Sunday, July 22, 2012

reading list

One of the few constants during our Peace Corps service was reading. We were both voracious readers before landing in Costa Rica and that didn't change once we set foot in Ticolandia. We both read a wide variety of books both in English and in Spanish.

During the past twenty-seven months we discovered new authors (Vonnegut & Toole) and reread favorites (The Last Season, anything by Kingsolver). We took advantage of the Peace Corps Volunteer library in San Jose while we were in service and upon our departure asked for suggestions from our friends and left with a suitcase full of Costa Rican literature. 

Here's a summary of what we read while living in the world of pura vida:

Tarah's Numbers:
Total Books: 88 Fiction: 72 Non-Fiction: 16 Spanish: 19

Chris's Numbers:
Total Books: 63 Fiction: 16 Non-Fiction: 47 Spanish: 21
  • Desert Solitaire** - Abbey (C&T)
  • Reservation Blues - Alexie (T)
  • The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven - Alexie (C&T)
  • The Toughest Indian in the World - Alexie (C&T)
  • In the Time of the Butterflies - Alvarez (T&C)
  • The Last Season** - Blehm (C&T)
  • Don't Sweat the Small Stuff** - Carlson (T)
  • Through the Looking Glass - Carroll (T)
  • Don Quijote de la Mancha, I* - Cervantes (C)
  • Don Quijote de la Mancha, II* - Cervantes (C)
  • La Casa en Mango Street* - Cisneros (T)
  • El Perseguidor* - Cortázar (T&C)
  • Maggie, Una Chica de la Calle* - Crane (T&C)
  • Lakota Woman** - Crow Dog (T&C)
  • El Dia de la Venganza* - Daniels (T)
  • Diario del año de la peste* - Defoe (C)
  • Robinson Crusoe - Defoe (C&T)
  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao - Díaz (C&T)
  • The Sign of the Four - Doyle (T)
  • A Study in Scarlet - Doyle (T)
  • La Bahía de las Corrientes Irisadas* - Efremov (C)
  • Mamita Yunai* - Fallas (C&T)
  • Marcos Ramírez* - Fallas (C&T)
  • El Gran Gatsby* - Fitzgerald (C&T)
  • Everything is Illuminated - Foer (T)
  • Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close - Foer (T&C)
  • The Pillars of the Earth - Follett (T)
  • World Without End - Follett (T)
  • Cold Mountain - Frazier (T)
  • La caída del águila* - Gagini (C&T)
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude - Garcia Marquez (T)
  • Eat, Pray, Love** - Gilbert (T)
  • The Tipping Point - Gladwell (T&C)
  • Un Amante Italiano* - Gordon (C&T)
  • The Other Boleyn Girl - Gregory (T)
  • Wideacre - Gregory (T)
  • La Hoja de Aire - Gutiérrez (C)
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time - Haddon (T&C)
  • Stranger in the Forest** - Hansen (C&T)
  • Luna de Miel con el Jefe* - Hart (T)
  • A Farewell to Arms - Hemingway (C)
  • A Widow for One Year - Irving (T)
  • The Murder Room - James (T)
  • The Dharma Bums - Kerouac (C&T)
  • Fear and Trembling - Kierkegaard (C)
  • Animal Dreams - Kinsolver (T)
  • The Bean Trees - Kingsolver (T)
  • Homeland and Other Stories - Kingsolver (T)
  • The Lacuna- Kingsolver (T)
  • Pigs in Heaven - Kingsolver (T)
  • The Poisonwood Bible - Kingsolver (T&C)
  • Prodigal Summer - Kingsolver (T)
  • Where Men Win Glory **- Krakauer (C&T)
  • The Hour I First Believed - Lamb (T)
  • A Sand County Almanac** - Leopold (C&T)
  • Mere Christianity - Lewis (T&C)
  • A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian - Lewycka (C&T)
  • Call of the Wild - London (T&C)
  • El Silencio Blanco* - London (C)
  • Cuentos de mi tía Panchita* - Lyra (T&C)
  • Young Men and Fire** - Maclean (C)
  • Son of a Witch - Maguire (T)
  • La Muerte en Venecia* - Mann (C&T)
  • Siempre dama de honor* - Marsh (T)
  • Angela's Ashes** - McCourt (T)
  • Atrapados en el Ayer* - McCusker (T)
  • The Expected One - McGowan (T)
  • Misión en Venus y otros cuentos* - McIntosh (C)
  • Un Magnate Aventurero* - McMahon (T)
  • Moby Dick - Melville (C)
  • Breaking Dawn - Meyer (T 2x)
  • Crepúsculo* - Meyer (T)
  • Blue Like Jazz** - Miller (T&C)
  • Never Cry Wolf** - Mowat (C&T)
  • What I Talk About When I Talk About Running** - Murakami (C&T)
  • Worldwalk** - Newman (C&T)
  • The Time Traveler's Wife - Niffenegger (T)
  • Cuentos de amor, de locura y de muerte* - Quiroga (C)
  • Atlas Shrugged - Rand (T)
  • Biografía de Costa Rica* ** - Rodríguez Vega (C)
  • The Catcher in the Rye - Salinger (C&T)
  • Franny and Zooey - Salinger (T)
  • Push - Sapphire (C&T)
  • Naked** - Sedaris (T&C)
  • When You are Engulfed in Flames** - Sedaris (C&T)
  • The Bookseller of Kabul** - Seierstad (T&C)
  • Donde Viven Los Monstruos* - Sendak (C&T)
  • Juevos Verdes con Jamon* - Seuss (C&T)
  • Vox - Silva (T)
  • The Confusion - Stephenson (T)
  • Quicksilver - Stephenson (T)
  • Tormenta Silenciosa* - Stevens (T)
  • Ana Karenina - Tolstoy (T)
  • A Confederacy of Dunces - Toole (C&T)
  • The Neon Bible - Toole (C&T)
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - Twain (C&T)
  • The Indian Frontier of the American West 1846-1890** - Utley (C)
  • Around the World in 80 Days - Verne (C&T)
  • Su Unico Amor* - Way (T)
  • El Bacilo Robado y otros cuentos* - Wells (C)
  • Slaughterhouse-Five - Vonnegut Jr. (C&T)
  • Breakfast of Champions - Vonnegut Jr. (C&T)
  • Aesop's Fables (C&T)
  • Costa Rica A Traveler's Literary Companion (T&C)
  • The Gospel of Matthew (C)
  • Simbad el Marino* (C)
  • * Spanish
  • ** Nonfiction
If you want to know what we enjoyed the most, let us know! We'd be more than happy to suggest a title.

June [moving, travelling, settling]

The weeks since we have returned from Costa Rica have kind of flown by. We've rushed around to find a place to live, to visit family and friends, and to explore New Mexico. June was a month that kept us on our toes, had us in seven or eight different states, and saw us starting to get settled into life in the US of A once more.

The month started with us hanging out at a new friend, Emily's, until our apartment complex finished some last minute repairs on the unit that we had rented. We moved in on the fifth and shortly thereafter flew to North Carolina so that we could start the process of moving our belongings across the country to make our new house a home.

Our time in North Carolina was a whirlwind. We were fortunate to see my family, including grandparents and some aunts and uncles. It was wonderful to see all of our nieces and finally meet Madelyn and Gabriella, who were both born while we were in Costa Rica. They were more than happy to tire us out with dance performances, music lessons, and games of chase. In the midst of family time we managed to squeeze in some time with friends from both our AmeriCorps days and Peace Corps days. 

While trying to get people time in, we also had to squeeze in some packing time. We sorted through endless tubs in my parents' basement, took trips to Goodwill, threw stuff out that managed to sneak onto the moving truck from Maine once upon a time, and eventually loaded up our truck that was New Mexico bound.

When we arrived in New Mexico we found that the tubs really were endless as a couple had stayed in North Carolina. Most notably, the tub with almost all of our kitchen supplies - pots, pans, lids, corkscrews. Thankfully we have understanding parents. My mom and dad sorted through stuff and pulled out the brand new set of pots and pans that we had purchased shortly before leaving Maine and shipped them to us. 

We have managed to mostly settle in now and are enjoying Gallup. The town is pretty happening in the summer. There are Indian Dances every evening from Memorial Day to Labor Day. There are free movies at the city library every Wednesday evening. The second Saturday of every month there is an arts crawl in downtown. Most nights of the week there are softball games in the park behind out apartment complex (we've even managed to be roped into playing with some of our friends on occasion when subs are needed). There are great trail systems nearby.

It's been crazy. We're already quickly approaching the end of July and still have a lot left on our summer to do list. School (grad school and teaching) starts in August, so we'd better get a move on it!

*Note: in the process of moving from Costa Rica to New Mexico our computer got stressed out and decided to quit working. Therefore posts will be infrequent until we get new computers ordered (hopefully in a couple of weeks). They will also lack photos. Sorry about that; just wanted to let everyone know we are alive and well and still taking the world by storm!