No Touch Monkey

The title and cover of Ayun Halliday's No Touch Monkey is so brilliant, so catching, that you're bound to be somewhat underwhelmed when you're finished reading it. Nothing can live up to such an excellent title.

And you'd be right.

This part memoir/part travelogue is roughly in chronological order, detailing the travels of Halliday with her different companions in exotic locales like India, Africa, Singapore, Paris (with her mother) and finally, Scotland with her husband and child. The best part of the book is how you get to see Halliday grow up over the course of two ex-boyfriends and the man who eventually becomes her husband as they make mistake after mistake, getting into the sort of misadventures typically reserved for young, hip, counter-culture chicks from NYC. Every chapter is engaging and promotes a few smiles; no chapter (with the possible exceptions of the Paris and Scotland section, which involve her family) really brings you into the book the way I wanted it to.

Not bad by any means; I wasn't turned off at all and will definitely pick up her new book Dirty Sugar Cookies (another awesome title - she missed her calling). When I went on that bastion of objective opinion amazon.com to read what other people thought, it seemed this was her worse reviewed book. Give it a try if you want some light reading that will almost span the length of a trip from New York to Phoenix.