February 12, 2008

Book review

So some of you may have been wondering about our list of books off to the right of the blog that keeps growing…and growing. With no tv (that’s not completely true as we do have a computer and PCVs love to share dvds and tv series), there is plenty of time to get lost in a good read. So here is a list of the books we’ve read thus far with a little “blurp” about them to help any potential book lovers find some new reads. We had a rating system with a ¨thumbs up¨ icon but when I copied and pasted the blog from a Word doc onto the blogger page, it turned the thumbs up into ¨C¨. So three ¨C¨s means you should read the book if you get your hands on it, two means it was a decent read and one means…well, you know, it was a little less exciting. Enjoy!

PS: If anyone has any books they’ve read that they think we might enjoy, please feel free to comment on this blog with your suggestions or send us an email!

Books read by Luke during time with Peace Corps (* = Annie read it too)

*The Color of Water by James McBride CCC (Good non-fiction read about a kid from a mixed-race family growing up in the 50s)

The Known World by Edward P. Jones C (Confusing, only read it because I was stuck in an aldea for 3 days, this is the one I had when I was stuck in the room with the rats!!!!)

Indian Givers: How the Indians of the Americas Transformed the World by Jack Weatherford CC (If you like native American history)

Waiting for the Snow: The Peace Corps papers of a charter volunteer by Thomas Searlon (a return PCV) CC (things were better “back in the day”)

*The Beet Fields by Gary Paulsen CC (Gary Paulsen books taught me to read)

Tracker by Gary Paulsen CC (see above)

*Don’t Be Afraid Gringo: A Honduran Woman Speaks from the Heart edited by Medea Benjamin CCC (3 thumbs up if you’re looking for a good book that delves into Honduran culture, history, and economics. A bit outdated now but many things remain unchanged)

*The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini CC (you can just see the movie now)

Huck Finn by Mark Twain CC (classic, that is worth a read or re-read)

Peace not Apartheid by Jimmy Carter CC (explains a lot)

A Whale for the Killing by Farley Mowat CC (I like Mowat’s writing. People of the Deer, a book of his I read before PC, gets 3 thumbs up)

Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond CCC (You should get 3 credit hours for reading this)

Ma and Pa Hart Join the Peace Corps by June Hart (RPCV) CC (a quick good read. Makes you want to go to Brazil)

Walking the Big Wild: From Yellowstone to the Yukon on the Grizzly Bear´s Trail by Karsten Heuer CC (Any one want to walk to Alaska?)

The Last Cowboys at the End of the World: History of the Gauchos of Patagonia by Nick Reding CC (Good non-fiction, can’t believe they used to send PCV’s to Chile, I feel I would have fit in better there)

The Red Badge of Courage and ¨The Veteran¨ by Stephen Crane CC (classic quick read about the civil war)

*Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins CCC (People should read this if you’ve ever wondered what US interests in foreign countries really are about)

*The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho CCC (quick read and is worth it (I read the English translation))

Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold (a re-read) CCC (One of my favorites)

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West by Dee Brown CCC (Very well put together history of the Plains Indians)

The Firecracker Boys by Dan O´Neill CC (I can’t believe they almost blew up Alaska!!! Seriously they were going to blow the whole thing up)

Caribbean by James A. Michener CC (Not my favorite Michener, but a good read)

Into Thin Air: A personal account of the Mt. Everest Disaster by John Krakauer CCC (Quick and very entertaining)

The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America by Bill Bryson CC (If you like Bryson, he is a little tough on rural America at first though)

Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing CCC (Wow! penguins can’t taste that good)

Milagro Beanfield War by John Nichols CC (Makes a person want to move to New Mexico)

Collapse: How societies choose to fail or succeed by Jared Diamond CC (we’re screwed)

Books read by Annie during time with Peace Corps (* = Luke read it too)

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie CC

Sea Glass by Anita Shreve CC (a good fiction read)

Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown C (too much hype)

A Bend in the Road by Nicholas Sparks CC (a sad but good fiction read)

Nine Hills to Nambonkaha: Two years in the heart of an African village by Sarah Erdman (a return PCV) CC

The Girls Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank CC (good fiction read)

Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho CC (good fiction read about a rural Brazilian girl who ends up in Europe and ends up working as a prostitute. Coelho writes really well)

*White Man´s Grave by Richard Dooling CC (a fictional PCV get’s “lost” in Africa’s bush and his best friend goes looking for him)

The No. 1 Ladies´ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith CC

Cipotes by Ramon Amaya Amador CCC (a great book by a Honduran author (in Spanish))

The House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III C

*Eat, Pray, Love: One woman´s search for everything across Italy, India, and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert CCC (the author writes about life after her divorce and how she went searching
for answers to what life is about and who she is)

Irresistible Revolution: Living as an ordinary radical by Shane Claiborne CCC (the author stirs up questions about the direction of today’s church and world and discusses how to live out an authentic Christian faith).

Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris CCC (the author writes about growing up. The book is a compilation of funny stories of childhood. He is a regular contributor to Public Radio International’s “This American Life”.)

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant CCC (a “historical” fiction about Jacob and his family from the book of Genesis, written in first person by Dinah, the only daughter of Jacob)

The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards CC (a decent fiction read)


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the book recommendations. I will put them on my library list. I would recommend Ken Follet's The Pillars of the Earth. The only reason I didn't give it to you at Christmas is it is heavy - but if someone has it down there - it is a good historical fiction read about building a cathedral.
MISS YOU!!! -Sally

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Heather B said...

Loved your blog and then got to your book list. We'll hit some of those in book club. A book suggestion that seems to go with your themes - This I Believe by Jay Allison and Dan Gediman - an inspiring collection of the personal philosophies of a group of remarkable men and women (copied from NPR's web page).
Miss you. Heather B

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