Of civilization that is. We've been on vacation in Yellowstone and Idaho and have been off the grid for awhile. It's been good to change up the routine and embrace so many new experiences. It's given me a lot of blog fodder. I'm excited to write it all up when I get home. Anyway, while we've been out I've been doing some reading. (A good book makes everything more enjoyable!) So here's the latest update on my book a week challenge.
#26 Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin. This book was given to me by a friend (Hi Sarah!) who usually hands me really worthwhile non-fiction. This book was no exception. The story chronicles "one man's mission to promote peace [in Pakistan and Afghanistan]. . .one school at a time." Driven by the death of his beloved sister and a failed attempt to scale K2, Greg Mortenson was lost in mid-winter in the Pakistan mountains. Rescued by a generous tribe of Balti he found direction and hope in the eyes of young Pakistani children who held classes without teachers and tried to teach themselves to read while drawing in the dust. The ups and downs of his journey are interesting but it was his personal philosophy about the Middle East and the roots of conflict that were most interesting to me. I highly recommend this book. Besides being a good read it was a great introduction to the history of this important region and a little softer than some of the other popular books about the Middle East (like The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns).
#27 The Little Prince by Antoin de Saint Exupery. I read this one while doing laundry at our motel in West Yellowstone. This is a classic and I thought it was quite nice. I'm glad I read it. It was a nice reminder to treasure my children's point of view and to see things through their eyes--which made some of the sights in Yellowstone more meaningful.
#28 The Bat-Poet by Randall Jarrell. I first discovered Terry Tempest Williams as a teenager when the family vacationed in Moab. Talk about eye-opening. I was hoping to stumble onto something similar while in Yellowstone, but besides a copy of an old domestic handbook for women which I couldn't bring myself to buy, nothing really fit the bill. Then I came across The Bat-Poet. While it definitely isn't Terry Tempest Williams, it was the right read for the trip. This little story of a bat who wants to sing like a mockingbird but can't and turns to poetry instead is short and sweet and thought-provoking. I can't wait to share it with my kids. If you have elementary aged readers in your home, or if you like poetry, this book is definitely for you.
28 books down, 24 to go. My page count now totals 8,198. What wonderful books have you all discovered lately?