books we read, books we want to read, books that were recommended to us, books that inspired people we came across, books we might never read…

‘The Golden Compass’ by Philip Pullman, recommended and gifted by Helena, Fairbanks (Alaska)  - Marta is reading now...
  • I never been myself a fun of science-fiction literature; this first book of the trilogy has a good catchy beginning, where the personality and the background of the main character is well presented, then it gets even more exciting and so I was looking for excuses to keep reading, because I was so hooked, but, unfortunately, when the plot was coming to an end I felt it shallow; the way that the whole thing is being sorted was disappointing to me. If the author wanted to keep the interest of the readers to follow the trilogy, I have to say, that ihe did not get it - at least not with me. (Raul)
  • I had heard about this book long before I read it, and all I heard was good; so I think I had too high expectation which unfortunately the book didn't meet. I pretty much agree with Raul, I won't read the following books. (Marta)

‘Being Caribou’ by Karsten Heuer and ‘The caribou feed our soul’ by Pete Enzoe, important books for Jaymie, Grande Cache (Canada)

‘The last great expedition’ by sir Ernest Shackleton, Terry’s pick, Jasper (Canada)

‘Essays’ by Michel de Montaigne, recommended by John, Golden (Canada)

‘Into the wild’ by Jon Krakauer and ‘Roughing it in the Bush’ (Marta is reading) by Susanna Moodie, gifted by John, Golden (Canada)
  • 'Into the wild'
This is a true story about a young guy who ‘hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness (…). He had given $25.000 of his saving to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possession, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter…’ He wasn’t one of a kind, guys like him visit Alaska in droves every year, but for some reason he attracted more attention. The author of the book believed he was different and decided to investigate his motives. Interesting to read, more after visit to Alaska that gave me little understanding of what so magnetic in this State. (Marta)

  • 'Roughing it in the Bush'
I dropped reading this book long time ago. It wasn't anything spectacular; I hopped to learn from it about the tough live in the North and experiences of first European settlers, but all it is is a propaganda for English families wanting to move to Canada at that times. Not much of a true story (Marta)

‘Traffic, why we drive the way we do (and what it says about us)’ by Tom Vanderbilt, recommended by Luke, Golden (Canada)

‘Red China Blues’ by Jan Wong, important for Sara, Golden (Canada)

‘A fine balance’ by Rohinton Mistry, recommended by Ben, Golden (Canada)

‘East of Eden’ by John Steinbeck, recommended by Heather, Golden (Canada)

‘Guns, germs and steel’ by Jared Diamond, recommended by Michael, Vancouver (Canada)

‘The house of the spirits’ by Isabel Allende, recommended and gifted by Justyna, Vancouver (Canada)

‘The wilderness world of John Muir’ a selection from his collected work edited by Edwin Way Teale, recommended and gifted by Teri, Gresham (USA)
  • When I was pedaling through the US I wanted to read about the US history or the Natural Parks.  A friend of mine lent me a John Muir book, one of the greatest men in the US history for many people. The book talks about Muir, from his childhood in Scotland, first years in US with his family and then his years walking the Sierra. The first chapters really got me, when Muir talks about his childhood; he does it so vividly that he made me felt like a child again. Then the chapters in US with his family and the first years as a young man discovering the country are great, it is later when the book became an explanation an exaltation of Muir’s senses when he is discovering the landscapes, plants and animals. From here onwards the book started to be very slow with endless descriptions of birds or plants, for some people that are not so into botanic or biology it can be a bit too much. I was one of those; first of all his reach descriptions full of adjectives from which I could understand half  due to the fact that  my English is not that advanced yet and not just that I can understand Muir’s intention trying to explain with words the magic moments he was living, experiencing being in the Nature; trying to describe it as good as he could but it's very difficult to make someone understand how you felt or maybe Muir did not manage to do it with me some (Raul)
'Lincoln' by David Herbert Donald, Teri's pick, Gresham (USA)

'Watership down' by Richard Adams, gifted by Marc (San Francisco, US)
  • I love it! It has been many books ago since I have enjoyed a book as much as I did it with this one. At same point I got so inside of the history that I was thinking about the adventures that my little friends, the rabbits were going through. I highly recommended to everyone an easy readable book for everyone and fantastically written (Raul)
  • I read it as well and can pretty much agree with Raul. I would never think that i can enjoy a book with rabbits as the main characters, but I did so, so much. Great adventures writing! (Marta)
'Pedro Paramo' by Juan Rulfo, gift from Julia (Tijuana)
  • Pedro Paramo is one of the most famous titles of the Mexican literature. It is a book that makes you think is not one of those easy books where you can see the plot from the beginning It is rather a deep,  intense interior world where the author plays with the reality where the death and the life talk to each other all the time,  playing with the reader who sometimes I did not know if the characters where dead or alive. Although I had the feeling of "what a weird book" I was caught and I enjoyed it (Raul)
'Los Indios de Mexico' by Fernando Benitez (bought in second-hand shop)
  • This book is a solid essay about the situation of the Mexican indigenous in the 70s; how they have being dethroned from their empire; battered, humiliated, cheated again and again. In a really easy language this interesting book has shown me the sad History of the Mexican indigenous; to understand more the reality I’ve seen in Mexico in the last 4 months. However, things have improved, sadly not as much as I would like. Highly recommended book for anyone who wants to understand a bit more about the sad reality of millions of them. (Raul)
'The world's greatest civilizations: the history and culture of the Maya' by Charles River Editors
  • I have been looking for some good, interesting, informative and well written book about Mayas (and I haven't found it, so if anyone knows any, let me know please). This one seemed be close to what I was looking for, but when I got it I realized that it is a booklet rather than a book - very short and very superficial - do not recommend! (Marta) 
'Wałkowanie Ameryki' by Marek Wałkuski (Kindle edition)
  •  I'm not sure if there is an English edition of this book, but I doubt. This is a a book written by Polish journalist, which aim is to break the stereotypes and help to understand US culture and social issues as they really are ant not as we know them from the movies. Interesting, however, knowing M. Wałkuski, I expected not only informative and intelligent writing as it is, but at the same time a bit lighter and with his sharp sense of humour, which to me is missing in this book.
'The Tunnel' by Ernesto Sabato
  • Very well written story of a depressive, neurotic, bipolar, nihilistic painter who kills the only person who understands, respects and loves him. Maria Sabato represent the figure of an almost endless comprehension that through out the book A picture of a human blindness where his complexes, insecurity and fears removes his persona totally, stopping any possibility of happiness in his life. Juan Pablo thoughts built in a destructive process a crime motive, a personal reason excuse to kill Maria
    Highly recommended gem for those one who likes existentialism. (Raul)
'The Vegetarian Myth' by Lierrie Keith
  • Good beginning, dipping straight away in the subject of our current food business and the unsustainable of our way of living and eating. Questioning the agriculture and blaming it for the deforestation and overpopulation caused in the planet.
    After that, the book became too much a sequence of quotations from researchers and Universities giving for granted that those studies are “word of god”. It became too rigid and narrow-minded as if it was someone trying to give DOCTRINA.
    I can understand and appreciate the writer good intention trying to awake US citizen awareness, in what they eat and how, the environmental disaster that that is causing, the unsustainable of our way of living, but the book to me, is to single-minded pretending to be the Way, the Truth. (Raul)

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