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Around the Bloc : My Life in Moscow, Beijing, and Havana

by Stephanie Elizondo Griest

Buy the book: Stephanie Elizondo Griest. Around the Bloc : My Life in Moscow, Beijing, and Havana

Release Date: 09 March, 2004

Edition: Paperback


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Buy the book: Stephanie Elizondo Griest. Around the Bloc : My Life in Moscow, Beijing, and Havana

Travel by book

As someone who has always planned/thought/meant to travel and have lots of adventures of my own (but never actually had the means or time to travel), I can really appreciate all the detail and descriptions in Ms. Griest's Around the Bloc. I may not always agree with her conclusions, but I actually am grateful for them. I would so much rather hear opinions that cause me to think than feel affirmed or bored. It is almost as if she is an incredible, funny, and lively travel companion throughout this journey around the "Communist Bloc" and I get to hear her end-of-the-day assessment of her adventures and then begin to form my own. Her openness throughout the book about her experiences and mistakes help to endear and make her experiences much more "real" than a flat newspaper-style book. I have learned SO MUCH from this book about places that I will likely never visit and very much enjoyed having my eyes open to new perspectives on some very old issues.


Move over Bryson

I rarely buy into the "so good you can't put it down" rhetoric when talking about books to read. Stephanie Griest's Around the Bloc is an exception. Reminiscent of my favorite, Bill Bryson, she has an amazing combination of detail, brilliant humor, and historical research that both teaches and entertains. This is a book that can profoundly change the way young people look at foreign travel or foreign study. I would recommend it to anyone wanting to study abroad as a guidebook for how to truly capture the essense of cultural immersion. Griest's re-discovery of her own culture through learning about others is an inspiring gem of a lesson.

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© FAB Russia, 2003-2005

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