As one of Reedsy’s reviewers, I get advance review copies and exclusive peeks at independent publications before they go on the market.
Reproduced below is my second book review for Reedsy (completed last month and published on their site yesterday). It’s also the fourth “life hack” book review on my blog. (Click here for previous reviews)
Synopsis of “Finding Myself Along the Way: One Man’s Journey on the Camino de Santiago” by Michael Burnett. (taken from Reedsy Review)
With the Camino de Santiago as a backdrop, debut author Michael Burnett takes us on his transcendent quest to uncover afresh life’s meaning!
“It’s been said life is a journey, not a destination. As Author Michael Burnett approached middle age, he wondered if the life he had was what he truly wanted.
Finding Myself Along the Way chronicles the steps he took next to gain perspective; rediscover who he was and who he wanted to be. Instead of continuing to go through the motions and do what friends, family, society expected him to do, he traveled to the other side of the world to do and feel the unexpected.
This poignant travel memoir invites readers along to see what he saw as walked the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain. The 500-mile trek comes to life in vivid detail in his daily diary entries and in conversations he had with those he met along the way.
He shares stories of his life, mistakes he’s made, lessons he’s learned, hopes, dreams, lighter moments, and moments that will make your heart sing in this moving memoir.
It will inspire you to begin your own journey, rediscover what ignites your passion, push you to move outside of your comfort zone.”
My Book Review of “Finding Myself Along the Way: One Man’s Journey on the Camino de Santiago”
You know when a book kicks off with poetry from Uncle Walt (Whitman) that this is going to be the start of something amazing!
And indeed it is. Just like the final line from Whitman’s “The Song of the Open Road” that author Michael Burnett quoted in this book: “…Strong and content I travel the open road.”
While tempting to see this as yet another travelogue in a sea of travelogues, what sets this book apart for this reviewer, was the fact that Burnett was also on a pilgrimage to (as his book’s title aptly declares) “Finding Myself Along the Way.”
In reviewing this book, two words come to mind: Travel and Transcendence.
While many trek the famous 500-mile Camino de Santiago in Northern Spain annually, few like author Burnett have gone a step further to map out his life journey into middle age using the Camino’s breathtaking sceneries as a luscious overlay. Fewer still would have so meticulously chronicled the insightful conversations with fellow trekkers they meet along the way, as Burnett did in this excellent debut memoir.
What I liked — Travel and Transcendence
This reviewer was especially blown away by the level of detail Burnett shared in the book from his daily trekking experience. The day-to-day accounts he documented must surely mean page after page of judiciously penned copious notes taken, with every single step he made along the way!
Talk about commitment!
You can almost feel like you were there with him, so carefully did he unpack his experiences on the pathways, the different beautiful albergues (pilgrim hostels) he stayed in, and the stunning monuments he visited.
That’s the “Travel” part.
Most of all, the colorful and varied fellow sojourners he met and got to know. And, along the way, how Burnett shared with them openly and honestly (and by extension, with us the readers), his own life journey that led him to Camino.
That’s the “Transcendence” part.
Like Burnett, I too have taken the road less traveled in my middle age, a time when few men would have dared to upend their safe and predictable lives, especially during such turbulent times of uncertainty, brought forth by a still-ongoing global pandemic. No surprise then that I both commiserate, and celebrate Burnett’s courage and convictions about the new life path he’s picked and recounted here.
So, if you’re looking for inspiration to chart your next right thing in life, then I guarantee that this is the book for you!