Anna Porter Public Library
Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Read Around the World

comments by Kenton Temple

Get the book list from a year of reading around the world

  • I started alphabetically with Afghanistan and re-read A Thousand Splendid Suns, a book we have here at APPL. The  amount of suffering some women endure at the hands of some men is so very sad and such a waste of the minds and hearts. The book also provides an accessible history of the country from before the Communist takeover. I am not sure that any of the countries including the US that have tried to "improve" Afghanistan have done the people any good...Then I downloaded Waiting for the Taliban by Anna Badken onto my Kindle and paid Amazon $3. This one's a journalist's memoir of traveling and observing, and as such is drier than a novel and no more optimistic. I am very glad to have been born where I was born and in the time I was born. Now I am going to read to France!  and hope for something lighter and happier!
  • Ahhhh...France....This selection was because APPL owns the book, A Novel Bookstore by Laurence Cosse, and it was a improvement!  Lovely concept -- open a bookstore that sells only GOOD novels, but how to tell a good novel?  and what if the other readers and bookstores do not agree.  Members of the review committee are attacked and the plot proceeds from there so the book is something of a mystery with a love story and tidbits about literature and  publishing thrown in - all in fine prose. Only downside was the length but that's ok for lovers of mysteries and good books whatever is the defintion of "good".
  • Voices from Madagascar, a collection of stories edited by Jacques Bourgeacq and Liliane Ramarosoa, spoke of the realities ofthe survival of human spirit in a forgotten (for me at least) and left behind island.  The writing was not elegant but the humanity came through loud and clear. 
  • Samrat Upadhyay's Buddha's Orphans is set in modern day Katmandhu and proves that finding one's way in the world can be similar for for all lonely young people struggling to find a place and a person on which they can depend.  While you can get some "local color" for Nepal the style and language is very American, but then the author was teaching at Indiana I don't know how much about Nepal I really picked up.....
  • I did read a book of Alice Munro short stories (Canada) that APPL owns.  Unfortunately for this endeavor they were not distinguishable enough from U.S. stories, and now I cannot even remember characters or subjects.....ah well on to somewhere...
  • Next: maybe South Africa.....or Chile

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