Book List

When I first moved to Mfuba Village, I couldn’t fathom how other PCVs read so many books! I have a very busy community, and, by nature, I’m the kind of person who finds it difficult to sit still. Especially when the list of things I could do in Mfuba is virtually endless.

Yet as I’ve settled in and found a routine, I’ve found myself reading more – especially during rainy season. Many of the books I’ve stumbled across have been inspiring, most have been informative, and some have been pure brain-candy escapism. But whether I realize it or not at the time, I believe they’ve all had an impact on my service and my musings about what it means to be living and serving here in rural Zambia. (Many have also provided the inspirational quotes listed on my Quotes Page.)

Below is a list of the books I’ve read so far, with those most recently read at the bottom. The ones that I’ve enjoyed the most are followed by a star.

  • Africa: A Biography of the Continent, John Reader *
  • Strength in What Remains, Tracy Kidder *
  • The Wild Muir: Twenty-two of John Muir’s Greatest Adventures, Lee Stetson ed.
  • Flight Behavior, Barbara Kingsolver *
  • To Timbuktu, Mark Jenkins *
  • The Quiet American, Graham Greene
  • Confessions of an Economic Hitman, John Perkins *
  • The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
  • Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins
  • Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight, Alexandra Fuller *
  • Blindness, Jose Saramago
  • Unbowed, Wangari Maathai
  • Buddha Is as Buddha Does, Lama Surya Das*
  • The Witch of Portobello, Paolo Coelho*
  • Say You’re One of Them, Uwem Akpan
  • One Straw Revolution, Masanobu Fukuoka*
  • The Grass is Singing, Doris Lessing
  • Dead Aid, Dambisa Moyo*
  • By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept, Paolo Coelho*
  • Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women, Nicholas D. Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn
  • God: A Biography, Jack Miles
  • The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver* (Second reading. First was over 10 years ago, when I first thought about joining Peace Corps!)
  • This is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession, Daniel Levitin
  • We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families: Stories from Rwanda, Philip Gourevitch*
  • Scribbling the Cat, Alexandra Fuller*
  • The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros
  • Lolita, Vladimir Nabakov
  • The Bookseller of Kabul, Asne Seierstad
  • Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu (over and over and over again …)
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hosseini
  • Surface Tension: Love, Sex and Politics Between Lesbians and Straight Women, edited by Meg Daly*
  • Bhagavad Gita
  • Walden and Civil Disobedience, Henry David Thoreau*
  • Devil on the Cross, Ngugi wa Thiong’o*
  • The Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other Stories, Ernest Hemingway
  • The Giver, Lois Lowry
  • Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides*
  • The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization, Thomas Friedman
  • A Visit from the Goon Squad, Jennifer Egan
  • Mountains Beyond Mountains, Tracy Kidder*
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