughts during his navel gazing adventures (the book will explain that). He just needed a vacation and took it a little further than most of us would have done.


Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Penguin books and Penguin First Reads for review purposes. ( )
  SheTreadsSoftly | Mar 21, 2016 |
This is the story of a young guy who left the big city because of burn out and traveled to a remote island in the South Pacific to read 100 books and find himself. It’s his story of what he did and learned. It is not a how to book to do it for oneself. I enjoyed the book because I got to see the island life through his eyes. I felt for him. The chapters were short. What I didn’t care for was the little blurbs (what you can expect in this chapter), started to get annoying as I read the book. I liked it otherwise. ( )
  grumpydan | Jan 27, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451475860, Hardcover)

So You Too Can:
 
- Move to a South Pacific Island
- Wear a Loincloth
- Read a Hundred Books
- Diaper a Baby Monkey
- Build a Bungalow
 
And Maybe, Just Maybe, Fall in Love! *
 
* Individual results may vary.

The true story of how a quarter-life crisis led to adventure, freedom, and love on a tiny island in the Pacific.


From the author of a lot of emails and several Facebook posts comes A Beginner’s Guide to Paradise, a laugh-out-loud, true story that will answer your most pressing escape-from-it-all questions, including:

1. How much, per pound, should you expect to pay a priest to fly you to the outer islands of Yap?
2. Classic slumber party stumper: If you could have just one movie on a remote Pacific island, what would it definitely not be?
3. How do you blend fruity drinks without a blender?
4. Is a free, one-hour class from Home Depot on “Flowerbox Construction” sufficient training to build a house?
 
From Robinson Crusoe to Survivor, Gilligan’s Island to The Beach, people have fantasized about living on a remote tropical island. But when facing a quarter-life crisis, plucky desk slave Alex Sheshunoff actually did it.

While out in Paradise, he learned a lot. About how to make big choices and big changes. About the less-than-idyllic parts of paradise. About tying a loincloth without exposing the tender bits. Now, Alex shares his incredible story and pretty-hard-won wisdom in a book that will surprise you, make you laugh, take you to such unforgettable islands as Yap and Pig, and perhaps inspire your own move to an island with only two letters in its name.

Answers: 1) $1.14 2) Gas Attack Training Made Simple 3) Crimp a fork in half and insert middle into power drill 4) No.

(retrieved from Amazon Wed, 22 Jul 2015 01:42:14 -0400)

"From the author of a lot of emails and several Facebook posts, a laugh-out-loud, true story of how a quarter-life crisis led to adventure, freedom, and love on a tiny island in the Pacific. In his mid-twenties, Alex Sheshunoff had his own internet start-up and had made national news. But he was also burned-out. So he bought a one-way ticket to the island of Yap, giving up everything he was supposed to want in search of all the things he never knew he needed. Along the way, he answered some important questions and some less essential ones too, such as: 1. How much, per pound, should you expect to pay a priest to fly you to the outer islands of Yap? 2. If you could have just one movie on a remote Pacific island, what would it definitely not be? 3. How do you blend fruity drinks without a blender? 4. Is a free one-hour class from Home Depot on 'flower box construction' sufficient training to build a house? While in the Pacific, Alex learned a lot. About making big choices and big changes. About the parts of Paradise that don't make it into the brochures. About the locals and expats he encountered, offended, and befriended. And, most of all, about focusing on what you actually care about. Now Alex shares his incredible story in a book that will surprise you, make you laugh, take you to such unforgettable islands as Angaur and Pig, and perhaps inspire you to find your own little place in the sun"--… (more)

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