Bond’s Paradise Makes the List

50 items in one year! Yep, I’m pushing the limits with my 2013 Bucket List. Why not? Life Saving Paradiseis worth living, right? While some items are extreme like driving a NASCAR or hang gliding, others are more realistic like taking Athena to a zoo. What it all comes down to is that time is precious and life is worth living. It’s the daily moments as well as the over-the-top ones that come together to make each day a rewarding journey. As a previous English teacher, I love to read. Losing myself in a great book is equally as rewarding as losing myself in a new country, making number 38 on the list, find at least 5 new authors that I love, an enjoyable daily adventure. Mike Bond, and more specifically his new book Saving Paradise, makes the cut. Dan Brown meets Hawaii Five-0 in Bond’s thriller Saving Paradise leaving me wonder why it took me this long to find this author that I love.

When a beautiful journalist drowns mysteriously in Honolulu Bay, former Special Forces veteran Pono Hawkins, now a well-known Hawaii surfer and international correspondent for surfing magazines, soon gets embroiled in trying to find why she died. What he learns quickly makes him a target for murder or life in prison as a cabal of powerful corporations, foreign killers and crooked politicians turns the blame on him.

Within the first page, I was hooked. I opened it at 7:30pm after putting Athena down for the night. Alive with the sights and sounds of Hawaii, I was immediately intrigued but the writing pulled me in so quickly it was over before I knew it. I wanted to save the book for my flight to Texas but I had read it before I set foot on the plane. From start to finish, I never put it down.

“When you’re holding a corpse in your arms how bizarre seems the human race – where were all these people hurrying to in this horrible moment with this beautiful young woman dead?”

Now… I need to go order his other books. I found his site and it’s filled with other novels, poetry, and essays. Well done, Mike Bond! Even your name sucks readers in.

One down, four more to go for number 38 on this year’s list. Do you have a suggestion for a great author that I might not already know about? I’d love to hear from you.

43 thoughts on “Bond’s Paradise Makes the List

  1. When I find an author I enjoy reading, I also try to read their other books. It is a thrill to find one that makes you want to read them all, and demand more. Right now I am kind of bogged down with Les Miserables. It is fascinating, but very dense…


  2. Good luck on finding “new” authors. For as many e-books that are being touted as the next this person and that person, there aren’t really a whole lot out there that deserve the praise or recognition. Not that it’s an author’s name that I’m recommending, but, as you travel a lot; you can find some great gems in airport bookstands! But then I’m sure you’ve found that out already. Cheers mate!!


  3. Love the blog! Thanks for stopping by. Have you read “Tales of a Female Nomad” by Rita Golden Gelman? Its reminiscent of an early Eat, Pray, Love with less pasta and more insight. Looking forward to reading more!


  4. Thanks for the recommendation ~ always looking for a good read. I’m a big fan of David McCullough. I was hooked after reading “John Adams” and absolutely loved “The Greater Journey ~ Americans in Paris” The book is about the Americans who went to Paris between 1830 to 1900 such as Elizabeth Blackwell, America’s first female doctor. There’s also stories about Charles Sumner (abolitionist in the US Senate), Samuel Morse (talented artist who invents the telegraph) and so much more. After reading Greater Journey, I want to go back to Paris and recreate their steps ~ McCullough made me feel like I was there when reading his book.

    Next on my list to read is “Brave Companions ~ Portraits in History” It profiles exceptional people from the past and present who have shaped history. One profile includes David Plowden, a present-day photographer who is documenting “vanishing” America.


  5. I’ve always loved Robert Louis Stevenson because he was one of the novelists we studied at school. Being educated at a Scottish school, the Scottish novelists were studied along with English and American ones.

    In ‘Kidnapped’ David Balfour and Alan Breck walked from the Island of Mull on the west coast of Scotland to Edinburgh. David Balfour was kidnapped by his uncle and put on a boat bound for the Carolinas. On the way there he was shipwrecked on the island of Mull and they walked back to Edinburgh.

    This 230 mile walk can be undertaken today, although there are no markers along the way. The walk is described here:


  6. What a great set of adventures you look to be on. I think if you love adventure stories and a rollicking yarn and have a small person you have to read ‘The Magic Pudding’ by Norman Lindsay. It’s Australia’s Alice in Wonderland with badly behaving creatures and strange goings on.


  7. I don’t see taking a child to the zoo any less exciting then going skydivng for an adult. For the child it could very well be the same experence. As far as books go I am a die hard Victoria Holt Fan. She writes under 2 different names too.


  8. Big fan of Abraham Verghese (Cutting for Stone); LOVE Ivan Doig (Whistling Season is my favorite); Erin Morgenstern’s Night Circus was one of my very favorite books last year, and I think you might really enjoy Traveling With Pomagranates (Sue Monk Kidd and Ann Kidd Taylor, a mother-daughter travel story… with some wonderful twists… about life and spirituality, and finding ourselves in the journey). I read a lot and have a lot of favorites, but these are a few of my recent ones. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie and A Fine Balance (***) by Rohinton Mistry are two of my favorite books, EVER… both about India, life, and a culture so very different than my own. Enjoy!


  9. I have three suggestions for starters:
    India in Slow Motion by Mark Tully, non-fiction
    Southern Seas by Manuel Vazquez Montalban, murder mystery novel set in Barcelona
    The Ginger Tree by Oswald Wynd, novel set in Asia


  10. Derek Landy writes fantasy fiction set in modern day Ireland. Lots of fight scenes but the general backdrop of the books is mainly themed around dark humour and magic. This is NOT Harry Potter; the two main characters are a girl who just discovered she can do magic and a skeleton sorcerer detective who reluctantly teaches her to fight and eventually become his sidekick. I’m not managing to make it sound as good as it is, sorry, if nothing else the first book is fairly fast-paced so it wouldn’t take up too much time to give it a go:)


  11. Darn… When I saw the title, I thought that maybe you had visited one of the exotic locations from one of the James Bond movies as one of the items on your bucket list… 😉


  12. Hi! I have a few suggestions…. most of these are titles I read while traveling abroad over the last five months… idk for sure what you prefer, but I’ve found myself really interested in pseudo-memoir-like books: I’ve been “real” stories as well as fiction… Here are some:

    Buddy: How a Rooster Made Me a Family Man. Brian McGrory. (2012). SO FUNNY

    Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality. Jacob Tomsky (2012)

    Cruising Attitude: Tales of Crashpads, Crew Drama, and Crazy Passengers at 35,000 Feet. Heather Poole. (2012)

    The Geography of Bliss: One Grumps Search For The Happiest Places in the World. Eric Weiner.

    Damaged: The Heartbreaking True Story of a Forgotten Child. Cathy Glass. (2009) [this one is really depressing, but it’s my couldn’t-put-it-down-read-it-in-one-sitting book]

    And FYI, I briefly described these in a recent blog post…. I hope you find another that you love!
    happy reading 🙂


  13. Have you read ‘Witness the Night” by Kishwar Desai? Set in India, it is a thought-provoking novel dealing with the treatment of women and girls in the Punjab.
    And ‘The Book Thief’ – absolutely brilliant!
    Enjoy your reading! Hope your little one is thriving. 🙂


  14. Pingback: A Bucket List Read | Mike Bond

  15. Adding it to my loooong list of “to reads”… Here’s my book recommendation: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer. Once you get into it, you can’t put it down, and you’re not ready for it to end when you’re finished!


  16. I agree with the above post. I loved The Guernsey Literary . . . book. I also loved all the normal things you’ve been hearing about: the Harry Potters, the John Grishams, and some you may not know — the Dick Frances series. If you want something very literary I loved A Tale of Two Cities, The Hobbit, The Good Earth. Now I’m just blabbering. I’m sure you can find lots of good things to read in the above comments!


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