We get to read a lot in our line of work. In a place where meetings usually run about two hours behind schedule or where video games seem like a fabled pastime, a good book is definitely a must-have companion. Most books are passed from one volunteer to the next, creating a sort of informal reading circle; in fact, one of the first things we do when visiting a friend’s site is raid their personal stack, in search of the next page-turner.

It’s actually been really educational and provoking to read books that I may have never had the time to pick up otherwise; on my list are so many great books that I’ll always associate with my time here. But every now and then I stumble upon a book that totally stands above the rest, gets seared into my mind, and blows me away as I close the back cover. It’s bittersweet to finish a book like that - it feels like you’re parting with a good friend just as you’re really getting to know one another. 

Here’s the book. I don’t know if I’ve posted any other recommendations on this blog, but this one warrants a first. Coincidentally, I hear it’s abuzz in pop culture right now because it’s been made in to an Oscar-nominated movie (and much debated, at that). I had no idea it was even a film when I picked it up and still have no idea if the movie is worthwhile or not.

But …the book …is …phenomenal. 

I’m not much for official reviews or literary criticism. Suffice it to say, I got lost in this book and was moved by Foer’s fantastic ability to weave a story. This definitely ranks in my top 5 books read in Peace Corps. Pick it up and enjoy.