On My Bookshelf


Sometimes I randomly choose a book from the library without knowing too much about it.

At times, I pick duds and have to force myself to read. But every once in a while, I choose one that I can’t get through fast enough.

That’s how I felt about  The End of Manners by Francesca Marciano.

This story is about a photographer on assignment in Kabul. She’s stressed, overwhelmed, and confused much of her time there, but in spite of all that, Kabul refreshes her.

It’s been a long time since I’ve had a travel experience like this.

Most of my travel in the past few years has centered around the beauty or sights of a place (the ocean in Tahiti, the ruins in Rome) or the culture (so, this is what they eat in Cambodia?).

That travel was certainly nice and helped me relax and marvel at the world.

But for me, the most treasured travel has been to places where I interacted on a different level.

I volunteered, stayed with a host family, worked there short term, or maybe even just had a long conversation with a local.

I wasn’t insulated away from people. Instead, I felt uncomfortable and challenged.

These are the times that I come away from a place with awe about how very different AND alike people are around the world.

Reading The End of Manners reminded me that these kinds of experiences are out there.

I hope I get to have one of those again soon.



3 thoughts on “On My Bookshelf

  1. Steve Marriott

    Hi Mary, I just took a look at your site and I love it. Also I enjoyed reading this piece about you randomly getting lucky with a book – think I might just pick one of my many unread books from my shelf and give one a chance. First though I need to pick up The End of Manners, as it sounds fascinating. Thanks again, Steve

    • maryrichardson

      Thanks for stopping by, Steve. I am a big fan of being surprised by random books. Go for it and happy reading!

      • Steve Marriott

        Sounds like good advice and I look forward to following your words of travel inspired wisdom. Thanks again, Steve

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