Reading the Marshall Islands: Melal: A Novel of the Pacific

There are so many personal benefits to working on this blog; one of the foremost is just having the good fortune to meet so many great books. That might seem like a basic thing to say, since this whole exercise is about READING BOOKS, but if you really think about it…you don’t know what you’re going to get when you turn the first page. It could be engaging and worth your time…or not. You just have to trust the process. And so far, I’ve experienced more wins than losses.

That lucky streak continues with the the book I read for the Marshall Islands, Melal: A Novel of the Pacific by Robert Barclay. Heads up, Global Reader readers…this is a really good book. Strong characters, a fully-realized narrative, some very illuminating history; I’ll take it.

As usual, that’s all you’re going to get in terms of plot or analysis. Just view me as a what-should-I-read-next suggestion generator, and then you’ll never be disappointed!

Side note: The Marshall Islands are at the forefront of feeling the effects of climate change. The people there are experiencing real-time problems, and working on solutions. Lots of info out there about how they are facing this massive challenge, but here’s one article to get you started on finding out more…

Image of Majuro atoll Majuro Atoll
(image by Christopher Michel from San Francisco, USA via Wikimedia Commons)

Country #55: The Marshall Islands

Oceania! I’m back, happy to be here, and ready to learn about the Marshall Islands.
Coolest flag ever, BTW.

Reading Tonga: Island Kingdom – Tonga Ancient & Modern

Tonga! So interesting!

BUT. I’m not saying that the book I ended with up (Island Kingdom: Tonga Ancient & Modern, by I.C. Campbell) was weighed down by a little too much Great Man Theory; yeah, wait…I am saying exactly that.

There were moments that my brain was happy: info about the uniqueness of Tonga’s geology and natural history, the amazing and brave Oceanic people that first made their way to the islands, the effects of European contact and the introduction of Christianity…I want to know more! Unfortunately, all of that got lost in an overly exhaustive list of chiefs, kings, and politicians. So. Much. Detail.

Too much.

So, I’ll be on the lookout for a more personal telling of life in Tonga. Please let me know if you know of such a book! I would be thrilled to check it out!

Approach to Fua'amotu Airport, Tongatapu, Tonga
Approach to Fua’amotu Airport, Tongatapu, Tonga (image by David Broad, via Wikimedia Commons)