Google+ Mommy Moments with Abby: Anatolian Days and Nights Book Review

Monday, April 9, 2012

Anatolian Days and Nights Book Review

Biographies are the readers version of reality TV. They usually entail twists turns, human interest, human depravity or flaws, and all the juicy things we enjoy watching only many times (unless they are biographies of a celebrity) we get the added ability to exercise our minds recognition of proper grammar and the potential to learn something. The added ability to learn something is probably why I prefer a good book over a reality TV show, game-shows and sitcoms are another story for me. What does this have to do with Anatolian Days and Nights, well I preferred this book over not only the reality shows but some of my normal sitcoms as well. It wasn't full of smut either, but had an amazing balance of human story with history, culture, and language exploration. It all starts with the thoughts and experiences of two woman and becomes a love-story that I didn't see coming.
I originally agreed to review this book because I (if I'm honest) thought the cover looked cool.  Yes, we can all be drawn in by external appearance and I was with the sunset like colors and romantic feeling the cover displayed.  Now, I have read some books with horrible covers that are amazing and leave you thinking what happened with the cover.  Then, there are the books with amazing covers that should just have been admired for the great cover and never open.  For this reason, I truly didn't allow my enjoyment of the cover to cloud my potential dislike of the content.

I honestly started reading and had the thoughts that it was going to be two woman's trip together and either very full of smut, which I hate, or very boring with nothing but pretentious cultural facts tossed at you as the woman try to expose us to the Turkish culture and sub-consciously stroke their own ego at how culturally open they are in comparison to the rest of us.  I was very wrong.  My first impression was proven wrong in chapter 2 and continued through the book.  I still was exposed to the historical facts for the area, the cultural details, and language exploration that a good biography entails, however the woman's emotions and experiences brought a flow to it all that make it for a great read.

You get the dynamics of two different lifestyles still allowing for a unifying bond to form with the woman over a simple love of travel and specifically of Turkey.  While my personal feelings towards how to lead ones life differs in many ways, they tell their story in a way not to challenge other peoples opinions, but to simple tell their story.  It isn't an excuse or justification filled bio where we get the feeling we should feel a choice or decision they made is the one to have, but just a this is what happened, how if made me feel, and here's to hoping this knowledge takes you somewhere feeling.  I greatly appreciated that since often people, including me at times, write as though their choices and opinions are supreme.

One of my favorite parts of this story is told by Joy.  She explains her decision to make the trip to Turkey and the turmoil and split feelings she had over taking this particular trip.  It was wrote in a way that I, as a mother, could fully relate to and understand just how hard of a decision it was for her to make.  Her daughters words, as she recalls in the bio, are remembered by me because it seemed that they were where her turning point was for whether or not to make the trip.  I really appreciated that part being added as it made the story even more relate-able to me.

Another thing that I really enjoyed was their exposure of the male vs female culture in Turkey.  The dynamics of it go past the simple men do as they please and woman rule the nest.  They do talk of that aspect, but also the almost mystical power some of the woman have over the men driving or controlling them to adhere to guidelines which best suite the couple.  They also talk of the flip side where the control is solely around the man or first born son.  They give different insights into how the woman deal or in one particular case they describe how some woman try to escape.  They also offer an insight that for some woman they wouldn't change the roles, even if I'm not sure they realized they showed that, I can think of one particular woman who kept to herself as she was expected and while she seemed to want for a womanly conversation with the authors she also seemed very content bustling about the kitchen.

They also speak of the appreciation for food and drink which almost seems to hinder on a love affair each man and some of the woman have that at times makes me wonder if it has bewitched a few away from their relationships.  Their are times when food is discussed to such a level between the locals you would assume, if you had no insight to the language, they were discussing a spouse/child/job and potentially crossing boundaries that shouldn't be crossed in the discussion.  It's interesting how a love of something that is merely a requirement for life can create such an ingrained cultural identity in a person where the passion they discuss it with is at times more emotional than a discussion of a human love story.  

What keeps you reading to the end of this book is the expectation of closure with the "friend" of theirs who started their journey together and the desire to hear them describe the Whirling Dervishes.  We all have heard about them, but reading about them in a bio is like getting an inside look at their custom beamed into your head and that is too delicious for any intellectual to refuse.  The human dirt side of us want resolution to the "friends" story which keeps us reading as well.  I will tell you that one of these two desires gets full-filled but you will have to read it to find out which one it is!

I give this book 3 Whirling Dervishes out of 3!  I will be having to read this book again to catch all the cultural and historical facts intertwined with their adventure and I love books that I know I have to go back to, but don't feel overwhelmed with information while reading.  It shows a great balance in writing when an author can pull that off!  I highly recommend you read and enjoy this book, especially if you, like me, one day dream of travelling!  You can either go online and buy this book now or enter to win this giveaway including the book, a $25.00 Starbucks card, and magnetic page markers!!!!

Giveaway is brought to you by Mommy Moments with AbbyAdventures of SashaAdventures of Frugal MomMy Cozie CornerMom of One Having FunThe Lucky LadybugCoupons in MotionPowered By Mom, and Pittsburgh Frugal Mom.

The awesome prizes:
Page Magnet (front and back shown here)
 

$25.00 Starbucks Card:














Anatolian Nights Book:












  a Rafflecopter giveaway

27 comments:

  1. I think Day 1 of any trip is the most special, because you have the excitement of everything that is going to happen.

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  2. I liked Day 6. That looked like fun. The food looked really good too!
    Tami Valentine

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  3. Thank you so much for sponsoring the $40 dollar paypal giveaway on April 18th, 2012!

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  4. Thank you for the giveaway! :)

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  5. Thanks for the review! I will be reading this soon.

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  6. The first thing I noticed about this book is the "Anatolian" in the title. The reason for this is because my fiance is named Anatoli and he is from Bulgaria. Also I love any book with a good love story. Thank you for the great review!

    Jennifer Hedden
    jenrenh@hotmail.com

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  7. nice review - I love learning about good new books!

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  8. Thanks for the chance to win and for the review

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  9. DAY 4: Topkapı Palace – Bosphorus Cruise - That sounds very fun and relaxing, that or day 3 with the cooking!

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  10. Thanks for the review. Turkey is an awesome place to visit!
    seyma_bennett@hotmail.com

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  11. Great review. It even talked me into entering the givewaway just so I can go read it at a Starbucks!!

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  12. My favorite day is DAY 7: Baklava Factory.

    Lily
    mslilyk@hotmail.com

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  13. Thanks for being sponsor of the $40 Paypal Giveaway.

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  14. DAY 3: Exploring Beyoglu and Cooking class

    I love to cook and love to learn to cook authentic from other countries. I would really love this tour!!

    Sandra Brower all_honey_here@yahoo.com

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  15. awsome review im think im going to check it out, thanks for the giveaway as well

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  16. Thank you for sponsoring the $40 giveaway!

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  17. Thanks for the awesome review! I'm looking forward to checking this book out :)

    Kelly Burroughs Crowell

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  18. Tammy Owens/BotzonApril 18, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    Great review

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  19. Thank You So Much for Your review and giveaway! I would love to enter and...win it :-))
    Fiona N - iceyogurt@gmail.com

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  20. this book sounds like an amazing read :)

    Thanks!

    Marley Laplage

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  21. for sure this day...
    fresh spices?!?! oh yes, thank you!!!

    DAY 5: Spice Market & Ferry to Asia, Bath

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  22. wow that would be great I like day 2 for the wandering on your own to explore.

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