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6 Months of Reading

As of this week, we have been in Swaziland for six months.  In my last blog post I talked about just how much has changed in the past year and how I now feel we are settling into our "new normal."  One part of our new routine that I am very grateful for is that ability we now have to read much more.  I have always enjoyed reading – especially historic nonfiction – but now it is easy to fit reading into our days.  What is crazy is that I don’t feel like I have turned into a bookworm; however, that must be the case since I just realized that I had read well over 20 books in 6 months.  Here is the list in alphabetical order.

1984 – I started reading "Hunger Games" but Beth took the kindle from me, so I started reading the classic dystopia book.

Animal Farm – At one point a few months ago I found an old paperback copy of this book in the closet and decided it was probably one of those books that everyone should read.

Bonk – I love Mary Roach and after reading all her other books, I figured I should read this one too.

Cold Death (or something like that) – I am not sure of the title, but this was another paperback I found in the closet.  It was about a bunch of trappers that died in Canada.  Not a great read.

Fear and loathing in Las Vegas – Another one of those books that I felt obligated to read if for no other reason than to connect with the cultural references it creates.

Flight to Heaven – Thought it was "survival story," but quickly realized that was not the main point.

Freakonomics – I had a pdf copy of this given to me and really enjoyed reading it.  I love the "approachable science" type  books.

Heart of Darkness – I have had this book on my kindle for a while, but finally found the time to read it.  Unlike some "classics" that I feel like I should read, I really enjoyed this one.

HIV/AIDS: A very short introduction – I read this book on the airplane over.

Hunger Games Trilogy – Beth got me to read these.  I enjoyed the concept, and found them very engaging, but I thought the last book ruined the trilogy.

  • The Hunger Games
  • Catching Fire
  • Mockingjay

Journey on the Estrada Real – This book was written by an author whom we met here in Swaziland while he was doing a story on the Cabrini sisters.  I really like his wry humor and crazy stories.

Kitchen Confidential – yet another book I found in our closet.  It was entertaining.

Lab 257 – I just finished this book tonight and found it interesting, but a bit wandering in terms of the topic.

Love Mercy – It was very interesting to read this book since it is about friends of mine from Kentucky going on a trip to Swaziland.  It was odd to read a book about people I know going on a big journey to the place I live.

Stieg Larsson Trilogy – I hardly every read modern fiction, but absolutely loved these books.

  • The girl who kicked the hornet’s nest
  • The girl who played with fire
  • The girl with the dragon tattoo

The Communist Manifesto – Another book I have had on my kindle for a while and felt like I should read.

The five dysfunctions of a team – Since I am getting more and more into the management side of things, I wanted to have some fresh ideas to have bouncing around my head.

The Red Badge of Courage – I read this book when I was in school and had downloaded it awhile ago. I didn’t like it then, and thought I might have just been too immature to appreciate.  But unfortunately no… I still didn’t like it.

Unbroken – This was a great true story of an olympic runner turned solider turned POW.  Excellent!


Of all the books, Unbroken was probably my favorite.  I also really enjoyed Freakonomics.  I enjoyed reading the fiction books more than I expected I would.  I also found myself fascinated by the classics "Heart of Darnkess" and "1984."

Who knows what the next 6 months will hold.  On one hand, I have read a lot of the books on my "to read" list and I don’t have a lot of books I am dying to read.  However, I actually expect to have more time to read now that things have started to settle down.  All I know is that the next book I will be reading will be Tipping Point because I already have it on my kindle.

If you have any suggestions on what I should read next – especially in the exploration/survival and "approachable science"  genres – please send me an email or leave me a comment.

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  1. David
    January 21st, 2012 at 13:12 | #1

    First of all, Unbroken was one of the best books I read last year. Sat on my shelf for awhile, but now I recommend it to everyone I see. Also enjoyed the first Stieg Larsson book, but never got around to reading the other two. Strange, as the first was really incredible. Catherine is a Hunger Games fanatic. She begged me to read the first one, which I did, and it was ok, but I’m struggling to work up the motivation to read the other three.

    So what kind of historic non-fiction are you into? That’s one of my favorite genres as well, although I haven’t read a lot of it. Non-fiction in general is what I typically find myself reading.

    Good post. Also good talking to you guys this morning. Take care.

  2. Sarah
    January 21st, 2012 at 15:17 | #2

    So the millennium trilogy is good? I generally don’t like popular fiction but I’ve wanted to try those out.

  3. Brenda Morgan
    January 22nd, 2012 at 06:02 | #3

    You might like to read PEOPLE OF THE BOOK, by Geraldine Brooks. It’s about an ancient Hebrew manuscript’s travels down through history. Lots of suspense.

  1. July 18th, 2012 at 14:30 | #1