In the weeks before I left to travel for the better part of a year, many people asked me if I was going to get a Kindle. Gasp. How could they ask such a question?! A technological device instead of a book? Never! While I don’t regret my decision nor do I plan to buy a Kindle—or other e-book device—anytime soon, I will admit that it did get a bit frustrating trying to find a book to read (in English) among all the tattered John Grisham paperbacks and pawed copies of the Millennium trilogy. But there were a few particularly stellar book exchanges that we stumbled across and one or two well-stocked English-language bookstores that enabled me to find enough books to read throughout the trip. They weren’t all gems (Mark and I both tried to read Howard Jacobson’s Booker Prize-winning The Finkler Question, but couldn’t get through it. Too whiney!), but they did the trick.
Upon returning home, I plan to resume my freelance book-reviewing ways. But for now, a simple list must suffice.
- The Vintage Book of Latin American Stories by Carlos Fuentes
- Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
- The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell
- The Little Friend by Donna Tartt
- A Short History of Tractors In the Ukraine by Marina Lewycka
- Imperfect Birds by Anne Lamott
- Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
- The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
- When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro
- Friend of My Youth by Alice Munro
- Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky
- Lives of Girls and Women by Alice Munro
- No Great Mischief by Alistair Macleod
- Youth by J.M. Coetzee
- The Spring 2011 Issue of Granta
- The Summer 2011 Issue of Granta
- “Family Happiness” – a collection of short stories by Leo Tolstoy
- The Tender Bar by J.R. Moehringer
- The Good Doctor by Damon Galgut
- The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman
- The Photograph by Penelope Lively
- Women With Men by Richard Ford
- Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
What am I reading now? War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (for the second time. Huzzah!)—this time, the Rosemary Edmonds translation.
What will I read when I get home? Not sure! As I’ve been a wee bit out of the publishing loop for the last seven months, I’d love to hear your recommendations. Feel free to email me with suggestions or leave them in the comments section below.