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In an era of travel books describing epic journeys and heroic adventures, it isn't easy to write something different. Jeannette Belliveau, author of An Amateur's Guide to the Planet, took a route less traveled, but not less accessible.
Traveling the way most of us do, Belliveau tells us about her trips to Kenya, Thailand and Greece. But what's different is the questions she asks and her extensive search to find the answers.
In Madagascar, she searches for the rare indri lemur and finds them in a forested knoll. Not content to merely meet and photograph them, she researches their plight, and in doing so, sees the even bigger picture of Earth's fragility.
Each of the 12 chapters weaves a travel story with what Belliveau calls "a central lesson." In Burma, the lesson is on the nature of poverty. In Borneo, it's on modern missionaries. In Brazil, the lesson is on racial democracy. Her stories are very well-documented and still quite readable.
Belliveau, a former editor at the Washington Post and the Baltimore Sun, reminds us to look not just with our senses, but also with our minds and hearts as we find our own adventures. -- Boulder Planet