A Quest for Discovery in Remote and
"This is an extraordinary work by a writer whose greatest talent is providing intimate, personal glimpses into locations, experiences and people, and in the process discovers a powerful and poignant inner landscape. For such a writer, his strength and warm humanity are indelible, as one feels that his writing is an extension of himself, which makes the reading experience of Nothing Routine both moving and powerful. By placing himself in different environments, whether inspiring or harrowing, but always truly visceral, one can see the inner and outer worlds meeting, with the author truly having been changed by the experience. Not since Paul Theroux and Peter Matthiessen have I come across a writer who is so able to infuse his words with such warm power. I couldn't recommend this work more for these reasons."
"It swept me away. Couldn't put it down. Engaging, funny, descriptive, informative. Each sentence was well constructed and each chapter well crafted, making for a captivating and all-absorbing book. Every chapter is different, keeping you hooked from the beginning to the end - like a first train ride through scenic territory, you never know what's around the next bend so God forbid you doze off and miss a great view. Helminiak brings the reader into his personal world - a private place indeed. His spirit is not of this land (filled with time/work/tv/image/money obsessed Americans), but of wild, unusual foreign places. You can live vicariously through his writing without ever leaving the comfort and safety of the U.S.A. I found his writing style addictive and on par with some of my favorite authors, Edward Abbey, Peter Mayle, and James Herriot."
"A nice little book, especially good for college-age adventurers and budding outdoorsy types. Author's central idea is that travel is an important personal investment, which will appeal to Ed Abbey wannabes. The structure and writing style are very readable, and many of my students (university) loved it. Quick, fun read with a broad appeal. Definitely worth the 15 bucks. I liked it better than most books of its kind, and I'm a tough audience."
"I loved it. The description of the daily life along the way was simple, unadorned, and true to life. I could see it, smell it, and hear it all myself. It has the feel of the authentic as compared to the run-of-the-mill travel writing devoted to sea, sand, and sun laced with lavish and luxurious lodging and "exotic cuisine".
"It was a sad day today because I finished Nothing Routine. Truly, I loved the book. I felt like I was right there, on all of the adventures. It is extremely well written. I tip my hat to the author - and thanks for the journeys."
"Really refreshing! If you like world travel, but are tired of the same old tourist paths, Jon Helminiak can show you a new side of travel. Robert Frost would be proud of Helminiak taking the path less traveled. His writing is crisp, gifted, and humorous. His sensitivities provide interesting insights into the people he meets. His travel experiences in four continents are both thrilling and thought provoking. He tells you about ten places and activities you may have wanted to experience, but may have lacked the courage. It is a book one hates to see end. I hope Helminiak writes sequels."
"In Nothing Routine you feel as if you are right there with the author. The storylines are compelling and often harrowing, and the work has a wonderful blend of insight, humor, self-deprecation, and reflection."
"Helminiak CAN put his recountables and anecdotes to pen! His method of immersing the reader into the story reminds me of Steinbeck. Also, only Solzhenitsyn rivals Helminiak for the super recollective completeness of detail. Kudos to Jon Helminiak!"
"I just finished the last story in Nothing Routine. Need more! Helminiak needs to keep going further into the unknown world, off the beaten path, and writing about it. He writes like Edward Abbey. Good stuff!"
"My 83 year-old mother just finished reading Nothing Routine and positively, absolutely loved it! This is not true of some of the books of ours which she reads!"