What book would you take to Africa for two years?

I need your help.

A very sweet and generous friend recently gifted me a Kindle. It’s pretty fabulous. I’ve talked to current and former Lesotho volunteers and they all agree that a loaded Kindle is a great Peace Corps companion. So, I am on the hunt for good books to fill it up with. I made a wish list on Amazon of a few that I’ve always wanted to read or that seemed interesting. (My Pinterest button wasn’t working, boo.) But I am unsure which ones I should take the 11.99 (or more) plunge for or if I am missing some great book on this list.

That is where you come in.

I would like my Facebook friends, Twitter followers, dear blog readers, stalkers, the hobo on the street or anyone to offer their book suggestions. What is your favorite book? What’s the book you read when you are sick? Or happy? Give me your best shot.

The blue text  is a link to my Amazon wish list for books. Browse through it, if you feel so inclined, and let me know if there is anything you think I must read or I should delete off the list and never look back.

There are a few that I’ve been aching to read for awhile and will go on the Kindle, regardless of what you all think.

Those include:

Yes, these are all memoirs, and yes all of these authors have appeared on This American Life. I like what I like.

So, what book (or books) would you take to Africa for two years? Feel free to comment on the blog or Tweet, Facebook, email, skeet or ignore me.



7 thoughts on “What book would you take to Africa for two years?

  1. Random stranger here. I’m an expat living in Maseru and RPCV (Botswana 2005-2008) and came across your blog through a random Google search.

    Anyhow, would very highly recommend “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” It’s one of the best books I’ve read this year. Would not recommend “Dead Aid” as it’s easy enough to be discouraged as a PCV without academic support. Would recommend “Poor Economics” instead. Also, if you haven’t already read “The Hunger Games” series would also highly recommend them as they are light and fun but completely engaging.

  2. Another random stranger here…well not so random: my son is a PCV in Africa. He takes Faulkner’s Light in August with him everywhere.

    Happy reading.

  3. Both Dave and I suggest A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving and for us to agree on a book is unusual!

    I agree with the suggestion The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks—amazing first book by its author and definite food for thought if you have any interest in medical subjects, the South, etc.

    THE HELP which is already a movie (came out right as we left for Armenia) is great also.

    The Cat’s Ship by Jock Brandis from North Carolina where we lived—about the “rescue” of babies during the Biafran crisis—heavy reading but well written

  4. Besides memoirs, I’m not sure what your tastes are. But here are some books I liked:

    What is the What and Zeitoun by Dave Eggers
    The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. Very interesting fiction about religion and exploring other cultures.
    Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer. Quirky story about a man who learns more about his ancestry by going back to Ukraine.
    Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
    A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

    The entire Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. Silly and fun. Good for when you miss the States.
    Dewey by Vicky Myron. Yes, it’s about a cat that lived in the library. Yes, I cried three times.

    Good Memoirs:
    My Life in France by Julia Child. Love, love, love. But it may make you really hungry for French food.
    Round by Frank Bruni
    The Know-It-All by A.J. Jacobs

  5. Heather, one of the best books I’ve read recently is The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. I’m not a dog lover and this book is all about dogs so go figure! It’s one of those books that you can’t seem to get out of your mind.

    Thanks for writing such an inviting blog. I wish you all the best as you re-enter your big adventure. I will be watching/listening/reading!

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