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Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life

Finnegan, William - Finished May 14, 2016

Run-on Sentence Summary

With remarkable detail and lucidity, William Finnegan chronicles his life’s adventures as he surfs his way across the world.

Impressions

I read this book on the recommendation of my traveling buddy, Nate, on our way to Sri Lanka to go surfing. I had only surfed one or two times before, and was an enthusiastic kook. My friends were life long surfers and guided me into the world, teaching me the culture and showing me why it is such as unique and beautiful sport.

Finnegan’s memoir won the Pulitzer prize in 2016, and for good reason. It is a beautifully written road story, and goes well beyond surfing. It resonated with me on many levels as I travel around the world in my youth, even going to some of the same places.

Final Thoughts

I’d recommend this book to just about anybody as a travel story, even if they aren’t interested in surfing (but especially if they might be!)

Favorite Quote

“Chasing waves in a dedicated way was both profoundly egocentric and selfless, dynamic and ascetic, radical in its rejection of the values of duty and conventional achievement.”