Thursday, July 7, 2011

Right Now Is Perfect / Carol Anita Ryan

Reviewed by: BigAl

Genre: Memoir/Travel Narrative

Approximate word count: 40-45,000 words

Kindle US:
YES UK: YES Nook: YES Smashwords: YES Paper: YES
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store


While earning a living in Information Technology, Carol Ryan traveled extensively between assignments to satisfy her true passions of anthropology and travel. One of these trips in the early 1970s took her from Western Europe across Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and Nepal and included meeting the Dalai Lama. Another extended trip, sailing across the South Pacific in a 36-foot yacht, is a large portion of this memoir, her first book. For more, visit the author’s website.


Quit your job and sail off into the sunset with your new romantic interest. What could go wrong?


We’ve all heard the old saw that “everyone has a book in them.” I’m going to make the assertion that almost everyone has a memoir in them that many people would enjoy reading. An autobiography would have too many boring parts, unless they’re famous or have led a life more exciting than most. But since the memoir is a focused autobiography, anyone who has had uncommon or interesting experiences has that memoir in them. Whether they have the skill or desire to write a memoir is another question. Carol Ryan has the needed skills.

A large part of Right Now Is Perfect is a travel narrative. Quitting work and sailing the South Pacific isn’t something I’ll ever do, but I can do it vicariously this way. In the last travel narrative we reviewed,
I made the claim that there were two types of travel narratives, one largely positive, emphasizing the adventure, and the other, focusing on the negative in a humorous way. Right Now Is Perfect makes a liar out of me, at least if we file this in the travel section, which I suspect a bookstore would. It has positive adventure, but also plenty of challenges, most of them not humorous.

But Right Now is Perfect is much more than a travel narrative. It is a memoir with adventure and romance. Ryan experiences adversities to overcome and plans gone awry. It is also a story of learning to live life to the fullest and making the most of what life brings, whether good or bad.


As a quick semi-related tangent, for those who think quitting work and travelling the world by sailboat sounds like something fun to do, I highly recommend following the blog Write on the Water. This blog is co-written by a rotation of nine authors; most of them either live on a boat or have in the past.

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues

Rating: **** Four stars


Anonymous said...

I appreciate a review like this that puts the book in context of its genre and gives readers enough information to decide if they'd be interested! Thank you!

Mary E. Trimble said...

This is an interesting format for a review of Carol Anita Ryan's book. What I especially appreciated about the book was its honesty. Anyone contemplating a sailing journey like Ryan's should first read this book.