Summer reads

A Good Read

Mike and I have one week and one day until we are off to Egypt via Turkey and then on to Tanzania. I have already begun sorting through clothes, buying additional items, preparing a first-aid kit and my travel-sized toiletries. Of course, there will be plenty of travel time during which good reading is required, I have pulled together a happy little list of books to take.

Sweetie Stats: Wife Stats/Hubby Stats by Nancy Deane & Ryan Deane

I found out about this diary of sorts through Snippet & Ink. I did a little research online and found an excerpt of the diary which included reflections like: “If I could have one superhero power, it would be…” and “My dream job is…” Mike and I sat and shared a few answers one afternoon. We had nothing else to do that day which I was later reminded of when contemplating how much idle time we will have on Mount Kilimanjaro in between intervals of hiking.  This seems like a great way to pass time.

Julie & Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously by Julie Powell

I had actually intended to buy My Life in France by Julia Child when I walked into the bookstore. Somehow I got confused in the Biographies aisle (how did that happen?) and walked out with this. I only realized that this wasn’t the book I wanted well after I left Chapters so I decided to hang onto it and chalk it up to a light read.

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Although I hadn’t really heard much about this book, I see it everywhere. This seemed as good a time as any to read it. I must admit that after reading the synopsis online, I adored the fact that the author chose to explore “pleasure” in Italy through the medium of FOOD. 🙂 As Mike put it, he enjoys Italian food so much that we actually eat it in every country we travel to.

The Post American World by Fareed Zakaria

I am head-over-heels for this book. I have wanted to read it since seeing an interview with Mr. Zakaria on CBC News Sunday sometime last Spring. I think he is extraordinarily intelligent and offers a much needed perspective on the direction the world is heading. THIS will be a great airplane read.

Dead Aid by Dambisa Moyo

 Hmmm….where to begin with this one? Mike and I heard about Dambisa Moyo one night watching CNN (I think…). She is a highly credientialed economist who was born and raised in Zambia. Her book raises some serious questions about the true impact of foreign aid to African countries. What I am most interested in are her SOLUTIONS. She is a bit of a pot-stirrer apparently. People have labeled her the Anti-Bono (as in lead singer of U2) who has in recent years used his celebrity status to bring attention to Africa. Moyo says: “Most Brits would be irritated if Michael Jackson started offering advice on how to resolve the credit crisis. Americans would be put out if Amy Winehouse went to tell them how to end the housing crisis”. I can say that anyone would be put out if Amy Winehouse went to advise them on how to combat the addictions crisis.

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

I read this ages ago. In Grade 9. I think. I remember it being a bit of a challenging read. Raw. Illuminating. Gruesome. Sad. I remember little else about it which tells me that I should definitely read it again. Now is just the time.

Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet by Jeffrey D. Sachs

I have yet to read End of Poverty but since Mike is taking this book as his reading material, I figured I would borrow it after he’s through. The best thing about doing this is that we can later discuss it and share our thoughts/perspectives on Sachs’ approach to addressing the biggest environmental catastrophe of ANY generation. It’s like having your own MINI-book club on the go.

The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer by the People Who Have Lived the Longest by Dan Buettner

I heard about this whole Blue Zones thing through Oprah (who else, right?). Fascinating that the people who live the longest live in non-urban areas, eat plant-based diets and keep young by thinking young. I found this book on the Anti-Aging shelf which is a rare destination for me on book buying trips. Having had many MANY conversations with people about disease prevention and healthful lifestyles, I will say that the reason I bought this book is not because I want to live to be 120 years old (90 would be just perfect). However, I am determined to live a life that is MINE and that I thoroughly enjoy. I don’t believe in “anti-aging” but I definitely believe in “quality of life”.  This is going to be the first book I tackle on my trip.

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