Living in Ghana is really good for reading books, because there’s lots of free time and usually no internet access. This is great! Now the internet seems really boring to me, and I’d rather read Tales of the South Pacific than goof off on Facebook or other such nonsense!
Our ISEP group at the dorm has established a very fluid, organic community library type thing. Once you give your book to someone else, there’s no telling who will eventually be reading it a few weeks later. Right now, I have a few books floating around out there and a few in my possession. It’s time to pass Velvet Elvis on to the next person!
Here are some books that I’ve read in Ghana.
The Lacuna. I recommend this or anything else by Kingsolver, especially The Poisonwood Bible.
A Case of Need. Michael Crichton’s first book. The protagonist is a little racist, a little sexist, and annoyingly full of himself, but the plot is entertaining. All about abortion before abortion was legal in the US.
Sphere. Also Michael Crichton. I liked his books when I was in middle school, but reading stuff by him now is a little embarrassing. The plot is good though!
Miriam’s Song. I’m glad I read this in Ghana. It’s written by the sister of the guy who wrote Kaffir Boy, which I read a few years ago. A true story set in South Africa during apartheid. I feel like I can understand a lot more of it now that I’ve been to Ghana.
Excerpts from Concluding Unscientific Postscript, Fear and Trembling, The Brothers Karamazov, The Gay Science, Daybreak, Human All Too Human, The Will to Power, Beyond Good and Evil, On the Genealogy of Morals, The Twilight of the Idols, The Wanderer and His Shadow, The Myth of Sisyphus, Existentialism is a Humanism, and Being and Nothingness. Various authors, for my existentialism class, either shoot me now or listen to me tell you how exciting it all is.
The Post American World. I felt so educated after reading this! It’s very informative, and I gained some perspective on development and America’s place in the world. About politics in the US, Zakaria says, “For many on the right, illegal immigrants have become an obsession. The party of free enterprise has dedicated itself to a huge buildup of the state and police powers to stop people from working. The Democrats are worried about the wages of employees in the United States, but these fears are now focused on free trade. Though protecting American firms from competition is a sure path to lower productivity, open economic policies are fast losing support within the party.”
The Bible, study version. Really helpful as a reference for discussions/arguments with friends at Sports Clubs. Just flipping to any random page can open up a whole new world!
Velvet Elvis. Some guy’s thoughts on how mainstream Christianity needs to change. Written for Christians. Some parts are infuriating, but mostly the book made me feel optimistic about religion in America.
The Grapes of Wrath. I’m glad I read this in Ghana. I think that otherwise I would have been able to distance myself from the way the characters lived because I would have thought they exclusively belonged to another time. But now I’ve seen that people today live like that! Another place, not necessarily another time. I really liked it, which is surprising because Melora hated it, but I guess that just goes to show that even the best of us can be wrong!
Tales of the South Pacific. Reading this now! The first two lines are awesome. “I wish I could tell you about the South Pacific. The way it actually was.”
Anyone want to recommend a book to read? I have three weeks left.