Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Handsomest Man in Cuba: "First book I finished in years"

6 years after my Cuba book was published, I still get nice emails from people who've found it in a library, on a shelf in a backpacker's hostel in Nepal (thanks Sarad),  or got it for 99 cent plus $10 shipping on Amazon. It's technically only published in the USA, Canada, Australia, NZ and now Germany, but has found its way around the globe. It's even in Iraq ...

Here's are some from this week:


Hi Lynette, We've never met; I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your Cuba book!I finished it last eve, in preparation for a 3-month trip there next month, & I could barely put it down!  I loved your great honesty, modesty, insights, philosophy, humor, descriptions, etc (& this was the first book I've finished in 10-20+yrs)! If you're ever in the Phoenix area you're welcome to stay in my guest bedroom.
Best wishes!
Dave Foster, AZ


Lynette,

I have to agree with Peter Sutherland about the reviews of your book. I did have to put it down when I went to the bathroom and drove to a restaurant to eat. I have read Weir, Mayes, Kurmaskie and many others; however, you have written the best travel book I have read. My only regret is that I reached the end of the book. Perhaps some more books of your journeys will be published so I can live vicariously through your journeys? Tienes huevos much grande to travel the world by yourself.
Thanks for sharing your experiences, and I hope you share many more. You are truly gifted in your literary talents!
Hope to meet you some day on a remote journey!
John Cardwell
PS: a truly inspiring book - good travels, good life!



Wanted to let you know how much I have enjoyed your musings. Discovered your site a couple of years ago, and finally bought a copy of "Handsomest Man" as we were beginning our train-up for deployment overseas (in Iraq now).
I bet I've got the only copy of your book in Iraq ...

Someone once said something to the effect of "If reading it is easy, then writing it was hard.", and I very much believe that. So, I can both enjoy your thoughtful, "smart-ass", funny commentary and appreciate the hard work that went into it.
Thanks for doing what you do and look forward to enjoying your work in the future!

- Cameron

(Click on pic to get close to that Iraqi architecture)

It's very gratifying to hear someone tell you they read every word of something you wrote - perhaps even more touching than winning a big fancy accolade. The secret is, of course, writing prose with short sentences and no big words. That's it!

I keenly remember a young man who approached me on my Random House Australia book tour in 2003,  and said it was "the first book he'd opened and read in 7 years" it "made him want to read more books".  That was the highlight of my year. When you walk into a bookstore, gaze up and see a Mt Kilimanjaro of tomes, you tend to think, "what's the point? Who'd want to read my book?" Do the same thing in a second hand bookstore and it's even more palpable.

But you have to forget that your name need not be Grisham or  Rowling to feel success.  For an individual with a life as busy and complex as yours to carve you a slice of their time - a resource you cannot make more of - is an honor and achievement worthy of your own private Pulitzer.

Thank you David, and thank you to all the readers who place their comments about books on Amazon. Although I prefer you support your local bookstore, Amazon allows the book to be reached from places where there isn't a bookstore, and reviews help keep it alive.

Note - not only is David going to read more, he's even invited me to stay at his home, in true Cuban 'mi casa es tu casa' style. Today David Foster's guestroom, tomorrow the world's sofa ... maybe, just maybe, we writers can help end the war.


BOUND FOR CUBA? If you're going to Cuba, my friend Ana there says the following things are appreciated by Cubans:

Hi Lynette, I asked some persons today and all of them said the kind of things people would appreciate is medicines (Tylenol, vitamins, alka-seltzers, excedrin, etc and used clothes (cheaper than new).


As a green recycling act, you could wear all your clothes over and at the end of the trip, come back with memories only in hand ...

The Handsomest Man in Cuba

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