Sunday Salon: I Have Returned!

Heyyyyy! Long time no see!

When I posted my last review, I was in Kazakhstan(!!!). That was actually the fifth country I stopped in this summer; I started by revisiting a few countries I went to last year, then headed to Central Asia for the real part of my journey: I backpacked overland from Beijing to Istanbul, a journey that took me about 7,000 miles through terraces, mountains, deserts, and beautiful green valleys. Not counting a couple of airport transfers in Russia (I couldn’t leave the airport without a visa), my journey took me to Finland, Austria, Germany, China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Turkey, and back to Germany. It all feels like a dream!

(Click on images to enlarge)

I’ve been writing about the journey and posting pictures on my travel blog, Abandoning the Ruins (so far, I’m only up to the China portion of the trip).

As for book blogging? Well…I’d planned to post throughout my journey, but internet access proved much more difficult than I expected! Who would’ve thought it would be easier getting on Facebook and Twitter — officially banned by the government in several of the countries I visited — than it would be to find a stable internet connection?! The couple of times I did manage to write posts, the WordPress app on my iPad ate them.

But I did do some background reading in the time leading up to the trip, and I still plan to write about many of those books in the coming weeks. This was my list:


  • Shifu, You’ll Do Anything for a Laugh by Mo Yan


  • Apples Are from Kazakhstan: The Land That Disappeared by Christopher Robbins


  • A Collection of Uzbek Short Stories ed. by Mahmuda Saydumarova


  • Joe and Azat by Jesse Lonergan


  • Lipstick Jihad: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America and American in Iran by Azadeh Moaveni
  • My Sister, Guard Your Veil; My Brother, Guard Your Eyes: Uncensored Iranian Voices ed. by Lila Azam Zanganeh


  • Bliss by O.Z. Livaneli


  • Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind
  • After Midnight by Imgard Keun

Travel in general:

  • Globejotting: How to Write Extraordinary Travel Journals by Dave Fox
  • An Age of License: A Travelogue by Lucy Knisley

I finished a few books and started some others during my travels, but I look forward to getting back into the swing of things and enjoying my last few weeks of summer before I have to go back to work.

How has your summer gone? Travel anywhere?

5 thoughts on “Sunday Salon: I Have Returned!

  1. I’m not a travelling type, due to various reasons, but I *wish* I could be, so I like to live vicariously through people like you 🙂 Looks like an incredible adventure you had!

    And now I’ve added a few of these to my ever-ever-growing TBR…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: