Ruby Ramblings

Thursday Thirteen – March Reads

Thirteen Thursday

One of my favorite blogs is my monthly books read column. Here are all the books I read this month (which happens to be thirteen) in the order I read them. Here are my January Reads and February Reads.


2. High Tide in Tucson High Tide in Tucson: Essays from Now or Never by Barbara Kingsolver It’s good for me to read a book about my own country now and again (although several of the passages in this book are of Kingsovers’s travels). Fantastic collection of essays. Interview with the author.

3. Milarepa The Life of Milarepa Translated by Lobsang Lhalungpa For a book that is a translation of an ancient text, I couldn’t believe how it is so full of humor that is still relevant. This is a great introduction to the story of Milarepa, the classic folk hero of Tibet. He was able to reach enlightenment after one lifetime, even after killing thirty people in his village by completely dedicating himself to repenting his actions. (It’s like My Name is Earl in orange robes on the Tibetan plain. ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

4. This is Paradise This is Paradise! My North Korean Childhood by Hyok Kang
Kang grew up in North Korea where he and his family nearly starved to death. They believed the propaganda the NK was the most prosperous country on earth and thought if they left they would surely starve and be even worse off. Eventually his father, being tried for crimes against the state, decides they need to flee, where they discover the world is not as they’ve been told.

5. Future of Freedom The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad (Revised Edition) by Fareed Zakaria I thought this was a great account of how not all democracies around the world work the same. He looks at the success of several, both in terms of political success, and in how their populace is thriving. He makes some pretty scathing remarks about the Arab world and how their wealth is based on selling resources and if they do not make moves to build infrastructure and society, when those resources are gone so will be their tenuous success.

6. The Man Who Loved China The Man Who Loved China: The Fantastic Story of the Eccentric Scientist Who Unlocked the Mysteries of the Middle Kingdom by Simon Winchester Interview with the author.

7. Geo of Bliss The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World by Eric Weiner Besides the fact that I’m a fool for any book with Geography in the title, I loved this book. Full review here.

8. Fever Pitch Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby Okay, I didn’t actually read this book. I loved High Fidelity, and wanted to try another of Hornby’s, but I have no, and I mean no, interest in books about sports. Even though the back jacket said I would like it even if I wasn’t a sports fan. It’s not true.

9. Even After All This Time Even After All This Time: A Story of Love, Revolution, and Leaving Iran by Aschinef Latifi

10. George Orwell Finding George Orwell in Burma by Emma Larkin
Probably the best book I read this month. A classic travel narrative following the footsteps of George Orwell’s time in Burma and how his travels affecting his writing. Larkin’s vivid descriptions of Burma really make this book.

11. Axis of Evil Literature from the “Axis of Evil”: Writing from Iran, Iraq, North Korea, and Other Enemy Nations Published by Words Without Borders

12. Widow of the South The Widow of the South by Robert Hicks
Hicks was working on restoring the old Carnton Plantation, a house that had been taken over by Confederate soldiers and made into a makeshift hospital during the Civil War. He got so wrapped up in the history that this book is the fictionalized account of what he learned about the house. It is a fantastic story about Carrie McGavock, the lady of the house, and a soldier she becomes partial to. One of the interesting things for me about this book is that I live in Nashville, and Franklin, the location of this plot, is very close to here. Interview with the author.

13. Big Boy Rules Big Boy Rules: America’s Mercenaries Fighting in Iraq by Steve Fainaru My review here.

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24 Comments so far
Leave a comment

That’s some pretty heavy reading. I haven’t read any of them lol sorry.
Happy T13!

Comment by Adelle Laudan

I haven’t read any of those, though I do have the Hornby book in my TBR pile.

Comment by Nicholas

I’m a lightweight reader. None of those would’ve caught my attention.

Comment by Ann Bruce

I’ve never even heard of any of these books.

Comment by jenn

Kingsolver came to our small town in Southwest Virginia and read from her next book “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle,” which she was writing at the time. It was about her family’s year of eating only locally food. She lives nearby now.

Comment by colleen

gosh, I’ve never seen these books before. Thanks for highlighting them in your blog.

Comment by On a limb with Claudia

I just finished ONE book that took me all month. Nearly 800 pages tho. does that count for anything? LOL

My 13 is all about ‘icky’ foods. Won’t you join me for a bite?!!!

Comment by Hootin' Anni

Wow, 13 books this month? I barely made it to 9, and that’s only because I reread a lot of old favorites this month!

Comment by Betty

I thought I’d read all of Barbara Kingsolver’s books, but I haven’t. Thanks. I’ll be checking out “High Tide in Tucson”.

Comment by Brenda ND

That’s a great list. I’ve heard a lot of good things about #7 and #8.

Comment by Angeleque Ford

was the movie fever pitch based on hornby’s book? the story sounds similar.

Comment by jehara

Always appreciate a good book! Now if I could just get you to add mine to your list. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ha.

Comment by carmen

I don’t know any of these authors. Maybe they haven’t been translated and it’s not so easy to find English books in Belgium.

Comment by Gattina

Wow, these sound really interesting. I’ve been branching out in my reading lately, and some of these fit right in with my newer reading interests. I’m putting #5, #6, #7, and #10 on my to-look-for list, and possibly #1, #4, #9, and #12 as well.

Thanks for introducing me to books I might never have heard of otherwise!

Comment by Darla

Very interesting books. I love to read but don’t have the time. Thanks for sharing.

Comment by ageorgiaangel

Look like interesting books – thanks for sharing and adding to my list… ๐Ÿ™‚

Comment by Mozi Esme's Mommy

Interesting reading list! I have met Barbara Kingsolver. Her husband, Steve Hopp, was/is a professor at my alma mater. Very nice people!

Comment by Christi

I sense travel in your theme. I’ve jotted down a couple for checking out later. Thanks for sharing.

Comment by Shelley Munro

Interesting list. I’ve never heard of any of these books. #12 sounds particularly interesting.

Comment by Clara

I’ve had the grumpy travel guy book on my list for a while now – got to get to that one soon. I would have skipped Fever Pitch myself and I love sports – I hated the movie which was a very loose adaption as I understood – but I did enjoy the High Fidelity movie so I wonder if I would enjoy that book. Seems like he writes “Dude” Lit huh?

Comment by Molly

You have Susan on your bloglist. I had brunch with her today. ๐Ÿ™‚

Comment by Talya

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