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Oh the Books You Will Read: An Ode to my Kindle.

I love to read. I have ever since I was a little kid. I also have always loved having a huge collection of books.  I've always dreamed of one day having a house with my very own library, when I was little it was one the size of the Beast's in Beauty in the Beast, now a little more realistic, but still a dream.

However, as I've grown up I've also gained a love of travel, and it is quite a struggle to pack lightly and also bring along books for the journey. This is where my Kindle comes into play. Before I left for the Peace Corps I was so anti-kindle you would have thought that I had stock in Border's or something. But I am here today to tell you I am a Kindle convert.  Don't get me wrong I will always love a good old fashioned book, but nothing beats a being able to carry hundreds of books in something that only takes up the space of one.

With the awesomeness of my Kindle (and the awesomeness of the PCV library) added to more free time and less things to do with said free time I have been able to read over 30 books since I came to Paraguay in February.  Here are some of my favorites:

Mansfield Park (Jane Austen): Taken from the poverty of her parents' home, Fanny Price is brought up with her rich cousins at Mansfield Park, acutely aware of her humble rank and with only her cousin Edmund as an ally. When Fanny's uncle is absent in Antigua, Mary Crawford and her brother Henry arrive in the neighbourhood, bringing with them London glamour and a reckless taste for flirtation. As her female cousins vie for Henry's attention, and even Edmund falls for Mary's dazzling charms, only Fanny remains doubtful about the Crawfords' influence and finds herself more isolated than ever. I enjoyed this book. It wasn't my favorite Austen, but it did mark a special occasion, the completion of all 6 Austen novels!

Everything is Illuminated (Johnathan Safran Foer): With only a yellowing photograph in hand, a young man -- also named Jonathan Safran Foer -- sets out to find the woman who may or may not have saved his grandfather from the Nazis. Accompanied by an old man haunted by memories of the war; an amorous dog named Sammy Davis, Junior, Junior; and the unforgettable Alex, a young Ukrainian translator who speaks in a sublimely butchered English, Jonathan is led on a quixotic journey over a devastated landscape and into an unexpected past. Part of this novel is from the perspective of Alex, a Ukrainian, his characters narration is written in the way his English would sound, grammatically incorrect with numerous mistakes, for this reason it took me a little bit to get into this book. But, once I did I actually really enjoyed this novel. 

The Shadow of the Wind (Carlos Ruiz Zafon): Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julián Carax. But when he sets out to find the author’s other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. In fact, Daniel may have the last of Carax’s books in existence. Soon Daniel’s seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets--an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love. For some reason I really enjoy books about books, and definitely get that in this novel the first in the series about the Cemetery of Lost Books. I can't wait to read the next book in the series and find out what else happens to Daniel. 

A Secret Kept (Tatiana de Rosnay): Entirely set in France in the present day and in 1974, A SECRET KEPT begins when Antoine Rey, a divorcee in his mid-forties, takes his sister, Mélanie, to their childhood vacation spot, Noirmoutier Island, for her fortieth birthday. Passage to the island is made on a causeway called Le Gois, a road that is only passable at low tide and which becomes treacherous in moments once the water rises. They make the passage and spend an idyllic time on the island, but the devastating events following their holiday set in motion a search for clues surrounding the untimely death of their mother when they were children. This is written by the same author as "Sarah's Key" and while not as good,  I still tore through this book in no time reading it in one night. I look forward to reading more from her.

The Routes of Man (Ted Convers): Roads bind our world—metaphorically and literally—transforming landscapes and the lives of the people who inhabit them. Roads have unparalleled power to impact communities, unite worlds and sunder them, and reveal the hopes and fears of those who travel them.With his marvelous eye for detail and his contagious enthusiasm, Ted Conover explores six of these key byways worldwide, in Peru, Pakistan, Kenya, Israel. China and Nigeria. This book was great! It appealed to the travel junkie in me, but, I liked how it took a different look into travel.

Lady Oracle (Margaret Atwood): Joan Foster is the bored wife of a myopic ban-the-bomber.  She takes off overnight as Canada's new superpoet, pens lurid gothics on the sly, attracts a blackmailing reporter, skids cheerfully in and out of menacing plots, hair-raising traps, and passionate trysts, and lands dead and well in Terremoto, Italy. I'd heard of Margaret Atwood before but this was the first thing I'd read by here. I really enjoy her writing styles and am really excited that she has written so many more books for me to choose from ... next up "The Blind Assassin"

Visit my  Goodreads account to see the other books I've read so far. Also, all the summaries in this post were borrowed from Goodreads.

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At November 16, 2012 at 10:23 PM , Blogger Emilio Fernandez said...

Good morning how are you?

My name is Emilio, I am a Spanish boy and I live in a town near to Madrid. I am a very interested person in knowing things so different as the culture, the way of life of the inhabitants of our planet, the fauna, the flora, and the landscapes of all the countries of the world etc. in summary, I am a person that enjoys traveling, learning and respecting people's diversity from all over the world.

I would love to travel and meet in person all the aspects above mentioned, but unfortunately as this is very expensive and my purchasing power is quite small, so I devised a way to travel with the imagination in every corner of our planet. A few years ago I started a collection of used stamps because trough them, you can see pictures about fauna, flora, monuments, landscapes etc. from all the countries. As every day is more and more difficult to get stamps, some years ago I started a new collection in order to get traditional letters addressed to me in which my goal was to get at least 1 letter from each country in the world. This modest goal is feasible to reach in the most part of countries, but unfortunately it’s impossible to achieve in other various territories for several reasons, either because they are countries at war, either because they are countries with extreme poverty or because for whatever reason the postal system is not functioning properly.

For all this I would ask you one small favor:
Would you be so kind as to send me a letter by traditional mail from Paraguay? I understand perfectly that you think that your blog is not the appropriate place to ask this, and even, is very probably that you ignore my letter, but I would call your attention to the difficulty involved in getting a letter from that country, and also I don’t know anyone neither where to write in Paraguay in order to increase my collection. a letter for me is like a little souvenir, like if I have had visited that territory with my imagination and at same time, the arrival of the letters from a country is a sign of peace and normality and an original way to promote a country in the world. My postal address is the following one:

Emilio Fernandez Esteban
Avenida Juan de la Cierva, 44
28902 Getafe (Madrid)

If you wish, you can visit my blog where you can see the pictures of all the letters that I have received from whole World.

Finally I would like to thank the attention given to this letter, and whether you can help me or not, I send my best wishes for peace, health and happiness for you, your family and all your dear beings.

Yours Sincerely

Emilio Fernandez


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