Book Review: An Embarrassment of Mangoes by Ann Vanderhoof

My Rating: 4 awesome stars!!

Book Name: An Embarrassment of Mangoes (A Caribbean Interlude)

Author: Ann Vanderhoof

Genre: Non Fiction/Travelogue/Culture&History/Caribbean food recipe guide πŸ˜€

Before I start my review, here is some trivia. Did you know (because I didn’t, before I read this book):

  1. Receta means recipe in Spanish?
  2. Conch is a popular seafood in the Bahamas?
  3. Luperon is called a ‘Hurricane Hole’?
  4. Gugua – are not a strange species of insect but actually what the public minivans are called? Lol
  5. Lambi is not lamb, but the Creole word for Conch?
  6. Fig, is not Fig, but actually a Banana in the Caribbean – who knew!!
  7. And many many more such little facts- if you’ve found this interesting, I would say, you don’t even have to read the rest of the review, just read the book!! hahah


Note: The pictures above are not mine, but have been taken from various images from the internet, just for the purpose of this blog. I do not intend to offend any copyrights πŸ™‚

Ok, so as part of the 2017 book club reading challenge, we have a travel/tourist challenge where the moderator will select a place/region for each month as the topic, and we have to select a book that is either set in that place/location or whose author is from that location and read and review it for that month. So, for January, the location was Caribbean islands and after a lot of skimming over the internet on various options, I chose to read this book, just because the description and the author seemed very real to me and what better way to travel (if not really traveling) than by reading a good travelogue?! πŸ˜‰

I don’t read a lot of non fiction to be frank, so I wasn’t sure how to rate this book. So I used my first article in this category, on my rating (you can check that out here) and figured I did find the book interesting and amusing and I also did learn a whole lot of things, so this definitely qualifies for a 4 and above rating!

The book is written by Ann Vanderhoof (her picture earlier in the post, taken from the internet), about how she and her partner, Steve, decided and planned to take a 2 year break from their daily 9-9 jobs in Canada and go sailing in their own sailing boat across the Caribbean islands. It talks about her fears, her anxiety in the beginning since she has never sailed that long before in open ocean, her amazement and pure joys of trying out all the local fruits, vegetables and seafood that they catch fresh out of the water, her loving interactions with the locals, her huge list of recipes (that I really want to try but can’t because I don’t have most of those ingredients or cooking tools available with me yet), her test of strength and grit during the storm nights manning the sailboat, her joys of finding delight in the nature and in minimalism and her disappointment when the journey is over.

I’ve never sailed, nor have I visited any of the Caribbean islands, but reading this book, I felt like I was on a virtual tour there and now I’ve added a visit to the CaribbeanΒ – at least to one of the islands to my list of travel destinations! πŸ˜€

So, I’d recommend this book if you like reading travelogues that are real, filled with real stories, humor and lots of facts on sailing, fishing, history, culture, and my favorite touch to the bookΒ – the recipes at the end of each chapter πŸ™‚ Happy reading and happy traveling fellow readers! Next destination-Paris! Watch out this space for a review by the end of next month on my chosen book for Paris πŸ™‚

What would you have read if you had to pick a book on the Caribbean? Is reading books on travels, cooking, non fiction your thing? Have you read this book, if yes, what did you think of it? Do you have any similar recommendations for me to try out? πŸ™‚







3 thoughts on “Book Review: An Embarrassment of Mangoes by Ann Vanderhoof

    1. heheh…That is another bit of trivia I learnt reading the book- an ’embarrassment of anything’ is basically a phrase when you find too many options of a particular thing that you’re spoilt for choice πŸ™‚ And that is exactly how the books starts- the author narrates about all the different kinds of mangoes she eats and then more and all the recipes she comes up with , with just the mangoes πŸ™‚ And she loves mangoes she realizes, because apparently they either don’t get mangoes in Canada or don’t get to see and taste all these different varieties of mangoes πŸ™‚


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