Six Books

 

Me on the Argentine pampas in 1967.

Although this has been a difficult year for me in many ways, a year of loss, it has also been a year of reading. Since July, reading has been my solace and a way to honor the memory of my special reading mother.  I have read 91 books so far this year, unlike in1967 when I only read six books!

1967 was the year I was accepted into the American Field Service (now known as AFS Intercultural Programs) as an exchange student to Argentina. I spent a year there, which was an absolutely incredible life-defining experience. It was not an easy year, especially in those days before computers, cell phones, and instant world-wide communication with everyone you know!  Letters often took two weeks. Phone calls home were wildly expensive so I only made one call home during the entire year. I was far away from home and relatively isolated as I went through the inevitable culture shock and adjustments to my new language and my new family. But after four months, I could speak fairly well, began to dream in Spanish, worked hard to begin reading in Spanish, and became more and more fluent in the language over the year. It was an amazing experience, to state it simply.

But one of the most difficult things for me that year, as an avid/obsessed reader, was that I had little access to books (in English), and, of course, my reading focus needed to be on learning and reading in Spanish. So over that year, I only read 6 books in English. Those six books are seared into my memory because each one was like a little oasis in the desert of my reading that year. It was very hard for me NOT to be able to read much that year, and it made me appreciate deeply the freedom of my yearly reading experience ever since. However, giving up reading-like-crazy for a year in order to have the experience of a lifetime…was so worth it!

Here are those six books:

 

 

6 thoughts on “Six Books

  1. hibernatorslibrary

    I read The Red Pony when I was a kid and it really traumatized me. I wasn’t willing to read another Steinbeck for quite a long time, lol. Main Street is one of the books I’m planning on reading for Back to the Classics this year. And I loved Great Expectations (and Dickens in general).

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    1. Robin Post author

      Rachel, I’m planning to reread The Red Pony sometime soon. It’s definitely not a children’s story, and I felt a lot the same way as you about reading Steinbeck after I read it. Much prefer Dickens, too!

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  2. iliana

    What a wonderful memory. I love to travel but just thinking of how it’s changed from the early 90s when I started traveling to Europe to now, it’s so much easier in so many ways. I would love to go to Argentina one day.

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