Friday, May 7, 2010

"Finland, Finland, Finland..." hmm hmm hmmm

"... your mountains so lofty, your treetops so tall! Finland, Finland, Finland... Finland has it all. All together Finn-ophiles!"- Monty Python
Yes, I am reading "Riding with Reindeer" by Robert Goldstein, about his bike excursion through Finland! On a folding bike! With a little cart that's made out of the carrying case for his bike! And maybe reindeer! (But we haven't gotten there, yet.)
Bob won me over when he described Finland as the quiet, mysterious girl in sensible shoes. Need I say that I identified with Finland immediately?
On his book tour for "The Gentleman from Finland" (actually about the Trans-Siberian railroad, not Finland at all) the author blurted to a Finn that his next book will be a travelogue about Finland because she seemed disappointed that no one writes about Finland. Then Bob followed up and did it. Now that's an author who really loves his fans! (He did have a lifelong fascination with Finland and its quiet, strong, debt-paying nature... but he also really seemed to feel an obligation to be true to his book tour promise.)
So far, the book does not disappoint. Bob weaves history, self-deprecating humor, and quiet adventure into a very entertaining travelogue. I'm just a few chapters in, and already I feel like I know more about Finland-- and Bob. Best of all, I want to know more.
First impression: More fun than a platter of reindeer jerky!

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