Rugged Outdoorsman Shawn Henry Baybutt Also an Avid Reader

A little known fact about Shawn Henry Baybutt is his love for the written word. Many people might assume such a rugged outdoorsman would neglect more intellectual activities. In fact, Shawn always takes along a few books as he explores remote locations across the world. He loves to keep his mind sharp, and there is nothing better to keep the brain engaged than reading an intriguing book.

Shawn's Favorite Author

Shawn’s favorite author is American author Kurt Vonnegut, who wrote “Cat’s Cradle,” “Breakfast of Champions” and “Slaughterhouse-Five.” Vonnegut is an intellectual pacifist and a supporter of the American Civil Liberties Union. His books successfully blend science fiction, humor and satire in an entertaining way.

Shawn Henry Baybutt read about the time Vonnegut spent as a soldier during World War II. He learned this experience had a profound effect on his later writings. Vonnegut was a private with the 423rd Infantry Regiment and was captured during the Battle of the Bulge, which took place on December 19, 1944. In fact, the inspiration for his book “Slaughterhouse-Five” came directly from his experience as a prisoner of war.

During his time in captivity, Vonnegut was held in a detention facility known as the Slaughterhouse Five or, in German, Schlachtohof Funf. It is easy to imagine some of the atrocities that Vonnegut witnessed firsthand during his time as a prisoner. In fact, various memories from this time are central themes in at least six other books besides “Slaughterhouse-Five.”

Shawn's Favorite Book

Shawn has read each of Vonnegut’s famous and lesser known books more times than he can count. In fact, he could write a book review on any of them at a moment’s notice. However, Shawn’s favorite book is “Breakfast of Champions.”

The book “Breakfast of Champions” tells the story of two old men living in the fictional town of Midland City. Readers quickly learn that no one is exactly as they seem. One man appears to be sane but is in fact very deranged while the other man appears demented but is in fact relatively normal. Shawn enjoys this book because he feels it sums up how judging others too hastily is wrong. Moreover, in many cases, the conclusion drawn the fastest is wrong.

Lessons Learned

Shawn Henry Baybutt knows how important it is to get to know someone before judging that person. After all, he travels around the world and meets people living in different cultures all the time. In one culture, an action may seem normal that would be considered insane in another. The saneness of an action all depends on the motivation behind the action and the cultural surroundings.

Because Shawn has acquired so much knowledge from reading, he urges all young explorers to get into the habit of discovering the written word. He feels it has helped him greatly as he has interacted with people from all over the world.           

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