As we are closing up our service, I just thought the blog couldn't be complete without a nod to all the fantastic books that we read during our two years of service. We started keeping this list during PST, and just kept updating it as we read. Over the last two years, we had a lot of possibilities for reading, and we definitely took advantage of it!
As I said in the earlier blog, everyone told us that we'd never read as much in our lives as we did during our service in the Peace Corps. This turned out to be absolutely true - Although we both liked reading before coming to Uganda, our reading took on totally new levels during our service. We read on buses, read while waiting for meetings to start, read before bed, read when the power was out and nothing was charged, read during trainings when most people were out partying, read with student book clubs, and, my favorite, read out loud to each other! We read aloud while we cooked for hours, did dishes for hours, and did our laundry by hand (for hours...). There was also an exceptionally long and uncomfortable bus ride (it involved food poisoning and a plastic bag...I won't go into more details than that!) during which I will always remember Ryan readin Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None" out loud to me as I was so sick I cried and our bus driver tried desperately to obtain local remedies from the villagers we passed by....Oh, the adventures!
All in all, we read a combined total of 140 books during our time in Uganda - well over a book a week! Of those, Ryan and I read aloud over 30 books to each other over those many hours of cooking, dishwashing, and laundry!
We truly loved the slower paced lifestyle that allowed for so much immersion in the (mostly) great books we had the chance to read!
If you're interested, here are some of our overall favorites (in no particular order)!
- Stieg Larson's Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series
- The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver
- Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
- The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
- Deliverance by James Dickey
- The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey by Walter Mosley
- The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
- Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
- Angels and Demons by Dan Brown (read while vacationing in Rome!)
- One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
- Atonement by Ian McEwan
- The Omnivores Dilemma by Michael Pollan
- Dead Aid by Dambisa Moyo
- The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
- A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
- The Harry Potter Series, by J.K. Rowling
- The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins
- The Giver by Lois Lowry
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
- The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Now that we're home, if we can maintain reading with even a fraction of the frequency we did while in Uganda, I'll be pleased. But, if life gets busy, as we know it will, at least we had these two years to not only experience our own great adventures, but immerse ourselves in the adventures of characters once upon a time as well!
Thanks for reading!