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Just got on to this book on the plane back to California. This may be the first time I wanted the plane ride NOT to end. This book is so good, Sam. I really have enjoyed the first half of the book with you insight and thoughts as you traveled north into 1st world crazyness. I was having my wife read so many bits that she pulled it up on her Kindle and started reading it along with me. Thanks for another great read. This is a book everybody should read, riders or not. Made me want to head immediately south of the border. Cheers.
Greg – USA
Love Sam’s upbeat and relaxed style. Makes me long to be able to do a part of these trips but there is also an acknowledgement in all his books that the trips aren’t for everyone and so you aren’t made to feel guilty about not jumping on your bike and heading off. Love descriptions of the USA in particular as it is often an area that isn’t given much focus as it’s not considered that arduous.
Farren – UK
This book, as with previous three books, really bring motorcycle travel to life. My own European travels are nowhere near the challenges faced by Sam and Birgit but much of what has been written here applies nonetheless. A great read as are the previous three books.
Peter – UK
I bought all four of Sam’s books in CD format and they have been a joy. Sam is a born story teller and his he has quite a story to tell. If you are curious about the world that we live in but are wary of stepping out into the unknown listen to these books. In his gentle, unassuming way Sam has embraced the difference and strangeness of other cultures and in doing so showed us that beneath a thin veneer of difference we are all the same. As a motorcycle traveller myself Sam is clearly the real deal. I cannot recommend his books and CD highly enough.
Guy – UK
I dug out Tortillas and Totems a few weeks back, and have been re-reading it. I first read the book a few years back – but I guess I must have rattled through it more for research for my own trip than as a reading experience, because I am now discovering the story in a whole new way. Sam’s writing has the knack of dragging you into the story, so you feel part of the journey and that you are travelling right along with him. There are quite a few motorcycle travel writers out there these days, but Sam remains one of the best in my opinion. Indeed, I would say he is one of the best travel writers around, irrespective of the chosen mode of transport.
Pat – Wales
Allen – UK
After a seven year absence of motorcycles in my life, I started restoring a 40 year old GS750. The adventure motorcycle bug has bit me big time. I heard Sam on an Adventure Rider Radio podcast and immediately downloaded this Kindle book. What a thought-provoking and open-minded writer, storyteller and traveller. Sam not only portrays a great story, his gift with the written word brings our world to life and this reader felt like he was along for every mile (or kilometer!). I appreciated Sam’s opinion and insight across many subjects, political and otherwise. I’ve had the good fortune to experience cultures on the other side of the world and Sam was spot on without coming off as too many arrogant writers do these days.
Brian – USA
As I read this most excellent narrative, I can smell the tortillas, I could hear the whine of the engine, and at times I was squeezing the grips. Totems to tortillas took me on a ride north through languages, cultures and the back of beyond while Sam shares his insights hooked me from the first chapter to the last. Raw writing tied together the ride, the emotions, the dirt, beaches mountains and villages. A personal triumph in the end made me a fan of Sam Manicom for life. I can’t wait to read more. Sam makes you feel as if I can do this, I could ride my motorbike around the world but maybe not exercise for an hour everyday. 5 stars!
Anthony – USA
Read it, loved it. Reading it again. Your writing is so descriptive and natural, it makes the reader seem as they are at your side experiencing the adventure with you. It has been a long time since I put a book down and then can hardly wait to get home to pick it up again.
Brian – England
Just finished your last book, read all of them now and waiting for a 5th !!!! Really enjoyed all your books, keep them coming.
Neil – Scotland
Just finished your T to T book. Very enjoyable and has got me thinking the USA and Canada may be a good place to start exploring when I retire.
Paul – England
I have just finished your 4th book Totillas to Totems, and again what a wonderful read. I would just like to thank you for writing all 4 books which have given me immense pleasure and insight.
Graham – England
I found all of your books a fascinating read, you really get into the country and people and its not a boring list of roads numbers and limited observations.
Nick – UK
My God! Tortillas to Totems! Is bloody fantastic. You really have surpassed yourself with your latest addition. I have not been able to put the damned book down and have loved every single word in it. Everything about T2T is just right in every way. I love the way you bring the whole experience to life, I almost felt as if I was there with you both. My heartfelt thanks to you for sharing everything so openly with everyone who takes the time to read T2T. In the past I have taken my time reading your work, but this book just had me hooked and I just had to finish it the minute I had started reading. Well done to you and I look forward to your next installment.
Ray – UK
Hello Sam. Just wanted to let you know, I have now read all 4 books. Started with the first book for Xmas present Tortillas to Totems, that was a great read, and set me off to buy the set. Started with Into Africa, then Under Asian Skies, followed by Distant Suns. You had some close moments, could not put the books down, had to get to the end of each chapter to make sure you were OK. Great books and a fantastic experience just to read them. Think I will now read again Tortillas to Totems it will have a totally different meaning now I know how hard you had to work to get there. Looking forward to the next adventure / book from you both.
Will – France
Thanks for writing another great book and giving an insight into another part of the world. I will set off myself one day!
Angus – UK
Hi Sam, I have to say another great read. I really enjoyed it, thats all four books which have been a brilliant read. I’m not sure what it is about your books, I’ve tried others like the Long Way Round & gave up with it, the only other one thats come close is Ted Simon’s Jupiters Travels, but there is something about yours that I really enjoy.
Alan – UK
I have just finished Tortillas to Totems – great read, captivating. You even rode thru my neck of the woods.
Chris – Canada
I wanted to say I have just finished Tortillas to Totems – unwillingly, I may add. Do authors change the world? Some do, if they are lucky. Do books change the world? Again, some do, most don’t though. However, in my view, a lot more change could come about if a lot more people read your books and looked at the universally positive way in which you approach every new person, new experience, new thought, new challenge, new decision. Suffice, now, to say, Tortillas to Totems is another triumph (oops, unfortunate biking term from a Honda owner), and I’m greatly looking forward to the next one!
Pam – UK
Dear Sam and Birgit,
I have to tell you I really enjoyed it. Normally travel books don’t take my fancy, but I really did have a great time reading this.
Jack – USA
You have a gift for concise but vivid description of the people and places you encountered and the whole atmosphere you create, whilst conveying the adventure, joy and elemental side of riding a motorcycle with a close companion on another bike…
Jed – UK
Into Africa was an inspiration, Under Asian Skies was enlightening and Distant Suns ended all too soon. So I had high expectations for Tortillas to Totems as the continuation of Sam’s wonderful round-the-world story en route to Alaska and eventually home. I had some uncertainty too though. Would Sam be able to maintain the standard set by the previous books and how would he deal with bringing the story to its final conclusion? Of course I needn’t have worried. Sam’s talent for bringing the journey to life in glorious technicolour has only improved, with vivid descriptions that put you right there in the heart of the adventure and make you want to pack the bike and go. Don’t overlook the ‘sidetracked by the unexpected’ subtitle – dealing with the unexpected is what this book is really all about in more ways than one. I’ve had the honour, and very great pleasure, of counting Sam and Birgit among my friends for a couple of years and have had some insight into the creation of Tortillas to Totems. However, on the final page of the story I discovered that I share something rather rare with Sam. That was unexpected too.
Iain – UK
Fantastic!! Keep up the great work!
Ian – UK
Finished T2T at the weekend. Much enjoyed it.
John – UK
When I read paragraph three of 284, I then had to put the book down, as my tears where causing issues for my ability to read on. We have both decided to find out how to become donors. Thank you Sam for writing another wonderful book!!! I enjoyed it all and found that I was writing many notes that will help me on my travels.
Steve – Canada
I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your latest book. I took it on holiday with me and I couldn’t put it down until I’d finished.
Paul – UK
I loved Tortillas to Totems. But some of the things you discuss could cost you some fans in this country. The USA never makes “mistakes”!
Peter – USA
As with Sam’s previous books, Tortillas to Totems had me looking for opportunities to get on and read it. True to form it made me wish that I was out there on the road experiencing for myself the places that he and Birgit visited, as a good travel book should.
Mark – UK
Great descriptive writing putting the reader right there in the saddle with you and Birgit (what a woman!) all the way around. Entertaining, emotional, inspirational. Fantastic!
Roger – UK
Well done Sam and Birgit – who by the way, I think is quite amazing. I started to get to know her in Distant Suns, but she really shines through in this book. Wonderful reading. Thank you.
Jimmy – USA
As usual its a page turner, very hard to put down! Its books like yours that make me realise its not such an impossible dream to load up the bike and head off! I shall be off on my own adventure in a year or so.
Dave – UK
Having read other books by Sam, I have come to know what to expect; common sense advice, a cool tone and a really fun inspiring read. I wondered whether reading about the more ‘civilised’ biking offered by the Americas would prove as interesting – but do you know what, it really was. It made me feel that travel is available to anyone, and that anyone can have amazing adventures anywhere in the world. I think the bit that stays with me the most is the scene with the wild horses. To think that in a place as commercialised as the States, you can still feel in touch with nature, at peace with yourself, and to feel that the world is boundless in its capacity to provide awe and beauty is just such a lift to the spirit. Long may Sam continue writing, so that I may long continue reading. This latest novel is insightful, personal, emotional and simply wonderful. Sam’s friendliness and approachability is always obvious; he makes you feel like he is talking to you alone. In many ways, the supposed easiness of the terrain means that we hear more about Sam the man, more about the pleasures of the open road. It’s really nice to be able to get to know Sam’s intrepid motorcycling partner in crime, Birgit, too. I think this installment is more than just a roadtrip told well, it’s an insight into man’s thoughts and feelings and how a bike can spirit you away. Thanks Sam, a really great read that answered many of my questions from previous books, and which allowed me to share the dream.
Nikki – UK
Read Tortillas to Totems (great cover by the way) in one hit. I suddenly realised it was 4am! I’ll never make it through the day today! Please stop writing such good books!!!
Ian – Canada
Wow what a book. Up to your usual standard – makes me want to get up and go.
Zed Zed – UK
I’m happily enjoying your new offering and I have to say its as rivettting as the others. What am I to do when I have finished this book?????
Slimbo – UK
I’ve probably read over 5000 books and in the genre of motorcycle adventure, your books are the very best and rank right at the top of adventure sagas.
Jerry – USA