BOOK REVIEW: Five Weeks In The Amazon – by Sean Michael Hayes

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Title: Five Weeks In The Amazon
Author: Sean Michael Hayes
Genre: Non Fiction, Travel
First published: December 2nd 2014
Finished reading: September 2nd 2015
Pages: 270
Rating 2,5qqq

“Saying the jungle is amazing is like saying the Sistine Chapel is a masterpiece. In reality, they are both much more than words can describe, and the true essence of both can only be found through experiencing them.”

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Since the departure date of our backpacking adventure is coming closer (next Saturday!), I have been trying to read more travel themed books to really get in the travel mood. I found Five Weeks In The Amazon particularly interesting because I’ve been in Peru twice myself, although I’ve never actually visited the Amazon… It’s easy to say I really enjoyed the setting and it was nice to learn more about the Ayahuasca ritual and Sean Michael Hayes‘ experiences with the drug. It was a fast read as well, although I did have some problems with it. The most important one is the Spanish used in Five Weeks In The Amazon; it’s a real eyesore to a philologist like myself. I can understand crappy Spanish as long as he is trying to portray his own lack of knowledge of the language, but the locals speaking this way? I would actually have prefered reading the English translation of those dialogues. I couldn’t completely agree with his way of life either, but I guess that is something personal… That said, it is still quite an interesting and entertaining read if you want to learn more about the Ayahuasca ritual.

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Five Weeks In The Amazon tells the true story of the author’s adventures in the Amazon jungle. He travels to Peru to try and find the answers on some of his questions about life with the help of the Ayahuasca ritual. He spends various weeks going back and forth between Iquitos and the jungle to experience several Ayahuasca rituals. A local shaman is helping him with his journey and healing process, and we read more about how the drug is affecting both his body and those of the other people who participate.

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This non fiction story is without doubt an interesting read and is more about emotional than physical travel. If you want to learn more about the Ayahuasca ritual, Five Weeks In The Amazon is probably a good choice if you are not too focused on the spiritual journey. I did have some problems with the story and it wasn’t one of my favorite reads this year, but I’m still glad I’ve read it. I’m not sure I would want to have my own experience with Ayahuasca, but I definitely respect those who have been brave enough to try it.

WWW Wednesdays #56 – September 9th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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Wait, only one book?! It’s been a while since I haven’t started more than one book at a time… But I really want to enjoy Queen Of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas without reading other stories in between. So far I’m loving it!

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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Six finished books since last week, which is quite a decent number.
The first is a travel memoir; Five Weeks In The Amazon by Sean Michael Hayes. I enjoyed the setting and it was nice to learn more about the Ayahuasca ritual. It was a fast read as well, although I did have some problems with it.
I read I Was Here by Gayle Forman next, which was my previous TBR jar pick. It was an interesting read, although I’ve read better books with the same suicide theme.
I continued with Legend by Marie Lu, a series I have been wanting to read for ages. I really enjoyed reading it and I will probably read both sequels soon as well. Still, I felt something was missing to turn it into something mindblowing.
The next book None Of The Above by I.W. Gregorio was just as good as people kept promising me. A very interesting topic and beautifully written; definitely recommended!
I then read End Of Days by Susan Ee. I’m still not sure I have been waiting this long to finish this series! I really enjoyed it, although it wasn’t as good as the first two.
The last book on this list is Breakfast At Cannibal Joe’s by Jay Spencer Green, an ARC that was sent to me last week.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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The Kill Order by James Dashner is still high on my list, although I will probably try to read Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer first. I was actually going to start it last weekend, but I got my hands on a copy of End Of Days and Queen Of Shadows and I just HAD to read those first. My newest TBR jar pick is The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski; a series I have been looking forward to start, but I’m not sure I will actually be able to read it before I leave…

WWW Wednesdays #55 – September 2nd

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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After finally finishing The Goldfinch two days ago, I’ve started two new reads. The first is a travel memoir: Five Weeks In The Amazon by Sean Michael Hayes. I will be reading various travel themed book within the next three weeks to really get in the travel mood for my backpacking trip… This one is interesting because I’ve been in Peru twice myself, although I’ve never actually visited the Amazon. I’ve also started reading Legend by Marie Lu the other day, a series I have been wanting to read for ages now. So far I’m loving it!

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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This time I’ve ‘only’ finished three books since my last WWW, mostly because it took me a long time to actually finish The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. I’m glad I did though! It sure is a very well written book, but the pace is really slow and it took me ages to finish it. I’ve also read The Mind Readers by Lori Brighton, a very entertaining and fast read even though I had some minor problems with the characters and plot. The last one on the list is The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins. As I already feared, this one turns out to be yet another overhyped book. It’s not a bad story and I like the fact that it has an unreliable narrator, but like with Gone Girl I’m not sure it’s actually worth the hype.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I will probably try to read Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer and I Was Here by Gayle Forman is still my newest TBR jar pick. I also want to read The Kill Order by James Dashner so I can complete The Maze Runner series…

Friday Finds #51 – August 28th

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FRIDAY FINDS is originally featured at A Daily Rhythm and showcases the most interesting books I’ve encountered during the last week and have added to my neverending TBR list on Goodreads.  Below a selection of my newest additions; click on the book descriptions to go to its Goodreads page! 😀

My finds:

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