A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle
LC Hunter from Birdgehls
Books are my favourite souvenirs to buy, so whenever I’m travelling in English speaking countries, I spend some time trawling through local bookstores.
I was in Oxford a few years ago, hunting through a stack of second-hand books, when I found a copy of Arthur Conan Doyle’s “A Study in Scarlet” – one of those old, hardback copies, covered in a red cloth.
I flipped open the first page to look for the price, expecting it to cost at least a few quid. Scrawled in the corner in pencil was 10p.
“Well, that’s wrong,” I thought and took it to the counter.
The man who was serving flipped through the book, clearly confused, looking for a price.
“Someone must have forgotten to write the price in here,” he mused and then shrugged. “Ten pence it is!”
“You’re joking!” I said.
“That’s the price it says,” he replied. “Who am I to argue?”
The book now sits in a pride of position on my shelf and remains my cheapest second-hand book find to date.”
The Number One Ladies’ Detective Agency, by Alexander McCall Smith
Natasha from The World Pursuit
That’s when I saw it – The Number One Ladies’ Detective Agency, by Alexander McCall Smith. I had been hoping to read this book since I landed on the content. So for 30 Rand (less than $2), I bought it! I had an upcoming trip to Namibia with lots of desert and pool time ahead.
I wanted to read this book because it was a series about life in Gaborone, Botswana. The whole series is centered around a self-made woman detective and her time investigating crimes that would only make sense in Africa. The fact that she’s a woman entrepreneur in Africa is already encouraging and the book centers around all the girl power on the African continent. The books are easy to read and lighthearted, which can be quite hard to find when reading books about Africa. I can’t wait to finish the rest of the series!
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz
Elizabeth from Temporary Provisions
I was living in a hostel on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica in Puerto Viejo, a hot, humid, dizzyingly beautiful beach town. Puerto Viejo is a place to relax and enjoy if there ever was one. During the month that I was there, I spent most of my time bathing in the ocean, napping on the beach, going for afternoon bike rides, and eating chocolate from the local cacao farms. The hostel had a book exchange library, and I figured that with all this leisure time I could use a good book. I combed through the library and found “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” by Junot Díaz. I remember hearing and reading so many good things about that book and about Junot Díaz, (it won the Pulitzer Prize, after all), so I picked it up. I was immediately sucked into the vibrant story he created and it is fascinating, one of a kind characters. But by the end of the book, I’d also learned so much about the history of the Dominican Republic, Dominican culture, and the diaspora. Ultimately, it led me to read more of Díaz’s work and more about the Dominican Republic and the horrible Trujillo dictatorship. I’m now planning a trip to the Dominican Republic.
1984 by George Orwell
Scott from International Hotdish
Anyone familiar with American/British literature will instantly recognize George Orwell’s 1984 as a classic. Indeed, written in 1948, it has continued to capture the imagination of audiences and stun them with the terrors brought forth by a totalitarian government. Which is exactly why I chortled with glee when I saw it in my local discount bookstore in Melbourne, Australia.
For being a classic, I had never really made a serious attempt to read it. I borrowed it once from my library back home in the USA but never finished it – mainly because two of my friends ruined the ending (unbeknownst to them) by discussing it in front of me. But after hearing the book was highly recommended by an internet personality I greatly admire, I knew this time I would finish it.
On the day I found the book ($2.00), I felt like I deserved a physical book. I had been reading a ton of ebooks, and while fun to read, I desperately wanted a physical book in my hands again. But, because of the nature of being a digital nomad, we can’t always bring many books with us.
As I continue to read it, I find myself glued to the pages, even though I know the outcome. For me, this book is more about the journey there – the lessons buried in the horrifying events. I’m sure most books are meant to be read that way, but 1984, because of its serendipitous nature in my life, presents itself as the perfect opportunity for me to read differently, hopefully for good.
We are always looking for more books to add to our collection feel free to get in contact with your contribution.
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