Favo(u)rite Books of 2011: Part Two

Alright, here we go for the second half of Amy’s favorite 10 books that she read in 2011…

Everyone reads Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts when they’re in India.  It’s a classic Westerner-Living-in-India-“Memoir” (it’s a quasi autobiographical novel).  I picked my copy up at the volunteer coordinator’s hostel in Faridabad and read it traveling to/from Varanasi.  There was talk of it being made into a movie and Johnny Depp was going to play the protagonist.  It would have been an epic movie.   We’ve got jail breaks, torture, comedy, drug mafia, and saving people’s lives.  As good as it is though, it’s way more awesome if you have experience in India.  At one point he spends a few pages discussing the Indian head wobble (you’ve seen it) and it was so hilarious I almost fell off my bunk on the train laughing.  (amazon link)

I was completely expecting Queen of Shadows by Dianne Sylvan to be yet another trashy urban fantasy.  Which, admittedly, I do enjoy – that’s why I downloaded it onto my kindle one of the times I was sick in India.  And in a lot of ways, it is just that.  But there’s an added layer of working through great personal tragedy and coming out stronger at the end that I wasn’t expecting.  If you like urban fantasy, this is one of the best I’ve read in years and I highly recommend it.  (amazon link)

I picked up The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin by Gordon S. Wood at a used bookstore in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and ended up finishing it in my brief trip down there – largely because the earthquake in DC happened when we were on the bus and it added a ridiculous amount of time to our travel.  It is a pitch perfect balance between popular non-fiction and academic work.  If you have any interest in American history and the complexity of our founding fathers, this is a perfect choice. (amazon link)

The Hidden Connections by Fritjof Capra (of Tao of Physics fame) is a dense, philosophical wormhole that will take you from biology to globalization and back again.  It is so good that I shipped my copy (purchased in Delhi) back from India so I could have all my notes in the margins.  If you have any interest in matters pertaining to globalization (which is like, everything), this is worth the read (you can even skip the biology bits in the beginning if you wish). (amazon link)

If you are remotely curious about what I am getting my degree in, read this book.  The Age of Migration by Castles & Miller is one of The Classic Texts of my field – it’s cited everywhere.  It’s also very accessible, informative, and well written.  Yes, it made my favorite book lists.  There’s a reason why I’m in this program.  (amazon link)
(If you’re curious about my studies but don’t want to commit to that much of an endeavor, A Very Short Introduction to International Migration is also quite good.)

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One Response to Favo(u)rite Books of 2011: Part Two

  1. Pingback: Favorite Books of 2012 | mis·trans·la·tion

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