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A Walk for Sunshine

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  • September 28, 2017
A Walk for Sunshine book review by Joan Matsui Travel Writer

Jeff Alt’s Walk for Sunshine

Adventure on the Appalachian Trail


A book review


“A Walk for Sunshine” is a special anniversary edition and a celebration of the 20th annual Sunshine Walk, Run and Roll, a fundraiser born out of Jeff Alt’s 1998 2,160-mile trek along the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine.

Beaufort Books recently released the commemorative edition to celebrate Alt’s 147-day time out from civilization and more than $500,000 he has raised since 1998.

Alt experienced long days and nights alone as he braved a variety of weather conditions that ran the gamut from excessive heat and wind, 10-foot snow drifts to bitter cold and agonizing blisters to raise money for Sunshine Communities, a small community in Maumee, Ohio. His brother, Aaron has cerebral palsy and an intellectual disability and has called Sunshine home for more than two decades.

A Walk for Sunshine is a fascinating account of his travels that’s so well-documented, heartfelt, and humorous you’ll want to read from beginning to end in one shot. In one of my favorite passages, Alt describes a typical day on the trail.

Of course, a simple guess of “walking, eating, or sleeping” would sum up my typical day. My life was very simple. As I breathed, a beautiful sunset in a valley or paused at a stream to drink in the tranquil sound of fast-moving water, I envisioned different people from home who would appreciate what I was seeing and experiencing. I wished that everyone could stop what they were doing and walk with me. I wished Aaron could experience this adventure firsthand.”

Whether you’re inclined to spend your days hiking or you have a family member with disabilities, you will find Alt’s endearing portrait refreshing and inspiring.


A Walk for Sunshine was published on Sept. 9, 2017, by Beaufort Books, New York, NY and is available in print and e-book editions. For more information, visit

Learn more about Jeff Alt’s continuing travels and expeditions at



A Walk for Sunshine book review by Joan Matsui Travel Writer
Jeff Alt’s 2,160-mile trek along the Appalachian Trail has raised more than $500,000 for individuals with disabilities.


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50 Super Cool Fidget Spinner Activities to Take on the Road

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  • September 10, 2017
Fidget Spinner Book Review by Joan Mead-Matsui

Spin on Fidget Spinners

Tricks to Take on the Road

Book review and information for the itinerant traveler to make life more enjoyable while you’re on the road. 


Fidget Spinner Book Review by Joan Mead-Matsui
Inspired by “Fun With Fidget Spinners: 50 Super cool Tricks & Activities,” my nephew, Andrew, practices a forehead spin. Photos by Joan Mead-Matsui, travel writer and photographer. 

What do kids fall back on when they’re bored? Of course, most children FIDGET.

Travel by car, plane or train can drain a kid’s patience. When my son, Yoshi, bought his first Fidget Spinner, I thought the constant buzzing sound coming from my car’s back seat was REALLY annoying. But the idea behind this toy makes sense for children who are by nature, busy, young human beings inclined to keep their hands and minds busy at all times.

Fidget Spinner Review by Joan Mead-Matsui
“FUN WITH FIDGET SPINNERS: 50 Super Cool Tricks & Activities” teaches kids the ABCs of Fidget Spinner tricks.

“Fun With Fidget Spinners: 50 Super Cool Tricks & Activities,” by David King of “Geek Bite” – with Colleen Dorsey & Katie Weeber, is the bible, or guidebook to the ABCs of fidget spinning tricks. If you’ve never seen a Fidget Spinner, it’s a multi-lobed flat toy that spins on its axis, resulting in a gentle hum or buzzing noise. They were invented as far back as 1993 but became popular in spring 2017.

Fun with Fidget Spinners review by Joan Mead-Matsui
My nephews, (shown from left to right) Matthew, Noah, and Andrew, review some of author David King’s basic tricks kids of all ages can practice.

With some practice, kids can show off their skills with “The Hot Potato,” “The Tower of Power,” “Dinner is Served,” and 14 other impressive tricks. “Stop Fidgeting’ and Other Bad Advice,” and “The Origin Story” are two bonus items kids will also find entertaining. Tricks and activities are categorized for the beginner, intermediate and advanced fidgeters.

Fun With Fidget Spinners is published by Design Originals, an imprint of Fox Chapel Publishing. For more details, or to buy a copy, visit


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Food on Foot: Travel Book Review

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  • June 21, 2017

Travel Book Review



A History of Eating on TRAILS and in the Wild

by Demet Guzey

Freelance food and wine writer and Author Demet Güzey, Ph.D., has climbed some rather high mountains in her lifetime.

“Food on Foot” is a captivating look at famous expeditions and unknown explorers who have demonstrated their ability or lack thereof to carry or forage food.

Guzey is a consummate hiker and food enthusiast with many published articles to her credit and Food on Foot (April 8, 2017; ISBN: 978-1-4422-5506-7) is the next installment in the “Food on the Go” series.

History on the Go


She introduces readers to the history of the human expedition, from the Incan pilgrimages at Machu Picchu to what we’ve come to know today as street vendors and food trucks. She guides her readers through the Arctic, across barren deserts, and over mountains to give firsthand accounts through “the lens of food.” In addition to her thought-provoking writing, you’ll also find photographs, expert opinions, and recipes.

Humanity is limited by the food we can find along the way and her book is dedicated to examining the ways we have approached the problem. Her book is also an invaluable educational guide with an extensive bibliography that can be used for follow-up learning. Pages and pages of sources illustrate Guzey’s thirst for knowledge and her commitment to providing accurate and compelling information.

Follow this link to learn more about Guzey.


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