The Fun That Was Peace Corps Guyana - Mark's Blog

Postings from just north of the equator. Let's see if training in CPR and First Aid prepares me to teach Health Education in a small, remote village in Guyana. I'm thinking... no. Read all about this ill advised decision! In addition, here is the required Peace Corps disclaimer: "The contents of this website are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the US government or the Peace Corps." So, please, don't confuse me with the White House Press Secretary.

Monday, January 08, 2007

A Book Update

So far, ten months into my time in Guyana, I’ve read 43 books. That’s around a book a week or so. I think I might be either leading the pack for my group, or at least in contention. I don’t know if I should feel proud of not?

I’ve read a wide range of books, fiction and non-fiction. I’ve gone from The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand to Patriot Games by Tom Clancy. I’ve read Fear and Loathing: On The ’72 Campaign Trail by Hunter S. Thompson, a book about the George McGovern presidential campaign, where he got trounced by Richard Nixon. Sometimes I feel a need to read a classic and read The Godfather by Mario Puzo. Then I want to read a modern classic and read The Plot Against America by Phillip Roth. And that’s not even counting all the New Yorker magazines I’ve been reading that my mom has sent from home. But I’m not as crazy as my friend Phillip here. He’s been reading every New Yorker magazine, starting in mid-2003. He’s somewhere in mid-2006 now, I think. Sometimes I get some of his old issues and read them. It’s kinda funny to read about John Kerry’s foreign policy ideas two years later. On the other hand, it’s not too funny to read the guarded optimism about Iraqi elections and cocky confidence from the White House, knowing it gets much, much worse in Iraq.

So it’s been a lot of reading in Peace Corps. This doesn’t surprise me at all. I mean, before I left I sent myself a box of thirteen books. The more surprising thing has been that I haven’t tackled many heavy hitters, like Dostoyevsky. I tried to start his The Brothers Karamazov, but I hit a wall ten pages in. Books here are like television for us Peace Corps volunteers – it’s an escape. And who would watch PBS documentaries all the time for escape? So I end up reading slightly less dense fair, like Angels and Demons by Dan Brown. Oh well. Life is too short to force yourself through a book you don’t want to read, right? Even if you are reading a book a week for two years...


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