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My collection, courtesy of the US Government.

“To possess another language is to possess a second soul.”
— John le Carré

My last couple of semesters in college, I didn’t have much time to read for pleasure. Certainly not as much as I would have liked. I was far too consumed with compulsively joining clubs, playing Man Behind the Curtain for a crisis counseling hotline, working in a psychology lab, and taking so many credits that my friends’ rage at my advisor for signing off on my INSANE schedule fell only just short of a desire to slash her tires. In Kenya, I’m busy, but I also have free time (WACKY CONCEPT I know). It’s been a joy to rediscover how much I love books here. Since being given a Kindle for graduation (BEST GIFT EVER, BEST INVENTION EVER) I’ve been able to break my dependence on paper books – saving me space, money, and trips to the tourist-heavy bookstores in nearby Malindi. (They do still have a certain charm that tickles my inner bibliophile, but I digress.)

My Kindle, an assortment of care packages, the “Honor Library” at the Peace Corps office, and a bustling network of tome trading among the volunteers has allowed me to finish the following thus far:
* The End of Poverty, by Jeffrey Sachs
* Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card
* Speaker for the Dead, by Orson Scott Card
* Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins
* Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins
* The Constant Gardener, by John Le Carre
* American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
* Pride & Prejudice, by Jane Austen
* Mercy, by Jodi Picoult
* Picture of Dorian Grey, by Oscar Wilde
* What is the What, by Dave Eggers
* Africa United: Passion, Politics, and the First World Cup in Africa, by Steve Bloomfield
* Skipping Towards Gomorrah, by Dan Savage
* The Red Queen, by Phillipa Gregory
* Finger-lickin’ Fifteen: A Stephanie Plum Novel, by Janet Evanovich
* War of the Worlds, by H.G. Wells
* Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why, by Laurence Gonzales
* Zoo Stories: Life in the Gardens of the Captives, by Thomas French

I’m also one of those people who tends to read a half-dozen (or more) books simultaneously to give myself choice of selection, so I also have in progress:
* White Man’s Burden: Why the West’s Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good, by William Easterly
* Chronicles of a Plague, Revisited: AIDS and Its Aftermath, by Andrew Holleran
* No God But God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam, by Reza Aslan
* God is Not Great, by Christopher Hitchens
* The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy, by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt
* Eat Pray Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert
* The Blue Helmets: A Review of United Nations Peacekeeping 1948-1990, by Javier Perez de Cuellar
* Histories of the Hanged: Kenya’s Dirty War and the End of an Empire, by David Anderson
* The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

You’d think this would be enough to satisfy me, BUT NO. I’m currently trying to wheedle Three Cups of Tea (by Greg Mortenson) out of one friend and just stole A History of God (by Karen Armstrong) from another. To say nothing of the small heap of paperbacks currently languishing next to my bed, waiting for that glad day when they’ll finally be picked like the fat kid for a kickball team.

I’m insatiable.

My question for you, dear blog follower, is this: what are YOU reading? Is it any good? Would you recommend it/should I add it to my Christmas wishlist/should I scour the second-hand book market in Mombasa for it? My entertainment is in your hands.

If on the other hand, YOU’RE looking for a good time (literarily speaking), I suggest you check out my recommended reading list on the “Frequently Asked Questions” portion of this blog. Mostly you’ll find stuff about Africa, but hey, it’s a big topic. Enjoy.

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The opinions expressed on this blog do not represent those of the Peace Corps, the United States government, or any other organization. The author is solely responsible for all content on this blog.
Yours truly