Did you know March is National Reading Month?
Reading is definitely one of the more popular leisure activities for Peace Corps Volunteers. What were some of the books you read during your service? Did you bring home any books from your country? How many times did you read War and Peace during your 27 months overseas?
I read SO MUCH when I was in Peace Corps. My mom sent me a big box of books by book bag, and I raided the PC library in the basement of the PC office every time I was in Sofia. I kept track so I know that I read about 150 books during my service (80+ my first year, 60+ my second year). Some of my favorites I read in country:
- How to Be Good & Fever Pitch, Nick Hornby
- Deep Secret & The Merlin Conspiracy, Diana Wynne Jones
- Cryptonomicon & The Baroque Cycle, Neil Stephenson
- The Years of Rice and Salt, Kim Stanley Robinson
- The Moor’s Last Sigh, Salman Rushdie
- Harry Potter #7, which I bought on Amazon and impatiently waited 2 weeks to arrive.
- The Count of Monte Cristo, Dumas
I also read a lot of history books, about the Balkans and Eastern Europe, but also about a lot of other places and things as well. I read a couple books in Bulgarian: Harry Potter #3 and a collection of all of the Winnie the Pooh books (or Мечо Пух, as he is called in Bulgarian). The latter was by far the more difficult, which surprised me. Harry Potter has a lot of dialogue, which tends to be written at the same level of discourse I heard on a daily basis. Winnie the Pooh, on the other hand, has long narrative descriptions about what the sunlight looks like as it streams through the branches of the trees, etc. I was constantly looking up words that would turn out to be “thistles” or “meandering” or something like that.